Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Planet Earth


I was very excited to have Israel in our geography hop. I love this country and its people, and three of my grandparents were Jewish. My grandmother on my father’s side always wanted to see Israel. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, but all her three sons visited, and one of them lives there permanently. I am really looking forward to my next visit, because I can see my cousin’s little son who is the first true Israeli in our family, just as my daughter is the first American. This picture is from the trip I made when I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Anna – she was very fascinated to learn that she visited Israel in my tummy. Of course, according to her, she was in my tummy always since I was a baby :)

Sammy Spider First Trip to Israel

We read several books about Israel, but the only one that was on appropriate level for a preschooler was Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel. It’s a wonderful book, and I liked how the author described Israel using five senses – its colors, its tastes, its music. Anna was also pleased to learn her first Hebrew word – Shalom and informed me that now she speaks a little bit of Hebrew too. The book also mentions various famous places of Israel, so older children might enjoy it too. I want to note, however, that in this book the Israel is visited by a Jewish family, and holy sites of other religions are not mentioned.

Apr28_BlueAnother book that we read was Colors of Israel. I wasn’t thrilled with it, especially seeing how color yellow was described as the color of a robot designed to inspect suspicious backpacks and blow them up if needed. Still, I suggested to paint something using colors of the flag of Israel – white and blue. It lasted about 5 minutes, then more colors were requested, and Anna’s favorite activity, color mixing, began.Apr28_Sand

We also talked about deserts and hot climates a lot lately, so I picked up a neat sand painting kit at $1 section of Michael’s. It came with two “color by number” pictures, only numbers were actually stickers that one can peel off and fill the sticky surface with the colored sand. I was impressed with how ingeniously the kit was done and how great the end result looked like. Anna was very proud of her “desert pictures” and was showing them off to papa in the evening.

I am still hoping to do a science mini-unit on Dead Sea by the weekend – stay tuned :). In the meantime hop over to History/Geography at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I'm not sure what to think of yellow for inspection robots, in a children's book. It is reality, but it seems like there would be more positive things to focus on.

Wow! I love the idea of a paint by numbers, sand painting - we might have to think about something like that when we're studying the southwestern tribes of Native Americans.

Ticia said...

I'm intrigued to see what your mini-unit might be...... I'm going to remember this book.

Debbie said...

My 3rd grader and I just studied Israel a few weeks ago! We also had the Colors of Israel book. While I think they could have come up with something better for yellow, I was okay with it--my son is 8, and it was easy enough to explain it to him. Might not be the best book choice for younger children. I'm extremely behind on my geography posts, but I'll have the one on Israel posted eventually!

Debbie said...

I am with you and Leah about the yellow for inspection robots in children's books. I know our world has changed and while these things are a reality of today, how much does a young child need to know.

I love how engaged she got with this study, and it looks like she had fun painting.

Thank you for linking up again this week!

Christy said...

Color mixing is a favorite activity here too!

That sand painting kit sounds cool. I am going to look for it.

The girl who painted trees said...

This was a great unit study. I've been focusing on natural science lately and need to revisit geography a bit with Bear. Your posts are inspiring.

Kim said...

What a great unit, and how nice that you have pictures of yourself visiting there to show Anna. I bet that really helps to make it real to her and to make it more interesting. You have been some amazing places!
Crumpet is not sure what to make of pictures of my life before he was born either. "But where was I?" is the usual question...

Fairion said...

If you are looking for other good books for children about visiting Israel I strongly recommend Shira Imagined Froggy received it as a PJLibrary book and fell in love with it. It still gets pulled out and reread regularly.

Pathfinder Mom said...

You are racking up the scores at the Michael's $1 bin. I really need to take a peek there more often.

Anna's getting such a wonderful exposure to so many cultures in our world.

redtedart said...

Love the idea of bringing in Geography into the book and crafty project!!Wonderful... :-) Look forward to being able to start talking about the world with my son!

We have lots of family abroad too, so it is very important for them to understand more!