After we learned about the continents all together, we decided to begin our individual continent studies with North America, since that is where we live. Here is a round-up of all the activities we used for our North America study.
For each continent, we have a Montessori continent box full of small cultural objects, money, photos, and pamphlets from the continent. When we were beginning this unit, I asked my Instagram followers from all over the world if they would be interested in sending us things — and so many said yes! That is where the majority of our cultural items are from, but you can also purchase the contents for your Montessori continent box if you don’t have those personal connections — check here and here.
Every Star is Different is a great resource for all of the continents and many other free printables. I used her North America Unit for several different parts of our study. We used the flag cards to name all of the countries — and flags are great for talking about and comparing shapes, colors, and symbols. We also used the North American animal cards since my girls love looking at pictures of animals. L and N also love looking through my old Art History textbooks, so I was especially excited to find cards about North American artists also included in that printable pack.
I am trying to be very conscious of making sure we learn about native peoples of each continent, so I was glad to find some cards of artwork by Native Americans from The Natural Homeschool. I also made sure books by Native Americans were included in our North America library (see bottom of post).
We looked at American and Canadian currency and stamps (Canadian sent to us by Diamond Montessori) and compared the two.
We just so happened to have a friend traveling to Guatemala when we were in the middle of our North America study, so we were sure to include that country as well. We enjoyed looking at her photos on Facebook and found great photos and information on the National Geographic website to learn even more about the local culture and traditions.
We ended our North America study by focusing even more on the United States, our own country. We used the United States Unit from Every Star is Different to look at American symbols and landmarks as well as to sort animals by topography and to learn about important historical figures.
I scoured our local library as well as our personal book collection for each continent, and these are the books I chose for our North America study. Please keep in mind that my choices were limited to the books available at our little library, so I couldn’t possibly include everything — but I do recommend all of these ones:
Pennsylvania Facts and Symbols, Emily McAuliffe
Guatemala, by Marion Morrison
De Colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children, by Jose-Luis Orozco
I, Too, Am America, by Langston Hughes
The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz
The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
Walking on Earth & Touching the Sky, prose by Lakota Youth
The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, by Tony Johnston and Tomie de Paola
Musicians of the Sun, by Gerald McDermott
Off We Go to Mexico: An Adventure in the Sun, by Laurie Krebs