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Dsil would like to have her rising 1st grader do world cultures-type study, secularly

Chris in VA

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Children Just Like Me by Susan Elizabeth Copsey and Barnabas Kindersley


Children Just Like Me: Celebrations! by Anabel Kindersley and Barnabas Kindersley


Families: Around the World, One Kid at a Time by Sophie Furlaud, Pierre Verboud, and Uwe Ommer


A Life Like Mine by DK Publishing


Usborne Children's Picture Atlas by Ruth Brocklehurst


Books from the "Look What Came From..." series:



Lots of great lesson plan resources:



Country of the week:



Perhaps do a Flat Stanley project.


The library &/or United Streaming probably would have lots of cultural videos of interest also.

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Trail Guide to World Geography is secular and covers cultures, sort of.


Five in a Row, Volumes 1-3 are secular and cover lots of cultures, but not in an organized way. FIAR does have a Bible Supplement but it isn't in the original volumes.


Good luck, it is hard to find secular at any age.

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Well, one I can't find right now is something like Children from A to Z (Australia to Zimbabwe, I think).




Usborne First Book of France,



don't know if there are others in the series.


DK Children Just Like Me: Celebrations! Festivals, carnivals and feast days from around the world.


DK Children Just Like Me: Our Favorite Stories (and there may be others in this series, too). They used to have an e-Pal club and might still have it.....


The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World, internet-linked. I think this would make a good spine for a study.



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Anything that helps pull it together?


I was thinking it wouldn't be that hard to make it herself--but if it's done for her, so much the better (day by day schedule, maybe doing it twice a week).


I'd be interested to see what you all would choose, if you could only pick 18 countries.

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We used the DK books with my daughter when she was about that age. I wanted to do general geography and intro to cultures with her when she was in kindergarten (partially prompted by the knowledge that we were going to be at Epcot during that year).


We read the two page spread on each one in Children Just Like Me and I tried to do some additional activities with her---library books either set in or about, eating something from the country, etc. There were some Little Golden Books put out in the early 90s called "A Visit to ...." by Mary Packard that we enjoyed. They are simple stories about children in various countries. OOP, but should be available used:

A Visit to Kenya

A Visit to Australia

A Visit to China

A Visit to Russia and Ukraine

A Visit to Mexico

A Visit to Great Britain

A Visit to Soviet Union


One I remember reading that she enjoyed was "How My Parents Learned to Eat" about a Japanese girl in Japan who married an American serviceman and the differences in the ways they ate and the confusion that caused when they first got to know each other.


If she wants to get into a very basic discussion of some of the faiths of the children (as those are mentioned in the DK books), there is a series by Rosen Publishing Group called Religions of the World, each one a simple book with photos of children in a different religion from the child's point of view, with things like holidays, etc. We liked them quite a lot. Titles:

I am Shinto, I am a Latter Day Saint, I am a Quaker, I am Protestant, I am Bahai, I am Hindu, I am Rastafarian, I am Eastern Orthodox, I am Buddhist, I am Muslim, I am Jewish, I am Roman Catholic, I am Lutheran, I am Baptist, may be others. At least some of these are still in print. Informational point of view.

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I like FIAR for this, but it's not strictly a geography course, it's got science, literary terms, art and some math as well. To do an around the world trip with FIAR, here is my list of titles:


Vol. 1:

Story About Ping, China

Madeline, France

A pair of Red Clogs, Japan

Glorious Flight, France

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, lots of places, this is a great first book for a Round the World row

Grandfather's Journey, Japan

Very Last First Time, Arctic Canada


Vol. 2:

Wee Gillis, Scotland

Mirette on the High Wire, France

Story of Ferdinand, Spain

Peter Rabbit, England

Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, England


Vol. 3 only has the Duchess Bakes a Cake so I'd stick with the other 2 volumes.

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I did use Trip Around the World last year, but I wasn't thrilled with the book selections and am just not hands-on enough to make myself do most of the crafts or cooking of foods, so it wasn't that great for my style. They do also have out Another Trip Around the World, which includes different countries, in case you're interested in that.


I'd make a passport and have stamps (or stickers, etc.) that they could put in their books as they "traveled" through each country.


I also have a living books list of world countries that I used along with that A to Z book I mentioned. I used it with my child in second grade and we just read and found the countries on the globe, looked at any maps that were included in the books we read, used our children's atlas to read about the countries and look at detailed maps of them, etc. This study included about 28 countries, but could easily be pared down.


My file is too big to attach, but I'm happy to get it to you if you're interested.



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My ds loved this when we did it for kindergarten-just looked up the countries\regions on a map, read aobut anything we came across that interested him. There is a companion book of stories from the cultures that the children are from, with pictures of the same children. Big hit here.

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Sonlight Core C might work. If you eliminate the Bible portion of the curriculum, it would be secular. It doesn't go very deeply into different cultures, but it is a nice introduction that can easily be fleshed out with library books or any of the resources that others have mentioned. We love it. It really would be just right for a first grader. Not many activities, just a few in some of the books, but these can easily be added by looking around on the internet for ideas.

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One I remember reading that she enjoyed was "How My Parents Learned to Eat" about a Japanese girl in Japan who married an American serviceman and the differences in the ways they ate and the confusion that caused when they first got to know each other.
This sounds interesting. I'm continually having to "edit" the American children's books we read when they say things like "It's bad manners to eat with your hands." In dh's culture you almost always eat with your hands!
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I remember an old series that would fit-- the "Twins" series.


It featured a set of twins from each of many countries, as well as from different historical periods in the US; i.e. "Japanese Twins", "Revolutionary Twins" etc.


It would be too difficult for most first graders to read, but great for readalouds.


My inclination would be to look for a set on Ebay, buy a world map, and go for it.

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