This exploration is for all ages, as the colored smilies show. You can make Illustrated Fact Sheets with your whole family together!
Illustrated Fact Sheets are a geography exploration from Layers of Learning Unit 2-1. Its geography focus is all about the country of Turkey. The best part is that this idea can be used in any of the Layers of Learning units about any topic you’re studying. Illustrated Fact Sheets are a fun way to take your library book reading to the next level. Layers of Learning has hands-on explorations in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning.
An illustrated fact sheet is a good way for kids to absorb and remember facts about a topic without the commitment of writing an entire report. Reports are good, but not every single thing you learn needs to be in one.
To make an illustrated fact sheet the kids read books or look up information online about the topic. Then they draw pictures depicting the facts and write captions about each picture. The amount of writing will depend on the age of the students. You can tailor that to meet your kids’ ages and abilities.
This is an assignment that can be completed in about an hour, including reading the terrific books you find from the library about Turkey or whatever you are currently studying.
Step 1: Library Research
Before you begin working on your illustrated fact sheets, pick up a book or two about Turkey from the library. Here are some suggestions, but if you can’t find these, look for books at your library about Turkey. The colored smilies above each book tell you what age level they’re recommended for.
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T is for Turkey
by Nilufer Topaloglu Pyper
by Sarah Shields
Istanbul: The Imperial City
by John Freely
Step 2: Illustrated Fact Sheets
You just need paper and colorful pens or writing utensils to make an illustrated fact sheet.
As you read your books about Turkey, find interesting facts and tidbits you would like to include on your illustrated fact sheet. Draw an illustration and then write a caption explaining it. Fill your page with facts and illustrations. Make sure to give it an appropriate title as well.
The goal of this assignment is not to have a deep understanding of Turkey, but rather to create some hooks of knowledge. Part of a good education is having enough knowledge for context, and hooks of knowledge provide context.
My kids were very impressed with the whirling dervishes of Turkey and camel wrestling. They will remember that the whirling dervishes are Muslim and that the country is also Muslim in religion. They will remember that Turkey is in a dry place where camels are common. These are the kind of hooks that later, as adults when listening to the news, they can reach back to. They will have some ideas about the country to build an understanding on.
An illustrated fact sheet works really well for geography, but you could use this teaching method in many subjects from biology to music to history.
Step 3: Show What You Know
Take turns sharing the facts you found out loud, then add your fact sheet to your notebook.
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.
An illustrated fact sheet also makes a terrific pre-write. For example, this could be the beginning phase of writing a report, a brochure, or a story about Turkey.
The Hagia Sofia was built as a Christian church by the Byzantines. The Turkish Muslims turned it into a mosque after they took Constantinople. Today it is a museum.
Research more about the Hagia Sofia.
Did you know that Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world? They grow along the coast of the Black Sea.
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