We were excited to start our Chinese unit this week if for no other reason than we really like Chinese food!
Our read aloud for this unit was a bit untraditional. We chose to read James Patterson's Treasure Hunters: Secret of the Forbidden City. Now hear me out on this one! We fell in love with this book series last year. The storyline follows 4 homeschooled children on the search for their parents...who just happen to be CIA and archeologists. The series travels across the globe as the children look for their parents and discover priceless artifacts along the way. While the storyline is completely fictional the geographical and cultural references are accurate. The reader gets to learn about the culture and history of these locations in a fun an exciting way. I made sure that the children understood that this was a work of fiction based on accurate historical and geographical data. We stopped many times throughout the book to research the different artifacts the children were looking for as well as the cities they visited and the customs they shared. I can't say enough good things about this book series. We are looking forward to the fourth one due out this summer!
While working on our unit we completed some very simple crafts. These Chinese lanterns took just a few minutes to complete. The children love them and I have a feeling they will be hanging in our kitchen for quite a while.
We decided to do some painting for this unit and chose the iconic cherry blossom trees. Cute and super simple for the kids to complete. We some how even managed to keep the paint on the paper and not the table. They must be growing up......*sniff*
And of course no study of China would be complete without a Chinese dinner. I admit I totally took the easy way out on this one. We purchased out dumplings and egg rolls from the freezer section of the grocery store! They were not nearly as good as homemade or from a take out location but the price and time commitment were right for me. We also made a simple chicken fried rice to go along with our finger foods.
We enjoyed our study of China and the kids are already looking forward to studying Japan. Sushi anyone?!