For the most part of this term and beyond, our learning will mostly be based on The Travels of Marco Polo.
When I did the planning for this topic, I found that this can be turned into a cross-curricula, theme-based learning -- much like a unit study -- since it covers so many different areas: history, geography, science, maths, art, craft, music, food, and literature. Hence, I shall be posting about our learning adventures and resources as we follow Marco Polo's journey to the East and back.
As this unit is going to be heavy on geography, I had Tiger work through the Marvelous Map Activities for Young Learners and Fun-to-Solve Map Mysteries to gauge his understanding of basic physical geography knowledge.
Until now geography was not our focus, even though we have been incorporating map work consistently as part of our history lessons, so I feel it is important for me to have an idea of how much Tiger already knows (or not) to plan our lessons effectively. He flew through the first two books, but needed some help with Great Map Mysteries, which covers topics such as grid map, map scale, and time zones.
With the basics out of the way, we started getting an overview of Marco Polo and his travels by reading generically about him:
We also found the following documentary very useful to prepare us to join Marco Polo on his adventures:
There seems to be various maps around that show slightly different locations of Marco Polo's journey. We have tried to cross-reference the various maps to arrive at our own conclusion as to the present-day equivalent of where he would have been.
So far, we've figured that his outbound journey was as follows:
Venice (Italy) --> Jerusalem --> Lebanon --> Constantinople (Turkey) --> Armenia --> Baghdad (Iraq) --> Persia (Iran) --> Herat (Afghanistan) --> Kashgar (Central Asia) --> Tibet --> Mongolia --> Khanbaliq (Beijing in China)
When Marco Polo was at the service of Kublai Khan, he made the following journey:
Khanbaliq (China) --> Myanmar (Burma) --> Java (Indonesia) --> Eli (India) --> Khanbaliq (China)
His homeward journey was:
Zaitan (Xiamen in China) --> Vietnam --> Malaysia --> Singapore --> Sumatra (Indonesia) --> Ceylon (Sri Lanka) --> India --> Persia (Iran) --> Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia) --> Constantinople (Turkey) --> Venice
Therefore, we will be studying the cultural and physical geography of the following countries/cities as we travel along with Marco Polo:
- Sri Lanka
This post is linked up to:
1) Creative Kids Cultural Blog Hop #1
2) Great Book Lists and Literacy Projects for Kids
3) Hearts for Home Blog Hop #8
4) History and Geography Meme #66
5) Homeschool Mother's Journal: March 15, 2013
6) Hobbies and Handicrafts - March 15
7) Collage Friday - Making Hard Life Choices
8) TGIF Linky Party #67
9) Homeschool Review - March 15
10) Creative Learning Link Up #6
11) Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where I Got to Go On a Retreat
12) Share it Saturday - St. Patrick's Day Features
13) The Sunday Showcase - 3/16/13
14) Hip Homeschool Hop - 3/19/13
15) Look What We Did!