Please feel free to share it with others.
Designed by Linda Evans
Edited by Karen Caroe
A big THANK-YOU to Linda Evans for submitting this unit for publication.
This is a mini-unit that I have edited from a much larger and more comprehensive
that Linda has designed for use in her own homeschool.
This exciting, hands-on unit covers all academic subjects and
more. It is a refreshing change from the boring "look-it-up in the
Encyclopedia" country studies of old. Here are some recommendations to help
your study be more exciting.
1) Plan ahead. Select your country . About 6 weeks before you want to do
the study, write--or have your children write--to the embassy for information.
To get information on embassies go to
http://www.embassy.org/embassies/ Ask for
information on music, clothing, holidays, history, important sites, etc.
2) Make a notebook of the country you are studying.
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Maps of the World - Flags, Maps, Economy, Geography, Climate, Natural Res
Flags of all
Books, Videos, and CD-ROM's
I recommend Dorling-Kindersley Family learning books AND Usborne Books for
use with all Funschooling Units.
Check with your local library for available video titles about the country you
study. We use travel videos, history video, and historical fiction videos. Don't
forget to consider some "plain old fun" videos that may have been
about your country or shot on location there.
For all studies of the world, I recommend:
My Amazing World Explorer CD-Rom (DK)
Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? (Broderbund Software)
Other recommended materials
1) A world Atlas that is student-friendly
2) A world wall Map (or blow up of your particular country)
4) A 1-1/2 or 2 inch 3 ring binder. (We like the white ones with the clear
plastic covers from Walmart. That way, you can design your own cover.
1) Prior to the unit study, have student compose a letter of
request to the embassy of the country you plan to study. Ask for information on
the country. Use the first draft to teach missed spelling rules, punctuation,
grammar, etc. Write the final copy in your best penmanship. For advanced
students learning keyboarding skills, use a word processor for the final draft.
2) Read a biography of someone from that country--perhaps a scientist, explorer,
or inventor. Maybe a politician or religious figure.
3) Read a historical fiction book about the country.
4) Write a book report on the historical fiction.
5) For older students, write an opinion/analysis paper based on information
learned in the biography. What was this person's main contribution to his
society and how has that impacted us today?
6) Keep a list of vocabulary words that come up in your reading.
7) Design a travel brochure encouraging people to visit your country.
8) Select an area of interest about your country and prepare an informative
speech. (I consider rhetoric--public speaking--to be an essential part of a well
Note: You should continue using a standard, grade-level math curriculum
while doing any unit study. These suggestions are merely to give practical
application to math skills.
1) Learn about the currency of your country. Check the
conversion rate and learn to figure it.
2) Get a merchandise catalog, cut out pictures of goods you would like and
convert the cost into the currency of your country. Glue the pictures with
American money and currency exchange rate on pages for your notebook.
3) Calculate distance from the capital city to other locations around the
country. Use a map and ruler.
4) Go to a travel agency and get information on the cost of traveling to your
country. Learn how to set up savings goals to make a trip like that.
5) Find out what time zone your country is in. Calculate the time difference
between your country and the place you live.
6) Learn the geographical size of your country. Find a state in the US of
7) What is the population of the country and the capital city. What percentage
of people live in the Capital city compared to the entire country?
1) Make a timeline that will show the history of the
2) Study the beginnings of the country, was it a colony, a territory, an
independent state, a civilization?
3) Study the Art, Architecture, and Music History of the country.
4) Who discovered it? Explored it? Settled it? Established it? Were there native
5) What is still there today that keeps history alive in the country.
6) Expansion topic: Wars in which the country was involved.
7) What is the religious history of the country. How has it evolved to the
current religious practices?
1) What is the physical lay-out of the country?
2) Make a salt-dough or other 3-D map showing the lakes, mountains, rivers, and
other natural phenomena of the country. (See below for a yummy map.)
3) What are the demographics of the country? Identify the people groups.
4) Where is this country located with respect to other countries and the world.
Learn what borders the country. EXPANSION TOPIC: Do a fact sheet for each
bordering country and put it in your notebook. Include basics: Language,
government, flag, capital, etc.
5) What is the weather like in the country. Does it vary from North to South or
East to West? How vulnerable is the country to natural disasters? (volcano,
earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc.)
1) What are the national holidays and how are they celebrated?
2) How do they celebrate Christmas?
3) Find out what kind of government this country has. Older children write a
compare/contrast paper showing this countries government compared with the US
4) What is the major industry in this country? What does it export? Import? Do
you have anything in your home from this country? Take pictures of it and place
5) How does the world view this country?
6) If possible find a missionary or someone from the country that can be
interviewed about the country.
1)Find out the "official" language of your country and learn some
words and phrases.
2) Learn to count in that language.
3) Find a recording or some sheet music of the national anthem. See if you can
find a translation of the words.
4) Make a dinner of typical food from your country. Use the same herbs and
spices that would be used to prepare a native dish.
5) During the time you study this unit, listen to "native" music--or
as close as you can get.
6) Watch a travel video or National Geographic special about this country.
7) Make a game of trivia about your country. (This is great for Make-Your-Own
GeoSafari boards. We always make several GeoSafari games to go with our foreign
A GREAT IDEA
From Funschooler Betty
The original "author" is unknown
Geography Cookies (Author Unknown)
Objective: Using a physical map for reference, the students will make an edible
map, that shows the major physical features of their given country.
You will need:
Peanut butter or sugar cookie recipe
small chocolate chips
red licorice strings
Shape dough to represent the country. They will decorate it using the following
Blue icing: lakes & oceans
Green sprinkles: plains
Clear Sprinkles: deserts
Chocolate Chips: mountains
Licorice strings: rivers
M&M's : capitals
You can make this activity into small maps for each children or one large map
with everyone helping. This activity will encourage the kids to look up and
learn some facts of the country, as well as, peak their interest in geography.
display the geography cookies and have the kids talk about what they learned and
possibly point out some "facts" about their cookie!
Then they can EAT them! What fun!!
PS: These can also be done with bread dough, broccoli, apple slices, etc.
I hope this study is fun and encouraging to each of you.
comments, and suggestions, Please e-mail Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.