Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Our final Asian country to study in our World Geography course (not including Russia, which we will study with Europe) was India.  Like all our country studies, we used our Galloping the Globe book as a guide.

Day 1 - India (Introduction, General Geography)

To start Day 1 our study, we placed a sticker to represent India on our travel trunk ...
... and colored it on our map of Asia in our binder.
We then found the flag sticker for India in our Usborne Flags Sticker Book ...
... and placed it on one of our two country reports.  (We fill out both of these for each country we study.  This picture shows Maggie's two completed reports, after we finished learning everything about India.)
To read about this interesting country, we read pages 86-87 of DK's Children's World Atlas ...
... page 10 of Usborne's Lift-the-flap Picture Atlas ...
... and page 36 of Usborne's Children's Picture Atlas.
We then read about India on pages 80-81 of The Everything Kids' Geography Book.
We also read and colored the India map from Dover's Around the World Coloring Book by Winky Adams and added it to our binder.  (We love this resource!)
The Arabian Sea is directly to the west of India, so Maggie added "sea" to the illustrated, geographical terms glossary she is assembling this year.
And for our final activity for this first day of studying India, we cracked open our Highlights' Top Secret Adventures envelope to India ("Case #62391: The Pickle in Delhi").  We read the challenge and got to work completing the first few pages of our puzzle book.  (Maggie loves these!  I highly recommend them!)

Day 2 - India (Famous People, Landmarks)

On Day 2 of our study of India, we read the four stories about different travels to India in Missionary Stories with the Millers by Mildred A. Martin.  (Mags really enjoys these.)  We added a couple of the missionaries' names we read about (and Gandhi's name after a bit of online research about him) to our country reports.
We read about the different cities in India on pages 31-37 of Pocket Books: Cities of the World ...
... and about the Lonar Crater on page 22 of Pocket Books: Natural Wonders.
Obviously, one of the most impressive landmarks of India is the Taj Mahal.  
We read more about the Taj Mahal in Buildings, Bridges, and Landmarks: A Complete History (pages 35-38).  We updated our country reports with the information we were learning and did some more work on our Top Secret Adventures' India case.

Day 3 - India (Native Animals, Plants)

On Day 3, we started with a quick review and read about India in this Passports workbook by World Teachers Press (pages 34-35).
She completed the worksheet from the same, which we added to her binder, too.
On page 74 of Usborne World of Animals, we read about the different animals of India, including the Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, king cobra, and gharial.
We also looked at Indian wildlife on pages 116-121 and 130 of The Atlas of World Wildlife.  We then added these animals to our country reports.
We read The Blind Men and the Elephant, an Indian tale retold by Karen Backstein, as well as another tale about an elephant ("The Big Guest") out of an old copy of a literature text called Children Everywhere (copyright 1981).
Maggie decided to do her personal project for sharing at our co-op on the Bengal tiger, so we read more about the same in this Wild Animals 3-D masks activity book (page 8), before putting together the mask to use for her presentation. 
Isn't she cute?
Using colored pencils, she colored the Indian tiger drawing we found at, another element for her presentation.
Here she is, coloring it in.
We read about tigers' camouflage on page 4 of Usborne's Why Do Tigers Have Stripes? (this would help her prepare her oral report) ... 
... and completed the tiger sticker art in our Paint By Sticker: Zoo Animals sticker book for kids.
(She loves putting these together!)
Beautiful, Mags!
She was all ready to put together her report!  Here is her completed project, which we added to her binder after presenting.
To end Day 3 of our study of India, we continued working on our Top Secret Adventures case.

Day 4 - India (Culture -- Government, Currency, Language, Religion, Homes, Dress, Food, Music)

On Day 4, we started our two-day study of India's culture.  First, we read from Children Around the World by Donata Montanari (pages 19-20).
Then we read pages 56-59 of Children Just Like Me.  (The books in the Children Just Like Me series are great!)
After learning more about Indian culture, we dressed a few Indian people for a traditional Indian wedding in our Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing: Around the World sticker book (pages 10-11).
We read about Indian food on page 25 of Usborne's 1000 Things to Eat ...
... and on pages 27-29 of Eat Your Way Around the World.
We updated our country reports and continued working on our Top Secret Adventures' case.

Day 5 - India (Culture -- Special Holidays, Celebrations)

On Day 5, we focused on India's holidays and celebrations.  (They have some colorful ones!)  We read about them on pages 18-19, 34-35, and 50-51 of Children Just Like Me's Celebrations! book.
There was a woman to dress for the Indian Holi festival in our Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing: Costumes Around the World (page 13).
To wrap up Day 5, we cracked the case on our Top Secret Adventures' India challenge and Mags earned her keychain for India!
 Two for two!

Day 6 - India Co-op

For our final day of this country study, we had our India co-op.  To start our co-op study, we talked about the prevalence of snakes in India.  We then talked about the Irula people, an indigenous tribal people living in southern India who have traditionally made their living as snake catchers.  Interestingly, the state of Florida recently hired two people from the Irula tribe, along with two translators, for $70,000 to track down and capture giant snakes wreaking havoc in Key Largo!  In less than two weeks, the Irula crew bagged 14 pythons!

We then read Kali and the Rat Snake by Zai Whitaker, about an Irula boy who saves the day at his school by catching a large rat snake, a snake that is not venomous.
Next, we talked about a snake that is native to India that is highly venomous, the king cobra.  King cobras are lethal, able to kill a 12,000-pound elephant with one bite in just three hours!  They are the largest venomous snake in the world, and yet handling them is the job of the snake charmer, another Indian occupation.  We talked about snake charmers at length and then watched a real Indian snake charmer in action with the YouTube video at, below.
We then read a story from India, "The Snake Charmer," starting on page 51 of Usborne's Stories From Around the World.
After our reading, it was time for a craft.  We made this ribbon snake craft from Martha Stewart's website ( years ago when we were studying the sneaky snake in the Garden of Eden.  (That post is at  I thought this would be a great craft to repeat since the snake charmers' king cobras stand at attention much like this ribbon snakes does!  Also, Maggie doesn't remember doing this before.  (The following two pictures are from that old post.  Mags was so little!)
For your ribbon snake, you need wide, wired ribbon (we picked a beige color to match the cobra's skin), thin ribbon for your snake's tongue (Mags chose red), a stapler, floral wire, tacky glue, masking tape, a Sharpie, googly eyes (or similar), and a small basket.  (See Martha's site or my original post, mentioned above, for the step-by-step instructions.)
Here is Mags, drawing the underbelly of her king cobra.
Shaping his body ...
How cute is he?!
To "charm" him, she played her recorder while he stood at attention.
(She decided she wanted him to have a bigger basket, so we switched it out.)
She loved this lesson on Indian snake charmers!
It was about time to eat.  Beforehand, we had hit our local, Indian grocery store to get the things for our Indian meal at co-op.  This was fun!
To drink, we got lychee juice, mango juice, and Indian chai tea.
We got the stuff to make Chana Masala, Indian butter chicken with rice, and veggie samosas, along with naan bread and more!
Here is our Chana Masala cooking ...
... and our Indian butter chicken with all the colorful spices just added!
Our samosas were so good ...
... and altogether, lunch was a true Indian feast.
We had even picked up a bunch of Indian sweets for dessert.
I think the tastiest was the sugar-coated fennel.  It was delicious!
As we did when we studied Japan, we ate at the coffee table on low cushions to simulate how the Indians dine.
Mags chose both the chai tea and the mango juice to drink with her meal.
Whew!  It was a good thing because Indian food packs a punch!  She added ice water to the mix and even a couple of tissues to tackle her runny nose!  Too funny!
We had such a wonderful time learning about India!
Next up?  We travel to Europe with our first stop in Russia!  See you again soon!

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