WHAT IS IT?:
Students can learn more about the geography and culture of England and Peru as they follow Paddington on his journey to his new family.
This study is intended for ages 5-10, but being as this is written from a British perspective, it really can be used with older students, as well.
The study includes lots of mapwork and activities to entertain and teach your child as you explore the story together.
This is a digital product and can be purchased and downloaded for £9.00 (approximately $11.49).
I was actually born in England, so I thought this review would be a neat opportunity to expose my son to some things that are familiar to me but not to him. I really like the story of Paddington Bear, which Holden knows from having seen the movie in recent years, so I figured exploring the book would be great, too. He’s not to old to enjoy a good picture book, so I knew it would be a great fit.
I think if anything, I would refer to this product as a cross-curricular study that’s loosely based on the Paddington Bear storybook. It’s broken into five sections or “days” in the table of contents, but there are honestly so many activities included that you could make it last much longer if you chose more rather than fewer of those activities to do. We chose to spread it out rather than do it for five consecutive days, and we only chose activities that were of interest to us. All of the facts and information you need for most of the activities is included in the provided text, and anything else can be easily obtained through a quick internet search. The first thing I did was to print out the study materials and put them into a binder for organization. I added some blank pages at the end to give me a place to glue in the many notebooking activities we’d be making.
The first section is titled “Exploring the Setting.” All of the activities pertain to the countries of England and Peru from the story and comparing information about the two places. The activities in this section include coloring their flags, making maps, making tourist posters, finding out facts, studying migration, and looking at the setting of the story. Using the provided information, we also got to create a timeline of events in the two countries for the period during which the story took place.
The second section is titled “Exploring the Words.” Here, we discussed the author and themes from the story. There were also spelling and narration activities, vocabulary discussion, some creative inspiration, and a grammar exercise. If you have both the chapter book and the picture book version of the story, there’s also an activity to compare the two and their intended audiences. One of the included printable activities for grammar practice was a mini-book where he got to create sentences to practice subject-verb agreement. Another was to define some vocabulary words from the story and create a pocket to hold the definitions we recorded.
The third section is titled “Exploring the Pictures.” We learned more about the illustrator, did a picture study of one of the illustrations in the book, learned about architectural features of buildings in the picture, and discussed principles of design like overlapping and emphasis. We did some printable activities about those topics, like creating a tabbed book with definitions of some of the architectural elements and drawing samples that illustrate emphasis in illustrations.
The fourth section is titled “Exploring Science.” This was probably my favorite part! We learned about the spectacled bear found in Peru and made a fact sheet all about it. We also did a sensory activity about the textures of shaving creams and how they are easily foam can be washed away with water the way it was in the story when Paddington overflowed the bathtub with suds. We learned a lot about how foam is created in this section! It was really neat. There are some other science activities here that we hope to come back to when we have more time, like observing the reaction between peroxide, yeast, and dish soap and making a foamy food like meringue! We also learned about condensation that comes from steam settling on a mirror. And it suggested doing a nature study in the garden. One of the printables also provides your child with a place to record what they learned from doing any one of the science activities.
The fifth section was titled “Exploring Maths, Crafts, and More.” This section discusses parallel lines, numbers in the story, what you might pack in a suitcase to go on vacation (and the application of spatial awareness…it has to fit!), shaving foam art (which we also hope to come back and do another time), making tablas (pictures painted on wooden boards), and some cooking activities for making strawberry tarts marmalade. Holden doesn’t have any interest in arts and crafts so we mostly skipped this section. But it suggests additional activities such as having a tea party or visiting a train station. We didn’t have the necessary ingredients for the tarts, and marmalade, but we know all about tea parties with some of our English favorites!
And I wanted to show you how some of the notebooking pages turn out once you glue in your completed elements.
All in all, this is a really thorough cross-curricular study that helps your child learn more about England and Peru, and it includes a lot of hands-on, diverse activities to choose from so you can make it as minimal or as in-depth as you choose. Once you’ve enjoyed the storybook itself and the interesting study guide, I highly recommend rewarding your child by an afternoon of watching any or all of the Paddington Bear movies as a way to finish out your studies!
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