It's been a tough week watching the news in Japan after the earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated this island country on March 11. Ben and I have both been glued to the TV, cried, prayed, and discussed ways we can help.
We were getting ready to move our Around the World study to Asia anyway, so we've decided to just begin with Japan.
True to our delight-directed unit study nature, I put together a few resources from online and our home library to learn more about earthquakes first. So I thought I would share with you, in case you're looking for opportunities to share more with your children as well.
I have a combination of websites and books for you to peruse.
KidScoop This online newspaper for kids has put together a nice printable Breaking News edition with good basic information about how earthquakes happ en, including some hands-on activities and puzzles.
Explore It: Earthquakes & Volcanoes This is a book we had in our home library. It's one of those awesome pop-up kinds of books that children love. Ben pulls it off the shelf quite regularly, but this week, he is devouring it. You might be able to find it in your local library.
Earthquakes Unit Study and Lapook This is a FREE unit study with lapbook from Homeschool Share. Awesome! Even if you don't have any books readily available, you can complete this study just from the info on the website.
National Geographic: Tsunuamis
Guide to Japan (Highlights Top Secret Adventures) If you try these adventures, the one they send you for free is Japan (or at least it was when I ordered). You can cancel after receiving it, if you don't wish to continue with the monthly subscription. We have several of them and Ben loves solving the mysteries. I had put this one aside for our Japan study, so we're beginning it now.
Kids Web Japan Japanese geography, history, language, education, sports, government, regions....
Japan Lapbook and Unit Studies More free stuff from Homeschool Share.
Grass Sandals Basho, the most revered of Japanese haiku poets, walked through many parts of the country recording his travels in diaries of prose and poetry. This picture book offers Western children a glimpse of the 17th-century poet's classic work. Each double-page spread describes, in art and text, a notable event from one of his trips, and includes one relevant haiku and one kanji, or ideograph borrowed from written Chinese. (there is a Five in a Row unit study for this book as well).
Grass Sandals Lapbook Another free lapbook from Homeschool Share. This one goes along with the FIAR unit study mentioned above.
Grandfather's Journey Home becomes elusive in this story about immigration and acculturation, pieced together through old pictures and salvaged family tales. Both the narrator and his grandfather long to return to Japan, but when they do, they feel anonymous and confused: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other." This book also has a unit study from Five in a Row.
Grandfather's Journey Lapbook Yet another free lapbook from Homeschool Share, again written for the FIAR unit.
Other books I've ordered from the library:
Look What Came from Japan
A Pair of Red Clogs If you are blessed enough to have access to this book, you'll find it in Five in a Row with another free lapbook available from Homeschool Share.
And last, but certainly not least, some information about relief efforts for the people of Japan:
American Red Cross
Save the Children