Friday, January 31, 2014

North America Unit for Kindergartners - Part 2

North America, like all continents, is such a rich continent to explore. This year, we are only scratching the surface though as this is our first time exploring the world so I constantly have to rein myself in and remind myself that there'll be many more years to come...

Inuit Inspired Etching Art

We haven't studied much of the population while talking about North America. We haven't talked about "the North Pole" much either. It was all voluntary. This year is the first time we introduce continents and I am not wanting to go too deep yet. I am also thinking we might cover the Artic Circle in an entirely different unit...but I couldn't resist adding this piece of art to our week to kind of show Adrian I wasn't ignoring the North part of the continent entirely! (I did mention why we did not explore it much as well). I picked this special etching art creation because it is a technique he's never tried before and the result does remind me of some real Inuit art I've seen before; in particular, the Cape Dorset birds. Being that I was raised in Quebec, I saw my fair share of Inuit art growing up (despite the fact that I lived nowhere near that population) and always thought it was so unique. For this piece, Adrian used wax crayons and colored a poster board piece entirely. He then painted it with black tempera paint and when it was all dried, the scratching began. We both decided to do the famous birds. Adrian also added some Inuit symbols around his.

North America's "Original" Foods : Count, Cut & Paste

We now live in a world where various foods grow in various places but this wasn't always the case. Foods originated somewhere, right? This activity showed Adrian a variety of foods that were originally found in North America, such as his beloved corn and tomatoes. I turned this into a counting activity by having 17 red kidney beans on the sheet for example along with other foods in different quantities. Adrian had to count the pieces, cut the numbers provided and glue them next to the foods they belonged to.

License Plates & Missing Letters/Numbers

The case of the missing letters and numbers is a fun way to revise alphabet and numeral order. Leaving out a letter or number for a child to fill in is always more challenging than simple reciting. Here, I printed small blank American license plates and wrote numbers and letters on after printing. 

Graphing with the flags of North America -
Which are the most/least used colors?

Graphing is something we try to do every so often. This graph went all the way to number 20 and included 6 colors so it was a big graph to make but Adrian, who loves flags, thought it was SO exciting. It took him a while to make it but he loved it. This graph was meant to see which color was the most used in North America's flags and which was the least. Adrian predicted upon seeing the flags aligned that blue would be the most popular and yellow the least popular. He then set to work, picking one flag at time, coloring in his graph the colors used in the flag being examined carefully. Well, can you guess which colors appeared the most and least? It was a tight race!

More, Less or Same? - With Coins and Banknotes
from North America

Coins and banknotes are usually items found in continent boxes. For this activity, we used coins to play the "more, less or same?" game. Coins from any country can be used. Same goes for banknotes. It's a nice way to introduce money from many different countries. Now if I could only have known I would need my coins/notes from all these places I've been to, I'd be so happy right now...

Initial Letter Sounds & U.S.A.'s 50 states

Without going too deep into our study of the United States of America, I introduced the flags of the 50 states...because Adrian loves flags and already knows a lot of these. To go with them, I made a worksheet with initial letters. Adrian cut up the tiny flags and pasted one flag or more next to each initial letter sound. He also completed Melissa & Doug's giant floor puzzle of the United States but somehow, that picture was wiped during the "reconstruction" of the computer! :(

Lowercase, Uppercase, Initial Letter Sounds &
Canadian Provinces/Territories

Adrian's flag book also has flags of the Canadian provinces so during the North America week, I was asked whether we'd work with the provincial flags. I hadn't planned on it but thought I could make it work too. As a result, I printed a small flag for each Canadian province and territory and made a sheet with initial letter sounds as well. To make it even more of a revision exercise, I had both uppercase and lowercase letters. They had to be joined together by a line and then the flag could be pasted next to the letter it belonged to.

Next up for us is Antarctica! I bet the activities will be quite different for that continent, what do yo think?

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