With back-to-school just around the corner, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some of our plans for the upcoming school year. My oldest will be starting 3rd grade, and my youngest will begin kindergarten. Since we spent the past year learning about the United States, this year we’ve decided to undertake a family-style study around the world!
Because I wasn’t able to find exactly what I was looking for and already had several resources that I was really, really excited to use, I decided to create our own learning plan called Global Explorers. If you’re interested in finding out more or would be interested in joining us on our trek around the world, I’m sharing all the details with you in this post.
Inspired by Maria Montessori’s Cultural Studies component, Global Explorers is a collaborative learning plan that aims to inspire and guide your family as you embark on a global adventure of discovery together. Over the course of the program, you’ll spend time exploring countries, learning about different peoples and their cultures, and sharing engaging stories and folk tales from around the world. You’ll meet artists and musicians, sample global cuisine, create art, and play games together.
Global Explorers: What’s Included
- GEOGRAPHY & CULTURE
- LANGUAGE ARTS
- CREATIVE ARTS
- PRACTICAL MATHEMATICS
- CHARACTER EDUCATION
Global Explorers starts in North America and includes Canada, Mexico, and several countries throughout Central America and the Caribbean. In total, 12 countries are included in the North America unit study along with two introductory units: one to introduce and/or review World Geography and another to introduce the Caribbean Islands.
After North America’s release, the order will be as follows: South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and then Australia and Oceania. The North America unit study should be available in September 2022, with the South America unit study following shortly thereafter.
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Global Explorers: Books and Resources
Here’s a preview of the suggested books and resources that we’ll be using throughout the Global Explorers program.
Global Explorers: Geography & Culture
- You’ll learn a little bit about each country reading DK’s Countries of the World: Our World in Pictures.
- Your family will get to learn what it’s like to live in different countries around the world with Lonely Planet’s This Is My World: Meet 84 Kids From Around the Globe.
- Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated Atlas offers maps with additional details. Plus, children can practice estimating the distance between cities using the provided map scale and learn about each country’s exports and main industries.
- Learn about some of the world’s most amazing natural wonders in The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid.
- Explore global cuisine while brushing up on your culinary skills with Cooking Class Global Feast!: 44 Recipes That Celebrate the World’s Cultures.
- The cards from Global Kids: 50+ Games, Crafts, Recipes & More from Around the World offer a ton of fun activities to incorporate alongside your country studies.
- Matt Lamothe’s activity book This Is How I Do It: One Day in the Life of You and 59 Real Kids from Around the World allows children to document information about their lives while learning about other cultures and countries.
- Play Mapominoes to become more familiar with each country’s location and national flag.
Global Explorers: Language Arts
- Listen to folk tales from around the world with Circle Round. To enhance learning, be sure to head to their web site to grab a free printable coloring page for each episode, plus a journal or activity prompt and even a small tidbit about a musical instrument that’s either relevant to the country or is played during the broadcast. If you’d like to incorporate narration into your language arts curriculum, Circle Round’s folk tales are a perfect medium to start.
- Track, rate, and record books related to each country using a book list tailored to each country.
- Children can log books read from each country using the Global Explorers book passes.
- As you explore each country, research and record new vocabulary words using the Global Explorers vocabulary journal pages.
- Practice phonemic awareness and spelling with a related “Making Words” activity for each country.
- Sentence strategy activities based on Judith C. Hochman’s The Writing Revolution method are available for each country and Circle Round folk tale.
- Easily incorporate additional learning extensions and discussion topics using a related book activity guide.
Global Explorers: Creative Arts
- Discover new artists, musicians, writers, and poets. Each country includes at least one artist study along with suggested activity guides and project ideas.
- Study global music with Carnegie Hall’s Musical Explorers Program.
- Using How to Make Hand-Drawn Maps as inspiration, learn cartographic skills while making map art. It’s a fun creative supplement to literature, science, character education, and geography.
Global Explorers: Science
- Present corresponding science lessons using Waseca’s Introduction to the Biomes Curriculum as a guide. Nomenclature cards and black-line masters provide the opportunity for independent student research and work.
- Janice VanCleave’s Science Around the World: Activities on Biomes from Pole to Pole provides hands-on learning activities and experiments.
- Use the recommended activity guides to dive deeper into each recommended topic of study.
- Play the Ecologies card game by Montrose Biology to supplement your study of the biomes and ecology throughout the year.
- Together, document interesting animals and plants in each country using the printable Global Explorers Journal.
Global Explorers: Mathematics
- Use the Global Explorers boarding passes to practice calculating distances between cities and elapsed time problems.
- Using each country’s population and/or area size, work on important place value concepts such ordering from least to greatest and reading and writing large numbers in both standard and expanded form. Plus, practice computation skills by calculating the difference between each country’s population.
- The Global Explorers shopping list cards allow students to record and calculate the total cost of ingredients for each recipe your family chooses to make.
- Practice data collection and graphing.
Global Explorers: Character Education
- With the help of the Virtues Project, learn more about the virtues that are important to people of all cultures. Your family can choose between the following resources: The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves (non-secular) or Virtues Cards: Educator’s Edition (secular). Each country’s virtue relates to either the corresponding folk tale or a prominent topic or recommended book.
How is Global Explorers Organized?
The Global Explorers curriculum utilizes Notion, an all-in-one workspace that allows users to plan, take notes, move lessons around, add bookmarks, embed videos, and more. In addition to the Notion database, you’ll receive the following printable resources:
- A unit overview sheet for each country
- A Global Explorers student journal
- Boarding pass tickets
- Book pass tickets
- Student vocabulary journal
- Map drill prompts
- Recipe cards
- Shopping list invoice cards
- Venn diagram templates
What makes the Global Explorers curriculum unique is the completely customizable database that gives your family the flexibility to adjust each unit study to your needs. The curriculum template provides a base structured learning plan that you can then adapt at will. Easily add in supplemental resources you stumble upon, save web bookmarks and videos, update book lists — the list goes on and on.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Global Explorers program, be sure to join the list below to receive all the latest updates.