Learning About our Globe
One Country at a Time
by Terri Johnson

by Terri Johnson
Published by: Bramley Books™, a division of
Knowledge Quest, Inc.
Post Office Box 789
Boring, OR 97009-0789
All rights reserved. However, Knowledge Quest, Inc. grants the right to
the individual purchaser to reproduce the pages herein for noncommer-
cial, individual use. Reproduction for an entire classroom, school or school
system is strictly prohibited. Please call (210) 745-0203 or email orders@
kqpublishing.org for information on quantity sale discounts. No
part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any
information storage and retrieval system without written permission from
the author.
Copyright: 2010 Knowledge Quest, Inc.
and Terri Johnson
www.kqpublishing.org
www.kqpublishing.org
Printed in the United States of America
ISBN 978-1-932786-35-4 (e-book)
Cover design by Krystin Corneilson
Page layout and design by Meredith Duke

Table of Contents
How to Use this Book........................................................................................................................... 4
New Zealand - A Land Down Under.................................................................................................5
Unit Study .........................................................................................................................................10
Scotland - Learning in the UK........................................................................................................... 17
Unit Study .........................................................................................................................................21
Poland - The Center of Europe......................................................................................................... 29
Unit Study .........................................................................................................................................33
South Korea - Life in High Speed......................................................................................................41
Unit Study ........................................................................................................................................ 46
South Africa - A Wild and Diverse Land....................................................................................... 55
Unit Study ......................................................................................................................................... 61
Brazil - A Land of Contrasts.............................................................................................................. 70
Unit Study .........................................................................................................................................75
Canada - Our Friendly Neighbor..................................................................................................... 82
Unit Study ........................................................................................................................................ 89
China - An Ancient Land................................................................................................................... 95
Unit Study ........................................................................................................................................ 99
Israel - The Convergence of 3 Continents ....................................................................................108
Unit Study ........................................................................................................................................113

How to Use this Book
Dear Parents,
If you are anything like me, then there are times when you and your children just need a break
from the normal homeschool routine so that you can keep learning fresh and interesting. That is
why this book of unit studies was written!
Actually, it exists for two reasons and these are:
Most homeschooling families teach history, but very few teach geography.
1.
Many homeschooling families get stuck in a rut and may like to use an occasional unit study to
2.
pull them back out!
There are nine complete geography unit studies included in Around the World - one for each month
of the school year. Each one takes 1 week to complete and you can do them in any order. So, here is
how I suggest that you use this book:
During a regular month of homeschooling, spend 3 weeks studying history using your regular
history curriculum, textbooks and read-alouds. On the 4th week, change it up by completing a
1-week geography unit study on one of the countries featured in this book.
You are free to cover the material any way that you choose, but an easy way to learn about each
country has been suggested below:
Monday – Read the chapter, plus do some additional reading from the recommended reading
selections that are presented for you in the unit study section. You can find most of these titles at
your local library, so plan ahead by placing the titles on hold a week or two (or three) before you
intend to use them.
Tuesday – Continue to read from the books that you picked up from the library, plus add some
dates of historical significance to your history timeline. If you do not have one in the works, you can
use the links provided to create and begin your timeline.
Wednesday – Continue to read from the recommended reading selections and label significant
geographical places on the unlabeled map of the country provided for you (use the teacher’s answer
map or a globe as necessary).
Thursday – Get into the kitchen and create some delicious dishes from the country that you are
studying. Recipes are provided for you in the unit study sections of each chapter.
Friday – It is time to get out the glue (or whatever is required) and work on a craft from the
featured country. This is, of course, optional, but fun for the kids when you can take the time to
make something to remember the country by. Alternatively, if you have older kids, you may want
them write a one page report about what they have learned during your country unit study.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email - terri@kqpublishing.org. And,
as always, remember to have fun!

Page 5
Living and Learning in a Country Down Under
Ah, New Zealand… a tiny
island country known around the
world for its rugged beauty.
With its inhabitants fondly
referred to as “Kiwis” and its
countryside as familiar as our
own backyard, thanks to the
filming of The Lord of the Rings,
New Zealand holds a special
place in many of our hearts.
But how much do you actually know about this country called New
Zealand? Have you ever learned about its history, terrain, location, government
or culture? What would it be like to live there… to homeschool there? Let’s
explore this island nation and find out.
The Location
New Zealand lies in the South Pacific Ocean nearly 2000 kilometers (or
1,243 miles) to the east of Australia, and consists of two main islands – the North
Island and the South Island. It also encompasses many smaller islands, such as
Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands. Its closest neighbors to the north are
New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.
The capital city of Wellington and the largest city of Auckland are both
located on the North Island, which has the more temperate climate. The South
Island is the largest land mass and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps,
the highest point of which is Mt. Cook at 12,316 feet above sea level. In general,
the country experiences high rainfall, particularly in winter, which lasts from June
21 – September 22. Remember, New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere!

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What’s a Kiwi?
The kiwi is a nocturnal flightless bird
native to New Zealand. The kiwifruit
(all one word) is a fuzzy fruit, also
called the chinese gooseberry. To call
the fruit a kiwi is offensive to a
growing number of New Zealanders
as the kiwi is their national bird and a
strong symbol of this country. New
Zealanders are also affectionately
known as Kiwis.
The People
Approximately 80% of the
population is of European descent. The
indigenous people group, called the
Maori, makes up 15% of the population.
Polynesian settlers arrived sometime
between the 13th and 15th centuries.
New Zealand’s Maori name, Aotearoa, is
usually translated as “Land of the Long
White Cloud.” The first Europeans known
to have reached New Zealand were led by
Abel Tasman in 1642. He named the
islands Staten Landt, but Dutch cartographers changed the name to Nova
Zeelandia. In the 1760’s, Captain James Cook mistakenly pronounced it New
Zealand and the name held fast. Cook’s extensive surveys of the islands led to
European whaling expeditions and eventually significant European colonization.
New Zealand has declared its independence in many shapes and forms over
the years and now considers itself to be a sovereign constitutional monarchy
within the Commonwealth of Nations. Basically, this means that they recognize
Elizabeth II as their Queen and head of state, but she has no active role in the
running of their government. The Governor-General, usually a native New
Zealander, represents the Queen
by carrying out her various
responsibilities.
In 1893, New Zealand
became the first nation to grant
women the right to vote on the
same basis as men. Today, New
Zealand is the only country in the

Page 7
world in which all of the highest offices in the land have been occupied
simultaneously by women.
All around the world, the residents of New Zealand are nicknamed “Kiwis”
and you may be wondering why. Although New Zealand exports 80 million trays
of kiwifruit across the globe as one of its major exports, the name has no
connection with the fruit. It derives the nickname from the country’s national
bird, the kiwi, a flightless bird about the size of a domestic chicken. They have
tiny two-inch wings which are essentially useless, and no tail. Despite its
awkward appearance, a kiwi can actually outrun a human being. During the First
World War, New Zealand soldiers carved a likeness of their national bird in the
chalk hill above Sling Camp in
England. From that time forward,
the New Zealand Servicemen were
referred to by this nickname.
Today, New Zealanders overseas
and at home are still invariably
called “Kiwis.” Many sport teams
from the islands carry the name
proudly as well.
Homeschooling
The total population of New Zealand has now surpassed the four million
mark. With over 6,428 homeschooling students from 3,415 families recorded by
the Ministry of Education, this educational choice is embraced by approximately
1% of the school-aged population. In order for the MOE (Ministry of Education)
to grant an exemption to a child between the ages of 6-16 from attending a
registered school, they must be satisfied that the child will be “taught at least as
regularly and as well as in a registered school.”

Page 8
Cynthia, who lives in the small town
of Foxton situated on the southwest coast
of the North Island, states, “What this
means exactly is open to a certain amount
of interpretation. There is no required
curriculum that homeschoolers must
follow, but we do have to submit a plan to
the MOE that indicates our intentions for
the education of our children; that we
have an idea of where they are currently, where they need to go, and how we’re
going to get them there.”
Once the MOE approves the plan, homeschooling families have the option
of receiving government funding for their educational endeavors. The amounts
allotted to home educating families are $371.50 for the first child, $316 for the
second child, $270.50 for the third child, and $186 for each subsequent child.
These amounts are paid every 6 months and have no strings attached, apart from
submitting the signed and witnessed Statute of Declaration promising to carry out
the mission stated above. The Ministry of Education believes that there are
probably few unregistered homeschooled students because of these monetary
incentives.
“In general, homeschooling in New Zealand is a very positive experience.
We have greater freedom to educate our children without interference than just
about any other country,” Cynthia reports.

Page 9
So, are you ready to move to New Zealand? Or at least take a
vacation there? Well, slow down… there is some vocabulary you must learn if you
intend to visit the country. Yes, New Zealanders do speak English, but here are
some of the slang words, or expressions that are commonly used, that you should
know before stepping foot in the land of the kiwis:
Well, you have now had a crash course on New Zealand’s history,
geography and vibrant culture. Want to learn more? Turn the page for a fun unit
study on life in New Zealand.
It is time to dive in for some hands-on learning to cement your student’s
growing knowledge of this small but fascinating island country.

Page 10
Unit Study
1. READING SELECTIONS - Let’s start with some extra reading. Listed below are
some great books about New Zealand, or set in New Zealand, that will provide
many hours of enjoyable reading. The links below will take you to Amazon.com
for more information, but you can find these at your local library. Read for
pleasure, or have your kids write a book report on one of these selections.
- The New Zealand Shake-Up by Stacy Towle Morgan
- Australia and New Zealand by Elaine Landau
- The Maori of New Zealand (First Peoples) by Steve Theunissen
- New Zealand ABC (Country ABCs) by Schroeder, et. al
2. HISTORY & TIMELINES - Learn more about New Zealand by compiling
historical facts and events from New Zealand’s exciting history and adding
them to your timeline. If you do not have a timeline already started, you can
construct one by following these directions - How to Make a Timeline Easily.
Here is a link to a wonderful resource for timeline entries about New Zealand -
http://www.history-nz.org/timeline.html.
3. MAPWORK - A unit study would not be complete without
taking a good look at the lay of the land. Pages 15 and 16
include both a labeled and unlabeled map of New Zealand.
Have your students mark some of the major cities, the
southern mountain range and the seas, at the least. For
older students, have them use your teacher’s map and fill in the rest!

Page 11
4. RECIPES - This is my favorite part - the food from the land! If you do the
above activities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then take some time on
either Thursday or Friday to whip up some authentic New Zealand cuisine in
the kitchen.
New Zealand cuisine is characterized by its freshness and diversity and has
been described as Pacific Rim, drawing inspiration from Europe, Asia, Polynesia
and its indigenous people, the Maori. Freshness is owed to its surrounding
ocean and fertile lands. Its distinctiveness is more in the way New Zealanders
eat - generally preferring to be as relaxed and unaffected as possible.
A Maori specialty is the hangi
(pronounced hung-ee), a pit in which
meats or fish are cooked with
vegetables. A deep hole is dug in the
ground, lined with red-hot stones and
covered with vegetation. The food is
then placed on top. The whole oven is
sprinkled with water and sealed with
more vegetation. The hole is then filled
with earth and left to steam for several
hours. Traditionally, men dig and
prepare the hole, and women prepare
the food to go in it. All members of an
extended family (whanau) help out for
such a feast. The occasion is relaxed,
friendly and fun, with people often eating the meal under a tent-like shelter.
It may be difficult to pull off the above, but here are three more recipes of
local New Zealand food that can be attempted in your own kitchen. Enjoy!

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14
5. CRAFTS - Finally, it is craft time! This craft was chosen as a quick and simple
one that represents New Zealand, its people and environment. The felt kiwi can
be used as brooches or even fridge magnets.
(Used with permission from Anne’s Guiding Pages - more NZ crafts can be found
here - http://www.azmetro.com/nzcraft.html)
Print off your kiwi pattern pieces here - http://www.azmetro.com/nzcraft1.html.

15
Whangerei
Auckland
Hamilton
New Plymouth
Wanganui
Wellington
Westport
Greymouth
Christchurch
Dunedin
Invercargill
NEW ZEALAND
Tasman
Sea
South
Pacific Ocean
Bay of
Plenty
Poverty
Bay
Cook Strait
Canterbury
Bight
Foveaux Strait
Pegasus Bay
Karamea
Bight
Golden
Bay
L. Taupo
Hawke
Bay
Hauraki
Gulf
Clutha R.
Waikato R.
L. Wakatipu
L. Te Anau
Mt. Cook
Mt. Aspiring
Ruapehu
Stewart Is.
So
ut
hern
A
lps
NORTH
ISLAND
SOUTH
ISLAND
© 2010 Terri Johnson
Teacher’s Answer Map

16
NEW ZEALAND
Student Map
© 2010 Terri Johnson