世界的故事 Story of the World: nomads and cavemen

Story of the WorldBeginning January, we added a history portion to our coop.  We’re following the book used in the Classical Curriculum, Story of the World 世界的故事 by Susan Weiss.  This set of 4 books tells history from the beginning to civilization in the Mediterrean to Modern times.  Book 1 has 42 chapters and goes from nomads to the end of Roman Empire.

We’ll be covering 1 chapter a week.  Everyone is supposed to read the chapter at home before we meet on Wednesday.  In “class”, we will start off with a relevant picture book and then do an activity from the Story of the World Activity Book.  We bought the PDF version of the activity book directly from the publisher so we can re-edit it into Chinese for the maps and stuff.  The activity book includes questions in English, which I’m translating slowly and painfully into Chinese every week.  There is also an English audio CD version.

So far, I’m liking this curriculum.  It is not the most interesting book (try Magic Treehouse instead), but it includes actual facts interspersed with stories.  It’s meant as a jump off point.  I like the fact that it has no zhuyin and we can practice learning new characters and are being exposed to higher vocabulary.

I always think the children are not learning and that we’re not covering enough in depth.  But after 3 weeks, I can see that Thumper has learned something with the co-op and all the supplemental material I actually have been giving but didn’t realize when she was sprouting facts to a friend today.

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History: The Long Black Strip

Totally fun!

A few weeks ago, I presented the long black strip to the kids in the co-op.   It was a big hit and really made an impression with Astroboy.

The Long Black Strip is one of the early lessons in the Natural History section of the Montessori History album. I had already showed Thumper the First Great Lesson (Creation of the Universe) and the Second Great Lesson (Coming of Life), thought it was time to talk about humans in this long timeline.

In the presentation the children rolled out a very long, 40 meters, black ribbon in the playground.  The younger children really wanted to roll the ribbon out.  As they walked and unrolled, I talked about how the darkness that came after the creation of the universe went on for a long long time, or how it rained and volcanos erupted again and again for a long, long time.  (as the Earth was forming).  Here’s a sample of the presentation from Montessori Services.  Mine’s slightly different, especially since it was in Chinese, but basically the same idea:  

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