Story of the World, Vol. 1, Chapter 11

Eureka! I found a way to get my kids to do their mapwork AND their coloring sheet (especially my son). Have both worksheets ready on the desk, with markers and crayons nearby. While I read the lesson and the stories, they color. That’s it. They need something to do and look at to get a visual about what they hear, so the worksheets serve a brilliant purpose.

Chapter 11, dealing with Ancient Africa, seemed very interesting to my children, possibly because of the Anansi stories. Two stories were included in the chapter and I read them while the kids were coloring their Anansi and Turtle picture.

As I read the introduction, we looked at the map in the book and the one in their workbook. We chose to make Anansi the Spider out of styrofoam balls.

Anansi the Spider Craft

We each built an Anansi. My daughter wanted hers pink and blue.

The other stories recommended will have to come from the library. As I put in my requests through the library’s website, I even found a video book: Anansi and the Magic Stick, by Eric Kimmel. I looked it up on youtube and it’s there, but different. It is read by other people and, in my opinion, not as well done as this one. Since my library’s website is a membership site, I can’t share a link with you. 

But ask your local librarian if you have a way to get this video book. It was just something different and not animated, but still with sound effects and one voice narration. Something I would not do on a regular basis, but good for a change and to spark interest in this African tale character.

Of all the African recipes provided, I chose the ones with dates and bananas. I did not make the icing – they are sweet enough without it. Here’s a variation of this recipe from AllRecipes.com – it seems more rich (i.e. less healthy) than the one provided by Susan Wise Bauer in the activity book. Feel free to put less sugar and butter. Dates and bananas provide all the sweetness needed, really.

In fact, here’s one recipe that only uses four ingredients with seemingly smashing results from TheKitchn.

Date Banana Bars and Tea

Ginger tea and data banana bars – delicious!

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Yummy! The kids loved it and asked me to make them again.

One thing I am working on with the kids is to answer the comprehension questions and to narrate back to me the story they just heard. We will have to keep working on this. I thought my four-year-old was too young for this, but the following day she told me the whole story out of the blue. My seven-year-old will narrate things when he wants to, as well. We need to work more on narration when prompted, i.e. right after they heard the story.

Hopefully, now that I am doing less (supposedly), I can be more consistent and teach them history every Sunday and post soon thereafter.


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