Erin Lee and her family have a great tradition- every summer they choose a country to learn about.
The final project is a cultural feast and celebration that others can enjoy. This great educational idea helps their family to learn and get excited about learning!
Listen to the episode here:
Country Selection: Food
First, they choose a country.
They talk to the kids to get ideas, and they also try the food to make sure their kids like the food from that country.
They go to restaurants to make sure they enjoy the food before they narrow down their selection. Knowing that your kids will enjoy the food from that country makes the feast a lot more fun.
Erin says that there have been many dishes that they thought the kids wouldn’t like, but the kids have surprised them by really enjoying new foods.
Then they go to the library and find books that are kid friendly about that country.
Because her kids are young, Erin plays a large role in helping with the research and helps to teach her children how to narrow down the information and find things that are important.
Her kids are very excited about it and feel a sense of pride. This continues, and they still get excited when they see things from “their” country.
It doesn’t take a lot of motivation to get them to do the research because they are so excited about this feast. Doing this project together is fun work.
They make decorations that are from their country. This year, for Greece, they made Greek pillars.
The kids help prepare the food. This year, her 8 year old learned to prepare pitas and the younger kids learned to zest lemons.
Greeks are known for their mosaics, so for a craft at the dinner, the kids made mosaics and lyres.
The kids made a sample for the other kids to see, and at the feast, they teach their cousins how to make it.
They have a game from that country that the kids can play at the cultural feast.
To incorporate more information, Erin posts 7 or 8 facts around the room and the kids go around and read the information. They come back to Erin and she gives them a quiz. When they get the questions right, she gives them a piece of Greek chocolate.
Using imovie, Erin finds images that go with the notes she and her kids have taken.
The kids narrate the information that goes with each picture. They divide it into sections, such as traditions, architecture, history, landscape, influential people, government styles and things that were invented in that country.