General Ideas for ECC

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:56 pm

Planet Earth BBC Series

Unread post by ajebner »

I have to say that one of the best purchases that I've made this year to augment ECC was the BBC's Planet Earth Series on DVD. It is simply wonderful and you can pick episodes that go right along with the science topics...not only Mountains, Tundra, Seasonal Forests, but also Saving the Species and Living Together (which is perfect during France).

The photography does an amazing job of showcasing God's beautiful creation. The program really seems to put an emphasis on appreciating this planet and being good stewards. Here are the episodes -- you'll see how they compliment the curriculum so doesn't matter which order you view them so just pick the one that you're studying!

From Pole to Pole (Intro)
Mountains (India/China)
Fresh Water (Canada/Brazil)
Caves (Wonderful Episode...we viewed it during South America)
Deserts (U.S./Mexico/Saudi Arabia)
Ice Worlds (Russia/Antarctica)
Great Plains (Kenya)
Jungles (Brazil)
Shallow Seas (Australia?)
Seasonal Forests (Norway/Germany)
Ocean Deep (Japan)
Saving Species (France)
Into the Wilderness (Antarctica)
Living Together (France)
Navy Wife, Mother of 2 Blessings
Pensacola, FL
Kim Schroter
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:17 am

Awesome ECC book find!

Unread post by Kim Schroter »

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:34 pm

I always love when we find a valuable book basket addition! Here's a great one...

Around the World in Eighty Poems (selected by James Berry). Poems written by different people all over the world. It has nice colorful illustrations too. A great chance to introduce poetry for the year. Also great for dictation, handwriting, memorization, or inspiration in writing and illustrating their own original poems.

In case it sounds familiar, it may be because the Hazells recommend one called Around the World in 80 Pages.

Hope someone enjoys this one too!
Julie - Staff
Posts: 1042
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Target Dollar Bin - Resource for ECC, Adventures,

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Postby Heather (WI) » Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:25 pm
I found some great ECC (and Adventures) resources at Target for $1.00 (in their $1.00 bargain section up front). They now have a neat sticker map with the states, capitals, etc., and a States fun/activity book.

Posted Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:54 pm by krismoose
Nice find for K tagging along with ECC - In the dollar bins at Target today I found $1 workbooks for countries of the world (K-1) and animals around the world (gr 2-3). Very colorful and simple! And a 100-piece puzzle of flags of the world. And a bunch more fun stuff too :-)

Posted Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:54 pm by samandsawyersmom
Hey I just wanted to chime in here. Our Target also had this stuff. . .I found the world countries workbook and a United States one too. They had info flash cards for space, flags of the world, landmarks, United States and U.S. Presidents. Now I know I am just going to be in MFWK but it's never to early to get in some info, right? My oldest loves to just look at the pictures and I just give him a few facts. I was so excited!!! And I might be nice and let my sister in law use some of it, she is doing Adv. this yr. ;) :-)

Posted Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:23 pm by jasntas
Yes, there were some good items that could be used for ECC and ADV. I picked up a couple of books on the Arctic regions and Sea Creatures (level 2 readers) for $1 that I can throw into book basket for ECC. I also got the puzzle of the flags in addition to the countries of the world and animals around the world workbooks. I usually put stuff like the workbooks into a bag I take to church for those times when the kids don't have their own class to go to. I even got some flash cards on monuments from around the world. I had already gotten a $1 book from the bins at the end of last spring on the monuments since I knew we'd be studying world geography soon. It was a good trip. :-)

Posted Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:26 am by mom2h
Just found a fun little workbook in the Target Dollar Spot titled "World Countries- Fun All Around". It is blue with a koala on the front. It has the names of many countries, arranged alphabetically in the book. Each page has a country name, and a place for the child to practice writing the name, the flag of the country, a fun fact, a puzzle and how to say "HELLO" in the different languages. We go to a Bible Study one day a week, and part of the time, the children are required to complete some independent schoolwork brought from home. This looks like a good addition to his Bible Study Day folder.
Hope that helps someone.

OH! THey also had Flags of the World flash cards, too!!! Great for in the car commutes to music lessons, grandma's, etc...

Posted Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:55 am by cbollin
and and they had something called The Animal Kingdom.
with stickers and fun stuff for about grades 2-3.
might be nice in ECC, EX1850

those dollar bins at Target...
Amy M in NC
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:30 pm

An ECC idea to share - quilts

Unread post by Amy M in NC »

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:18 pm

My mom is a tremendous seamstress. Before we knew we were starting ECC she gave the kids some I spy quilts and on the back put a material panel of the US on it. The kids love it, it's soft and has little tidbits of info for the states' "specialties".

She also bought a world panel and quilted it and added trim. We can use it as a play mat, take to church to learn about the world in S.S., use with our toddler and learn countries.

She found them in the kid section at JoAnn Fabrics. You can sign up for their mailing list and get a teacher's card and discount with your purchases. Hopefully, this will interest a few of you. You could make it into a home ec. project and just sew trim to edges. Machine washable :)
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:45 am

"Children Just Like Me" Sticker book

Unread post by amylynn12 »

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:56 am

Christian Book . com has "Children Just Like Me" Sticker books (on sale!). I was thinking of using the stickers of the children from around the world in place of the pictures that we are supposed to cut out of National Geographic Magazines. Anyway, I just thought I would share. :)

Have a great day! :)
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:38 am

I had my kids take the US puzzle we have and put it together on top of a large art paper and then trace each piece onto the large art paper. This made labeling much easier. It also helped them really learn where the states are by hand tracing and placing each one correctly. They loved doing it too! They love puzzles. It made a great hands-on exercise for my kinetic middle dd and a great visual exercise for my visual oldest ds.

I am now going to repeat this for the other continents. I had just ordered continent puzzles for our annual adoption party coming up. The sticker suggestion will be icing on the cake!

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:48 am - follow-up & more detail

My children liked taking specially cut shapes of the countries map puzzles and first of all putting the puzzle together altogether, then taking a large piece of paper and tracing the pieces of the puzzle onto the paper. Then they enjoyed labeling and coloring the map they made themselves. We did this for Europe, Asia, and US - we only did the puzzle part for Africa though we meant to do the tracing too - but somehow must have had fields trips or something because it did not get done. We got the global puzzle for Chrsitmas but do not have the space to lay it out and keep it out to finish it - will do for summer project. For America and South America we played the penny game recommended in MFW - but I blew the maps up on the printer so we could see the little countries. Also, we then enjoyed a card game called Borders and two board games: Snap shots Across Amercia (their favorite) and Take Off.

The I really think the most effective way to learn the map is meeting missionaries and hearing their adventures then following up by looking at a map and learning where they were. We happen to go to a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in FL where their are tons of retired missionaries and the opportunity to talk to so many of them on a regular basis - plus reading all the read alouds that came with ECC- plus attending our missionary conferences held at least1-2 times a year in our church. This is so personal and alive that it makes geography real. We keep every postcard prayer card up next to our world map and draw string lines to the map with a tack where they work.
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Atlas as a tablecover

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:26 pm

Just heard of a family who put a large atlas on the table with a clear vinyl table cloth over it. Seeing as though that's where most of our time is spent we could make the most of it...
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:49 pm

prayer journal

Unread post by Homeschooling6 »

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:06 pm

Someone shared this with me and I thought I would share it with you all.
Focus on the Family has a prayer journal for free (I did give a donation though)

Here is the description of item # EX211

Kids Praying for Kids
A 12-Month Prayer Journal
Franklin Graham

We know what happens when one child prays for another. What happens when 10,000 kids pray for 10,000 more? Your children know the basics of prayer. Introduce them to the power of prayer to change lives all around the world. This prayer journal will teach them how to keep a prayer list, track God's answers to their prayers and their thanks for those answers, and memorize Bible verses. It's filled with interesting facts about other countries that will help your children know how to pray for other children just like them.

Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unusual source for a big world map!

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:02 pm

I just had to share. After over a decade, the shower curtain in the kids bathroom is ripped and ruined. So, last night at Walmart, I found a new one. It's not particularly pretty, but it's got a complete (and pretty current) world map on it. Didn't Madagascar change its name recently? Well, this map still has Madagascar...

However, I might buy another one and just keep it folded up in one of those huge ziploc bags. It would be fun to unfold on the floor when we are doing map work.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:47 am

Cool free sheet music from around the world

Unread post by Hilltopmom »

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:49 pm

Cool free sheet music from around the world.
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:41 am

John 3:16 in more languages

Unread post by Amygirl »

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:13 am

I wanted to make John 3:16 pages for the all the countries we'll be studying, not just the ones already included in the index. (Ones not included are Mexico, Brazil, and Kenya, plus Canada/USA/Australia.) I was excited to find a website that shows John 3:16 in Spanish, Portugese, and Swahili!!

It's in other languages, too, which you might want to check out if you're doing an "optional" country those last two weeks. (We're doing The Netherlands, and Dutch is also included!) I just wanted to share the site:

I know websites with flag and map outlines have already been listed elsewhere on this board... Anyone know where we can find some cute blackline drawings of children from these countries?
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:37 pm


Unread post by 4toraise »

While searching for information on Saudi Arabia I stumbled upon the embassy website. It's been a great way to hear the language and see life from the perspective of the country's leaders. I've taken time to explain certain views, but mostly it's been a nice way to offer a variety of media and information.
I'll be looking for other embassy sites in the future.
Take Care,

RTR w/ 12yo ds, and twin 8yo sisters in tow
14 yo dd in Abeka history, TT algebra 1 and sundry other things
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am

Vocabulary Game

Unread post by niki »

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:22 am

We've made a game out of our geography vocab cards that we make on our Fridays. The kids love it. It's review, dad draws a card from the pile, and they stand up if they know it...if they get it right they get a "three pointer" and if it's wrong (just because they want to stand up first) they lose a point. They also have the option to look it up on the card if they're stumped - and will only earn one point for needing a help! Silly, but working! I'm trying to have more fun this year - lighten up!
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Unread post by momofmytwoboys »

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:01 pm

This looks like it would go great with ECC. It contains a lot of stuff, but you could pick and choose what you want. ... -camp.html

Kids Cooking Camp
For older chefs we've planned a World studies program (using our World Studies pages) that will help kids who have more cooking experience, enjoy creating some unique dishes and learn about different countries.
Julie - Staff
Posts: 1042
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Idea: cultural food photos with world families

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:50 pm
Author: lyntley

Idea: cultural food photos with world families -- a very interesting online photo essay that shows different families in different parts of the world posing with a collection of what they would eat in a week...along with how much it costs, etc.... See how the "developed" countries have the worst and most expensive diets!!!! ... 19,00.html

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:47 pm
Author: six meadows

I love this sort of stuff. As I was looking through the pictures and got to Bhutan I recognized the family name. I thought it looked familiar and got my "Material World" book to check if it was the same, and it was.

If you like this sort of info you may really like "Material World" and "Hungry Planet" by Peter Menzel. Fascinating .

Julie - Staff
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Idea: Top Secret Adventures

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:03 am
Author: lyntley

I was just wondering, for those of you who used Highlights Top Secret Adv. with ECC, Was it worth it? I just got the sample Mexico kit only because I love the stickers. The pictures and info are beautiful. I know we don't NEED anything extra. Might be nice for book basket...?

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:48 pm
Author: Julie in MN

What we did was get 2-3 of them. My ds was in 3rd & enjoyed them as afternoon extras. However, I don't think he would have enjoyed hundreds of them LOL! It seems like the first 2-3 happened to be ECC countries -- Mexico & Japan & such, if I remember right -- so it worked out well to get those.
HTH, Julie

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:33 pm
Author: CharleneHoell

We received these in the mail for awhile. My son loved them, and now we have 7-8 books on various countries that can be used over again. My son used them in the afternoon as one of his free-time activities, and learned alot through the various puzzles on the different countries. Unfortunately, I think you are regulated to whatever country they are sending out at the time; I don't believe you can only request certain ones that would go with the ECC curriculum. LOL!

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:06 pm
Author: Mercy

I just found out about Top Secret Adventures from my son's Highlights magazine. You receive a passport and travel around to different countries. Each one has special trivia. Looks really neat! Someone may consider it a bonus with ECC!

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:28 pm
Author: TurnOurHearts

We got our first kit in the mail today & it looks awesome! I'm sure we'll have to weed/talk through a bit - other gods/religious practices are mentioned - but I can't wait to dig in. :)

The first one you get is Japan, which we won't study 'til later in the year, but I think we're going to take them in the order we get them. It'll be a nice intro for some countries and a nice review for others.

I think there is a lot here for the money, if anyone's considering it. We certainly don't need any additional materials for ECC, but my kids will enjoy this as part of book basket time. FUN!
Julie - Staff
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Homes Around the World Design Studio

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:40 pm
Author: TurnOurHearts

A good friend, knowing we're about to embark on ECC, sent my son a gift for his new course of study. It's called "Homes Around the World Design Studio." It's a Hearthsong exclusive product, and it is amazing!

The site says it's for ages 4 & up, but the packaging says 9 & up. My son is eight & it'll definitely be challenging, but still totally FUN! Just thought some of you might be interested as well. :)

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:59 pm
Author: lyntley

My kiddies have two Design Studio sets. They are GREAT. They got them when they were probably 6 and 8 years old and LOVE them. I'm sure your 8YO will love it too.

I have a personal laminator so laminated the sheets first. It made tracing so much easier and has kept them in beautiful condition. Might be something you can do on "free laminationg days" at Office Max.
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Mapping Stickers and Game Tips

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:59 pm

When we do fill in the maps I'm planning on printing out the continents /countries or using a label maker which they LOVE and having them STICK them on. Since it's not about handwriting here but knowing the locations, why stress with all the filling in stuff. They enjoy gluing/sticking at this age so trying to keep it fun.

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:07 am

We play it a couple times a day. The kiddies keep the pennies if they win so they like to play often.

Another tip, 9yo knew them all quickly so the way we played with 7YO was He had to get 5 before 9YO got 10.
Colleen wrote:When you play the Geography game in ECC, what are you supposed to do if the card turned up is a country you have already covered with your penny? Do you get to go to the next card or do you lose your turn and it goes to the next person?
We Just move to the next card if it's already been played.

Looking forward to adding more countries...
Kim Schroter
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:17 am

World Geography by LeapPad

Unread post by Kim Schroter »

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:54 am

We just started Brazil this week. I did not make the geopgraphy game yet, but have purchased a Leap Pad game that is doing the job wonderfully!

It's World Geography by Quantum LeapPad and works on the LeapPad, Quantum LeapPad or LeapPad Plus Writing.

It teaches countries and capitals, US states and capitals, compass directions, longitude and latitude, national anthems and flags!

My daughter is working with it now and listening to the national anthems of the countries in South America. The game helped her memorize all the countries in less than 5 minutes. The best part... she thinks she's having free time and loving it! This is such a wonderful addition to ECC!

Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Take-Off Game

Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:06 pm

Take Off is a fun game where you race airplanes around the world. You roll dice to see where you go and sometimes you pick cards to send you to other countries. The cards have lots of information about the countries, so they are fun to read. The kids like the game.

Anyway, I'd say to get it if you can afford to (or ask for it for Christmas). However, don't let it substitute for the homemade geography game that you will use in ECC, as it's more comprehensive...


Survey of Languages

Unread post by cbollin »

note: this may not be valid with the current demo version of RS 3. it made sense in 2007.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:02 pm

One idea ----use the free demo from Rosetta Stone for a survey of other languages while using ECC. lots of languages on it. It kept it fun for my then 2nd grader.

On RS's website, you have to do the quick demo online first, then you have the option for the full demo download at the end of it. Or, (don't know for sure) RS might send a CD version of the demo.

Last edited by cbollin on Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Buildings of the world - Papercrafts

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:48 pm

I just found a really neat site while searching for an alternative to making a popcicle stick eiffel tower. Free printables you put together to make famous buildings of the world. I'm sure many of you with older kiddies in ECC will really get into this. I'm not sure if it's okay to post the link so please modify if you need to. The site is called Canon Creative Park and click "3D paper craft"
There are also animals, dinosaurs, vehicles, viking ships, origami and a ton of other neat things. Check out the globe and the sundial!
kstedl wrote: Oh thank you for this! I already see one I will do with my kiddos in 2 weeks when we study the Netherlands for ECC - a Windmill! Yea!!!
Paula J wrote:Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:34 pm

There is a a pyramid, the Colosseum, several castles, as well as many other buildings. There are also lots of dinosaur models and things for science. They are fairly simple, download, print on cardstock, cut and glue.
Lainie wrote:We are printing the Matryoshka Doll model right now since we are in Russia.

Great Book for ECC

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:16 pm

My son was given the book Our World - A Country-by-Country Guide (byMillie Miller) for Christmas by a great-aunt who has no idea what a treasure she gave!

This book has the same concept as The Illustrated World Atlas, but
in my opinion, has a younger feel. While we've not had any problems
with IWA, it isn't my children's favorite part of our geography study. Sometimes the info just goes over their heads. Our World takes a continent & breaks it up into regions (as well as individual countries) & gives little blurbs (much smaller than in IWA) about different aspects of the culture, again, very much like IWA. The illustrations are drawings, as opposed to real-life photographs, but the things focused on seem a bit more kid-oriented or kid-friendly.

Anyway, we are loving this book & I thought some of you who have
younger ECCers like I do might benefit from owning it. It's available
at Amazon for around $12.
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:16 pm

ECC Recipes

Unread post by kstedl »

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:19 pm

I just wanted to share that I found a great website with lots and lots of ethnic recipes from around the world. I'm looking forward to trying some this weekend to end our Africa study; and found some great ones for Saudi Arabia as well for where we head next. This is all I searched, but I saw they had countries from around the world.

Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:45 pm

ECC Missionaries to Know Lapbook

Unread post by courthart246 »

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:52 am

I found a wonderful lapbook to go along with the read alouds in ECC. The mini books cover George Muller, David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael and Gladys Aylward. You also learn about some missionary work in general. You can find them at ... es+to+Know I found this as a freebie at one time, but it is no longer free. However, it might be worth the money for the extra learning and review it provides. We do the mini books after we finish each read aloud. Hope this helps someone.
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