#TravelingThroughLearning – JAMAICA Unit!

JAMAICA is our country for the month of May and what a fun country! My husband and I visited Jamaica in 2013, and fell in love with the culture and the people. I remember one gentleman told us, “We don’t have problems, we just have adventures.”

Jamaica is an island nation located in the Caribbean, and has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites. Jamaica is famed as the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer.

I love to see what other parents and caregivers do for their little ones, so please post on Instagram under #travelingthroughlearning and follow my feed, and I will feature my favorite activities at the end of the month. You can also share what you have done on this blog or PM me with Ireland-themed activities that you have done/and or blogged about and I’ll include links to them in this post once the unit is complete.

Geography:

  • Placemat & Flag of Jamaica – This full color printable shows some interesting stats of the country as well as some pictures of major landmarks. I like to put it in a plastic sheet protector and use it as a placemat for meals. It is excellent to promote learning at the dinner table. This also includes a Jamaican flag to post as part of your unit.
  • Map Outline & Major Cities of Jamaica – This outline map can be transferred to foam or felt and the city tags can be printed off and attached with map-pins, to help learn about the major cities.

Model of Landmark/Dwelling:

  • Native Taino Hut – Learn about the indigenous people of Jamaica prior to Christopher Columbus with a model of their living space and little miniature people.

Mathematics:

Life Cycle: 

Montessori-Themed Indigenous Fauna Cards:

Worksheets:

  • Color the flag of Jamaica with this fun coloring worksheet.

Sensory Play:

  • Channel your inner sea turtle and lay your eggs in the sand. Great sensory activity for all ages!
  • Aye Matey – Port Royal, Jamaica was once a major pirate port. Enjoy some unstructured loose parts/playdough play with this Pirate-themed playdough setup.

The Arts:

  • Butterfly Wings – Pretend to be beautiful Swallowtail Butterflies with this fun craft – see how light reflects through the wings and appears on the ground.
  • Jamaican Flag Craft w/Dye Rice – Learn about the colors of the Jamaican flag and color them in with dyed rice; a fun sensory-based, creative learning activity.

Practical Life Skills:

  • Platanos Maduros – Enjoy this delicious island delicacy with this easy recipe. Sliced ripe plantains retain a sweet, creamy center and become caramelized around the edges when fried. This tasty side dish makes a good accompaniment to rice and beans.

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Taino Symbols – Learn a few basic Taino symbols and work on writing skills and promote fine motor skills of tracing detail in sand.
  • Counting Jellyfish – Learn numbers 1-10 in this fun jellyfish-activity which promotes visual representation of numbers and fine motor skills.

Gross Motor Skills:

  • Run Like Usain Bolt. How fast can you run? Get the wiggles out and compare your time with this Jamaican athlete!

Music:

  • Bob Marley – Robert Nesta Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer and songwriter. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by blending elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as forging a smooth and distinctive vocal and songwriting style. 

Art Mannequin/Influential Figure:

  • We dressed our art mannequin up as Bob Marley, a Jamaican singer and songwriter. I made the vest out of felt and used jeans from a Ken doll. His dreads are black yarn threaded through some black knit fabric sewn into a hat.
  • Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by blending elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as forging a smooth and distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley’s contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade. Children can color his face with this fun coloring page.

Recommended Reading:

  • One Love – Adapted from one of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics to life for a new generation. Readers will delight in dancing to the beat and feeling the positive groove of change when one girl enlists her community to help transform her neighborhood for the better. It’s a testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts.
  • J if for Jamaica – From Cricket to Pumpkin, from Hummingbird to Yam – this is a photographic alphabet showing Jamaica in all its colorful diversity. In vibrant rhyming verse, children can explore some of the sights, sounds and tastes of Jamaica, from the bustling capital of Kingston, to the peaceful and serene Blue Mountain. A perfect way to introduce children to this small and beautiful Caribbean island with a big heart.
  • Where Jamaica Go? – Inspired by the sounds of a Jamaican nursery rhyme, this sunny book dances to a reggae beat, its playful text pulsing with rhythm while illustrations sing with color. Three short stories depict young Jamaica as she variously goes into town, heads off on a beachcombing mission and catches a ride home with her father. Downtown, “Jamaica make ’em laugh and lose their frowns”; at the beach, she comforts a boy scared by a jellyfish (“Jamaica make him laugh. She blow it a kiss”); and on the way home, “Daddy laugh and laugh in his big Chrome Dome.”

I love to see what other people have done for Jamaican themed activities, so if you have something you think I need to add to this list, please DM me! 🙂

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