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Studying Japan ::Week 2::

This was our second week learning about Japan and the girls had a lot of fun with many “hands-on” activities: origami, watercolors, calligraphy, puppet theatres, and Japanese screens. Much reading and even a great video or two thrown in. Since Japan has over 70 volcanoes, we are going to be doing a unit on volcanoes next week – as requested by the girls! 

  • Review what we learned last week
  • We used Kids Web Japan to look at the history of kimonos different types of kimonos and had fun doing a virtual game dressing girls and seeing where they would wear the kimono and outfit that we picked for them.
  • Japanese screens ~ Each of the girls designed their own Japanese screen trying to follow each of the four seasons.
  • We first read The Paper Crane (Bang) and then picked out a few pieces of origami to make: a mask and a boat…fairly simple but fun!

Literature we focused on:

Studying Japan ::Week 1::

This week we started our study of Japan. Of all the countries we’ve studied so far, Japan has had some amazing websites available to use in our studies. We’re planning on making this a three week study and wrapping it all up with a unit on volcanoes. Here’s how our first week was outlined:


  • Review geography song
  • Locate & map Japan with watercolors {link below}
  • Use atlas to learn more about Japan
  • Hello Japan video


  • Read Children Just Like Me & use notebooking page
  • Color Japan’s flag {printable below}
  • Facts about Japan using National Geographic for Kids website


  • Kids Web Japan
  • Talk about the Mon {family crest}


  • Review Asia geography song
  • Woodcuts/paintings {link below}

Laurianna’s independent reading for the week was Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne and the kids also enjoyed listening to the audiobook when Laurianna had finished reading it on her own. We’ve also been reading stories from Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories and The Boy of the Three Year Nap.

Great Links

  • Kids Web Japan – great videos, virtual games, pictures – too much to list, but a GREAT resource!! This week we watched the “Hello Japan” video, learned about tea ceremonies (and had our own), looked at some of the typical Japanese food
  • Visit Japan – this link is specifically to a quick video about Japan
  • National Geographic Kids: Japan – country facts, postcard, video clip and information on Japan
  • Japanese Woodcuts to Color – Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop has a great project for using watercolors to recreate some famous Japanese woodcuts
  • Hokusai’s Great Wave – picture and information on woodcut painting

    Next week we’ll be continuing our study of Japan by studying Japanese screens, origami, Japanese counting, puppet theatre and some other fun things too.

  • Studying Korea: Week 2

    This week we finished our tour of the peninsula of Korea. I found several other websites to visit this week with the girls. This week we focused more on South Korea.


    • Talked about kimchi pots
    • Mapped the Yellow Sea and the capitals of Norht & South Korea and explored on our globe a little more



    • Talked about Korean currency – I put together a little info sheet with pictures of the current South Korean currency (you can print off a copy for yourself below if you would like)
    • Practiced Korean numbers


    • Made Korean beef tips (one of Daddy’s favorite meals)
    • Put our notebooks together with our Korean studies information
    • Marked our passports as having studied Korea


    We are still reading aloud the book Archer’s Quest by Linda Sue Park (and I’m even interested to see how this is going to turn out!). Laurianna has continued reading Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park and McKenna LOVES the book Dear Juno by Soyung Pak.

    What We’re Reading

    Website Resources

    Here is the document with the South Korean currency: Next week we will be starting a three week study of Japan … and I so need to get working on those lesson plans. I’ve started researching some things, but haven’t sat down long enough to put it all down (that’s usually my Friday afternoon and Sunday evening routine).


    Korea Study: Week 1

    We really are having a fun time this year with our geography study and learning together, which always makes it fun! We looked at North and South Korea this week, although the majority of our studies were focused on South Korea.  


    • located and mapped the Koreas
    • reviewed our Asia area song
    • colored the South Korean flag
    • independent reading {see carousel below} Laurianna is reading Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park and McKenna is reading Dear Juno by Soyung Pak. Together we are reading aloud the story Archer’s Quest (mainly so that I can moderate some of the content).


    • read about Bob Pierce (missionary)
    • did our Children Just Like me sheet
    • independent reading {see carousel below}


    • toured Korea via a kid’s website (links are below), and learned a little more about Buddhism and different Korean temples
    • tryied out orgami and making panda bear faces…a little something we didn’t have time to fit in last week.


    • talked about Buddhism
    • looked at different Korean temples

    Web Resources

    Here are some great links for Korea:

    • The Wedding of Kaz and Ilsu – this site documents the wedding of the site author (Kaz) and his trip to Korea for his wedding and honeymoon. There are some great photos on the site to look at various Korean temples and culture shots.
    • World Heritage Tour – provides 360 degree pics and views of different Korean temples and sites.
    • Our Place – pictures of the Sokkuram Groto and Pulguksa Temple.
    • Korea for Kids – has a virtual “tour” of South Korea and includes some fun printable activities for kids (Hahoe mask drama, acrostic poems and kimchi pots).
    • South Korea Unit Study – Knowledge Quest has some great ideas posted at this link for South Korea also.
    Books We Used


    Next week we are continuing on in South Korea by looking at Korean currency, Kimchi pots, Hahoe mask drama, making a yummy meal of beef tips and rice, and studying Korean numbers as well as making our own acrostic.


    Our Panda Lapbooks – the video version

    Our panda lapbook from Homeschool Share was a great way to wrap up our study of China. The girls wanted to have themselves videotaped showing off their lapbooks this time, so that’s what we did! Laurianna shows off her lapbook in the first video and then McKenna shares a litte bit of hers.

    Some great Panda Resources

    Studying Pandas

    This week we wrapped up our study of China with a unit/lapbook on giant pandas from Homeschool Share, using the book Giant Pandas by Gail Gibbons. If you haven’t checked out this great resource, hop on over and visit because there is a little something for most topics you might be studying.

    One of the most exciting parts of our week was having two of our monarchs emerge from their chrysalis’. We had both a male and female butterfly, and let both of them go outside. Can you tell if this one is the male or the female?

    Our kids love the hands-on part of lapbooking (admittedly they don’t always like to write a bunch of stuff), but love cutting/pasting and they DO love to show them off to everyone. You can see their video explanation of their Panda lapbooks in our panda lapbook post.

    To go along with the Giant Panda unit the girls also learned how to draw pandas using Draw Write Now – and I cannot say enough about these books. I even had fun following along and drawing one too (not too shabby, I’m thinking!).

    Some great Panda Resources:

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