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World cultures for 4th and K

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What would you recommend for a world cultures curriculum for a 4th grader and tag-along kindergarten?  I'm looking for something that will spark there interest in other places and the realization that not everyone lives as we do.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome! I see from your post count you are new. 

At those ages, I would compile a list of countries/cultures you would like to cover, and for each country:
- read lots of books (myths and folktales, nonfiction about how that place/culture, historical/cultural fiction, etc.)
- watch some travelogue or travel shows (example: PBS Rick Steves)
- enjoy a Faces magazine, for gr. 3-6 -- you might also look for a "box lot" of back issues to purchase, as well as a subscription
- watch feature films set in other cultures
- examine the clothing, housing, foods, traditions, celebrations, music, art, myths of each country/culture
- do hands-on activities: make a food or a meal from each culture; listen to music; play a traditional children's game; etc.
- include some physical geography, as that often impacts culture (example: look at biomes -- arctic, jungle, desert, steppe lands, etc., and the peoples who live there)
- and include a basic exploration of world religions, as religion is a huge element of culture in much of the world; book ideas:
   The Kids Book of World Religions (Glossop) -- gr. 4-6
   DK book: Children Just Like Me -- gr. 3-6
   DK book: Celebrations! (Children Just Like Me series) -- gr. 3-6

Otherwise, you might consider:
- Guest Hollow's Jr. Geography -- gr. 1-6
- Trail Guide to World Geography (Christian) -- contains "trails" for gr. 2-4; gr. 5-7; and gr. 8
- Galloping the Globe (Christian) -- gr. K-4

Edited by Lori D.
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I have used/will use again Beautiful Feet Around the World with Picture Books. It's designed for K-2 but it can be aged up easily by requiring a paragraph or folk tale retelling and/or country research in the journal instead of just pasting the animals. It's also easy to add independent reading for the fourth grader.

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Adding to above suggestions:

- Lonely Planet: The Kids Travel Book, or adult coffee table version: The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country on the Planet
- good illustrated atlas -- maybe something like the Nat'l Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers, or the DK Children's Illustrated Atlas
(or the older, out-of-print Circling the Globe for a more detailed atlas for the grade 4-8 range)
- a kids cookbook of recipes from around the world (ex: Kids Around the World Cookbook; Cooking Class Global Feast; American Girl: Around the World Cookbook
- a book of games played by kids around the world (ex: Global Kids; Games Around the WorldPlay With Us...)

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So many wonderful suggestions here!  Thankyou!  Some if it's in my Amazon cart now.  Loving the looks if the Beautiful Feet curriculum in particular, but so many good pieces from the others too!

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Children Like Me is a great book, and I think both the KGer and 4th grader would enjoy it.  Its fun to find where they live on a map.

Also, I suggest looking up the places the children live on AirPano.com or Roundme.com (places with 365 degree views you can explore).


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Posted (edited)

We used Torchlight Level K last year and we loved it.  It has an expanded section for older kids with more challenging picture book recommendations.  You focus on a new country every week.  There is a chapter book that sometimes relates to the country and sometimes does not.  I think your older one would enjoy some of the country specific ones but the other ones will be too young.  Then you read from an Atlas, Adventure Atlas series, Homes around the world, Stories around the world, people who changed the world, etc.  There are also video recommendations mostly from "Are We There Yet" and my kid loved these.  Finally, I recipe for each country.  There is also an art, science and character section but they typically do not relate to the country.  The art uses the Art Lab book which my son enjoyed but he isn;t really into crafts so the process art was right up his alley.  Build Your Own library level 0 has more country specific art projects.  I purchased both TL and BYL last year and we enjoyed Torchlight more.  BYL was mostly shelved but they do use the Children Just Like Me book which is great and we used it too.  You don't have to buy a curriculum but TL is pretty cheap and I enjoyed having it all together in one place.

I wanted to edited this to add: although the curriculum itself is cheap, purchasing all the book recommendation is pretty expensive.  You will need to buy all the spine books but we love them and they will be great references for years to come.  Also, alot of the other books are hard to find at the library and I had to utilize thriftbooks quite a bit.

Edited by jar2542
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Jamie c Martin has a wonderful book Give Your Child the World with suggestions of good literature for different countries with a summary. It was super helpful. We also enjoyed the booklist from Beautiful Feet’s Around the Works with picture  books (I used the program for k-6th).  I wasn’t thrilled with the actual guides. Atlas crates are fun too 

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