The last few weeks we have been studying India and China, finishing up just before spring break. We had a lovely chicken mango curry meal when we finished up India and cheated on our Chinese meal a little bit by ordering from Panda Express last weekend. The kids' homeschool track coach founded a non-profit organization to assist young adults phasing out of the foster system, and Panda Express was giving 20% of Saturday's profits to the organization so thought it was a win-win arrangement.
A few weeks ago I realized we had not done that much with painting/drawing, etc this year so ramped it up a little bit for this unit. What I found is that if I initiate, buy the correct materials, find pictures to draw from, and offer a bunch of excitement they will "do" art!
We did rangoli art last time we did India five years ago, but we enjoyed coloring rice, finding pictures to print out and creating our own masterpieces again this year.
I gave each of the kids a small canvas and new acrylic paints and told them they had to paint something that reminded them of India.
India's national bird--peacock, Taj Mahal, and the snow leopard:
We studied the grassland and mountain biomes during this time. I went to Wal-mart to purchase some grass seed and found these cute little critters instead. They were much cheaper and it was a whole lot more fun to cut the grass and give them new "hairdos".
We learned that a mountain actually contains many biomes depending on the height due to temperature and level of oxygen: grasslands, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, alpine meadow, and snow line.
We also studied ecology and conservation and did a little acid rain experiment with two identical plants. The kids were so distressed that the plant was dying that we had to cut the experiment short.
China wasn't quite as artsy as India, but the kids (mostly Anna) did put together a model of the Great Wall.
They carried their renewed interest in drawing outside one nice day and beautifully decorated our sidewalk/patio area in the back.
After spring break we will finish up in Asia with Japan and Russia and then head to Australia to finish out the year!