South America – Learning through Literature



Whilst the older ones are studying all things Shakespeare, the littles will be focusing their time on South America.  The unit study will be two pronged using both literature and project based learning.  This post will be about our literature based learning and tomorrow I will post about the projects they will be attempting.

Literature Based Learning

I will be using FIAR books which are or could be based on South America (using much artistic licence!):

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We will also use the Magic School Bus: In the Rain Forest; Dr Seuss: If I ran the Rain Forest and the Magic Tree House: An Afternoon on the Amazon:

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In addition I have sourced a few wonderful picture books:

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As well as using the FIAR manuals, we will be doing a few extra activities to go along with the book as well as cooking a South American Recipes and adding lap book pieces to their main South America Lap book.

The older children will join us in the final week.  They will be expected to read all the books (very simple books for them, so it shouldn’t take them long) and between them I will be expecting a lap book and a short, joint project – for example a paper mache map showing the geographical landscape (deserts, rivers, rain forest, mountains etc).

Goals for this Unit Study

  • English:  I will be expecting A6 to read a lot of the books herself, although I shall probably read the non-fiction science and FIAR books out loud to her.  I will be asking for verbal narrations from both girls and copy work from A6.  We will also be studying the South American poet, Gabriela Mistral:

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  • Science: Apart from the children’s PBL on South American animals, we will be using the Read and Find Out science books  in any topics which look interesting and relevant:

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  • Design and Technology: The children will be designing a diorama of a rain forest as part of their Dr Seuss school, as well a rain forest collage and Make your own Rain-forest from the following book:

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  • History: We will be briefly looking at South American history through the lap booking.
  • Geography: We will be focusing on Rain Forests and Rivers but will also look briefly at deserts and mountains, as well as the oceans surrounding South America.  Our lap book covers the countries of South America and their flags.  I have also bought the non fiction companion books to the Magic Tree house and the Magic School Bus.  I intend to briefly cover two countries per week and as we finish them we will stamp our passport to say we’ve been there.
  • Art and Design: We will be doing some traditional South American crafts, maybe making a puppet or two as well as studying Henri Rousseau as an artist (he tended to paint jungle scenes):

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  • Music: I’m hoping to combine the spanish language and music by learning one or two South American songs.
  • Physical Education: We will be learning a few traditional South American play ground games.
  • Computing: I hope to find an inexpensive Spanish app to put on their computers to reinforce their very basic knowledge of Spanish.
  • Foreign Language: Learning some basic Spanish Words using Muzzy and other children’s Spanish videos which the older ones used when they were the girls age.
  • Home Economics: The girls will be making many recipes from the South American region.


The girls will be expected to do a short presentation based on the work they will have done over the summer.

I have also created a South American Adventure Box which I will post about on Wednesday and contains all the books mentioned along with some fun extra activities.

More Inspiration



  1. I see a lot of great books and activities on the list. We will be doing a paper jungle collage based on the style of Henri Rousseau in the fall. Looking forward to seeing the end results of this study. Sounds fun.

  2. Great selection of books. I look forward to seeing what’s in your adventure box. Blog she wrote does adventure boxes too, I think?

  3. I would like to see your project based lessons? I am doing a Unit on South America next year. Anything would help. Thank you

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