Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bangladesh Geography and Culture Homeschool Unit Study

“Nomoskar” from Bangladesh. We begin all of our countries with a brief tour in our “Passport to the World” book and questions from Masterbook’s Elementary Geography and Cultures workbook.  

The children each made the country’s flag and located the country on the map.

On the back of each country’s flag I have the children draw something that reminds them of the country. Here, one of our girls decided to draw a rickshaw.

I chose three books to guide our study through Bangladesh. I knew that I wanted to incorporate a study on the Bengal tigers, so first up was Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins. The book not only gives a lot of incidental information on tigers, the Sunderbans, geography, weather, and culture, but also encourages readers to always do the right thing. 

The Sunderban Tiger Reserve is a real place and has some excellent articles on the Sunderbans and tigers on their blog. We used Art for Kid's YouTube video to draw a Bengal Tiger Head.

One of the things that helped Neel, the main character of Tiger Boy, find the missing Tiger Cub was his ability to draw a map of the area and recall details of the island. We did a little test to see how much we could recall about our neighborhood by drawing a map of our area from memory.

The moral theme of integrity is woven strongly throughout the book. Neel's Father said, "Many things are worth more than money." Our older children used that line as the opening line to an essay, where they wrote about what in life is worth more than money. You can purchase my Writing Around the World worksheets for Bangladesh, which teaches how to write a five paragraph essay, from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. It also includes alternate activities for little learners that may not be quite ready for writing an entire essay yet (or even writing at all!). 

Yasmin's Hammer by Ann Malaspina is a motivating tale on overcoming adversity and working towards a goal. It is set on the noisy streets of Dhaka and shows city life in Bangladesh. Yasmin longs to go to school and learn to read, but instead she must work to help provide for her family. She begins working extra hard at the brickyard and earns up enough extra coins to get a book. When she brings it home, the family realizes that none of them can read and the parents determine to work extra hard so their daughters can go to school. Her father takes on extra rickshaw routes and her mom weaves baskets, which brought us to our next project. After exploring some how to videos on YouTube, we attempted to weave a grass basket. The girls quickly realized what hard work this was and how hard is is on your hands.

Rickshaw Girl, another book by Mitali Perkins, captures the culture of Bangladesh and addresses gender inequalities. Naima's talent for drawning alpanas helps her save her mother's golden bangle and fix her father's rickshaw. We drew some alpana like designs on paper.

We then made a rice paste to attempt to draw some alpanas on the asphalt. This, we discovered, was quite difficult to do!

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