Before beginning our Continents and Oceans Unit, we will review reading and drawing maps. We will learn the difference between various kinds of maps, and even create landform map models!
Students each get a state map and draw their state's shape on a tortilla shell.
Then they cut the shape out using a plastic knife.
Next, students cover their map with icing, which will be the "glue" to help other items stick.
The first landforms to go on the map are rivers (twizzlers)!
The second landforms added are mountain ranges (chocolate chips) and moutain peaks (Hershey kisses)!
Finally, students add other landforms, including lakes (blue sprinkles) and deserts (cinnamon)!
Then students cover the rest of the map with land (green coconut)!
Students use index cards to create a map key for their landform maps.
We will explore the continents and oceans as we travel "Around the World" to learn how different countries celebrate holidays! Students will create suitcases and get passports to be stamped on each continent. As we travel, we will stop in at least one country per continent where students will learn about local traditions and customs during the holiday season. Students will create a souvenir while in each country to bring back in his/her suitcase!
To kick-off this unit, we read Chester the Worldly Pig by Bill Peet.
Then we create our very own Chester Maps!
Once students can identify the location of each continent and ocean, we begin our journey. The pictures below show the souvenirs students bring back from our "Holidays Around the World" travels!
Before leaving on our journey, students create a Suitcase (using a cereal box) and get a passport. The passport is "stamped" at each stop and students also get a stamp from each country visited to paste to his/her suitcase.
While in America, we talk about holiday traditions that our families have. Students write a paragraph about their favorite holiday traditions and create a reindeer to display their writing. Then we travel to Mexico. After learning about holiday traditions in Mexico, students learn to cut out poinsettias and create a "Feliz Navidad" card.
In South America, we stop at Brazil. Students create an ornament with fireworks using paper and glitter glue. Next we stop in Africa to learn about traditions in Kenya. Students create antiqued finger drums using styrofoam cups, masking tape, shoe polish, and markers.
Our stop in Australia is always a hit as students learn how holiday celebrations are held on beaches. We create Christmas crackers (or poppers) using a toilet paper tube, wrapping paper, and string. The crackers are filled with candy and prizes but students must wait until the holidays to "crack" it open! Next we travel to Asia and stop in China. Our souvenir in China is a festive red Chinese lantern.
While in Europe, we stop at Germany to learn about the very first Christmas trees. Students create a 3D tree with a spider hanging down to remind them of a legend from Germany. Our final stop is in Greenland, the closest land to the North Pole. Some people think Santa's workshop must be close by! Our souvenir from Greenland is a paper plate Santa.
*We discuss why we do not stop in Antarctica (since there are no people living there permanently, it does not have its own traditions). We do create penguins to remind us that these cool creatures rule this continent! :)