It was particularly fun to learn about Brazil in our year of learning about Children Around the World with Winter Promise curriculum because of the Olympics happening there this year! The girls were extremely motivated to learn everything they could about this place that all their favorite athletes would be competing.
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We had lots of fun learning about Brazilian food. It just all seemed so yummy! The girls particularly enjoyed a coconut pudding made with sweetened condensed milk, and they were really inspired by a recipe in our Winter Promise activity book for a simple Brazilian fried rice. I say inspired because their concoctions did not resemble the recipe at all! We had been talking about how people all over the world eat meals made of rice and beans, but that different cultures add completely different seasonings and use different kinds of beans. They began scrounging through the kitchen to see how many different types of beans we had and then the experimenting began.
Bignificent made something with fresh lemon basil from our backyard and chickpeas and liked it so much she wrote down the recipe while she was eating. Middlenificent also decided to use chickpeas but she wanted a sweeter meal so she added cinnamon and apples. Littlenificent is a little less adventurous with her food and less of a bean-lover so she decided to go with the only one she knows she likes and used a can of baked beans. She grated a carrot to go into the mix with the rice and put some cheese on top. She was so proud that she got to cook it herself! The girls called them “bean fry-ups” and have been asking to make them fairly often ever since so our week learning about Brazil made a big impact on their eating habits!
This was the week that we really started using notebooking pages from NotebookingPages.com as a major part of our homeschooling. It filled a real hole in Bignificent’s studies as I didn’t feel she was doing enough of digging deeper into topics that were of interest to her and then writing about them. I began this week asking her to make three notebooking pages about any aspect of the country we were studying. For Brazil, she chose to do one about Carnaval, one about three unique Amazonian animals, and one about the upcoming Olympic games and the unique flavor Brazil would add to them.
I mentioned this in my review of NotebookingPages.com, but I’ll say it again here: I love how notebooking pages not only encourage my kids to research and write more about what they are learning, but also to share what they’ve learned with each other! That picture above with Bignificent showing Littlenificent her animals page and telling her all about the pink Amazonian river dolphin makes me so happy! That is why I homeschool!
I also homeschool because we love books, and my kids can’t get enough of them and traditional school would really cramp their reading style! I had to split the books we read about Brazil this week into picture books and chapter books because there were just so many great ones! I hope you enjoy them!
- Marco’s Travels: Hello, Brazil! by Jason Louis
- The Sock Thief by Ana Crespo
- The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell – This is a darling adaptation of the song The Green Grass Grew All Around, and the Audible version is less than 50 cents! So if, like us, you can’t find the real book, you can still listen to it!
- Brazil: A Benjamin Blog and his Inquisitive Dog Guide by Anita Ganeri – We’ve enjoyed this series for a few countries now!
- Mr. Elephants Rio Tour by Janie Dullard
- If You Were Me and Lived in….Brazil by Carole P. Roman – I really can’t say enough good things about this series by Carole P. Roman. They are a curriculum in and of themselves – packed full of amazing information and with interest-catching illustrations that keep even the littles engaged for the reading.
- Nations of South America by Speedy Publishing
- Mystery of the Troubled Toucan: A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure by Lisa Travis – My girls LOVE this series! This book actually made both Bignificent and Middlenificent’s end-of-year lists of best books from this year!
- The History Mystery by Ana Maria Machado – This book is written by a Brazilian author, and the book is set in Brazil, but to be honest, Brazil doesn’t really feature all that highly in the book. It just is where it happens, just like the U.S.A. is just where a lot of the books my girls read happen. I thought this would be good for them. They absolutely loved this book! The mystery is fantastic.
- A Girl from Brazil: Julia from Culture Kid Books – We ran out of time and haven’t read this one yet, but we all really like the cover.
- Lea Dives In and Lea Leads the Way by Lisa Yee – They had us from “American Girl.” Need I say more?
- The Boxcar Children and the Mystery of the Soccer Snitch created by Gertrude Chandler Warner – I was excited to learn there was a Boxcar Children set in Brazil because Middlenificent loves this series and Bignificent is happy to read them too. Even Littlenificent is beginning to pick up books from this series! The fact that these are available for Kindle Unlimited is such a blessing to us!
- Rain Forest Adventures by Horace Banner
- Giada De Laurentiis’ Recipe for Adventure: Rio de Janeiro by Giada De Laurentiis and Brandi Dougherty – My kids love this series, especially the recipes from each place the main characters visit!
- 800 Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne – Please tell me I’m not the only one who had no idea that Jules Verne wrote a classic about the Amazon!
- Hardy Boys: The Masked Monkey by Franklin W Dixon – Bignificent is just getting into the Hardy Boys. We were discussing them last night at dinner, and it was interesting to find that I preferred the Hardy Boys over Nancy Drew as a kid but my husband liked Nancy Drew better. Are we weird or what? 🙂
- Race the Wild: Rain Forest Relay by Kristin Earhart
So that’s it for Brazil! What an amazing place! I would definitely like to visit there someday….for real, not just in our virtual tour of Children Around the World! To see our other stops, check out our Children Around the World landing page!
Thanks for joining us this week in Brazil. Next stop: Peru!