Thursday, December 2, 2010

Australia Unit

We spent this month learning about Australia.

Our focus for these continent units is not to be all encompassing, but to give Ender a little look at the people and animals that live in different places. We are not keeping to a specific schedule, but generally we read a little each day, Ender gives an informal narration and about once a week I write down his narration and he illustrates his work. We did use a few components from some lapbooks available on Homeschool Share, but we used them as crafts or notebook pages instead of creating an actual lapbook.

These books were selected for my kindergartener, though this unit could be used with older or younger kids by adjusting the amount of written work. My 3-year-old tagged along during the reading and on a few coloring pages, but of course none of the written work. We did not use lapbook components that included an inappropriate amount of writing for my son's age unless we could adapt them in a way that he could write something shorter, but by including all of those components this could work for a student through 3rd or 4th grade.


Great Barrier Reef
Australia in Colors
The Pumpkin Runner
Wombat Walkabout
Dingoes at Dinnertime
Katy No-Pocket (Sandpiper)
Aboriginal Designs

These two links are to DVDs that we really enjoyed, found at our local library:

Families of Australia

Other Resources:

Australia activities and lapbook
The Pumpkin Runner activities and lapbook
Marsupials lapbook


 World Map Outline (we used the robinson projection with no labels for this project)

1. For the first activity we found Australia on the map. Ender traced around Australia with a marker and we talked about how far away Australia is from our home.

2. For our second activity we found Australia on the map again and discussed the types of habitats that can be found there. I had Ender guess what types of animals live in Australia based on the habitats, and then we talked about the animals that actually live there.

3. We used the book Aboriginal Designs as a starting point for some interesting artwork.

Other Continent Work:

Continents and Oceans



  1. Shy the Platypus was a favorite book of mine as a child. The author was Leslie Rees and it had nice illustrations. They say it is for children from 5-8, but I wouldn't be too rigid about that.

  2. Thank you for the suggestion! I'll look for that title. :)


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