Thursday, July 26, 2012

South America week

This week we chose to learn about two countries in South America: Chile and Brazil. We learned about all of the interesting climates in Chile, the longest country in South America. We printed out some animal flashcards with the name in Spanish, and Eva colored the animals in. We made a tasty snack food from Chile that we learned from our friends, Francisco and Tamara. It is called the completo: a hot dog on a bun with various toppings. We made the "Completo Italiano", which is comprised of mashed avocado, diced tomatoes and mayonnaise layered on top of the hot dog. It doesn't have anything to do with Italy except for the colors! We also had plans to call Francisco and Tamara, who live in Chile, but sadly I had laryngitis for the whole week and couldn't speak!

Animal flashcards in Spanish and the flag of Chile

"completo italiano" and tater tots

For Brazil, we learned about the rainforest and the Amazon river, the (just barely) longest river in the world! Eva made a very cool rainforest diorama, demonstrating the 4 basic layers of the rainforest: the forest floor, understory layer, canopy layer and emergent layer. Then, we cut out photos of rainforest animals, and Eva put them in the appropriate level of the rainforest. We even bought a cool carnivorous plant for the diorama, but then chose to just let it live outside.
First, Eva painted the inside of a cardboard box green

Eva adding some finishing touches.  We used wrapping paper rolls for trees.  The leaves are made out of real leaves, crepe paper and craft leaves.

Emma is not so sure about the work in progress!

Eva giving her best jungle predator impression while showing off her masterpiece!

We also made some rainforest animals flashcards and did some basic lap book exercises. We made a variation of a Brazilian drink, the caipirinha, using sprite along with fresh squeezed orange, lime and lemon juice, and garnished with a mint. We learned a few basic words in Portuguese and ate a coconut, which Eva was allergic to :(  We also learned the song "5 little monkeys", and made crocodile and monkey puppets to go along with it.  I simply printed out some clip art monkeys from Microsoft Word, which Eva cut out and pasted to sticks.  The crocodile is made out of a wooden clothespin painted green with some googly eyes.

Modified caipirinha

Rainforest Flashcards
5 little monkeys and one hungry crocodile

Here is a puzzle Eva already had, which fits nicely with our theme

We also made a cool rain stick by putting nails into a sturdy cardboard tube (we used one that  aluminum foil is rolled around).  Next, we added some red lentils and then sealed each end with some felt hot glued on.  When you turn the stick, the lentils get slowed down by the nails, and it makes a tinkling sound like rain.  Finally, Eva decorated the stick with various colored paper scraps.

Red lentils for the "rain"

Here is how the inside looks after Eva hammered all of the nails in

The finished rain stick

A very cool place we went that has the rainforest theme is the Tierpark Papillorama, which is about 20 minutes away by car. It is composed of 3 large "bio domes" which are all tropical habitats. One houses a large variety of butterflies, one is a nocturnal habitat and one is a replica of a hectare of a Central American rainforest, including plants and animals. Aside from that, there is also a nice outdoor petting zoo, playground, marsh observation area and an outdoor butterfly garden. We always have a great time when we go here and I highly recommend it for people To see if they are in Bern!
Here is Eva in the Jungle Trek dome looking at a spoonbill

Little cutie in the jungle!
Learning is fun!

Eva playing in the Jungle playscape

Here is a photo I took of the nocturama.

From Papillorama website:  Inside of butterfly enclosure

From Papillorama website:  Inside of nocturama

From Papillorama website:  Inside of nocturama

From Papillorama website

From Papillorama website:  Inside of butterfly enclosure

Here is an insect hotel, with many little habitats for insects to live in.  We plan to make one someday soon!

Here are some of the butterflies found in the outdoor exhibit.  We also saw a lizard!
Here is Eva observing the marsh
Eva liked the donkeys at the petting zoo!
The goats were not interested in us

The books we used for this unit were: Licht an: Leben im Dschungel and Der Dschungel. We also revisited our Kinder dieser Welt book, focusing on the page on the Amazon.  I couldn't read them to Eva since I had laryngitis, but they are nice picture books that she could explore on her own. She also used the Tierlexicon with her Tiptoi pen, which has many interactive games and songs as well. Overall, it was a quiet week since I was very sick, but we still had a fun time!

Our books for the week

I'm having a blast now that I know how to roll over!

1 comment:

  1. Another lovely and very interesting episode! The rainforest diorama is particularly nice. I am sure Eva learned a lot and even Emma seems to take a keen interest in your activities!