Ever since my son and I began studying the History of Science with Beautiful Feet Books last year, I’ve been on the lookout for something similar that will be a perfect match for my school-averse kindergartner.
Imagine my delight to find an early elementary curriculum that travels around the world: Around the World with Picture Books. My kindergartner has loved the chance to explore different countries, just by reading books and doing similar, related projects.
Note: I received a free copy of the curriculum and was compensated for my time reviewing this product/service, writing this review, and hosting the giveaway. All opinions are my own.
An Overview of Around the World with Picture Books
With an amazing emphasis on great literature, Beautiful Feet Books strives to introduce kids to history early and often. The Around the World with Picture Books part 1 curriculum that I use with my kindergartner extends this into geography as well. Where are various countries of the world? How are they different from where you live? What is their culture like?
As the title indicates, this is part 1 of a world study. It covers a variety of countries, including Asia, Australia and Antarctica, and Africa. For example, for our current study in Asia, we start with China and then go to Japan, Thailand, and India.
For each country there are about 8-10 lessons. A few focus on discussion of some select books provided with the curriculum. These provide discussion points, vocabulary, and cultural items to note in the selected books. Other lessons focus on nature (animals) of the country, beautiful scenery or landmarks, and other cultural items, like art or food. Each country also has a “library connection” section to annotates more great books about the country and culture, as well as a “history/biography connection” list that provides more book suggestions.
In other words, the curriculum puts all the information you need right there in the study guide!
There are 70 lessons in the study guide all together. It is meant for a semester of learning (for older kids) or a year of learning for the younger kids, depending, of course, on how fast you go through the books and activities.
Around the World with Picture Books Part 2 will cover Europe and South America, and should be available this summer. I am eager to see what countries will come for each of these continents.
Using Around the World with Picture Books
The books are my favorite part of Beautiful Feet Books. Of course, the study guide walks me through using the books to teach, but what could be better than simply reading great books with my little ones?
Strawberry is a young kindergartner this year, and the great thing about Beautiful Feet Books is that I can use the study guide and go from there. I didn’t do _blank_ lessons a week or anything structured like that. I got all the books, I read the manual, and then we read and learned as she was ready to do so!
This meant that our country study may have gone like this: we read the books one day, reread them a few days later, did a project the next week, then reread a book and found the country on a map. The next week, we learned about the animals, and wrote things in the notebook. I honestly don’t know what we did each week because we used it all as a resource and went at Strawberry’s own unique speed. This is the joy of homeschooling, and the Around the World curriculum is perfectly designed to adapt like this!
Around the World for Early Elementary
It always helps me to know about more about a curriculum if I can see how it was used and what level it was used with.
Since we started with China and then Japan, those are the countries I have the most pictures to show you. For China, Strawberry most loved learning about the baby pandas. Around the World with Picture Books even provided links to suggested videos on this and other subjects! Strawberry also loved the art connection as we tried painting with Chinese watercolors and paint brushes. In fact, I loved that too. I tried my own hand at Chinese watercolors after Strawberry went to bed.
When we learned about the history of the Great Wall of China, I had an idea: I pulled out the LEGO bricks and we tried our hand at making our own Great Wall. We ran in to a snag, though, since we did not have enough bricks to make it 5 LEGO mini-figs tall and 10 mini-figs wide (for the army to march on it).
We gathered photos to put together a poster for our co-op’s International Day, then we took similar pictures and put them together, in order, in the notebook (which came with the study guide and books). Strawberry loves to look over the notebook to review what she’s learned.
Here she is telling about the China section of her notebook.
Where to Buy Beautiful Feet Books
Check out some of the other history curricula available from Beautiful Feet Books. You may also want to request a catalog to get the options physically so you can browse through.
[…] the World with Picture Books (K-3 curriculum). See my review of part 1 and part 2. Great picture books and an informational teacher’s guide provide a nice […]
Thank you for your review. I ordered the curriculum before I read your review. I love your Lego Great Wall of China! I kind of lumped my little K person together with older sister for history. But it is kind of boring for her. “Around the World with Picture Books” sounds like it will be great for both of them. Older sister is 4th grade but has special needs and is more on a 2nd-3rd level. Last year we were blessed to visit Indianapolis Children’s Museum. They have a special China section where practiced writing and played in their Panda nursery. The girls pretended to care for stuffed baby pandas. I am anxiously awaiting those books!
[…] This could also be a perfect preschool lead-in to a kindergarten continent study. […]
Do you have any further tips or suggestions for organizing the lessons. We are not using Around the World as our primary curriculum but rather just for geography and do not have the time to spend 2 hours per lesson. I have pulled from the library all the resource books for China and it just seems to be so much. Thank you for any suggestions.
Hi Dawn! We pretty much just enjoyed reading the books….there is not really a need to do ALL the things with it. We would find the places on the map sometimes when we learned about it. Then another day we might watch a short video or read a book about pandas, etc. We never spent 2 hours per lesson. Pretty much, we enjoy reading picture books for our “lesson time” so that’s what we did. Japan we spent less time on and Thailand is even shorter. I consider this a curriculum for gaining an overview. Some countries have more books we can read to learn about it, some have fewer. Take what works for you and leave the rest! Good luck, I hope you enjoy!