"Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible."
- Barack Obama
It's almost February: Black History Month and the month of Love <3! We love our Montessori books. As a result, I wanted to make sure we didn't miss the opportunity to celebrate our love of reading, geography, and Africa continent studies.
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Books for Africa Continent Studies
We study Africa in February and we've really been focusing on building up our Montessori homeschool library this year. As a result, we've added some cool selections to our shelves. Our local public library appears to be getting more traffic this year so this guarantees we have the resources we need when we need them.
We've been mainly purchasing nice quality books that lend themselves to more than one location or subject area and will be useful for several age groups, so you may notice that as you peruse our lists. There are also some favorites that we've had for several years.
Books about Africa & the Continents
- Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature - Very cool book of charts
- The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day - Musical book that excites all ages
- Life Cycles: Everything From Start to Finish - Space, Earth, Plants & Fungi, Animals
- Cabinet of Curiosities - Learn how to collect, classify, and/or celebrate nature
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - Beautiful picture book sharing the heroic true story of a young Malawian inventor
- Wild Animals of the South - Captivating illustrations, very attractive right off the shelf and every page is something new and exciting
- Mountains of the World - All-around awesome book that weaves in various aspects of mountain life with facts about our world's mountains
- Under the Canopy: Trees Around the World - Great addition to Geography and nature studies
- A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World - Great selection for Geography & Cultural Studies
- Mummy Math - (not pictured) A neat adventure story that incorporates a ton of geometry through shapes. Pairs well with the Geometric Solids
These kids' books for Africa all have beautiful illustrations and our kids love looking at them, whether we're reading them together or they're exploring independently.
The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day is included mostly because it's our kids' favorite selection from our seasonal studies and it continues to get a lot of face time with them. This could be used as a prompt for discussing seasons in different parts of the world.
Of the books shown above, Dieter Braun's Wild Animals of the South and Mountains of the World are by far the most popular picks in our home right now. Our oldest two can't get enough of the illustrations. I love that we have access to these (and Wild Animals of the North) for all our continent studies.
These are our favorite atlases and are useful for all our Geography and Cultural studies. We like to sit around them on the floor and really enjoy the illustrations. These are all great conversation starters.
If you're interested in what we use for our continent studies for preschool only, you can check that out in our Antarctica Unit Study post. Our Geography curriculum, including our continent resources for the elementary years, is in our Montessori Elementary Curriculum Resources.
We've really been exploring history and timelines this year through the Great Lessons and you'll find some excellent history resources in those. Studying the continents is another great opportunity to dive into history, culture, migrations, and more.
Born on the Water is a new addition to our homeschool and the illustrations are beautiful. We've found that it's an excellent resource for teaching kids about African-American history.
Historium is a very large book filled with historical artifacts that is sure to ignite curiosity with the turn of every page. We really enjoy gathering around the table or the floor to flip through this one.
Food and Culture
This book is a new addition for us and we're really enjoying it. It's so much more than a book of recipes. There's plenty of history, poetry, and art to keep you coming back for more.
Black Food is not geared specifically toward kids. However, there's plenty of inspiration to be found inside. You can see how we're using it in Making West African Cuisine: Jollof Rice with Beans.
We are just starting to incorporate these really cool continent portfolios from Waseca Biomes, like the Africa Portfolio pictured above, into our continent studies. They have all kinds of neat activities in them and are meant to be used in addition to the hands-on Waseca materials.
Embark on an adventure with a native guide and study the biomes and peoples of each continent as a scientist would. Better yet, if your child refers to themselves as a scientist, this is for them.
These are probably best for Elementary kids but there are some Art and other opportunities that are applicable to a broader range of ages. We love that Waseca Biomes naturally ties several subjects together in all their materials, making it easy for homeschoolers to cover a broad range of topics.
Get a $15 coupon towards your first Waseca Biomes purchase here.
Waseca Biomes Readers
These Continent Readers from Waseca Biomes are amazing kids' books for Africa continent studies. They're absolutely gorgeous and we love that they help tie our subjects together in an interdisciplinary approach. The colors correlate with the reading level and it's a seamless pairing with the Waseca Biomes Reading Program.
My personal favorite are the Parts of the Biome Readers because our daughter comes back to them over and over as her interest is reignited through outdoor play. For example, The Rotting Log in the Soil, Air, & Water Set is a big hit right now as our little ones are out exploring nature. These reader sets are a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion. These Montessori family books have a lot to offer and are some of our favorites.
Get a $15 coupon towards your first Waseca Biomes purchase here.
The Good and the Beautiful
The Good and the Beautiful is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschool curriculum company that boasts elements of God, nature, and high character in their materials, but they're known for being approachable to secular families as well.
Our kids enjoy their readers, second only to the Waseca Biomes Readers. The illustrations are beautiful and this Beginner Books Box D set has a great selection. They can be incorporated into studies of several continents.
I don't believe there are any religious references in this particular set of books if that's a deciding factor for your family. Also, we like that they're very particular about the kinds of content they include in their readers.
Toddler & Baby Books
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear
- Hello, World! Weather
- How Many Are There?
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Where is Baby's Belly Button?
- Global Babies
- Touch and Feel I Love You
- Goodnight Moon
- Baby Animals
All of our kids enjoy these books. They never get old and as our older two kids get older, they read to the younger ones. We only have one flap book for young toddlers here because they inevitably get ripped up at some point. It's not usually in an excited mass destruction kind of way, but more of an 'Oh, I see what they want me to do here. They've started it for me and I just need to finish the process' kind of way. 🙂
These books are not specific to Africa or any continent. However, they're a good way to include the youngest of readers in your homeschool studies and older kids will make connections to what they're learning.
What books about Africa are you enjoying right now? Let us know.
Free Jollof Rice With Beans Recipe From Black Food
Grab your free printable recipe cards above for Jollof Rice With Beans, a recipe by Chef JJ Johnson from the Migrations chapter of Black Food.
Kids can gather ingredients using the ingredient list, gather their equipment with the tools list, and prepare the meal using the step-by-step recipe cards, with assistance as needed. The cards are easy to use, include pictures, and encourage confidence and independence in the kitchen.
More Montessori Reading
- Afrocentric Montessori
- Montessori Indigenous Education Books
- Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Books
- HHA on Bookshop.org
More Montessori Geography
- Kids Cooking Ethiopian Sambusas: A Printable Recipe with Pictures
- How to Make a Hanging Globe Heart Pillow
- Antarctica for Kids: A Montessori Continent Study for Preschool
- Montessori Geography: From the Universe to Mother Earth’s Land, Air, and Water
Thanks for stopping by!