For my daughter's kindergarten, we decided to use Five in a Row, and I really enjoyed it. My daughter still learned a lot in kindergarten and still talks about books we rowed in the fall (especially Madeline). Charis is participating in read the world summer book club. Some weeks I plan on going more in depth and "rowing" a book. Other weeks, I am reading books, just for fun, without creating a lesson plan. For Africa week, I decided to row The storyteller by Evan Turk.
Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the fertile Kingdom of Morocco formed near the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains of cool, delicious water to quench the dangerous thirst of the desert, and the storytellers to bring the people together.The storyteller takes place in Morocco. The Kingdom of Morocco once had fountains with cool, delicious water, and storytellers to bring the people together. Slowly people forgot the storyteller and the fountains. The last fountain dried up, and far away a great wind began to stir. A thirsty boy made his way to the Great Square to look for water, but was unable to get any. A water-seller let the boy know that the fountains ran dry and gave him a brass cup to fill with water and share with others. They boy meets and old man and is drawn in to listen to his stories. He keeps coming back to find out what happens to the people. A djinn, disguised as a sandstorm, seeks to destroy the city. The clever boy is able to save the story.
Psalm 107. I have no problem reading books like The storyteller to my children, but when I read a book about a djinn, I want to also teach Charis the truth, so we memorized Psalm 107 E (from the Book of Psalms for singing):
He changes streams to wilderness, and springs to thirsty ground, a fruitful land to salty waste, when peoples' sins abound. He turns the desert to a lake, dry land to water springs, and that they may prepare a home the hungry there he brings.
The first things we did were to find Morocco on a map. Secondly, I asked Charis, "Morocco is located on what continent?" She answered, "Africa." We looked at her continent map and found Africa. Then we looked at our globe and found Morocco on the map. W colored in the Moroccan flag and filled out a map with key Moroccan cities and geographical landmarks. Both the map and the flag can be found here.
Morocco (Country explorers). This is an excellent book to help introduce your children to Morocco. Morocco is only 9 miles away from Europe; it is separated by the Strait of Gibraltar. Three facts we learned from this book:
- We learned that tangerines are named after the Moroccan city of Tangier.
- Tree goats that climb up argan trees in order to eat the leaves on those trees.
- Morocco's official language is Arabic.
Morocco, Countries around the world DVD. This is only 13 minutes long, but during that time, we went throughout the city of Marrakesh learning about the traditions of culture of Morocco.
I briefly told Charis what a djinn was; it's a supernatural creature in Middle Eastern mythology. (We have anglicized it as "genie"-i.e. Aladdin.) My daughter did not quite understand. She just knows that "it's not real."
My father's shop, another book set in Morocco. Mustafa works in his father's carpet shop. Tourists from all over the world stop in to look at rugs to buy. One day, Mustafa finds a rug with a hole in it; he asks his father if he can keep the rug. His father says yes, with the condition that he learn some foreign languages. Mustafa agrees. When his father starts teaching him some foreign words, Mustafa is bored and runs away. (At this point, Charis said, "Mustafa's VERY naughty. He needs to obey his dad.") While running through the market, he meets a rooster and discovers that roosters crow differently throughout the world:
Morocco "Kho kho hou houuu!"
Japan "Koke-ko-kooo"When Mustafa returns to his father's shop, he yells, "I can speak rooster in five languages." His father was happy when he saw that all the tourists followed Mustafa to his shop.
In The storyteller, the blind woman's "great-great-grandmother's great-great-grandmother was a carpet weaver." Weaving is mentioned at least one other place in the book. In Morocco, weaving can be a person's way to make a living. Woven rugs and carpets are very important, and often beautiful. It would have been fun to try to weave a carpet, we decided to start small and learn how to weave using paper plates. Both of our finished products had a lot to be desired, so I will not post the final picture.
Are your children participating in the read the world summer book club? What children's books do you recommend for Africa? Science, music, and culinary lessons from "The storyteller" to be continued on Thursday.