This summer I’m teaching a series of Read Around the World lessons for a group of kids ages 2.5 years to 5.5 years old. You can read an explanation of how I do the lessons and some of the materials I use here.
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In our most recent lesson we visited India! We start every lesson by locating the country on our map and having one of the kids draw our flight path using a dry erase crayon. Then they glue the country’s stamp in their passport and I stamp the date on it.
One of the kids took a turn dressing our paper doll from the country. Education.com has printable paper dolls that I had previously cut, colored, laminated, and added velcro on so we could reuse them many times, but you could also have kids color their own to keep.
The first book we read was Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehal and Surishtha Sehgal
With it’s shorter text and vibrant illustrations it is perfect for exposing younger children to the fun cultural tradition of the Holi festival
We watched this National Geographic video to show them a peek of what the festival is like.
Next we read Romina’s Rangoli by Malathi Michelle Iyengar
For this younger group I did this as more of a skim read to just introduce them to the idea of Rangoli. But I read the whole book with my oldest 5 year old at a different time and it was totally fine for his level. It’s a great book for showing how a child from a blended background (in this case Indian and Mexican) can be true to their heritage.
Afterward we did a craft of making our own Rangoli with colored salt.
I wanted to give the kids a chance to get up and move around so next we played a traditional Indian game called “Doggy Doggy Where’s the Bone?” The player who is the dog sits in a chair with his back to everyone else and then an object representing a bone is put under the chair. One of the other plays takes the bone from under the chair without being noticed and then sits back with everyone else. The kids all sing “Doggy, Doggy, where’s the bone? Someone stole it from your home!” The dog then tries to guess who the dog is. Then a new dog is chosen and the game repeats.
Afterward we did a Smells of India activity inspired by this post where the kids smelled different spices used in Indian cooking and studied them with a magnifying glass
For snack time we ate naan (which I bought from Aldi, but it is pretty widely available).
While we ate we read Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel
This book is full of engaging illustrations that look like something out of a Pixar movie- and it’s no wonder since the illustrator is a Pixar animator and storyboard artist. It tells a story of Hindu mythology in a very fun and child friendly way.
We also read Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani which is a sweet story about a daughter admiring her mother’s colorful saris.
Then I got out my scarf that my father-in-law bought in India as well as various other scarves I had and I let them dance with those scarves while they watched/listened to a Bollywood dance.
Afterward I showed them some picture of of Henna designs and then we did a Henna hand craft where I traced their hand and then they got to draw our own henna designs on it.
Then we got up from the table and read two animal books while sitting on the floor.
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
This fable which originates from India is simple and powerful in the way it shows the need to see the full picture. The kids really enjoyed this one during the lesson and my kids wanted to keep rereading it afterward as well.
Monkey: a Trickster Tale from India by Gerald McDermott was very fun for the kids to read about the monkey outsmarting the crocodile
We finished out the lesson by talking about what yoga is and then I led the kids in a routine of yoga poses inspired jungle animals.
Well that is a farewell to India! Next stop is Australia!