Friday, October 6, 2017

Learning About Central & Southern Africa!

I learned last year that sometimes our local library does not carry many books about a particular country. So this year, when I was searching our library database for the books recommend in Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin, if I only found one or two on a country, I moved out and focused on a region.

For the month of September, we started in southern Africa, highlighting South Africa and Botswana, and then we moved north to central Africa, highlighting Chad.

Here is our booklist:

  • Elephants of Africa by Gail Gibbons
  • Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky by Elphinstone Dayrell
  • At the Crossroads by Rachel Isadora
  • My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me by Maya Angelou
  • The Dove by Dianne Stewart
  • The Gift of the Sun by Dianne Stewart
  • Rain School by James Rumford
  • Calabash Cat by James Rumford
  • Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
  • Good Luck Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
  • Story of David Livingstone from Hero Tales by Dave & Neta Jackson

    I really loved Rain School, and decided to focus on Chad for our co-op (more what we did later). Rosie's favorite was My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me (she was joking she couldn't tell us funny things because we're not chickens), and Juanito really enjoyed both South African stories, The Dove and The Gift of the Sun, and the Anna Hibiscus stories. In hindsight, Anna Hibiscus should be on the west Africa reading list!

    We watched some of the Human Planet, since it included people from Botswana. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode.) The kids always love watching Human Planet.

    We colored the South African flag, and we colored a scene from Botswana from the Dolls of the World Coloring Book.

    And then we played a South African sidewalk game, thanks to Sidewalk Games Around the World. Due to the young ages of my kids, we did have to improvise and switch from throwing a tennis ball to kicking a soccer ball! But everyone had fun, even José, who's only one!

    We also made a South African meal of meatloaf and cornbread with greens, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach.

    I am working the kids into narrating in both English and Spanish. For English, I let them choose their book. For Spanish, I chose Rain School. Here are Rosie's:

    The story is about a girl. She puts beads on her and she has a chicken. She lets the chicken runaway and the boy screams. They paint with feathers from the chicken. The little girl's best friend is the chicken. The girl tells her secrets to the chicken.
    - My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me

    El niño se llama Thomas. Thomas va a escuela. Los niños tienen que build, construir, la escuela. Ellos van adentro. Escribe la letra. Los niños usan lápiz y libros. La tormenta viene y la escuela se cayó.
    - Rain School

    And Juanito's:

    There was a hurricane and then it took away everything it could carry but one house was still built. Grandma Muloko's house. Grandma Muloko couldn't plan her crops until the rain stopped so she kept working on her beads instead. Then the rain stopped and the sun, pushed, pushed, pushed its way out of the heavy clouds. And then they saw the dove and Grandma Muloko said, "Go get some food for it." So Lindi did, so Lindi got the corn and fed it to the dove. It came back for a lot of days and then didn't come again. And then they had to leave and go somewhere else because of all the damage. And when they were on the rain, people were talking about the hurricane and all the damage it caused. And when they arrived, they walked to the bead store, but the girl said, "We have too many bead sellers here, why don't you go to the bead beach?" And then they went to the beach and then went home. And then when Lindi woke up one day, Lindi turned to her grandma, "Can you help me make a dove?" "Yes," said her grandma. And she helped sew everything together. And then Lindi said, "How lovely dove! Can you show it to the people in the art shop?" And then Grandma said yes and took it to show them. But they didn't;t buy the beads and then she remembered the dove. And then she gave it to the community art shop lady and she said, "Oh, yes! Can you please make more?" And then Grandma Muloko returned to her house and Lindi said, "Did they buy the beads?" "No, but they bought the dove and asked us to make more." And then they spent hours making more, more, more dolls. Y fin.
    - The Dove

    Thomas va a escuela. Los niños construyen su escuela. La construyen la paredes con palos y lodo y usaran césped para el techo. Thomas ayuda a traer las sillas. La maestra dibuja una letra, la A. Thomas dibuja la A con sus manos. La mataste trae los libros y los lápices para los niños. Thomas aprende las letras. Estaba el último día para escuela, y la lluvia viene. La escuela se derrumbara y nada queda.
    - Rain School

    For co-op, we are purposing to pray for a people group or missionary. Since we were focusing on Chad for co-op, we prayed for the Tunia people group and read about them in the Wycliffe book Around the World with Kate and Mack. Then, after reading Rain School, we colored the flag of Chad, along with scenes from daily life in Chad.

    Then we made mancala boards, thanks to instructions via Compassion's Explorer Magazine!

    Finally, for our snack, we had bananas and beignets soufflés, both of which are eaten in Chad!

    Then, before leaving Africa in our studies, we took a jaunt to the west to Kenya briefly and read The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney! April is a fellow Compassion sponsor and she wrote the story after visiting her sponsored child in Kenya!

    The story parallels the lives of Ben in the USA and George in Kenya, and how they meet and influence each other's lives. Since our family is so passionate about sponsorship and our kids are growing up writing to sponsored kids, this book really touched home. The story is beautifully illustrated and has become one of Juanito's favorite books!

    Next up, the Middle East!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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