- We walked the silk route (like Marco Polo did). I put different items along our route to ‘discover’. Items we discovered along the way that were new to the Europeans: umbrella, coal, paper money, postal system, kite, hot water from tap, and good roads. The road then took us to the kitchen.
- We explored spices from the East: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, pepper, saffron, and poppy. After smelling & feeling differences Goofy made a painting with the spices of Kublai Khanh’s palace. He LOVED this activity!
- It took 4 years for Marco Polo to get to China to meet Kublai Khan – how many days/month/years is that?
- Explore silk – we went to Joann Fabrics and I let the kids explore with their hands. They felt the difference in materials: silk was a favorite =-)
- Chinese Food- Chinese is one of our favorite kinds of food so I whipped up some Kung Pao for dinner. You could also easily get some take out and eat out of the fun take out containers!! (If you live in Minnesota you HAVE to try Willow Gate – my favorite Chinese restaurant ever!!)
- Watched National Geographic: Marco Polo’s Travels
- Completed Marco Polo section of lapbook along with 2 review worksheets. Click on picture to download. (Note: Viking & Marco Polo elements are in same download)
- Favorite books to teach about Marco Polo in order of preference: #1 - Marco Polo by Demi (our cover looks different; it has beautiful illustrations that are gold & look like they are from the old Orient, tells the story in good depth for K-4th), #2 – written like a comic so great for a kid who is reading; summarized story but covers the highlights, #3 – you are the servant traveling with Marco Polo; good reality check with illustrations & information; written for 1st-6th grade
Prince Henry “the Navigator"
-We made a compass – Find a plastic lid (think the size of a mayonnaise jar) and fill it with water. Slice a carrot, zucchini, etc. Strike a needle with a magnet 40 times and insert in veggie. Put veggie in the lid with water & watch it work! Goofy that it was pretty cool!!
- We had a Compass Scavenger Hunt(I would give you a printable, but this was personal to our house so it wouldn’t do you much good.) Goofy went certain number of paces N or S, turned East, etc. He thought it was so much fun he asked to do it again!
- I did not find any good book to read on Prince Henry…. so we read the information about him I found online and located Portugal & Africa on a map. (Because of this there is not a lapbook on him, but we did pencil him in to our lapbook timeline.)
Materials I looked into to do our Explorers unit & what I thought of them: KONOS Explorers
- Timeline Characters – If you are making a timeline on your wall check this out. It has 24 cartooned explorer images with their names: Ponce de Leon, Hernando Cortez, Magellan, La Salle, de Soto, Cartier, Balboa, Pizarro, Polo, Vespucci, Cabot, de Gama, Columbus, Diaz, Erikson, Drake, Marquette, Henry the Navigator, Hudson, Coronado, Champlain, Raleigh, and Montezuma. It is currently listed at $9.95 at Konos. (We decided to make our lapbook itself into a timeline)
- Activity Book – I did use a couple of ideas from here and there were some clever ideas. But overall I thought it was kind of vanilla considering what you can find for free by doing a Google search. There are 125 activities from cooking, acting, science, etc. It also includes a list of book recommendations, but I found many were no longer available at my local library. It is also currently listed at $9.95 at Konos.