Flags for Current Affairs

Recently I refreshed and updated my Current Affairs download with several maps, perpetual calendar pages, symbols and little flags for every country of the world.   You can purchase this 10-page download on my Packages page.

While searching for good quality, labeled, thumbnail-sized flags I found TeacherVision.com – Flags Around World

Also, while browsing I found some FREE pages of flags to download and colour-in –

  • Crayola.com – Nations Coloring Pages  Really lovely colour-by-number instructions, map and interesting facts about each country on page.
  • Super Coloring.com – Flags Of The World  Nice crisp outline image with a coloured thumbnail flag at the bottom of the page.  Includes some important facts about each country or international flag.
  • CRW Flags.com – Flags  Full-page outline with name only.

Hope these pages bring fun and interest to your Geography, Social Studies, World History or Unity Study topics!

In Grace, Nadene

Current Affairs Calendar Maps Symbols & Flags

Current affairs (noun) Definition: Events of political or social interest and importance happening in the world at the present time.

Natural disaster(noun) Definition: An event such as a flood, earthquake, or hurricane that causes great damage or loss of life.

Event (noun)  Definition: A thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance

Devastating hurricanes,  earthquakes, wildfires and floods wreak havoc on our world and fill our news feed and reports.  There are threats, attacks and wars loom.  People riot and protest and terrorists cause death and destruction.  New presidents and world leaders are elected. Countries and politics change. Heroes save lives and humanitarian aid rescues those in distress. This is current affairs

It is good to keep a record of current affairs, natural disasters and other major events happening around the world.  By regularly taking note of current affairs, your children will significantly enrich their general knowledge.  By placing world news, extreme weather disturbances, disasters and major events onto a map your children will form meaningful connections to their Geography, History and Social Studies lessons. 

Simply use my maps, flags and blank calendar page download found on my Packages Page), or simply clip news articles and photos to a bulletin board or onto a map each week.

I have completely updated my Current Affairs download for you.  (You can find a free Current Affairs sampler on my post – Notice Board Current Affairs .)

This brand new 19-page Package download includes ~

  • world maps
  • political maps for each continent with countries identified
  • thumbnail-sized flags for every country,
  • symbols for natural and man-made disasters to use on maps
  • colour-codes to highlight different events on the calendar
  • blank calendar pages to use to record significant events each month.
  • Filled-in current affairs calendar from January to September 2017 which I  compiled using Wikipedia.  These events have hyperlinks so that you can simply click the link to read the full articles.
  • The calendar is not dated, so it is a perpetual calendar download which you can print out each year as needed.

You can use the symbols and colour codes to mark these events on your world map or on the calendar.  Add country’s flags if you wish.  Cut out and paste newspaper clippings to add to your current affairs boards.  This is a quick, 10-minute lesson once a week.  We posted our current affairs pages on a clipboard on our Notice Board for quick and easy reference.

While this current affairs topic list is aimed at senior primary school to high school children, you can modify what events you cover to suit your children’s ages and interests.  Please note: Terrorist activity, wars and violence can be very disturbing for children.  Please use your discretion when these topics.

Please support me and purchase this 19-page download on my Packages Page

Here are some good current affairs websites ~

Blessings, Nadene

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We recently made our own sundial.

Sky and Telescope.com have a super easy tutorial and free downloads on How to make a sundial.

Homeschool 20151Although it wasn’t absolutely accurate, my daughter was impressed that we could tell our time with a sundial.

We used the printout, a pencil, a compass and an atlas, and it was really quick and easy to set up!

Hands-on activities are such a wonderful method of making learning real and exciting!

Give it a try with your kids!


Around the World Mobile

An amazing learning tool and hands-on activity ~ our Around the World mobile!


My youngest daughter and I have traveled with Jules Verne “Around the World in 80 Days” and we took some ‘scenic tours’ in Geography and Social Studies along our route.

Most our Geography studies focused around our large laminated world map as we plotted Phineas Fogg’s route, and we learnt the many countries of the world with our Sonlight Geography Songs CD. (Memorization and learning through song is the most amazingly effective learning method we have ever used! My homeschool graduate sang along with us while she was busy with her work!  She remembered these songs from 11 years ago when we first used the CD.) We pasted flags from each country around our world map in the order of the songs to better assist our memorization.

While I searched for other hands-on ideas, I came across Kids Around the World with gorgeous pictures of children in traditional clothes.  As I always look for some hands-on activities for my children to do while I read aloud, I printed black-and-white pictures and Miss.L12 happily painted her pictures during the next few days reading.  She used the color pictures as her reference.  With all these ideas floating around, I decided to create an “Around The World” mobile.

I used the Montessori continent color scheme in their printable Geography files to co-ordinate the elements of our mobile.  I added a cultural element or famous landmark for each country.  So the mobile has ~

  1. Name of each continent
  2. Continent in the prescribed color
  3. Selected countries from each continent
  4. Flags for each country
  5. Children in traditional clothes
  6. Famous landmark or cultural element for each country

Here are my free downloads ~

Quick reference list ~

Some things to note ~ 20140721_153542

  • This activity took several weeks of fairly consistent work.  It is NOT quick or easy, so it is most suited to middle schoolers (and their enthusiastic and determined moms!)
  • Although my middle schooler loved painting the children pictures, she did not enjoy pasting the flags, continents and labels to backing card or felt.
  • I used colored felt for backing as it is lightweight and brightly colored, but you can use card stock.  Bold colors are best.
  • We used thin wire to hang the elements.  We pierced the wire through the felt and it was quicker than punching holes in the card, but I used a thick darning needle to make a hole in the felt first.  You could use fish gut or strong string instead.
  • I had my daughter pre-cut dozens of short pieces of wire (about 5cm/2″ long) to connect elements to each other.  I used our beading round-head pliers to make neat little loops on both ends.  We used 25cm/10″ length wires to form the upper branches for each country.
  • To make the mobile’s 3 main “arms” we pushed wire through micro-sprayer pipes which are light but rigid, and bent round loops to hang the continents from each end.  You could use dowel sticks.
  • We grouped the countries to balance the arms.  There are 2 continents (Europe & Asia) with 7 countries each which we balanced on each end of one arm,  The other 4 continents have 3 countries each which we hung on the ends of the remaining 2 arms.

After all the hours of wire work, stabbed and pierced fingers, glue and felt fluff, it was complete and looked stunning!  It hung over our work table for the remainder of our Around the World studies.

Would you give this a try?  Or maybe use the downloads in a different way?  What about a simple booklet or a lapbook instead?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.


PS. Ideas for traditional clothing were done without intending to stereotype or offend.  Please adapt any aspect of these downloads for your own use.

Water Cycle Wonders

Another fun, yet educational hands-on activity we did recently was

a water cycle

Taking our cue from references we read about in our living history book, we looked at how rain forms and falls to form rivers and flow into the sea.

We made our own “rain~

Here’s how ~

  1. Take a large glass bowl and pour some water in it.
  2. Place an empty smaller glass bowl inside the big bowl.
  3. Cover the bowls with plastic cling wrap.
  4. Place a pebble in the center so that the cling wrap dips down slightly.
  5. Place the bowls in the sunshine and leave for several hours.
  6. Observe the water condense and form droplet on the inside of the plastic cling wrap.
  7. When large enough, the droplets fall into the smaller bowl = rain!

A fast demonstration of how water vapor condenses ~

  1. Hold a glass with a towel carefully over steam coming out of a boiling kettle spout.
  2. Observe water droplets forming inside the glass.  These droplets join and drip down and out off the glass.
  3. Parental note: Steam burns and this must be done by an adult or with careful supervision.

I created water cycle notebook pages with:

  • clear labeled diagram of the water cycle
  • circle table with labels and some pictures to cut and match

Here’s your free download~

Water Cycle Notebook Pages


Geography Fun for Carnival #6

It’s time for our 6th SACH carnival

and it’s my first time to host a carnival!

SACH is the South African Carnival of Homeschooling Blogs and we warmly invite other South African bloggers who’d like to join in the next carnival to click the link at the bottom  🙂

To readers from around the globe, welcome, and come and see what South African homeschoolers do for ~

Geography Fun!

Singing their way through their Geography Fun, Taryn of Hayes Happenings writes about Geography Songs. She says,

“It’sCH06 about the Sonlight Curriculum’s Geography Songs CD that has my kids learning all the countries of the world.  Places I’d never even heard of before!  Even my almost 3-year old sings “Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica too!” in the appropriate accent.  Precious memories made while learning together!”

  • We’ve also used this Sonlight CD to learn all the countries of the world in our homeschooling, and I smiled and remembered how much fun it was!

At Trixi’s HomeEd Academy, Trixi posts Geography Fun which is packed full of  wonderful links to great geography sites.  She says,

“Due to my 3rd grader’s intense dislike to textbooks & worksheets, I have had to do quite a bit of research into finding material that wouldn’t be met with protest and this post has some of the best I’ve found so far.”

  • I’ve bookmarked her post to come back and go through all her recommendations.  If you are new to Trixi’s blog, pour yourself some tea and make some time to go through her sidebar.  It is a treasure trove of links and ideas.

Linnie posted Learning Geography while having Fun at her blog Back To Ancient Ways. She says,

“Some time ago CJ discovered the online equivalent of the board game RISK –  Conquer club!  Conquer Club currently have One hundred and eighty-seven plus maps to choose from.  These maps includes world maps, continent maps, countries and even neighborhoods. Thus it was no surprise that CJ obtained a wide common knowledge on the geography of the world, while playing Conquer Club. What a fun way to learn geography.”

  • Her post is very detailed and filled with screen shots of the online game and her son’s personal experiences.

Digging through my Geography posts at Practical Pages I found~  Fun with Maps!

“I gave the girls a large 9 page world map which they had to assemble.  Your Child Learns.com gives many print out options – print out sizes so large that it will print on up to 64 pages!”

Then we played “Twister” calling out places with right or left hands and feet!

  • Pop over to to the post to read the rest of our fun map activities and websites.
The best fun we’ve had in Geography has been~  Treasure Hunt and Letterboxing!
“Letterboxing is a recognized international activity where participants use clues which describe directions and landmarks to find a hidden treasure box. (Read more here.) Once the box is found, the participants imprint their own personal rubber stamp in the log book, write in the date with their “trail name” and then use the stamp in the box to stamp a record their “find” in their own personal log book.”

We made our own treasure box with log book, pencil, stamp pad and rubber stamp

“Now the girls played Letterboxing!  They crawled under and over things, turned left and right, counted paces, moved forwards or backwards until they found the treasure box.  They made their stamps in the log books and loved every minute of this lesson!”

  • Pop over to the post to read how we prepared and played this fun Geography activity.
Just recently I discovered this free Geography game download:

Seterra 3.0.

Seterra 3.0 screenshot. Click to enlarge!
“Seterra is a fun geography program with 88 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities all over the world! Examples of exercises: countries in Europe; American states; American state capitals; French cities; cities in Mexico; countries in Asia, etc, etc… Seterra runs in English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish. Each exercise has a high score list to keep track of your progress. A colorful and addictive way to learn geography!”
  • This is a simple, quick download and the game is always available for quick quizzes – even when the internet is offline!
  • Although the games are simple and without “all the bells and whistles”, it is a very effective learning tool.
  • I enjoyed this program with my 9-year-old.  She and I soon wanted to better our times and scores identifying countries.
  • Afterwards I spent about an hour matching flags to countries … boy, I didn’t realize how many there were and how similar they are!  Challenging, but fun!
I hope you enjoy reading all these fun Geography posts.


When there are so many links and sites listed in posts, you could create a Geography folder on your internet bookmarks and save all the links as you come to them.  Then you can visit these later if you don’t have enough time to “follow rabbit trails” right now!

This post is part of the South African Carnival of Homeschool Blogs.  To join the carnival or visit past carnivals visit the SACHS Blogs page.  We hope you enjoy browsing!

Fun with Maps

Digital Terrain Model Generator + Textures(Map...

Image via Wikipedia

Here are some fun ideas for revising the world map.

We sang the Oceans and Continents song from our Geography Songs CD from Sonlight.

I gave the girls a large 9 page world map which they had to assemble.  Yourchildlearns.com gives many print out options – print out sizes so large that it will print on up to 64 pages!  I printed the world map out on 9 pages and it was pretty challenging for my 8-year-old!

Then we labeled the map.

Then we played “Twister” calling out places with right or left hands and feet!

Geography "Twister"

Physical activity is fun, and it has a multi-sensory approach.  This helps young learners.

Most young children are kinesthetic learners = they need to move to learn new and difficult information.

Most young children learn in the following order:

  • From BIG to small
  • From 3D to 2D
  • From concrete to abstract

Maps are abstract, 2 dimensional representations. We need to teach maps from a large clear globe, then find the same shapes on a large, clear, coloured map.  From this, show them the atlas and smaller maps.

Twister is an excellent game to reinforce “left” and “right”, “up” and “down” which is vital spatial skills in all map work.

Advance the skills needed and adapt “Twister”- call out compass directions; call out “West/ East, North/South instead of “Left/Right, up/down”.

Review map work regularly.

After completing all the exciting physical games (and they only need about 15 minutes) we return to the desk to label and write in our minibooks and notebook pages.

Visit my Geography pages to view all the free downloads. 🙂

You can find other free maps and downloads here:

Rivers – Geography Minibooks and Notebook Pages

Our rivers studies in Geography …

Mountain Stream

Image by Bill Swindaman via Flickr

We live high up on a remote mountain farm where the purest mountain water flows into rushing, narrow waterfalls and dark, icy cold pools.

Even when there is no rain or snow, the clouds condense against the rocks and shrubs high in the mountain peaks and water constantly trickles downhill.

Our water is literally flowing out of the mountain – we live near the source!

There is nothing purer than mountain water.

As we drive through the valley below the river is wider, shallow and filled with leaves, sand and muddy deposits.

Breede River Estuary

The river is deeper on the outer curving edges and reeds fill the valley.

Here and there, the river forms small rapids over rocky slopes.

Floods here 2 years ago created large white sand banks.  Fallen logs and trees still lie across the river.

And as we drive an hour or so further to the coast, our river has joined several others and now, large and meandering, flows into an estuary lagoon and trickles out to sea – the river mouth.

Isn’t it wonderful to live, see and even drink this subject?

You can download the 12 page minibooks and notebook pages here ~


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Activities included in this download are:

  • Describe a river from source to mouth – an accordion minibook
  • River Vocabulary – an 8-flap minibook
  • Label the major rivers on each continent – world map
  • Label the major labels on your continent/ in your country – 4-flap minibook with several pages of world maps, maps of Europe, Australia and North and South America.
  • Create a 3D river scene – Pop-up card
  • 2 notebook pages; a blank page for minibook and notebook combinations and half-page-primary-lined.

Here are some more river resources:

  1. Learn all about rivers at enchantedlearning.com
  2. Label the rivers of the world
  3. World river map
  4. River Quiz
  5. Glossary of river terminology
  6. Mapping the worlds rivers – Mapping the worlds rivers (rs.resalliance.org)


Flooding in Brazil


Flooding in Pakistan

As I prepared the river theme, several floods ravaged the world.  You could add this theme and/ or study floods on its own.

You may download this 9 page pdf file which has several images of most the major floods around the world in 2010 ~

Floods Around the World 2010

Related Articles:

Oceans Minibooks and Notebook Pages for Geography

This week we continued our Geography studies and dived into …


We combine our notebook and minibook pages; pasting the minibooks on our notebook pages.

My children write a lot of information in these minibooks.

They often prefer to draw or illustrate concepts on their notebook pages.

A little note for moms of young children ~

I still often act as scribe for my 8-year-old.  I insist that she writes at least 1 minibook, and even so, she dictates to me and I write it on our little whiteboard.  She then copies the work in her minibook.  With gentle persuasion, I hope to wean her from much of my writing and allow her to do more on her own.

She is the type of child who hates to make mistakes!  It is this anxiety that I think holds her back from freely writing on her own.  But my years of teaching experience reassure me that she will eventually become an eloquent and proficient writer!

So what minibooks are in this bundle?

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  • Continents and Oceans of the World – a world map with 6 flaps. (Great for revision!)
  • Oceans, Lakes and Rivers of your land – 3 flap minibook
  • Ocean Currents – double fold and flaps over a map.  Children draw in the currents.
  • Oceans, Major Rivers, Ports, Habours, Transport, Sport and beaches – layer minibook.
  • Oceans Fact boxes – on waves, tides, currents and salt
  • Ocean Vocabulary – and octagon petal minibook
  • A notebook page to complete the download.
  • A pop-up card and pictures to create a 3D tidal pool.  Something creative!

Click the heading below for your download:


Here are some of the online resources:


Online World Continent and Oceans Quiz lizardpoint.com

Maps of all oceans geography.about.com

Mountains Minibooks & Notebook pages

Here are our minibooks and notebook pages for our study on


My youngest daughters are in  junior and middle school level and we enjoyed an overview study of mountains.

We looked at …

pictures of the highest mountains,

snow-capped mountains,

most important mountain ranges on each continent,

famous mountains in many countries,

mountain terms and vocabulary,

measured and compared heights of mountains in our country using our atlas,

and viewed these web sites:

An overview of mountains ~ factmonster.com

How to build a mountain ~ ehow.com

Five North American Mountain Ranges ~  worldatlas.com

Mountains around the world ~ factmonster.com

And then the girls wrote brief notes in their minibooks.

You can download our Mountains Minibook and notebook page here ~ Mountains minibook

You can visit my Geography Free Pages to see the rest of our geography topics and downloads!