“We have kids from Nicaragua, Guam, and Africa in my class…”
“We made masks from China, Peru, and Africa…”
“He is been to England, Africa, and Italy”
I have a pet peeve. It makes my skin crawl when I hear people referring to Africa as a country, instead of an immensely diverse continent. Did you know Africa has well over 2000 languages and innumerable ethnic groups, in its 54 countries!? My goal is to help parents and teachers dispel stereotypes by teaching a variety of stories from different countries in the continent.
One great book that counters stereotypes, “Africa is Not a Country,” gets to the heart of modern Africa: rural and urban families, living contemporary and traditional lives, and children in their homes, with their families, going to school, and playing with their friends. In this activity- which touches on 25 countries in Africa- kids will be locating and coloring countries on the map as they hear them mentioned in the story. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Geography, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Literature, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, People, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe
Tagged fiction children's books, maps
A trip to the Rio Napo, Ecuador in 1996.
Last year, my kids and I studied a different biome each month. When looking at biomes, the world is generally divided into 5 major types: aquatic, deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra. The plants and animals in each biome have adapted to their environment with special features that help them survive. Under the forests category, it is sub-divided into different types of forests, such as tropical rainforests, temperate forests, and boreal forests. Because I have visited parts of the Amazon as well as Costa Rica, I was excited to share what I had learned and they were really excited to take a closer look. We took a month to read books, watch films, and do some art projects related to tropical rain forests. Here are the resources we used. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Animals, Around the World, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Games and Toys, Geography, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Panama, The Americas
Tagged biomes, education, educational technology, on-line activities, rainforest, science
We have turned our daughter’s lemur obsession into an opportunity for our family to learn more about the endangered species of Madagascar. After reading several non-fiction books from our library, we love to go the zoo and see the lemurs in action. Do you have a little one who is in love with a certain animal? Do some research to find out more about it and learn together! To enrich your experience even more, take a field trip to the zoo to get up close and personal with special animals, and many times you will learn more about them and species from the same region. We have looked into zoos that care for lemurs, and found that in the US and abroad, there are several places to experience these bouncing bundles of energy. Continue reading
Dressing as a lemur for Halloween
LEMURS! What are lemurs?? An endangered primate, found only in Madagascar, with more than 70 species… who became more well-known after King Julian starred in “Madagascar.” My daughter is a lemur lover. She has been since way before the now-famous movie. When she was 2, we made a visit to the Brookfield Zoo, and got to try on a lemur costume, and climb on a tree that extended through the glass enclosure housing the ring-tailed lemurs. She loves them because they are cuddly and bouncy, their babies hang on while the mamas climb, and the females always win the fights (which she likes to point out to her brothers). Because she was interested at such an early age, I jumped on board and began taking books out of the library to enrich her knowledge. She was a sponge, and at age 5 quizzed the zookeeper at the Houston Zoo about why there were not more natural trees in the lemurs’ habitats, why some of the lemurs were housed alone when they were such social animals, and why their enclosure did not have a sunny spot for them to warm up in the mornings like they do in Madagascar. Continue reading
It is no secret that my daughter loves lemurs. To find out more about these fascinating animals, we found some equally fascinating books on the subject. If you’re looking to widen your animal knowledge on this primate from Madagascar, check out these great reads.
Two of our favorite lemur specific books are A Little Lemur Named Mew and In Search of Lemurs, both written and illustrated by Joyce Powzyk. Continue reading