Our study of North Amercia began with Mexico! However, we won't be following up with studies of Canada and the USA until Spring time when we can better interact with local wildlife and plant life, etc.
Here are some snapshots and captions from our unit!
Might I suggest some amazingly YUMMY Tacos for lunch? So easy to make, and a favorite for our kids!
Mexican Cookie Rings were delicious and so easy. They are almost the same as sugar cookies, but with a finger print hold in the middle and sprinkles on top before baking. We loved them. Here is the recipe.
Mexican Music and Dance
We enjoyed watching some videos and listening to clips of traditional Mexican music.
A couple videos include this one of a Mexican concert (kind of like Mexican "Lord of the Dance" - ha, and this one which is a traditional Mariachi performance.
We took a look at different traditional Mexian instruments and did a collage with definitions as well.
Spanish is one language the kids were moderately familiar with. We reviewed counting to ten in Spanish and said simple prases like Hola, Adios, Amigo, (you get the idea). We also did a lift-the-flap book for Spanish colors.
Aztecs - a little glimpse in the past
We did not study Aztecs at length, as we will likely cover the history of North America next year. We did, however, read a few simple books about Aztecs and do a couple crafts.
The Aztec's loved to decorate with feathers. We made simple feather wheels using colored feathers from the Dollar Store. We looked at an Aztec art book and tried to copy the concepts from the photos we found within the pages.
Aztecs also used clay to make bowls and jars of many kinds. We decided to use old plastic containers and cover then with paper mache. Then we painted our dry bowls with various designs. I showed the kids some ideas of Aztec patterns and encouraged them to mimic them.
Butterflies and Monarch Migration
Looking at Mexico is a great time to take a look at Butterflies. As always, my go-to books are Usborne and Caterpillars and Butterflies is a fantastic book. Just the right amount of information, beautiful illustrations and photographs. We read through the book and then took a look at several other resources about Monarchs. We've studied Butterflies before, but it was fun to refresh our memories of just how AMAZING these creatures are.
If you search YouTube, you will find several videos about the Monarch migration. We watched THIS one. You may also choose to watch some time lapse videos of butterfly life cycles, like THIS one. For the life cycle video, I read the captions to our younger children. They loved it.
We took a look at Butterfly anatomy, using this free print out from Enchanted Learning -
Then we studied the Monarch migration to Mexico, looking at migration patterns as well as how the Monarchs actually stimulate the economy in very specific parts of Mexico.
Galloping the Globe included a study of Volcanoes with Mexico, so we happily jumped on board. We love studying Natural Science! We read Volcanoes from Usborne, another fantastic non-fiction read for the kids. Then we looked at several other resources with information about volcanoes and how they happen.
If we're studying Volcanoes, you better believe we've making them too! We've done this activity several times before, but our children are always happy to do it again. All you need is a simple mixture of Vinegar and a squeeze of soap and some baking soda. We used a bit of red food coloring in the Vinegar to make it look more red/pinkish. Give each child a little container (see through is best) on top of a catching tray or dish. Then, let them pour the Vinegar mixture on top of some Baking Soda (or dump a spoonful of Baking Soda on top of the Vinegar). The chemical reaction causes a little mini Volcano!
|Identifying the Volcanic Range in Mexico.|
|Learning about and labeling the parts of the Volcano.|
Other elements of our study and our Mexico Lapbooks...
|Which continent is Mexico found in?|
|Looking at Mexican currency.|
Free Worksheets and Print-out Links:
Parts of a Volcano Labeling worksheet
Thanks for reading!