Our Summer Reading Program theme is “Reading Colors Your World.” This theme is perfect for colorful and diverse programming such as a Globetrotters’ Adventure Club . This series of programs, focusing on art and world cultures, would be perfect anytime, not just during the summer.
In order to travel, you need a passport. I created a passport-style booklet in Canva. I also created miniature “stamps” (printed on cardstock) for each country we visited. Participants adhered the stamp to the designated space at the end of each program and also wrote one fact that they learned during the program.
For each country we visited, I began by showing the group a picture of the country on the map, its flag, and taught them how to say a phrase, such as “Let’s go to [name of country],” in that language. I read an easy non-fiction book about the country as well as a picture book based in that country. Videos and music from that country helped immerse us even more. We tracked the distance we traveled as we went from country to country, which introduced a nice mathematical component. For older students, you could easily have them research flights between countries and create a travel budget.
In between the two books came craft time. Because this program was offered over Zoom, it was important that the crafts were pretty straightforward. We made papel picado after reading books about Mexico and Frida Kahlo, using instructions found on At-Home with NMMA from the National Museum of Mexican Art. Japan’s craft was a very simple version of kumiko zaiku (using toothpicks glued onto vellum). When we visited Russia, we made paper nesting dolls to reference matryoshka dolls. The craft for our last stop in Ghana was a woven paper version of kente cloth.
With any extra time, I had a Zoom poll or Google Jamboard at the ready with questions based on the facts we had during the program. It was a fun way to test their knowledge and also provided reminders for their “one fact I learned” space on their passports.
The feedback from parents and kids alike has been very positive. If you were to create an around-the-world program series, what countries would you visit? What books and crafts would you choose?