Expedition Earth: China Geography Unit

Ni Hao! As most of you know we’re going through my Expedition Earth curriculum again this year, and the kids couldn’t be more excited! The last time we did this it was 2010 and Miss Lady Bug was only about 2 years old! Since she never got the chance to go through it, and it’s been several years, we thought now would be a great time to travel the globe again!

So we’re starting off our journeys by visiting China.

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Did you know that China has the largest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion people? It is also the 3rd largest country with an area of approximately 3,747,879 sq. miles. The Yangtze River (3rd longest in the world) and the Yellow River (6th longest in the world) are both found in China. And the Great Wall of China is the largest man made structure in the world stretching an amazing 5,500 miles!

China’s Yangtze river is also home to the rare and endangered giant panda bear. The bear eats as much as 22 pounds of bamboo a day, and can live to be about 20 years old in the wild. Giant panda cubs weigh only around 5 ounces at birth, but adult males can weigh up to 330 pounds!

China has also invented quite a few commonly used items such as: kites, paper money, wheelbarrows, porcelain, and folding umbrellas. And since it’s across the International Date line from where we are located, China is sometimes a day ahead of the United States.

Those are just a few of the fun things that we learned about China this week! Here are a few more…

We learned:

  • Where China is on the world map & located Beijing, Huang He River and the Yangtze River

  • A song in Mandarin

  • How to say “Hello” in Mandarin

  • How to pray for the Chinese people

  • About children in China

  • Learned Chinese Numbers

  • Studied the Great Wall of China

  • Completed a china lapbook activity

  • Completed and classified animals of China

  • Read The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack

  • Learned new geography vocabulary

  • Played Chinese Checkers

  • Learned major landmarks and other fun facts about China

  • We built the Great Wall of China! (Well, a scaled down version anyway!)

  • We made handmade paper

 

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Of course we always add a flag to our passports. Since China was our first stop, it’s all alone in there right now, but not for long!  We also learned about some super cool animals found there, and made this cute mini-book with pictures and facts on each one. And just for fun we made a China post card then wrote a fake note to a friend on the backside. It’s great letter writing practice!

 

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We also made our own handmade paper from recycled shredded bits of paper using a screen.

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Then wrote out the Chinese numbers on it once it was dried! I’ll have a tutorial on this coming up soon, or  you can check out our old Handmade Paper Craft tutorial here!

 

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Of course we added our China mini-book to our world lapbook. Inside my kiddos wrote their favorite fun fact about China along with the Capitol, language, and currency inside.

 

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Of course we filled out our China mapping sheet with all of the yummy details on the country itself.

 

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We also learned a little bit about the flag of China, what the colors stand for, an colored our own on our flag worksheet.

 

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I think that one of our favorite parts is learning about the animals in each country. Here’s a shot of Miss Lady Bug putting up her very first Expedition Earth animal on our wall! Since I have four kids, we choose numbers as to who gets to put up what animal. That way it’s fair and all.

 

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Then everyone wrote down the Chinese Numbers, and also wrote their name in Mandarin.

 

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Then of course we had to build our version of the Great Wall of China using Flora Craft foam blocks.

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We added some moss around the outside for effect, as well as ended up gluing on some tiny pebbles at the foot of the steps as a path.

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And here’s the completed model.

 

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We also did a fun Zentangle Panda craft that everyone enjoyed.

 

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I mean who doesn’t love panda’s right? Click here to see exactly how we made our Zentangle Panda Art!

 

 

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And honestly I think everyone’s favorite part of the week is “Try new food Friday”. This is when we either make a recipe at home, or head out for an authentic meal from the country we’re studying! This was taken at a local Chinese restaurant in our area. The first time we went in, TinkerBell shouted “Ni Hao!” The waiter’s were so nice and thought it was sweet of her, so now they always great us with a happy “Ni Hao!” every time they see us coming!

As a side note, she also does this anytime we order Chinese take out as well. The delivery guy is super nice and always looks to greet her in Mandarin.

And that’s it for this week!

Want to join in with us on our journey? Get your copy of Expedition Earth here!

EEBinder

 

Click below to see more details for each of the fun things we did during our week on China back in 2010:

9 Comments

  • KT September 18, 2015 at 5:51 am

    We are studying China right now, too! It looks like we’re doing some things in a similar way, and some things a little different. Thanks for helping me tweak my plans. 😉 Your Great Wall craft is awesome, and looks a little easier than our salt dough Wall. (Though I have to admit, we have enjoyed playing with the salt dough. lol)

    Reply
  • KP September 19, 2015 at 11:52 am

    If you did this 4 years ago are your older kids really willing to do it again? I worry that my older ones will not want to do it again with the younger ones.

    Reply
    • erica October 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Yes, everyone was really excited to do it again. It was probably their most favorite curriculum we’ve ever done. And I figured it’s been long enough that it was time for a refresher on world countries. That and Miss Lady Bug hasn’t ever done it because she was only about 2 when we did it last. So it’s all brand new for her.

      Reply
  • TH September 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    We are studying China and communism right now. My youngest daughter is really fascinated with the great wall. That is an awesome craft and I am adding that in in the next few weeks.

    Reply
  • Rhonda October 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    I had the same thought as KP. Did you do a new lapbook and add in extra things or were they happy to repeat?

    Reply
    • erica October 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      We haven’t done Expedition Earth since 2010. Since then I’ve updated it, so we’re doing it all over fresh. They all made new lapbooks.

      Reply
  • Rebecca October 5, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Hi Erica,

    We are using your Expedition Earth and my daughter is 8. She has said this is her favourite subject. I was always terrible at geography at school, so I am learning as well. Thank you for all your effort on creating such an interesting curriculum.

    Reply
  • Katrina Rogers November 15, 2015 at 2:26 am

    This is a great reference post. We will start using Expedition Earth tomorrow. I was wondering if you use it Monday through Friday as Day1-Day5. I was looking at your school schedules for the kids and Science/Geography isn’t listed everyday. Do you do one country throughout the week or over a period of weeks? Is it best to spread the curriculum out over more than 5 days? Thanks!

    Reply
    • erica November 19, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Hi Katrina,
      Yes, it’s meant to be 1 lesson per day, whichever days you do school in your home. We actually combine it into 4 days since our kids do an options program on Fridays. But you can do whatever works best for your family 🙂

      Reply

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