When my oldest child turned 5, I ordered him a year long subscription to Little Passports World Edition which is meant for 6 to 10 year olds. It sounded like such an amazing idea, I couldn’t wait until he was 6. (I have a problem with delayed gratification.) It really is a wonderful program for learning geography and about other cultures, but since he was too young to read, he couldn’t do some of the activities and therefore didn’t get the full experience. To make the most of his monthly package, I decided to supplement with picture books, movies, and other activities, like learning some of the language or eating ethnic foods from that region. The first country package that we received was about Brazil.
Even if you don’t have a Little Passports subscription, there are lots of great ways to learn about the country. Our favorite picture books were Brazil ABCs and The Great Kapok Tree. My son was in kindergarten at the time, but I feel they are good books for younger and older children as well. Another great book about the rainforest and the people who live in it appropriate for slightly older children is The Shaman’s Apprentice. All of these books were available through our library system.
We also were able to rent the kid’s movie, Rio, from our library, which we all enjoyed. It features many of the terms featured in these cards such the Rio Carnival, Christ the Redeemer, and the Amazon Rainforest. (We still haven’t seen Rio 2, but I’ve heard that it’s a fun kid’s movie as well.) To take the Brazil experience even farther, you could watch a capoeira video on YouTube, try listening to some samba music on Pandora, or make a recipe for feijoda.
Lastly, if you really want to make sure your kids retain something about Brazil, you could try using these Montessori-inspired Brazil cards featuring 20 terms related to Brazil. I *meant* to get these cards up before the Summer Olympics, but, you know, life.
These informational cards feature the following terms:
- Flag of Brazil
- Christ the Redeemer
- Monumental Axis
- National Library of Brazil
- Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge
- Ibirapuera Park
- Maracanã Stadium
- Rio Carnival
- Amazon Rainforest
- Amazon River
- Igauza Falls
I recommend spending some time getting familiar with Brazil first, before using these cards. Then go over each of the control cards a few at a time until your child has been introduced to all the terms. Then give them a chance to match the split cards on their own using whatever combination is most appropriate for them (for my 6 year old, that would be the big label and the image). By having to recall the information on their own, they are more likely to remember the terms. Hopefully, they will consider the challenge more like a game than a chore. If they don’t, you can turn the activity into an actual game by flipping all the cards upside down and playing a multi-player memory style matching game, using the control cards for reference to see if they got a match.
- Paper for printing Brazil cards and corresponding control cards. (Note that the last 2 pages of each document do not need to be printed as they just contain legal information regarding sharing and image sources.)
- 15 thermal laminating pouches
Supplies & Tools:
- Paper trimmer or scissors
- Print the Brazil cards and corresponding control cards.
- Laminate them using thermal laminating pouches (optional, could also use contact paper or not laminate them at all).
- Cut them out.
Click here for more Social Science activities and printables for kids.