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It's time for a good book

Monday, August 13, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew - Branch Out World Paddington Bear

Review, #hsreviews, #BOWresources, #projectfuntolearn, #PictureBookExplorers, lit-based unit studies, topic pack, home education resources, homeschool resources

I was thrilled to get a chance to review a Literature study from the Picture Book Explorers series, called Paddington Bear from Branch Out World. This is a literature-based unit study to accompany the child story, Paddington Bear by Michael Bond.

Branch Out World
Picture Book Explorers - Paddington

What is Picture Book Explorers Paddington Bear?

First, if you are not familiar with the story of Paddington Bear, it is a fun story that portrays Mr. and Mrs. Brown who find a small bear at Paddington station in London. The bear had been a stowaway on a ship that had sailed from Peru. The book takes you alongside Paddington bear as he gets to know British living, experienced from a bear's point of view. Obviously, there are a lot of mishaps as he adjusts, and the story takes you along his adventures.

The Picture Book Explorer pack uses this story as the foundation to further studying its themes and components and is written by someone who lives in the U.K., so I also found it very intriguing to view the literature study pack from that perspective. It covers a lot of topics and does not include the actual book, but we already had the book, and it's readily available at the library or even online if you need to find a copy. The activity pack takes this story and helps you delve deeper into aspects of the story, explores London and Peru, and gives insight into the author, Michael Bond's writings and illustrator, R. W. Alley's, drawings.

Written by a British home educator, the supplemental studies and activities included with the pack allows you to venture into more than 30 activities, printables, a timeline, minibooks, maps, flags, and notebooking pages, which you can personalize to your own needs and interests, such as learning about migration, developing grammar skills, exploring architecture, working with foam (shaving cream), discovering Paddington's specific bear species, enjoying British tea, and making your own marmalade.

I received a PDF download of 69 pages packed with activities ideas to use with students age 5-10.

How Did We Use It?

I sat down to read the story with my 11-year-old. While she is a little older than the recommended age, she still enjoyed the story that we had started to read together years ago. The next step was to learn about the flags of London and Peru and do a little map exploration. For the first day, the pack included first learning about the flags, the maps of Peru and the British Isles, making tourist posters, learning about migration and the timeframe in which the story took place.

Day 2 activities included learning about the author and elements of story writing such as themes, such as helping others. It also discussed what narration means, introduced some vocabulary words, grammar, sources of inspiration for the story and information about adapting stories for an audience.

Day 3 focused on the illustrator with art-related activities that is right up my art-loving daughter's alley of interests. These included a picture study, learning about architectural features, and principles of design.

Day 4 involved science experiments and explorations using foam and an additional experiment where you create foam, learn about steam, and a garden exploration.

Finally, Day 5 was all about math with activities involving parallel lines, using a protractor and ruler, finding numbers in the story and a fun spatial activity involving packing Paddington's suitcase with the only clue that he included his marmalade. Additionally, there is a shaving cream craft and designing a mini tabla based on a Peruvian picture board, called Tablas de Sarhua.

Our most favorite part to explore were the recipes because it meant we got to bake and eat - Another one of my daughter's favorite activities is baking. Based on the recipes in the story, included are recipes for a strawberry tart and marmalade. There is also a brief explanation of popular snacks in Peru.

One of the suggestions was to enjoy a tea party using toast and marmalade as Paddington did in the story. I thought that was a nice idea as well.

What Did We Think?

This is fantastic! I especially love that it covered Peru as well as London, since my niece (my daughter's cousin) recently moved to Peru as a missionary, so it made it especially personal for us. My daughter is a hands-on learner, and so anything that offers activities like this does is so welcomed by us. I was so happy that the study is designed to personalize it as needed, because the only activities we couldn't do were those pertaining to shaving cream since I am highly allergic to shaving cream unless it's the kind with no fragrance or additives, and expensive (my husband has to use this kind or I can't be around him). Regardless, there were plenty of other activities to explore, so we were able to thoroughly enjoy this study in spite of my allergies. My daughter was most excited about the baking and the lap-book style projects.


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Read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

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