General Ideas for ECC

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
Cyndi (AZ)
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ECC vocabulary crossword

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I made a crossword puzzle out of the vocabulary words in ECC in pdf format. I used the words in the TM and definitions from Geography From A To Z. I just did it for fun for winding down with ECC this year.
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ECC Tie In - Michaels Passport to Fun summer classes

Unread post by jasntas »

I thought I'd mention that I just found out Michaels is holding children's classes all summer with a world theme - Passport to Fun. It looks like a lot of the crafts are similar to the ones mentioned in the ECC Global Art book. You don't have to attend the classes to get the directions for the crafts. Click on the flag for the country you are interested in for the date of the event and the crafts that are scheduled. Click on the craft for the directions.

Here is the direct link:

I think the crafts would be a fun way to review our ECC studies.

I also printed the Egypt and Greece craft instructions. I may use these ideas during our CTG studies this year. I really like the looks of the Greece projects. They include an Olive Wreath Crown, Greek Pot and an Olympic Torch Pin. The Egypt projects include a Mummy Pin and a Hieroglyphic project. There is a pyramid craft as well but it's basically the same as the sugar cube project scheduled in the TM only with some kind of project bricks.
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Re: General Ideas for ECC

Unread post by Melissa »

I stumbled upon this today and thought it might be helpful to those using ECC. We're just wrapping up our year, but I'm going to make note of the site when we roll back around to it. Might be some fun summer activities when I hear those famous words, "I'm bored Mom" since it will be things that are fresh in their memory from the school year. ;) ... ts_biomes/

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School year book

Unread post by jasntas »

mrrws wrote:OT - Tammie, I am getting ready to start ECC and just looked through your entire blog. It is awesome! It will be a valuable resource. Thank you.
You are welcome! I even had a blog book made of our school year. (I can't remember if I mentioned that before. Sorry if it's a repeat. :~ ) It looks awesome and turned out to be a great family 'yearbook'. (For anyone interested, the company is called sharedbook and the process is called blog2print. The cost was very reasonable as well.)
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Julie - Staff
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geography game ideas

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

SarahP wrote: I looked into having the pages and pieces laminated but at $1.75 a page I thought it might be cheaper to purchase a geography board game from amazon. Those little paper tiles and cardstock name pieces look like they are just begging to be lost, bent or damaged!
Postby jasntas » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:51 am
It was a little work but I use Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets. They come in a 50 pack and cost around $16.00 through Costco. They cost more through other sources like Staples. (I use them a lot so I usually have them on hand anyway.) I only laminated the front of my game pieces. I stored them in sheet protectors (one per country) with a rubber band around the country name pieces. I put the sheet protectors in a three ring binder. One of those plastic expandable file folder things with the flap and rubber cord closure would probably work even better to store them in.

Unless you have really little ones or are really concerned about the game pieces, you could try not laminating them. Just a thought.

For the markers we used small buttons and stored them in ziploc baggies.

Postby cbollin » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:53 am
I used first edition. When I made my board pieces (yes, we had to make ours), I just put them in plastic page protector covers and we used dimes for our marker pieces. or something small - dry beans.

What if you just got a roll of inexpensive "contact paper" to cover stuff instead of full laminating? would that work with the newer version? Or put the cardstock board pieces in page protector. and for marker pieces, you can use anything. but if you went with paper pieces in the set, grab a plastic baggie (ziplock thing).

Postby Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:00 pm
We put the maps in page protectors - kept them all in a separate 3/4" binder labeled "geography game."

I wish I would have thought of beans LAST YEAR! We used the little green paper squares. There were so many of them, if one got ruined it was no big deal. The country cards stayed in pretty good shape with a rubber band around them and stored in a ziploc baggie.

I highly recommend using the geography game that comes with the curriculum. My 9yo correctly labeled 109 countries on her post-test because of how much she loved that game.

Postby Poohbee » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:13 pm
Like some of the others, we put our game boards in page protectors. That worked well. And, we used buttons for markers (and sometimes M&M's for a special treat). That worked well, too.

My dd LOVED MFW's geography game. Her little sister wasn't old enough to play yet, so my eldest dd and I played against each other. She liked trying to beat me each week. My dd and I both learned so many countries just by playing MFW's Geography Game each week!
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Planet Earth Movies???

Unread post by lisabee »

robertb10502 wrote:I was thinking I saw somewhere that people where watching Planet Earth movies with ECC. We are only on Adventures but my kids love stuff like that so I was looking in to getting them. If we can use them for school next year that will just add to it :) I went to Amazon and there are more different sets than I thought there would be...I don't know what on to buy. Any ideas on what would be the best set?? Thanks!!
Postby Poohbee » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:50 pm
Hi! We used the Planet Earth series with ECC this past year. We purchased Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series, starring David Attenborough. There is an "American" version, I believe, which is narrated by Sigourney Weaver, but I really like David Attenborough's narration. They were an excellent supplement to our ecosystem studies in ECC. I printed and used this list that MFW user Jen in GA created to help me remember which episodes to watch and when to watch them. I don't know how to link to other threads, so I just copied the text, but it is located in Ideas--ECC, General Ideas for ECC. It's about on the 4th page of that thread.

List created by Jen in GA, copied from Ideas--ECC, General Ideas for ECC: ... 545#p56545

By the way, we also purchased the series called Life, also narrated by David Attenborough. It is excellent, as well. My whole family enjoys watching Planet Earth and Life.

Postby gorillamama » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:20 pm
My husband and I stumbled across this series while searching for movies on Netflix. If you have a subscription, you may want to check them out there first before buying. (I like to check everything out before I buy ;) ) They are truly breath-taking and we are planning to watch them with the kids this year while doing ECC (just talking about that Monday night, in fact). Unfortunately, they are not available to watch instantly at this time, but you can receive them as DVDs to the house.

One draw back about the series (in my opinion) is the evolutionary bent. In all of the absolute beauty and splendor and visually stunning imagery, our Creator's name is never given credit- seems such a shame...

Another movie idea, as an overview, is the Disney movie Earth. It actually uses footage from the Planet Earth series but combines it into a 90 minute movie. (perhaps watch it during intro week???) I don't recall a whole lot of evolutionary content but I do believe there is reference to Mother Nature if that would be something of concern to anyone considering viewing. Again, no reference to the Creator - go figure.

If I remember correctly, with both the Earth and Planet Earth series, there are some really graphic animal death scenes and some kind of gross things (I'm thinking cockroaches in the Caves episode...) Just thought I'd mention this, in case you have kiddos that may be sensitive to those types of things.

Poohbee, Thanks for posting the list with ideas of when to watch which episode - that was exactly what we were discussing Monday night :) We liked David Attenborough's narration as well.

Postby Poohbee » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:34 pm
I agree with gorillamama about the evolutionary content. That is a drawback to the gorgeous visuals of these movies. When an evolutionary comment was made, I took time to discuss with my kids that we don't believe that way. It worked out fine. My kids are used to us having to dismiss comments like "millions of years" etc. So, that is something to be aware of in watching Planet Earth.

Postby mrrws » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:03 am
We also have them and love them. Thank you for the list corresponding with ECC!!!! I will use it!

Postby fdjoyce » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:23 pm
We also got these last year for use with ECC but they are great no matter what year you are doing. Our whole family enjoys them & my boys even often pick them when they get to pick a free video at night- not in school. BTW- I bought them used off Amazon for very little & they work great- was a little nervous about a used video but no problem!

Postby DS4home » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:32 pm
We enjoyed these movies last year in ECC as well. I was able to get them through the library for free! Our library didn't carry it but could get it through interlibrary loan. If you wanted to view one or two before deciding to purchase, or don't purchase at all, use the library! :)

Postby lisabee » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:25 pm
I love the planet Earth ones!!! We own the DVD collection and watch them periodically. I plan on incorporating them as I can into our curriculum...and we just dismiss the evolutionary comments like we always do...
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Julie in MN
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Coloring Pages and such

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I noticed that YWAM, publishers of the Christian Heroes read-alouds in ECC, have some nice extras on their website: ... erial.aspx

- coloring pages & crosswords (and answer keys)
- a map of all the Christian Heroes (might be helpful if you want to read extra books in each continent)
- sample chapters (might be helpful if you are deciding whether to use the deluxe ECC set)
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What do you do with all the crafts?

Unread post by NJCheryl »

rebeccal2002 wrote:I think I'm late asking this question because we are on the last week of ECC. (I should have asked at the beginning...)

What do you do with all the creations that are made? We made so much stuff in Global Art that I don't know where to put it away. My storage capacity in our house is limited. If it doesn't go in a binder I want to through it away, but my kids are much more sentimental than I am. Any suggestions? The peanut butter cocoa koala bears was my favorite art project because they got to EAT it when they were done. :) And all these projects are X 3 and sometimes 4.

Anyway, trying to move out the ECC things and get ready for CTG. YAY!
I display them as long as I can and then take a picture. Not as good as keeping everything, but that would be impossible.

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: What do you do with all the crafts?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I took pics throughout ECC of each project, activity, etc. I also took pics of homeschool group or family field trips to zoos, farms, etc. Then I used online software to make a yearbook. It's a nice 8.5 X 11 book with a photo cover and has about 70 pages (I think). Great memories. I figure if I have great pics of making crafts and of the crafts themselves, then I don't feel badly for throwing out the stuff! ;)
kacairo1 wrote:Love the online software idea!! Shutterfly? or another??
I used photobook america. (note: my photobook was not made in the U.S.A.) I got an incredible deal on it, and it turned out fantastic looking. I'm definitely doing it for every year now. There are many different sites to choose from; I've also used Picaboo for a family album. Shutterfly would be comparable.

The neat thing is that my dd goes through the yearbook almost once a week - she loves remembering everything and I LOVE that she does. :-)

Update: Postby Cyndi (AZ) » Wed May 21, 2014 4:15 pm
You are going to love, love, love ECC, you will have so much fun with all of the activities! I can't wait to hear about it (and hopefully see some pics). :-) I took so many pictures during ECC, then I made a digital scrapbook of our year. It is still one of my dd's favorite possessions!
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Re: What do you do with all the crafts?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Yeah, I would take a picture of each child's project, and then import it into a Word document, put a brief description below and print it out and file it in the appropriate section of the notebook. Then, display the project until the next one is made and throw out/recycle the old one.

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Re: What do you do with all the crafts?

Unread post by cbollin »

same as others. took pictures.

some of them we took apart and reused the materials :) (that was definitely the case with the japan rock garden thing)

we still have one of our samba outfits :) ... =50#p65898

But the last time we did ecc.... end of year.... tossed a lot and moved to a new state. pictures. some posted here. other things... oh, and the terrarium in that link? it survived the out of state move. eventually it got tossed..... currently housing a science project... oh that reminds me... I wanted to post this a few days ago for science...
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Epcot World Showcase Disney World Recipes

Unread post by Lisa M »

A few years ago, my family received the gift of a trip to Disneyworld. We were just discussing some of the foods we ate at Epcot Center World Showcase and I thought I'd check online for a recipe. I found it! And an entire list of authentic recipes from around the world that are served there! Thought it might be a useful tool for us all. Go to and search for recipes.
cbollin wrote:Help me narrow down to have a fun one to try... I've never been to Disney. What was a fav that you'd recommend to try for recipe?
We ate dinner at the Moroccan Restaurant and loved all the little salads that came with our skewer platters: Lentil Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, and Couscous Salad. We also had pastries in "Norway" and tried the Schoolbread - yum! We'll see if I can make it at home like they did there :)
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Geography Game - Extra Ideas

Unread post by jhagberg »

I just want to give my two cents about the Geography Game in ECC. First let me say, we LOVE it! My 8yo knows more geography than I ever learned as a child. Now, to my comments.

My son is so fast at memorization, that he quickly learned the corresponding number to the country name when we were using the game cards provided. Now we use the large wall map to play the game as well so he has to actually touch the country on the map. Sometimes we use the globe, too. Anyway, my suggestion is to mix it up so the child doesn't just learn the matching number/name. That's all. Thanks for listening. :)

I am the mother of 4 boys, and I've been using MFW since 2010. :-)
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Fun resources for ECC

Unread post by Buttercup78 »

I got my Oriental Trading catalog recently and saw some inexpensive things that would be great for ECC!

Flag of all Nations - a 15-foot flag banner with different country flags ... ll+nations

Animal Globe Beach Ball (only available by the dozen but maybe could be shared between families) ... beach+ball

and just for fun - Around the World Duckies ... ld+duckies
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Re: Fun resources for ECC

Unread post by cherona »

Thanks for sharing these links. We are starting ECC in June and I am starting to collect my book basket and extras.

I actually just got the animal globe through Amazon. It was only a few dollars- not bad.

I found a sticker dolls around the world book at Barnes and Noble. The girls are really excited about it because they love dressing up paperdolls and they love stickers so it's a perfect combination. They also sell it on Amazon, "Sticker Dolly Dressing Around the World."

:) Cheri
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Wall space for posters, etc..

Unread post by jabec »

We were just trying to find wall space to hang up our John 3:16 poster... They want to make a big one all together on a full sheet of poster board. Anyway- where to put it? They said the ceiling!!!!!! So now above our dining room table is a very nice visual!

Never would have dreamed we would put stuff like that on the ceiling! :-)

Oh, works! LOL!

hummmm...I wonder what it will look like by the end of ECC?
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cancelled stamps

Unread post by kanderson »

kacairo1 wrote:ECC suggests collecting cancelled stamps as a way to help learn geography. I found a Dover beginners stamp collection book for $7 but I'm not sure where you buy cancelled stamps. Anyone know?
I was going to try EBAY. There are sellers that sell in lots. Some are very reasonably priced.
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Julie - Staff
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Netflix with ECC

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

carlamom2ansnm wrote:Any good Netflix lists to go with ECC?
Postby momxnine » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:53 pm
I don't know what Netflix has, but I found these at my local Bible college library and my boys really liked them.
[Search for Torchlighters at Vision Video]

I don't know what age your children are, but we found some good "travel" videos at our library. Some were better than others. :) We especially liked the ones with Ian Wright called "Globetrekker." My boys are 10 and 14, I'm not sure if really young children would like them or not. Amazon has them if you can't get them at your library.

Postby LSH in MS » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:19 pm

Jeff Corwin Experience
Planet Earth: The Complete Collection
End of the Spear
Beyond the Gates of Splendor
The Story of Amy Carmichael
Torchlighter series: Gladys Aylward, Eric Liddell, Jim Elliot
Africa: The Serengeti narrated by James Earl Jones
several good ones on Mt Everest, can't remember the exact titles

I'm sure there are more, but it is a start.

Postby carlamom2ansnm » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:58 am
I saw on another board that there was Wild China and Wild Russia and that both of those are great. Going to look up the rest of these. Thanks! Feel free to list any others!

Postby unitlovinmama » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:08 pm
There is also one on the Redwoods, which might be great and fascinating when studying the US.
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World Map Shower Curtain

Unread post by sewgirlie »

I don't know if it's okay to post this here, but I'm so excited! JC Penny online has a world map shower curtain on clearance for just over $7 with their clearance coupon code (EXTRA30). If you ship it to your store using the code shipping is free. I already ordered one.

kw4blessings wrote:Thanks for posting this! I just ordered one and my husband is the most excited about it. He's been suggesting that we need one of these since our oldest began doing preschool several years ago!

What a great deal :)

Re: World Map Shower Curtain

Unread post by cbollin »

if it would help anyone else...
get on their site and search el mundo shower curtain

I bought a similar kind of shower curtain about 5 years ago from walmart or big lots or something. We were doing ECC and I thought... got to get this! you know you're a homeschooler when............. LOL LOL

and now I seem to remember in the original Cheaper by the Dozen, the parents did similar thing.. LOL they had the world map in the bathroom along with a phonograph player with various intro to foreign languages. Talk about the original "afterschoolers".

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ECC - Christmas Gift Idea

Unread post by Erna »

If you have made the African bowls (with material a glue and water mixture), you can fill the bowls with sweet treats, wrap it in cellophane, and add a bow (two of mine made galimoto girls to attach to their gifts). Voila! A nice Christmas gift! We did this with African-themed material for grandparents who love Africa and they loved it. My mom also wanted a set of bowls made by our children but with Christmas-type materials of her choice. She too is using it for holding Christmas candies.

You could also do it as a gift for grandmothers around Mother's day with floral material if you are doing the activity later in the year.

As an extra note, we painted over ours with Mod Podge for an extra seal and some added sheen.
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Preserving Wall Map

Unread post by stevienext »

After getting the beautiful wall map and evaluating our school space, I realized I had no wall space for it. I decided to re-purpose an extra dining table we own, and top it with a clear plastic tablecloth. After getting the tablecloth from, I was greatly disappointed. It was very flimsy and our cats immediately wanted to chew on it (they are attracted to plastic baggies---go figure!). I then decided to look into topping the table with a sheet of plexiglass. Wow---I was surprised at the cost! Still, after reviewing the many ways we would be using this table---as a map center, a craft/project construction area, a puzzle table, and a work table for our science experiments---we decided it was worth the investment. We needed to protect the table, too, because it is a nice heirloom piece from my DH's grandparents. If anyone else looks into doing this, Lowe's is the way to go. They will cut the plexiglass to fit at no charge (Home Depot charges for this.)
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International Art Project Book

Unread post by stevienext »

We have another art book that goes well with ECC called Geography Through Art, by Sharon Jeffus & Jamie Aramini. You can order it [on Amazon]. Check out the table of contents on to see the countries and projects. It's really good, especially for your upper elementary or middle school students.
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Re: General Ideas for ECC

Unread post by stevienext »

I'm sure someone has already thought of this, but I'll post it anyway just in case. Half-Price Books is a great source for getting art books for your art program. We found some beautiful "coffee table" art books for Charlotte Mason style picture study. Don't forget that homeschool moms get the "teacher" discount, too.
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Unread post by YVA »

If anyone else is interested, I see that has free lapbooks for many countries if you google homeschoolshare+(name of country).
Hoping to use ECC next year with girls 9, 7, 5
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