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As her father prepares for a trip back to his childhood home in Ethiopia, Desta begins to worry. Where does her father truly belong–in the village of his youth or here in America with her? What was growing up in Ethiopia like? And will her father’s love for his family be enough to bridge these two worlds and bring him back to her?

Thanks to Gwen Wise for writing the lessons for this Faraway Home unit study.

Faraway Home Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book Faraway Home by Jane Kurtz.

Here are some sample lessons from the Faraway Home Unit Study:

Geography: Ethiopia
Desta’s classmate tells her that Africa is hot and dry. Father remembers a different Africa, one with “cool nights,” “muddy pools,” and a “thick cloud of fog.”

Teach children that the continent of Africa is diverse. It is made up of many land features, cultures, tribes, languages and histories. A mountainous area called the Ethiopian Plateau dominates Ethiopia. Through the center of this mountain, from northeast to southwest, runs the Great Rift Valley. Here, two sections of the Earth’s crust, called tectonic plates, meet, and you’ll find volcanoes, gorges and lakes there. In the southwest there is a lowland at the base of the mountains but it is sparsely populated.

History: Immigration
Make a Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between Father’s and Desta’s childhoods. Compare and contrast your childhood and your child’s own life, even if you are both from the same place.

Science: Night Sky
The Ethiopian night sky illustration in Faraway Home shows the actual location of the stars. Compare your night sky to the one in the picture and see how it is different from the night sky at your house.

You can grab a copy of the entire Faraway Home Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

Faraway Home Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also includes a Faraway Home lapbook with these mini-books:

  • Land Forms Flap Book
  • Similes and Metaphors Mini-book
  • Desta’s Childhood vs. Father’s Childhood Venn Diagram Flap Book
  • Hyena Facts Bound Book
  • Hippo Facts Matchbook
  • Genesis 1:31 Copywork Simple Fold Book
  • Ethiopia Map Shutterfold Book

How to Get Started with Your Faraway Home Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Faraway Home Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Faraway Home, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the Faraway Home unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning with Faraway Home.

Get Your Faraway Home Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free Faraway Home Unit Study and Lapbook.

Faraway Home Unit Study & Lapbook

Resources to Compliment Your Faraway Home Unit Study

Add to your Faraway Home Lapbook with the mini-books found in this Ethiopia Lapbook.

Ethiopia Lapbook

You could also add some lion mini-books.

Lion Lapbook

This unit study is not set in Africa, but it has gobs of hippo mini-books. If your student wants to learn more about hippos, use some of these.

Hanna’s Cold Winter Lapbook