Exploring Around the World: Italy

by admin

My husband and I took the trip of a lifetime last month, to Northern Italy, for my cousin’s wedding. It was such a magical, romantic experience. Everyone should have it on their bucket list! The food was out of this world, and it was THE most beautiful place I have ever been! Should I do a post about our itinerary? Let me know in the comments!

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Since we had just returned from a dreamy Italian vacation, we had study it next!

Our topics were:
Geography & Flag 🇮🇹
Venice and making gondolas🛶
Carnivale 🎭 (On Halloween!)
Leonardo Da Vinci 👨‍🎨
Michelangelo 🪨🔪🧼
Pompeii 🌋
Marco Polo 🧭🗺️

We begin all our country unit studies with a map and a globe. We locate the country on each, and point out surrounding counties, its continent and landmarks. We also use our Maps book, which we love! I also had some euros from our trip that I was able to show the kids. They said it looked like Monopoly money! I had them color and label a country map and flag, and add it to their social studies journals.

The next day, we explored Venice. I showed them my pictures from our trip, and we learned how this “floating city” was built! I led them in a drawing of a gondola in a canal, and then they painted it with watercolors. This one is my favorite.

For science, we are learning all about the characteristics of water, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate gondolas in a STEM sink or float activity. I gave them a range of materials, and they had to build a gondola that could hold 4 people (quarters) without sinking. They had to use at least 10 popsicle sticks, and could not use glue.

Our next class fell on Halloween, so learning the history of the most famous Venician holiday, Carnivale, was perfect! We watched an informational video on the process of mask making, and afterwards the kids were able to decorate their own.

We read about Leonardo Da Vinci’s life, and learned about his most-famous masterpieces. Then, we created out own!

Another famous Italian artist we learned about was Michelangelo. We read a book about his life and accomplishments, then watched a video on the process of stone carving.

Afterwards, I gave each student a piece of paper and a bar of ivory soap (this soap was very easy to use, as it was flat and soft, but not brittle). They traced the bar of soap onto their paper, then drew a simple design in the space they traced (heart, fish, mushroom–think basic outline, no detail). Students then cut out their template, which should be slightly smaller than the soap. We used popsicle sticks to flake off the IVORY lettering on top of the soap so we had a smooth surface. Then, they placed their templates on top of their soap and traced around it with pencil, leaving a small indentation in the soap. They used the popsicle sticks to remove larger chunks of soap, then bobby pins to add detail. This activity was a hit! Make sure to do it outside or over a tray though, as it is quite messy!

Next up, we read a book about Pompeii. The kids were so into learning about this ancient city that got buried by a volcanic eruption. We of course had to paint some volcanoes!

Our last day, we read a book about the famous traveler, Marco Polo and made a timeline of his life. Then, we ended our unit with a surprise! I had to bring home some Italian treats home for them, and they loved it 🍫🥐

Thats a wrap on Italy! Check out my other Around the World units: France, Japan, China, Thailand, India, Australia, .

Where should we explore next?!

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