Monday, February 4, 2013

Around the World - Library Program

I am really excited about the program I am going to be running this winter/spring at the library.  I've been facilitating the Story & Craft Time for 4 & 5 year olds and Kindergarten and First graders for a few years now and this session we will be journeying around the world!

This program could easily be adapted to homeschool lessons for pre-schoolers or early elementary school.  I would recommend visiting your local library and taking out a few books on each country.

Each week, we will read about a different country.  I usually pull all of the Easy reader books on a country (Dewey decimal call numbers 914-968).  If I can find a picture book or two relating to the country, I grab that as well.

I start by pointing out the country on a huge wall map the library bought for this program and we mark the country we are learning about with a map marker.

Next, I will either read the picture book, if I found one, or I will read parts of the non-fiction book about the country.  I will show pictures that illustrate the culture, the topography or the people of the country.  Then I will pass out all of the books on that country and have the children get into groups to look at the books together.  I will ask them to find one or two interesting things to share with the group.  They LOVE this part!  They get so quiet and intent and point out things they find interesting to their group.  They can't wait to share with the whole group!

After we get our fill of looking at the books, we will do a project that relates to the culture of the country.  Below is a list of the projects we will do this session.  I do skip around the world a bit, so that we study Ireland just before St. Patrick's Day and get to make Russian Faberge eggs for Easter!

Finally, I made each of the children a 'Passport' and at the end of our weekly time together, they can color in the flag from the country in the passport book and I will stamp the corresponding passport page with a library stamp to show that they learned about that country.
Click image to access Printable Passport PDF

Week of
Jan 28     -      Japan - Make a Carp Kite
Picture Book: Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say

Feb 4       -      China--Handprint Dragon
Picture Book: Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Feb 11    -       Norway - heart ornaments

Feb 18    -       Spain - Matador & Picasso inspired self-portraits if there is time
Picture Book: Three Golden Oranges by Alma Flor Ada

Feb 25    -        Italy - Mosaic Pictures (we will use small squares of paper and glue)
Picture Book suggestions

March 4   -       Greece - Greek Gods toilet paper tube puppets - Athena, Cyclops, Perseus, Medusa
Picture Book - A Child's Introduction to Greek Mythology

March 11 -       Ireland - Leprechaun Marionette
Picture Book: The Last Snake in Ireland

March 18-        Russia - Faberge eggs ** (WILL GET MESSY!!!); Russian flag
Picture Book: The Littlest Matryoshka

March 25-        Africa - Rain Stick
Picture Book: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock

April 1-            Germany - Toilet paper Windmills

April 8-            France - Color a French flag, a Euro and a Fleur de Lis
Picture Book: ChouChou or Madeline

April 15-          India - Mandala designs
Picture Book: The Road to Mumbai

April 22-           color picture of Alps and Swiss instruments
Picture Book: Heidi

April 29-           England - Build a paper castle with brown squares
Picture Book: Paddington

May 6-             Mexico - make clay bowls
Picture Book: Adelita by Tomie de Paola

May 13-           Mexico - paint clay bowls

May 20-          Egypt - make a mummy with yarn and a toilet paper tube
Picture Book suggestions


  1. This sounds like a great program, Theresa! I so often wish that we could get better participation in kids programs at our library...there just aren't enough people in our area, and those that are here and have kids are completely wrapped up in the public school. Sigh... Anyway, I thought it was interesting that you have your country books in the 314-319 call numbers, where our library system has them in the 900s.

  2. Thanks for these great resources! I'm pinning your post for future reference! :-)

  3. This is awesome, Theresa! Everyone is going to have a blast.

  4. Love this, Theresa! I love picture books. I don't think you ever outgrow them!
    Saving this for future reference:) I might try tying these in with Galloping the Globe. We pull it out every once in a while when the girls are interested in studying other countries.

  5. This is great Theresa!! I would so love your job. And Keilee would just adore doing something like this with younger kids. You have some great resources. I am with Jenn, we still LOVE picture books.

  6. I wrote this post at home, I don't know why I was thinking it was the 300s...when I got to work yesterday I checked and the countries were in the 900s. thanks :)

  7. You made me curious and I looked up a Dewey Decimal chart definitely seemed like the country books could be in the call numbers you said. I learned something :) The Dewey Decimal system is so much is in the hands of the individual cataloger!

  8. When i wrote the post, I looked it up as well and it seemed like the 300s...I was thinking of where the books are in our library and that didn't seem right, but I thought maybe I was mistaken.

    Talking about individual cataloger, when I have to import records into the system so often there are slashes and other notations we don't use in our small library and it's always a guessing game as to where to leave all the extra stuff off! I always hope I make the right choice because once I import the record, it's imported for the whole consortium!


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