Thursday, April 30, 2009

ancient china

As I have mentioned before... we're taking our own sweet time working our way through Story of the World Volume 1. This week we spent some time studying Ancient China.

We watched a couple of Netflix movies.

The first one was...
China - The Panda Adventure (IMAX)

This was had no real tie to Ancient China other than the movie was set in China. We had watched it years before when we studied China when we used Galloping the Globe. As soon as the kids heard we were studying China, they requested that I get this movie again. It's a good movie in the sense that it has amazing footage of the beauty of natural China and the rivers mentioned in Story of the World. The panda bears are pretty cute too (Clara's favorite part). But the basic story is that of a race between a woman (whose husband died in China while studying pandas) and a hunter set on killing pandas. One cub will go missing and the hunter kills the mother panda (Clara was traumatized... briefly). But in the end the woman adopts the remaining cub and takes it back to the US. Footage of the adorable cub cheered Clara up again.

The second movie we got was...
Ancient China: A Journey Back in Time (Lost Treasures of the Ancient World)

Hmmmm.... what to say about this one. It has good information... but, it was DULL! At least to me. I really wanted to like it, but I couldn't. The kids lasted all of the way through it but maybe that had more to do with the fact that they rarely watch TV and they weren't going to give up the opportunity easily than it did with actually liking the thing.

We didn't do so good with movies this go around but we did get some cool books at the library.

Two favorites were....

We started out by reading The Warlord's Puzzle. I mistakenly thought that our shapes tub had tangram pieces in it so I dumped them all out in the floor before I realized that it didn't. I ended up tracing the tangram pieces in the back of the book and cutting a set out for each child. They really enjoyed the book and constantly recite the boy's story about the fish in order to make the pieces into the tile again.

But, I have to say, that the favorite of the two books was Grandfather Tang's Story. The story was about two fox fairies who could change shape.

Here are the two foxes at the beginning of the book...
(side note: this book is great for two kids as there are two foxes who change shape... each child can be one of the characters and rearrange their tangram pieces to make the shape of the animal their fox changes into)

Here is Clara's fox changing into a squirrel (I think)....

Midway through the story, Clara remembered that we had tangrams in our Classic Tangoesgame.... so she got those out so they could use those instead....
Crazy thing is, that night while Clara was at swim, Alex and I walked to the thrift store nearby and found this....
The Fun with Tangrams Kit

We got it, two other math books and an I Spy computer game for $2.40 (you've got to love thrift stores!). It even had the punch out tangram pieces still in the book... however, we just used our plastic ones from the game again.

They've been playing with the book quite a bit.

Here's their favorite one so far....
... I'm not sure who exactly it is supposed to be (since it's just under the heading "faces") but the kids have decided that it looks like Abraham Lincoln and I couldn't agree more.

We read one other library book aloud... The Warlord's Messengers. The kids really enjoyed that book. To be technical, this book is set quite a while after the time period covered in SOTW but it was still a good read. We're going to read The Warlord's Alarmtomorrow.

I checked out a few other library books for the kids to choose from for free reading.

Here are those books:
The Jade Stone: A Chinese Folktale
The Emperor and the Kite
The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend
See Inside an Ancient Chinese Town

1 comment:

Alycia in Va. said...

We read most of those the first time we listened to SOTW, except the warlords puzzle. Hadn't seen that so I'll put it on my list when we get to it again.