Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Mardi Gras Unit Study for Homeschooled High Schoolers: Year Two

Last year, Syd was stuck doing public school busywork while Will and I thoroughly enjoyed our Mardi Gras unit study. This year, Will spent a week in California visiting her grandparents and attending Girl Scout camp at just the perfect time for Syd to have HER turn at this super fun cross-curricular unit.

Whether homeschoolers are little or big, social studies is always fun and valuable, building context, familiarity with diversity, and geographic awareness. Mardi Gras is an especially terrific unit study because it's celebrated in many areas worldwide, but differently in each of these places. In this unit, we studied celebrations in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Venice, Italy. There was plenty of room, as well, for conversations about other interesting place- and religion-related topics, and there are a ton more connections for cooking, history, environmental studies, and any of the other billion wonderful topics that come up when a teenager and her mom are hanging out and making king cake.

We did all the activities in my lesson plans, but, unsurprisingly if you know Syd, her focus was on the baking.

For some seriously old-school vibes, Syd and I listened to this classic while she worked:

How long has it been since we've listened to a Magic Tree House book for genuine enjoyment? High Tide in Hawaii, maybe? Regardless, we've just discovered that the newest book requires Jack and Annie to climb Machu Picchu and rescue a baby llama... so obviously I requested it from the library. Time for a Family Read-Aloud Throwback Night!

When we weren't listening to a children's book that we've already listened to 400 times in the past decade, we've been listening to a lot of local radio stations off and on for their Carnival music. 

Here are some good New Orleans stations:

Here are some good Rio de Janeiro stations:
There are over a hundred radio stations in Rio de Janeiro!

Here are some good Venice radio stations:
Syd's beautiful king cake did not look this pristine for long:

Matt ate the last piece for breakfast this morning, which was as good a way as any to celebrate Fat Tuesday!

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