Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Introducing the North American History

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Based on my experience, the best way to teach kids about history is through famous landmarks.  I remember growing up with my father’s stories of Greece, Spain, Egypt and South America.  He has photos taken at the Great Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, in Acropolis, Christ the Redeemer in Rio and more.  He’s telling me a bit about history through the landmarks in his photos and this fascinated me.  Since then, I’ve been very interested in traveling and learning about world history. I wanted to inspire Mavi in the same way.  I always start my history lessons with the famous landmarks using our travel photos and the Safari Toobs (Around the World, World Landmarks).  Recently, I purchased the Safari Supertoob USA (on sale) because Mavi wanted to know more about the US (inspired by our trip there last May).

So in this post, I’m sharing how we worked on understanding the history of North America, through famous landmarks figures and playsets that depicts the life of the early people of North America.

Montessori Books for Older Children: The Universe Story Trilogy

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It’s time for another 12 Months of Montessori Series and today I am sharing Mavi’s favourite book series.  We have been using these books for years now.  The books are all about the cosmic history to the evolution of man.  The stories are accompanied by stunning images and time-line to follow.  Everything in these books are just too magical and enlightening for him!

About the books:

There are three books in the series and each tells a certain period in time.  Here are the details of the books which you can purchase from Amazon:

  • BORN WITH A BANG.  Story of the universe from the Big Bang to the formation of the sun and solar system.
  • FROM LAVA TO LIFE.  Story of Earth from the appearance of the first life forms to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • MAMMALS WHO MORPH.  The story of the first mammals to the story of humans.

When I asked Mavi how we’re going to showcase his books in today’s post, he suggested that we should make some kind of “interpretation”, similar to a museum but only in a series of activities.    So I scanned and laminated  his favourite parts in each book so we can do our “interpretation” of the story.

BORN WITH A BANG:  how the universe was formed.  Seen here, we replicated the bursting of lights in the universe forming into galaxies, stars and planets via the milk/soap/food coloring science activity.  This was performed by Mavi and Vito.  The mixing and contrast of colours looked like the big bang!


Small World Play: Ancient China

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gong Hi Fa Cai!  It’s the Chinese New Year tomorrow and Mavi and I are currently learning about the Ancient China  (using STOW Vol 1 as read along book). With these, we set up another small world play which is inspired by the history of China.  Here’s what Mavi and I assembled.   Last month, we assembled an Australian Outback-inspired small play and it was a total hit!  This month, the boys are enjoying their free play with our new small world tray!

Tried and Tested: Playmobil Native American Superset

Monday, December 21, 2015

*** contains affiliate links *** 


I was able to get some really great deals during the Black Friday sale. One of which is the Playmobil Native American Superset.  As I mentioned earlier this month, Playmobil is one of the open-ended toys that we love and consider “educational” due to its historical figures and environment.  This Playmobil set will be perfect for our American history study next year.

What’s inside?

History Timeline Cards: Ancient Times

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anicent History Timeline Cards copy

Buy now

Up in the Sellfy Shop is our history timeline cards Ancient Times.  The file includes the following:

  • 40 timeline cards of the ancient times (occurred between the period of 5000BC to 500BC). The timeline cards has
  • 40 definition cards for each timeline card
  • 3 pages of timeline sheets that can be connected to form as a guide. The pages are in A4 paper size.

Learn how we used it here and in how we study the European History.

Hope you like it, enjoy!

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Learning the Timeline of European History

Monday, November 16, 2015

I am so excited to share with you our approach on learning the timeline of the European history.  As I mentioned earlier, my son is obsessed with world history, especially with the events in Europe and Asia (his home continents!) so while he is at it, I grabbed the opportunity to discuss the great history of Europe.  To achieve this, I created these beautiful  timeline cards which contains bold pictures (because kids are attracted to pictures) and included a brief description for each of the event.  I thoroughly researched this, and handpicked the major events to be included in the cards. We were always reading the books of the Story of the World series, but most of the events in the cards were not included in the book.

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Our timeline cards covers the 4 periods in history:  ancient times, medieval times, early modern times and modern times. 
  • In each period, we will identify the fundamental needs of man:  Spiritual (love, religion, culture/community) and Material (shelter, transportation, food and clothing)
  • Identify the locations in the map where the event occurred
  • Historical figures that played a major role in that historical period
  • Be able to arrange the timeline cards
  • Compare the impact of each period to Mavi
Ancient Times (up to 500AD)
My Ancient Time Cards starts from the event occurred in Mycenae to the end of Byzantine Empire.  We talked about how Greece played a major role in the beginning of the European history, great conquerors like Alexander the Great, the rise and fall of Rome. It was obvious that aside from the material things, religion played a major role in the development of the European culture.  
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Modern Times (500AD to 1500)
Major events include the wars in Europe after the fall of Rome, the Black Death, the crusades, the significance of the Vikings in forming what is now known as the Great Britain, Constantine and Charlemagne, the separation of Orthodox and Roman Christians.  
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Early Modern Times (1500-1900)
The Early Modern Times is all about Renaissance, and because of Industrial Revolution, people started to explore places. Inventions of steam train, and ships.  But there were also civil wars like in France and between England and Scotland.  Mavi and I identified the causes of these wars and yes it’s all because of the fundamental human needs.
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Modern Times (1900 – present)
Modern Times was quite challenging because Mavi asked a lot of questions in this period.  Most especially in the events of World War I and II, and the wars in the Baltic.  There are just certain things that you can’t explain to a 7 year old.   So I just told him stories of what I know (I have yet to purchase the Vol 4 of the Story of the World) and what I read in the web.
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Using the Cards
Our aim is to arrange the cards according to the time of events.  We set up a few craft strings in our shelf where we can pin the cards.  This is an amazing technique for visualization of the entire events!
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Seen below, Mavi is reviewing his work, making sure he’s arranging the time in order.  I previously taught him how the BC and AD works, so this is a perfect opportunity to put that knowledge into action!
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He loves the cards and enjoys reading the description.   I wanted the cards to be as attractive and engaging to Mavi so I made sure that I don’t put too much facts into the description.     Because of this, I created another set of cards for the “longer” description .xxxxx (1 of 1)-25
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He was proud of his work and asked to take a photo of him with his work LOL.
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So this is how I explained and presented the history of Europe to my 7 year old boy . 
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And you might as well PIN this post for future reference.
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This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning which is hosted by Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool.
Linear Calendar for Kids by Planting Peas
Montessori Calendar for Kids by Mama’s Happy Hive
How to Introduce Time to Kids by Study at Home Mama
5 Ways to Learn Asian History by Child Led Life
Learning the Timeline of European History by The Pinay Homeschooler
Our Montessori-inspired Timeline of Life by Every Star is Different
Exploring History Through the Great Lessons by Grace and Green Pastures

My friends and I in the 12 Months of Montessori Series are having a giveaway!  Join and have the chance to win $150 gift certificate to Montessori Services plus Montessori by Mom Art Toolbox!  This giveaway is open to all  US and Canadian readers only. 

History of Ancient Europe

Sunday, November 8, 2015

If you’ve been following us in Instagram, you should all by now know that Mavi is obsessed with world history.  It all started with his fascination with Horrible Histories and then he started to borrow books from the library.  That’s why I purchased the Story of the World books to feed his interest.  We’ve been reading it for awhile and almost done with Story of the World Book 1: Ancient History.

I wanted to share with you how we study world history at home.  Aside from our previous lessons of Ancient Egypt, Mavi wanted to learn about the history of Europe.  So this is where we are focusing as of the moment.  These cards are included in my Europe in a Nutshell file.


I just added the description cards for personal use, whenever we wanted to review the details.

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The cards are currently displayed on top of my shelf so Mavi can work on them anytime.  This is the best way to learn the time periods as well, like what’s BC and AD Open-mouthed smile

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After I introduced him to the time periods, he arranged the cards by himself.  He was confused with the BC and AD at first but he later on grasp the concept.

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Now, pictures and fact cards aren’t enough, we’ve got to locate these in the map!  Here Mavi is seen locating Crete, where Europe civilization started.  An understanding of  geography and location will make the child understand the history and culture of the ancient people.  We also located the Mediterranean Sea, the gateway of ancient Asians who entered Europe and where most of the battles occurred.  The map is from the activity book of the STOW Book 1 printable version.

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As I mentioned earlier, we are reading STOW Book 1 to go along with the cards but doesn’t entirely equate to the details I put in out Ancient Europe Timeline cards.

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Fossils for Kids

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Because Mavi is fascinated with dinosaurs and fossils, I always make it a habit to include it yearly in our homeschool activities.  If you are interested learning about our previous dinosaurs and fossils lessons here are the following links:
Fossils For this year, I focused on fossils alone as I wanted Mavi to understand how they became so relevant in defining history.
Fossils by definition are organisms or objects that indicates former presence of an organism which has been preserved in any natural deposit in or on the earth’s crust.  We examined the fossils we have on hand:  Safari Toob Fossil replicas, coral fossils and the animal impressions that we made.
Fossils 2
There are different types of fossils.  One famous type of fossil is the preservation of insects found in resins, now known as amber.   Another are moulds of animals or plants; trails or tracks of animals and dinosaurs from thousands of years ago.
With this we made our own animal impressions using Safari Toob animal figures.  They all end up so pretty!   Making animal impressions in a clay is one of the easiest way to recreate a fossil.  Another is embedding an animal or object in an ice or clay similar to an amber.Fossils 3a
These are coral fossils which we got from our latest trip to the Philippines.   Mavi described the difference between moulds and cast fossils like those of coral cavities that were filled with mineral substance. Corals Then we examined each of our Safari Toob Ancient Fossils and identify them.  (Source: Safari Toob Fossils)
Fossil 1
  1. Eurypterid.  A sea scorpion called Mixopterus was discovered in Norway.  They ranged from 5 inches to over 7 feet long.
  2. Fossilized Fish.  This is a Diplomystus specimen, typical of a surface feeding fish.  The Green River limestone deposits in Wyoming, USA have beautifully preserved all the fine details of these fossils.
  3. Dinosaur Skin.  This is a famous fossil “mummies” of a duck-billed Hadrosaur which became entombed in a sandstone after its death.  The real one can be found in North Dakota, USA.Fossil 2
  4. Tyrannosaurus Rex Tooth.  This tooth was found in Montana, USA. The T-Rex, one of the greatest predator possess the largest single teeth of any dinosaur.  They used these double edge, serrated blades to slice off huge pieces of flesh.
  5. Dinosaur Foot.  The discoveries of dinosaur tracks and footprints are grouped into similar types and they are given generic names.  Anchisauripus prints were from a small plant-eater found in the state of Connecticut, USA.
  6. Velociraptor Claw.  Velociraptor are very efficient hunter because of these large sickle-shaped claws that grow on each hind foot.  This claw was found in Mongolia in Central Asia.Fossils 3
  7. Ammonite.  This is an ancient mollusc with a spiral shell.  These marine animals existed for more than 135 million years.  This species is known as Peltoceratoides  and was discovered in Russia.
  8. Giant Crabs. Did you know that crabs evolved from lobsters during the Jurassic Period? This original specimens from Washington state, USA are among the finest preserved crab fossils having been buried in sand, soon after their deaths.
  9. Trilobite.  They are one of the most important groups of early animals and their unusual appearance and age, make them appealing to fossil collectors worldwide.  They first appeared in the early Cambrian period and become extinct in the Permian, 320 million years ago.
  10. Fossilized Frog.  This fossilized species of frog is fully articulated and possibly the ancestor of the modern spade foot toad.  This was collected in Wyoming, USA.
And the best part of a studying fossil is experiencing how these Palaeontologist dig and discover fossils!  IMG_20150421_101943 Materials used in the tub:
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Fossils PIN

Book Review: Grandfather’s Journey

Thursday, March 19, 2015

**Contains affiliate links**

From Amazon: “Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one man’s love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers’ attention and hearts. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, it remains as historically relevant and emotionally engaging as ever.” 


I was forced to read this book because this is the first book in the FIAR list that’s in our possession.  Forced in a sense that, it doesn’t look interesting at all. The cover is lousy, with dull colours and doesn’t look like a children’s book at all.

But oh boy, I was wrong. It is true indeed that you should not judge the book by its cover.  Once Mavi opened the book and started reading, we were glued!  The story is so simple, yet it touched our hearts.  Mavi and I immediately fell in love with story as we see ourselves in the character.  We are expats, and we both love two countries.  There’s depth and emotions in the story.  After reading this book, we were so overwhelmed with emotions that we began missing the Philippines.

A very good book for kids.  The book has large pictures with easy to read texts.  I love the simplicity of it and how easily a child can read this.  Now I understand why it received a Caldecott Medal :) 

This book can also be purchased at Book Depository (free shipping!).  Seen in the picture: Japan flag using LEGO, transport counters from Learning Resources and a bird origami. 

Now listen to my 6 years old son, narrating the story:

A Continent Study of AFRICA

Monday, February 16, 2015

It’s a month of African studies in the house.  Mavi enjoyed learning about this beautiful continent, its geography, exploring the different places and landmarks, the wildlife and habitats and of course the different culture and practices that makes Africa unique!

africa copy

Map and Location.  Just like in any of our continent study, we always start with identifying the location of the continent.  Though Mavi is already familiar of the African continent, he still likes using our Montessori Continent Map, which I got from Tower High Learning.  I got it for a reasonable price and excellent in quality! I purchased a few materials from them and will talk about it in a separate post.


Plotting the animals in the continent map.  He loves doing this!


I am so pleased this this purchase of world map puzzle. I got this for 50% off in a local bookshop.  We can work with individual continents or work it entirely. 

DSC_0886Flags.  We love working with pin maps!    This activity is to familiarize Mavi with the different countries in the African continent and their flag symbol.


We love LEGO and we use them in so many ways! Here, I instructed Mavi to create the South African flag using his LEGO.  This is a similar activity with our Asian Study of flags.  After which, he worked on his African flag nomenclature cards.  The picture card of the South African flag is in the wrong position, reason why I have to remind Mavi to be very careful in positioning flags because they might be interpreted in a wrong way.

DSC_0940 He likes positioning his other “favourite” flags in the plate.


Landmarks.  Of course, we made our pyramid version using LEGO. This is what Mavi picked because it is easier to replicate.


Animals and their Habitats.  This is by far Mavi’s favourite.  He’s not yet over with his animal toys and still looooves playing with them.

First one, learning about the different animals in Africa.  Mavi reads the fact cards of my Africa animals and loves talking about it while he play pretends.DSC_0902

If you have a preschooler, it is best to have a matching game. Using animal figures (these are Safari Toobs Wild), match the figure to the picture.


Or in case the figures are not available, you can still use the picture card and label (3 part cards)  for a 3 period lesson in African Animals.  Mavi still loves doing this even though he can easily read and finish the entire activity in a minute.


Another favourite activity is matching the animal skin patterns! Wooohooo! Aren’t these cool? Mavi was so enthralled with this! He did a similar activity on this here.  Next time we visit Africa, we’ll paint the patterns!  Your preschoolers will definitely enjoy this!


Again, if you don’t have animal figures, you can match the animal skin pattern with a picture of an animal, similar to the ones shown here.


And I asked Mavi to pick between a zebra and giraffe, he wanted to work on zebra… so here’s learning the parts of a zebra!  This will familiarize children with the different parts of the animal, and how it is similar to other animals that they are familiar with.  Another great thing about this activity for preschoolers, it will enhance their reading skills :) 


And this how we study the habitats of Africa. Using our cards, we recreate the map of Africa with its biomes.  We also identified the animals that live in each habitat. We follow the colour code of our map and habitat

Plants.  We use our Plant Atlas file to learn about the plants that grows in Africa. We worked on the Control Chart as well, differentiating the plant life in each continent.

bot_leafchartLanguage.  Mavi worked on this briefly.  I printed this African proverbs from here and we used Montessori grammar symbols to identify the nouns, verbs and adjectives in the phrases.  This is also a copywork in case you want your kids to practice writing.

DSC_0124Culture and Beliefs.  I’ve been doing research about Africa and made fact cards (significant) for Mavi to read and use. We did some of the activities in the cards, like creating African patterns (designs on textiles), researching about the ethnic tribes of Africa and enjoying the beaded bracelet my friend gave me that resembles African jewelries.


DSC_0272I’m teaching Mavi how to do research.  We do it using the internet as of the moment but I would like to bring him to the library and do it there as well.  We love our tablet and we use it so many ways! He loves how this girl looks.


And he thinks it is cool to have a lip plate!


Natural Resources.  We did this last year but was not able to touch it because the boys got sick.

Art.  I purchase art lessons from Deep Space Sparkle and they were all amazing! This one is the Africa art lesson which comprises learning how to make mud houses, giraffes, African patterns and creating your Maasai Tribe.  See how he applied the patterns on the body of the tribe?


Videos.  We watched the entire series Africa (BBC TV series) on Netflix. The series was beautifully created and entertaining! It was breathtaking! To see all those beautiful landscapes, different habitants, the richness of wildlife. Just WOW.  Watching this video made us want to jump right then and there in Africa! (And a friend also shared a video of Gambia. Thank you!


Songs.  We listened to a few songs on YouTube and see how the people used some of the native instruments.


Stories.  I borrowed this book from the library and you can purchase them at Book Depository[] as well, free shipping!  They contain lots of beautiful African tales and stories. Mavi reads them at night before going to bed.


World History. And to complete our unit, we did an Ancient Egypt Study.  These figurines are from the Ancient Egypt Safari Toobs and they are awesome! Perfect for hands on learning!  Read more about it here.


Here’s a summary of the materials we used in this Continent unit:

  1. African Flags
  2. Africa Animals
  3. Africa Landmarks
  4. Africa in a Nutshell
  5. Animal Habitats
  6. Plant Atlas
  7. African Art
  8. African Proverbs
  9. Safari Toobs Ancient Egypt
  10. Safari Toobs Wild

And that’s about it!!  I hope you can pick up a lot of ideas that you can do with your kids!  You can also checkout my pinterest board for other African activities.  Don’t forget to visit us as well in our other social media sites for updates! Thank you!

Follow Pinay Homeschooler's board Continent Study: Africa on Pinterest.

This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning which is hosted by Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool.


Amazing blogs involved in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning

Natural Beach Living ~ The Natural Homeschool ~ Living Montessori Now

The Kavanaugh Report ~ Mama's Happy Hive ~ Study at Home Mama ~ Child Led Life

Every Star Is Different ~ Grace and Green Pastures ~ The Pinay Homeschooler