This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can do the Country Fact Sheet with your whole family together!
The Country Fact Sheet is a geography printable that can be used with any of the geography units from Years 2, 3, and 4. Those years focus on learning about a variety of countries from all around the world. It s first introduced in the Western Europe unit. Layers of Learning has hands-on explorations, maps, printables, and lots more activities in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning.
Years 2 and 3 of Layers of Learning are a survey of countries around the world, and we like to keep a written record of a lot of what we learn. The Country Fact Sheet is just one of the ways we record what we’re discovering in our geography time. It’s a place to record the information they are reading from our country studies all on one page.
Step 1: Library Research
Before you begin exploring, read a book or two about the country you’re studying in a library book or in an atlas. Here are some suggestions of atlases we like to keep on hand for our country studies. Your library likely has atlases you can borrow too. The colored smilies above each book tell you what age level they’re recommended for.
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DK First Atlas
by Anita Ganeri
Children’s Illustrated Atlas
Step 2: Country Fact Sheet
Here is a printable country fact sheet if you want to try this with your kids.
Search the internet, look in an atlas, or go to the library for books, then spend an hour reading and writing down fascinating facts, drawing maps and flags, and just satisfying your curiosity about countries. Fill out the country fact sheet as you go, then fill the backside of the page with more interesting things you discovered along the way. As you work, discuss the similarities and differences between the country you live in and the country you’re studying.
If possible, find some stories from the countries too. Many countries have traditional folk tales, fairy tales, myths, or legends that kids love to listen to. Famous art and music is another fun focus.
We have our television attached to our computer with an HDMI cable (making our big screen function as a computer monitor so everyone can see it well), so I pull up famous art from the country using a simple internet search. Sometimes we watch YouTube videos of traditional dance or music, travelogues, or other informational videos too.
By the end of the week, you will have all learned about the country by researching, discussing, and writing. It’s a fun way to bring other cultures and places a little closer to home.
Step 3: Show What You Know
Read the interesting facts to each other, presentation-style. See if some of the things you found out overlap. Did you find any information or fun facts that no one else in your family did?
Additional Layers are extra activities you can do or tangents you can take off on. You will find them in the sidebars of each Layers of Learning unit. They are optional, so just choose what interests you.
Write a simulated letter, imagining you are visiting the country you studied and writing home about the things you are doing and seeing.
Make a traditional recipe from the country you are learning about. We love to cook food from the country we are studying and then give our presentations at the dinner table.
When we can’t go visit a country in person, we go visit the Layers of Learning YouTube playlists and get a little peek through video of what it’s like there.
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