´¯`•. November 03, 2016

Volume II:  Chapter 10
~~~~ History Down Under ~~~~

Can I just admit that ‘Story of the World’ has become my favorite part of school?  It really has.  Having the opportunity to explore cultures within the parameters of history with a healthy helping of art and science is fun.  It’s a mega-lesson, of sorts.  And I’ve been having a great time with it.

I just wish that other people (further along than I) had done more of the legwork for me.  Then again, half of the fun is the journey to the destination, I suppose!  But there’s only one other blog that does ‘Story of the World’ lessons (beyond halfway thru the first book)… and she seems to be fixated on food, lately.  Japan = Japanese Cuisine.  China = Chinese food.  This week the book takes us to Australia, to look at the Aboriginal tribes… and the activity on my ‘help’ site?  Yup, food.  Caramel corn with nuts, this time.  Not that it’s not tasty – one look at the blonde’s tummy, and you know I like food.  But that’s not the kind of ‘flavor’ I want to take away from these lessons.

So imagine my excitement this week when a Pinterest board was shared with folders for each chapter of SotW Vol.2!  I was SO excited.  Until I opened them and saw dry texts, articles no child wants to read, and links to BBC and National Geographic documentaries.  Oh. UGH.  Seriously???  With SotW being a living history?!  (Ended up not being any help, at all.)

Okay, so off to find projects I went.  And (don’t laugh), but there were three I loved SO much, that I have to share all of them.  After all, there’s only one visit to Australia’s outback in SotW’s history… might as well have fun while we’re here, right?! I’ll share them in order from easiest to most involved, and you can choose from there.

Project One:  Moving Fish

The stories from Maori were about an island rising out of the water in the form of a giant fish a little boy caught.  So right away, I thought of the moving Fish that we did when we had our Oceanography projects (all 25 of them, I swear!).  Follow the link for the instructions, but they turn out really, really nice, and don’t take any time at all to whip together.

Project Two:  Rainsticks

I was also originally looking for musical instruments- Australia has some WONDERFUL instruments!  When I was reading thru ‘Sparking Adventures’ entire travel blog (spanning 19 years of blogging!), this summer, she had some amazing videos of the instruments they have, there.  It was so fun, getting to see them dance and play and spin with fire…!   I told Brian what I was looking for and he said, “Diggerido!”  Except that no paper towel roll Diggerido is going to sound authentic… you need a 5-6ft length of PVC for that, and while that totally works?  My kids play diggerido every Sukkot.  It’s not gonna work for us.

Anyhow, rainsticks!!!  They’re easy to make, fun to play with, and it won’t break your heart to throw them away, in the end.  The instructions on how to make them are here, at Danielle’s place, and the upside of being homesteaders is that we have binder twine from the goat bales and iridescent feathers from the chicken coop to do it with.  Not as easy as the fish, but still pretty simple.

Project Three:  Aboriginal Painting

We deviated and instead of doing charcoal sketches, this week, I had the kids do something totally different.  Actually, Aboriginal art seems to be based on earth tone colors (black, brown, red, green) and done over with dots… there’s a whole page of the technique here, if you’d like a better idea of it.  And of course that looks so fun…!   So we did Koala Q-tip painting.


I pulled up these two koala pictures to help the kids with visualizing the activity.  We were able to cut six 8×11 sheets from one paper bag, and after drawing in pencil our picture, we used watercolors to the koala picture.  We outlined everything black permanent marker, and then used Q-tips dipped in white paint to dot our picture, following with smaller black dots from our permanent markers.  And of course since you had the paints out, why not decorate your rainsticks at the same time!?


So!  There are three wonderful Aboriginal/Australian Outback activities for Chapter 10 of ‘Story of the World’.  Have fun with whatever you choose to do!

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