This week we finished up our studies of India with a close look at Gandhi, his life and contributions. We read a number of children’s books and biographies and watched highlights from the well-known movie, Gandhi. There are a few parts of the movie that (in my opinion) are too rough for younger kids, but some of the scenes (the Indian country-side, the marches) were amazing! The movie is SO SO powerful, though. I would highly recommend it for ages 10 and up. It won an amazing 8 academy awards including best picture. Even if you’re not fitting it into a unit like we did, it is definitely worth watching!
The kids also added a couple pages to their history notebooks. After reading the books and watching parts of the movie, this information was pretty straight-forward for them. We read it through and they filled in the blanks. If you are interested, you can download these Gandhi sheets free.
Answers are also included, though not pictured below.
A couple of amazing quotes by Gandhi:
- There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
- We must be the change we wish to see.
The kids also learned the geography of the Asian subcontinent (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, etc.) and took a ‘quiz’ which they aced.
This brings our study of India to a close. We’ll be continuing on with a study of Civil Rights in America for a little while. Then next semester we’ll be learning about China.
These were some of the activities we did learning about India leading up to this:
History/Geography: This semester we’ve been studying India. Last week we spent quite a bit of time learning how Arab traders helped spread Islam not only across North Africa and into West Africa, but also eastward into India. We reviewed some of the information we learned about Islam last year (see our free Islam Worksheets from last year). We spent some time comparing Hinduim (see our free worksheets) and Islam.
We went on to talk about the Moghul Empire and spent quite a bit of time on the fifth emperor, Shah Jahan. We read a number of books about the Taj Mahal and learned that it was built to honor Shah Jahan’s third wife who died in childbirth.
One thing I didn’t know was that in the 1830s, a British governor decided to destroy the Taj Mahal in order to sell the expensive marble in England so rich people could decorate their houses. Fortunately for history, few people in England were interested in buying the marble.
The kids enjoyed trying to draw the Taj Mahal. DD went on to draw several other famous buildings.
We went on to learn about British colonialism and the growth of the British Empire. On Friday we learned a bit about apartheid in South Africa and about Nelson Mandela. This week, we’ve learned more about British colonialism in India and how the British relied on India for raw materials such as cotton.
We started learning about Gandhi and read about his March to the Sea in 1930. Gandhi wanted to protest the British tax on salt and led people on a long march to the sea to make their own salt. The kids thought it was pretty clever to use sea water to make salt. We took the opportunity to “make sea water” and explore how when the water evaporated, the salt crystals were left behind.
(The kids made snowflakes, drawings and various other drawings with the salt water!)
Meanwhile, the kids have been memorizing some of the geography of Asia — including the location of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and so forth.
Related Posts You Might Be Interested In:
- Learning about Hinduism – Hindu Gods/Goddesses – Books and free learning pack
- Learning about the Taj Mahal and also Gandhi’s March to the Sea (scroll down to the bottom of that post)
- And even though we studied this last year, I’ll add in the link to our Islam learning pack since to understand the formation of the independent countries of India and Pakistan, you need to understand the religious differences between Hindus and Muslims.
- World Facts Packet: Do your kids know the 4 largest countries? Which countries have the most people? The longest river? This packet covers basic world and U.S. facts.