Ahoy, Mateys! Do you have a little pirate at home?
Hannah’s into being a pirate of late. And I had intentions of teaching geography after reading Cristina’s (from “A Homeschool Mom”) Summer School Geography course. Eventually, I decided to merge both together! Let’s take a look…
1. Dressing Like a Pirate
How can you be a pirate without looking like one? We made a no-sew pirate eye-patch and hat. Her costume was made by her grandmother.
Pirate eye-patch materials:
1. Measure and cut out the shape of an eye-patch using cardboard.
2. Decorate the eye-patch with washi tape. We’ve used a Hello Kitty design that we got during our Taiwan trip.
3. Punch two holes on the cardboard after it has been “washified.
4. Measure enough rubber bands (linking them together) to fit comfortably around your child’s head.
5. Insert the rubber bands through the holes and secure it.
Pirate hat materials:
1/2 sheet of newspaper
Cellophane tape (optional)
1. Fold newspaper in half.
2. Fold the sides to make a triangle.
3. Fold the bottom flap up.
4. Turn over to fold the other bottom flap up.
P/s: You may refer to DLTK’s website for visuals. My newspaper was much smaller in size (TODAY newspaper) so I had done some adjustments.
2. Charting the Course
There are so many countries to cover! Where should we start?
Start with the basics: I began introducing the 7 continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica) and 4 oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian).
Choosing neigbouring countries: We explored the neighbouring countries first, since Hannah was already familiar with the names of countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Choosing countries of significance to the child: We also explored countries that we’ve visited, like Taiwan. We revisited the prominent sights of the country with the photos we’ve taken.
Narrow your scope: Decide what to teach and share. There are many things to learn from just one country: population, weather, food, people, language, animals, culture, famous sights, flags etc. For us, we covered the flag, capital, language, weather, and one element the country’s famous for (be it food, sport or culture).
3. Gathering the Resources
You could use videos, books, cooking the local delicacies, anything you could think of to enhance the learning adventure.
Navigating with a world map: We used our world map that I’ve pasted on our living room wall to mark our voyage.
Flags of the world: A friend had given us a book of the flags of the world in Mandarin. It was an essential source of reference as we studied the flags, capital, language.
Internet for weather forecast: We studied the season (if it has 4 seasons) and the weather (if it was usually rainy or dry).
What the country is famous for: For instance, we learned that jeepneys are a popular means of transportation in Philippines. That’s something we don’t get to see in Singapore. We also learned that the flamenco is a famous traditional Spanish music and dance. We watched this famous dance over on Youtube.
4. Expanding the Theme
Of course, after sailing the seven seas, you may want to expand the theme to include other activities such as Math, History and Language for your little pirate. We watched LeapFrog’s DVD, “Numbers Ahoy!” as our family entertainment in the evenings. You could refer to the following resources for more ideas:
LeapFrog DVD Preview : Numbers Ahoy!
PBS Kids: Hungry Pirates Game
National Geographic Kids: Pirate History, Information, Games etc.
Scholastic’s Pirate-themed Math Activities
Teachers.net’s Pirate-themed Lesson Plans
Alrighty, Mateys. I hope you’ll join us as we learn the world with our little pirate and crew. Yo Ho Ho! 🙂
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