Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Africa/Kenya Unit

Of all our units up to this point, I think this was my favorite.  We had so much fun with Africa and Kenya!  Here is a listing of a few things we did.

--Checked out the Zoo Tycoon computer game from the library and created zoos entirely with African animals and even one zoo that was entirely with grassland/savanna critters.

--Watched the Lion King and made note of all the Swahili phrases and the savanna animals.

--Made savanna dioramas.


They used cut-out animals for most of their animals.  Nicolas wanted to make his own female lions so he drew those by hand.  He was pretty proud of his "hunting females"!
Seth's-- Lydia opted not to make one:)

--The boys each did a country summary report on Kenya in power point form and even added African music in the background slide show.  (Wonder how they did that...)

--Learned lots of Swahili words and phrases including the chorus to "Jesus Loves Me".

--Made clay animals and painted them.  We had some trouble with the clay being heavy so we made just the "bust" of some animals, flags and other things as well.

Anna:  Africa, zebra, meerkat, Masai necklace, Kenya flag, Bible, "K" for Kenya, baboon head and elephant in middle

Nicolas:  Lion head and lion

Lydia:  female lion, Kenya, elephant head, Kenya flag

Seth:  lake, stone, umbrella, elephant, flag, and little man

Caleb:  safari binoculars, warthog and meerkat heads and Kenya relief map. 

--Had Lauren, a Calvin College student whose mom is in my BSF class, show us pictures of her recent trip to Kenya.   We were wondering what to make for our "Kenyan" meal and she was able to give us suggestions--samosa or chapati.  We made samosa which is basically ground beef seasoned with masala wrapped in phyllo dough or egg roll wrappers and deep fat fried.  They were so good!  I think Seth even ate six of them.  Nicolas commented that he loves food that is deep fat fried.  Think he is on to something? Makes you wonder if we will eat anything as long as it is deep fat fried.   We also made a tapioca pudding with pineapple that was tasty.


--Chose a few animals to study in more depth.  We watched a video on lions and Anna did some extra research on giraffes.

These are the areas Anna did more research on. 

--Read lots of good books for this unit: Lions at Lunchtime; Jambo Means Hello; Mama Miti; Owen and Mzee; various Kenyan folk tale books; biography on David Livingstone; Facing the Lion:  Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna; For You are a Kenyan Child; and Kuntai: a Masai Child.

--Grew our own grass for a few "grasslands" science experiments.  We also studied the Baobab tree, Mt. Kenya,  Great Rift Valley, Maasai Mara Reserve, and Lake Victoria.

--Sang the East Africa Geography song (this is the one Kenya is in), but listened to all of the Africa geography songs and played our geography game with all the countries of Africa.

--We finished up our unit by going to the Watoto Children's Choir concert in Holland, MI this afternoon.  We enjoyed the concert immensely.  It initiated discussion with the kids on a topic we hadn't really talked about--the huge HIV/AIDS problem in Africa.  We didn't go into much detail on what the disease is as much as the  fall-out surrounding the disease.  The Van Brugge family from the seminary also attended the concert and we were able to chat with them a little afterward.  As it was about 5:45, we decided to find a Chinese restaurant and treat the kids (I know, the Chinese doesn't quite fit into the African theme).    

So, we depart Kenya and take off Monday for Asia.   We hope Monday morning we will be stamping our passports in Saudi Arabia!

No comments:

Post a Comment