Friday, March 31, 2023

Machu Picchu Lesson Plans, Videos, Books, & More

icelight from Boston, MA, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are studying Peru in your home or school classroom, you will want to bookmark this collection of Machu Picchu lesson plans, videos, books, and more that I found while researching.  

Surprisingly, there wasn't as many resources as I had expected when I began looking for them online. These are the most kid-friendly ones that I saw and felt would be a good fit for a unit study of Peru. Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links.

Machu Picchu Lesson Plans

Printables and Activities

It's hard to find activities about Machu Picchu for PreK and early elementary, but these first two are a good fit. 


Children's Books about Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu: The story of the amazing Inkas and their city in the clouds

Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu
by Ted Lewin

Where Is Machu Picchu?

Where Is Machu Picchu?
by Megan Stine 

Machu Picchu: Children's Latin American History Book

For Teens:

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

Lost City of the Incas

by Hiram Bingham

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Peruvian-Themed Crafts for Kids

This week, we're continuing our study of Peru. Today, I'm focusing on Peruvian crafts for kids including art activities and printables.

If you missed it, be sure to check out my list of children's books that feature Peru.

Peruvian Crafts for Children

Here's a list of hands-on crafts for kids to make as they explore Peru. Some of them are a little more involved, so I've tried to divide them up into crafts for younger kids and those for older ones. 

For Younger Kids

  • Peruvian Masks
    That Artist Woman has the most beautiful and creative craft for children! Your children/students will absolutely love making these golden masks of the Inca. They are amazing. (Grades 2 and up)

  • Peruvian Bird Gourd Craft
    Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes
    shares this colorful activity from the book, A Kid’s Guide to Latino History: More than 50 Activities.

  • Peruvian Siku Flute
    PBS has this simple craft for making your own siku flutes. You probably have all the materials already!

  • Llama Headband Craft
    Here's a cute craft activity from Simple Everyday Mom that you kids will enjoy assembling and then wearing.

  • Peruvian Arpillera Art
    I love this activity that teaches students about Peruvian arpilleras. Kids & Glitter shares such a clever way to introduce kids to this unique art. 

For Older Children

How to make your own Peruvian retablo (for kids)

Printables for Learning about Peru

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Monday, March 27, 2023

Children's Books that Feature Peru

Children's Books that Feature Peru

This week, we're taking a look at Peru. And to start things off, here's a roundup of some amazing children's books that feature Peru. We know you'll find some of these stories absolutely engaging and want to add them to your home library!

This post contains affiliate links.

Picture Books with Peruvian Characters

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Written by Monica Brown
Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Here's the book description, but let me tell you. I've already seen the book and it is such a great story. If you have young children who love adventure and are looking for some inspiration, this is it.
Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru.

At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education. While in medical school, he discovered an article about the skulls he had found. The skulls had long ago been sent to Lima to be studied by scientists. The article renewed Julio's interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru's Indigenous history.

Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. He showed that Peru's Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country's Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru's long history and its living cultural legacy.

Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru

Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru by Mercedes Cecilia

The author created an original myth that draws us into the kaleidoscopic a world of a Peruvian child. KUSIKIY lives in The Andes Mountains of Peru in a small island in Lake Titikaka. In the peaceful community of Taquile, Kusikiy's father cultivates potatoes and Quinoa; his mother, like her mother and grandmother, weaves traditional designs into her textiles recording the important events. Children easily identify with Kusikiy's love for family and his concerns for the effects of climate changes on Mother Earth, as well as with his desire to be of help to his town. This is a book that gives parents and educators a visual and appealing way to engage children in a dialogue about traditional cultures, the meaning of community, sustainability and caring for our environment.

Kutu the Tiny Inca Princess / La Ñusta Diminuta

Kutu the Tiny Inca Princess / La Ñusta Diminuta by Mariana Llanos

This book was my pick a few years ago for the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Read Around the World Summer Series. Read my full review!

In this sweet story, you'll follow tiny KUTU's adventure in the Inca Empire. If you like mighty girls, then you are going to fall in love with KUTU and her courage and perseverance. In this bilingual book, written in English, Spanish and bits of Quechua, we'll meet Ch'illik'utu (Kutu), a princess the size of a cob of maize. When a terrible drought devastate the city of Cusco, where she lives, Kutu sets out on a courageous quest to save her people.

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita by Angela Dominguez

With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez's Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita gives a fresh new bilingual twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart.

La Princesa and the Pea

La Princesa and the Pea
by Susan Middleton Elya

Absolutely adorable! I love the idea of this bilingual book and the beautiful illustrations.

El príncipe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree. The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa, but the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too. Readers will be enchanted by this Latino twist on the classic story, and captivated by the vibrant art inspired by the culture of Peru.

Up and Down the Andes
by Laurie Kreb

This book is just a visual delight with its vibrant illustrations!

This rhyming text takes readers from Lake Titicaca all the way to the city of Cusco for the highly popular Inti Raymi festival, celebrated in June each year.

La selva de Zonia (Spanish version)
Zonia's Rain Forest (English version)
by Juana Martinez-Neal

I featured this book a couple of years ago. Read my full review here.

This book is a remarkably beautiful story that highlights an indigenous culture and nature. It follows a young girl, Zonia, who represents the largest group of indigenous people - the Asháninka - that live in the Peruvian Amazon. Zonia spends each morning responding to the rainforest's call. Her interactions with native wildlife are lovingly depicted on each page. Until one day, she discovers something that she's never seen before...

The Llama's Secret - A Peruvian Legend by Palacios

A Peruvian rendition of the Great Flood story, in which a llama warns the people and animals to seek shelter on Huillcacato to avoid the rising sea, Mamacocha.

Secret of the Andes

Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

This is not a picture book, but I'm including it on this post because it is a lovely story and deeply moving. It is best suited for children ages 9 and up.
Cusi, a modern Inca boy, leaves his home high in the Andes mountains to learn the mysterious secret of his ancient ancestors. Accompanied by his pet llama, Misti, he slowly discovers the truth about his birth and his people's ancient glory. Now he must prove himself worthy to be entrusted with the fabulous secret from the past.

Fun Facts About Peru

Pair any of these books with my Fun Facts About Peru: A Country Coloring Activity. This download is an excellent introduction or supplement to a lesson on Peru. 

It includes a printable map and fact passage! Just have your kids read about a person, place, or thing related to Peru, then have them find it on the map and color it in. Available in English or Spanish, it's simple and fun.

This product now contains an added page of additional learning resources to extend the learning with related books, online articles, and videos.

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Monday, March 20, 2023

March Roundup of Spanish Activities

This month, we're sharing a round up of great resources from MommyMaestra sponsor Spanish for You! This roundup of activities is focused on building vocabulary, specifically through describing activities. 

Free Shipping Offer

This mont
h, Spanish for You! is offering free shipping on any of their Spanish lesson products for Mommy Maestra readers! The offer is good through the end of this month. To redeem it, just use the code: MMShipFree.

Budget-Friendly Spanish Learning Program

Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!

Other Posts You May Enjoy

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

7 Children's Books About Leprechauns (in English & Spanish)

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I was looking for some children's books about leprechauns to share with my youngest child. I found several that I thought were fun reads and decided to share them below along the few Spanish titles I found (there weren't very many!). I hope you enjoy them!

This post contains affiliate links.

Leprechaun Children's Books in English

How to Catch a Leprechaun

How to Catch a Leprechaun
by Adam Wallace

You've been planning night and day, and finally you've created the perfect trap with shamrocks, pots of gold, and rainbows galore! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you'll finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick's Day tradition with this fun and lively children's picture book and get inspired to build leprechaun traps of your own at home or in the classroom! Laugh along in this zany story for kids that blends STEAM concepts with hilarious rhymes and vibrant illustrations!

How to catch a leprechaun? It's tougher than you think! He'll turn your whole house upside down. He's quicker than a wink!

That's What Leprechauns Do

That's What Leprechauns Do
by Eve Bunting

What do leprechauns do? They bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course. But as Mrs. Bally Bunion’s ox, Miss Maude Murphy’s hen, and Old Jamie soon find out, they can’t resist having a little fun along the way. For, besides burying pots of gold, mischief is what leprechauns do!

The Secret Life Of Leprechauns

The Secret Life Of Leprechauns
by Luna James

A cute picture book that introduces toddlers to the traditional (not secret!) story of leprechauns. 

The Leprechaun's Gold

The Leprechaun's Gold
by Pamela Duncan Edwards

Based on a classic Irish folktale, this is the perfect picture book to share on St. Patrick’s Day.

In this classic Irish legend, two harpists—merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom—set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner—but he doesn't reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.

Leprechaun Children's Books in Spanish

Cómo atrapar a un duende
por Adam Wallace

The Spanish version of the book described above in the English section of books. 

Un duende a fines del invierno

Un duende a fines del invierno (La Casa del Árbol #43)
por Mary pope Osborne

Jack and Annie are on a mission to find (and inspire!) creative people. This time, Jack and Annie meet an Irish girl and go on a magical adventure that changes the girl’s life—she grows up to be Lady Gregory, who helped bring back the Irish legends, started a theater, and helped the Irish people regain both their heritage and their pride. IN SPANISH!

El Duende Irlandés y El Laberinto De Los Sueños Rotos

El Duende Irlandés y El Laberinto De Los Sueños Rotos
por Gen AG

For older children.
What would happen if you traveled to Ireland and a leprechaun asked you to help him find treasure in exchange for sharing the wealth with you?  Asher Smith is a single father who shines shoes on the dense streets of New York City in the 1930s; a time of economic crisis and poverty. 

But, one day unexpectedly with the help of his friend Fionn O'Sullivan, Asher travels to Ireland with his young daughter to work as a gardener in an old mansion, where a dark and mysterious forest is located. In the courtyard of the mansion things happen meaninglessly and from that forest no man has ever returned. Asher will discover a place called Ledrema, where flowers sing, trees walk, a clock goes back and evil beings and darkness abounds. In Ledrema, it appears there is no goodness - in fact there is, but it is only a pinch! Would you help the leprechaun find his treasure?

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Monday, March 13, 2023

Online SAT Prep Classes for Homeschoolers

Online SAT Prep Classes for Homeschoolers

The following post is in collaboration with Mr. D Math. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Are you wondering what online SAT prep classes for homeschoolers are available? Read on to learn about our experience with Mr. D Math's live classes.

This post contains affiliate links.

Quick Overview

Program: Mr. D Math Math SAT Bootcamp
Religious Perspective: Secular
Format: Live Online Classes
# of Classes: 6
Grades: 9th - 12th
Price: $197

Why SAT Prep Matters

Why SAT Prep Matters

My oldest child attended a private high school that offered private SAT prep classes outside of regular school hours. More than a month's worth of Saturdays were dedicated to these prep classes and they made a huge difference in my daughter's scores. I say that in the plural because she took the classes before both the PSAT and the SAT tests. 

Taking these prep classes helped her increase her score by more than 100 points. Which was critical for the PSAT because her score on the PSAT helped her land a National Merit Recognition... which eventually led to a full ride at her current college.

Her SAT scores played an important role, too. They were an important factor when it came to acceptance into the colleges of her choice. We soon discovered how to find the SAT score ranges for different colleges and universities. The easiest way is to simply Google "what are the SAT score ranges for [Name of College or University]".

Is the SAT Mandatory?

Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of colleges are test optional now. This means students don't have to submit SAT or ACT scores with their applications. Some are even considering making this permanent. Either way, if your SAT scores are above the average score (especially for that university's score range) it is really to your benefit to submit those scores.

Live SAT Prep for Homeschoolers from Mr. D Math

Live SAT Prep for Homeschoolers

SO. Now I have a homeschooled junior entering the college application process. I learned a whole lot from my daughter's private school experience and have been researching the whole "homeschooler to college" process. 

All of it has led me to understand that:
  1. Taking the SAT can be extremely beneficial for college acceptance.
  2. Taking SAT prep classes could potentially raise your child's score by 70 points or more, making them worth the investment.
BUT SAT prep can be expensive. My son is doing two programs. One was crazy expensive, self-paced, and he hasn't stuck with it very well at all. 

The other is more affordable and comes from Mr. D Math. This live Math SAT Bootcamp meets virtually every week. And it has covered different strategies and used both practice tests and activities to help prepare him for the test.

How It Works

Once registered, my son gained access to the Mr. D Math learning portal. There he can find any of the optional (but strongly recommended!) homework downloads. But Mr. H also sent out a file via email with all the problems that they work through over the course of 6 weeks. Then each week about an hour before the class, my son received an email with the zoom link to make access the class easy no matter where we were.

My son logged in each Tuesday before his Civil Air Patrol meeting (this is why he is in uniform in these pics). He preferred to watch the videos on his phone, but you can also use your tablet, laptop, or desktop. We recommend that you have a couple of pencils and your graphing calculator ready, in addition to the printed test materials you need for each class.

Overall, it has been a positive experience and we're confident that the proof will be in the pudding when the SAT test comes around in May.

Register for the Math SAT Bootcamp from Mr. D Math

Register for the Math SAT Bootcamp

If you think this would be a great fit for your family, then register today! Mr. D Math offers three live classes and one self-paced class. We haven't done the self-paced course because the live class was a great fit for us. But you know your child best and it's great that you have the option to choose!

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