Friday, July 26, 2013

C is for China (Ancient)

Ancient China Activities For Kids

So we've found ourselves at the point in history with SOTW at Ancient China. We thought it might be a nice idea to try and spend a little more time on this period and so joined forces with a few others to accomplish this.

Our themed country days have been working really well so we simply took the same guidelines and used them for our Ancient China Day. Each family brings along an activity to cover with the group. We decided on one day only, even though we could've easily spent a great deal longer on this. I for one learned an amazing amount about this period in time, so was very pleased with the outcome.

As a group our main goal is for exposure, I don't have my kids memorise lists of names, places and dates, the more we read, talk and do activities on these topics the more they naturally memorise them anyway, because they are making the connections.

Ancient China Lapbooks

From the Great Wall, to Silk, The Mongols, a myriad of inventions, the Terracotta Warriors and the amazing people themselves there is such a vast amount of information you could cover with this topic.

All of this was one big group effort, many hands really do make light work and I love how easy it is to pull together a great unit for the group when you only need to focus on one component of it.

I chose the topic of Silk, we, of course talked a little about silk worms, we read a couple of the Silk Legends  and talked briefly about the early beginnings of silk trade. The kids loved this Mythtory clip I found on You Tube.

Ancient China Books For Kids

I always try to do more reading on the topic both prior and after group days like these. I thought I'd share the books we used in addition to SOTW and the chapters covering Ancient China. I also thought I'd show you inside some of them, I know I love to see a page or two inside a book before I commit. Can never judge a book by its cover.

This was a second hand book sale purchase so for $1 definitely a great buy!

It covers all major areas of day to day life in Ancient China, such as birthdays, dinner time, getting dressed, inside a home, live in the country/city,

travel and transport, going to school, festivals and ceremonies and getting married. My kids were very wide eyed with the ages of marriage in Ancient China, boys were 20 and girls were a mere 15 years old! They really couldn't contain themselves when we discussed the topic of arranged marriages.

A lovely Chinese folk tale, filled with gorgeous illustrations. "When the Emperor is taken prisoner, only his tiniest daughter's courage and a little help from her kite can save him."

We all enjoyed this story, we felt tremendous sadness for the Djeow, whom no one thought of ever, but it wraps up nicely with Djeow taking her rightful place within the family. A shame that she had to do something heroic so her father would love her though.

From the book cover, With lavish illustrations and a highly informative text, The Silk Route traces the early history of the silk trade. From Mulberry groves of China to the marketplace of Byzantium and explores how two of the worlds greatest empires were brought together, forever opening the channels of commerce between East and West.

This is quite in depth for a 'picture book' but is perfect for a middle primary school aged child.

Ok so the Story of Silk is actually set in Thailand, it does reference early China and in fact the first couple of pages are devoted to that.

This is a very thorough account of silk, the silk worm and silk production, with some stunning photographs.

From the book cover, The Emperor's Silent Army features more than forty full colour photo's that showcase the terracotta troops. A vivid and engaging text tells all about the army as well as the extraordinary story of the man who commanded its creation, the ruthless and tyrannical first emperor of China.

There is so much to learn in this book and the photographs are amazing. The next best thing before seeing the soldiers for real.

This book I grabbed a couple of years ago in a book store throw out sale because the cover was damaged. However that was the only damage. I truly love these bargains this is fabulous book with a large amount of information

A large pop up image on each page and a few other small pop ups as well. The kids have spent a considerable amount of time pouring over this book.

Turning the pages, talking about the images and wondering what life would've been like in Ancient China. I've struggled to find much online about this book, all I can really tell you is that it is published by Hinkler Books and the author is Peter Riley.

This day was a fabulous jumping off point for Ancient China, we truly could've spent a great deal more time on this era, however we decided to move on. I know we will revisit Ancient China again in the future where we will have the opportunity to build upon everything we covered during this time.

Useful Links

My Pinterest Board for Ancient China

Early Silk Trading in cartoon format. This short you tube clip is great for the kids

Crash Course History: The Silk Road and Ancient Trade. Slightly longer clip and probably more suited to the older child.

Ancient Lapbook on Homeschool Share

Ancient China Lapbook Dynamic 2 Moms

Squidoo Lens on Ancient China

Powerpoint Presentations and More

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's Read & Find Out Science ~ Tuesday's Treasures

The Let's Read And Find Out Science series of books are definitely one little treasure that I am very happy to have my shelves. They get used a lot!

There are 2 levels in this series, with Level 1 aimed at Preschoolers and early Elementary years, Level 2 is slightly older.

Right now we are focused on all things related to the human body, hence these images, but there is a whole range of science books in this series, covering all manner of topics.

Some of them are a little harder to find but they are worth hunting down.

I found this on the Harper Collins website showing all of the currently available books in Level 2 and here for the Level 1 series.

This post is linked up at Tuesday's Treasures, over at Every Bed of Roses
Every bed of Roses

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Shout Out ~ Guides, Assessment, Online Study & Books

Sunday Shout Outs are a blast from the past from around here. I did a few of these awhile back. They are a way for me to share some of the reads, sites, links or other things that touched me in some way during this past week.

I was either sent or stumbled across a few new to me things and wanted to share them with you so a Sunday Shout Out seemed like the logical way to go. Who knows I may just bring them back into existence ;-)

  • Simply Charlotte Mason offers FREE Curriculum Guides, I had no idea! They are broken down into a time period in history, the idea is you choose your time period and focus on that as a family. Within each time period is a list of grade level books.

Then you can also choose from a list of  'enrichment topics' with even more great book lists.

Really does make choosing books nice and easy.

This is definitely on one add to your bookmarks list.

Mardel Homeschool has this really neat assessment tool, I found it quite interesting and was pleasantly surprised that my results pretty much matched up with my line of thinking. Charlotte Mason was number one on my list. Complete the teaching assessment online here

Ok this is simply a treasure trove. Over 1,000,000 free ebooks to borrow at Open Library.

  •  A friend of mine stumbled  onto the Hachette Children's Books website, they have a bunch of free downloadable teacher resource files to go along with many of the books they have available. Check them out here

I'm currently pondering this book series by Lois Walfrid, this from the Freedom Seekers  website, "Travel back to 1857 with Libby, Caleb, and Jordan, who need to make life-changing choices that answer the question, "What does freedom really mean?" From the golden age of steamboats, the rush of immigrants to new land, and the heart-stopping dangers of the Underground Railroad, come true-to-life stories of courage, integrity, and suspense."  Check them all out here.

If you have or your children have read any of these I would love to hear from you.

It dawned on me recently that we really aren't all that far away from the high school years so I have started a collection of various helps that I may look into when the time is right. Studying online is definitely one of those options so when someone suggested to take a look at Open 2 Study I quickly added it to my trusty basket of future tricks. You have the option of studying through different Universities using the Open 2 Study website. I always love hearing of homeschoolers using their high school years to explore a variety of avenues and this is definitely one of them that is filled with possibilities.

Lots of fabulous finds this week, I hope something here has been of some help to you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ponding - Tuesday's Treasures

Ponding by Wilhelmina Wallis is great little book packed full of hands on activities for children to do near and about your local pond.

I mentioned that we are using this book as part of our Year Long Pond Study and I wanted to share more of it with you.

A quick glance over the contents page of this book and you will quickly notice that there is an abundance of activities and information to be found inside, covering all manner of subject areas.

The pages are black and white but with lovely well drawn illustrations.

Every activity is very clearly laid out and if a check sheet or data record sheet is required that is also supplied for you to copy.

This book really does cover so many areas of a pond ecosystem.

You can purchase a copy of Ponding from the Gould League website.

I have purchased this copy myself and have not been compensated in any way for this post. I simply wanted to share this fabulous resource with all of you.

I am linking this to Tuesday's Treasures, over at Every Bed of Roses
Every bed of Roses

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