We kicked off our ABC World Tour with a very long stay in Australia. It took awhile to find a groove for getting everything I wanted to get accomplished in each country. Australia was the perfect guinea pig and since it's a huge country/continent there was plenty to learn about and I don't feel bad at all for staying on the topic for so long. I promise from now on, each country will be only a week and I'll have each post up by Monday the following week.
I'm just going to give a brief summary of all the topics we covered with links and the list of books we read.
When we first started talking about Australia we covered just the basic information:
*It's in the Southern Hemisphere
*It's a continent and a country
*The capital is Canberra
|Charlotte located Australia and Canberra on the map every day|
After we talked about flying from NC to Australia
(which would have cost us $2,000 each!)
I stamped Charlotte's passport
we were officially in the country!
Here are a few things we discussed:
(We watched this video to learn about the accent)
*Currency: Australian Dollar
Rate: Approx. .97AUD=1.00USD
*Weather: Southern Hemisphere weather is opposite Northern Hemisphere
|Under the book you can see the travel journal we've been writing in everyday|
|Lexi colored right alongside Char|
While discussing Sydney, we found that you can climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's about 200 steps to the top of one of the pylons so the girls went out front and climbed our stairs 20 times to simulate the experience! When we reached the top we could see the Sydney Opera House!
Talking about food we found that Australians eat a lot of different things than us!
They also eat yummy treats called Lamingtons
which are sponge cake squares dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut
We came across a book filled with amazing Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and along with the stories was amazing art.
Aboriginal Dot Painting
They are breathtaking!
I'm classifying boomerangs as art.
From shaping them to throwing them is an art form, then they are painted with beautiful designs!
We made our own boomerang out of cardboard and then practiced throwing it (how to) at our favorite park.
As far as music goes we learned about the digeridoo and watched
We also listened to a few Australian folksongs and came across
Ayers Rock aka Uluru is a HUGE inselberg (a mountain island) located in Australia's Red Centre. It's sacred to the local people and a huge tourist attraction. I't made out of sandstone and appears to change color at different times of the day and season. It was really neat looking at the different pictures of Uluru, especially the pictures where it appears violet in color.
I debated putting the Great Barrier Reef under landmarks, but considering it's the largest animal made structure on Earth, I had to put it under animals. The Great Barrier Reef is teeming with life and it's massive!! I never really knew how large it was but when we read that it would stretch from Maine to Florida, it was really put into perspective. I had plans to make different types of coral out of clay but the clay just crumbled on me when it dried. It was sad :( BUT, instead we made these adorable reef fish out of CDs. I also bought the girls a Coral Reef Toob to play with. (Toobs are the most awesome thing in the world)
Here is a great video on the Great Barrier Reef
We read a lot (A LOT!) of books about Australia's unique animals. It is said that the animals are so different due to the prolonged isolation that Australia has experience. Check out this video we watched of a laughing kookaburra, we saw one in person at the national zoo and it was laughing for us, but every time I got out the video camera it stopped, then it would laugh again at me when I put it away. The laugh is quite infectious, kookaburras make me giggle. Of course we talked about platypuses, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, bilbies, echidnas, emus, the list goes on and on! We visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, it was fun seeing all the animals they have and they even have a platypus webcam on their site!
*Crocodile Dundee: as a general about Australia movie
*Finding Nemo: about the Great Barrier Reef
*Australia: We didn't watch this one but I would recommend it, it's about cattle driving in a time before World War II, it's pretty interesting (but looooong)
*Atlas ~ Malcom Watson
*National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers
*Children's Amazing Places Encyclopedia ~ Robert Hamilton
*Australia ~ Ann Heinrichs
*Wild Shores of Australia ~ Ron Fisher
*National Geographic Book of Mammals
*National Geographic: A Fragile Empire ~ Jennifer S. Holland
*Down Under ~ Tessa Paul
*Rainbow Bird ~ Eric Madden
* Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo ~ Alison Lester
*Big Rain Coming ~ Katrina Germein
*Waking Up Down Under ~ Carol Votaw
*Stories from the Billabong ~ James Vance Marshall
*Toad Overload ~ Patricia Seibert
* Life in a Coral Reef ~ Wendy Pfeffer
*Coral Reefs ~ Sylvia A. Earle
*Coral Reef: A city that never sleeps ~ M. Cerullo
*Fish ~ Eyewitness Books
*A Wombat's World ~ Caroline Arnold
*Australian and New Zealand Food and Drink ~ Christine Osborne
*Platypus ~ Joan Short
~ A Platypus's World ~ Caroline Arnold