Geography - Africa

The kids and I had so much fun learning about Africa last week.

Africa is one of the places I would love to visit some day.  The whole continent is amazing.  

We read a little about it in some books from the library, but we spent most of our geography time pouring over pictures.  The people of Africa are so beautiful and their traditions are rich.  Josie loved all the colors and the animals.

Other then our library books, we did two really fun projects.

For the first one, we read Lake of the Big Snake (which made me want to never go to Africa) and then we made quicksand.  

In the book, a boy falls in quicksand.  When he lays flat, he can try to grab on to something to pull himself out.  If he tried to stand up, he quickly began to sink.  We tested this out with some army men and sure enough, the one laying down floated and the one standing up sank.

We made the Quicksand by mixing water and cornstarch.

If you get the consistency right, this stuff was awesome.  You can grab it and make a ball in your hand and it will feel like a solid mass but when you open your hand it will turn back into a liquid!  We played (myself included) for a long time with this.

Just don't dump it down your sink or you'll have an issue.

I read online that if the mixture is done right, you can slap it and it won't splash.  

Josie was the brave on that tested this out.  I'm happy to report that ours was mixed correctly!

Another day, we made Nigerian Banana Fritters.

I found the recipe over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We had all the ingredients on hand and they were super easy to put together.  In fact, Josie and Gabe did all the measuring and mixing themselves.  I manhandled the frying part though.

They tasted like banana doughnuts.  SO yummy!

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting
We mixed it all together and then dropped spoonfuls into the hot oil.  Soak up some of the oil and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before eating.

That was it for Africa!

We took this week off of geography and are headed to South America next week!


Mary said...

I am adding this book to my Africa list (future studies!) Thanks!

Julie V. said...

We started an impromptu study of Africa Friday at DD's request. Will be looking for that book at the library and probably trying the banana fritter recipe as well. Thanks for sharing!

Krystal said...

My boys would be ALL OVER that quick sand. We might have to add in an Africa lesson just for that! Thanks for sharing.