Monday, May 8, 2017

Brazil and New Zealand and Singapore... oh my!

Yep, I got behind again. Sorry! Three weeks ago, we covered Brazil. Oi! We made Carnaval masks, took a virtual field trip through the rainforest, ate negrinho (a soft chocolate dessert rolled in coconut), and listened to an old Brazilian folk tale about a dreaming tree.
Two weeks ago, we visited New Zealand with Teacher Beth. Kia ora! We got to see awesome pictures and souvenirs from her trip there, learned what Christmas would be like in the middle of summer, learned how the Maori people greet one another (close their eyes and rub noses... we couldn't get the kids to try it! 😊), and played with some sheep (New Zealand has 4 million people and 30 million sheep!).

Last week, my friend Erani Gray came to visit us and share about her childhood in Singapore. She told us all about the 4 different cultures in Singapore: Chinese, Indian, Malay, and mixed-American. She is of Indian descent and showed us some very cool traditional clothing and a water pitcher that she received as a wedding present. She taught us about getting around town and how difficult it is to move if you want to live somewhere else. Because it is so densely populated, the government has to regulate housing. We ate prawn-flavored crackers, which are very popular in Singapore (and were very popular with some of the kids in class!!).

This week is our final week of class and Pastor Edwin from BLC will be coming to teach us all about growing up in Colombia. We are so grateful for our guests who helped us out with class this year and grateful to your awesome kids for being so polite and respectful to them!

Monday, April 17, 2017


Namaste! Last week we visited India. We added information to our passports about the taj mahal, the golden temple, and other landmarks. We talked about the various religions and learned about the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. We made mango lassi and drank it while we watched a musical clip from Bollywood. Then we read an amazing book called "A Taste of Freedom" about Mahatma Gandhi and his salt march. I didn't have time to read the other book I brought called "Grandfather Gandhi" so if you're interested, grab it next time you're at the library. It is wonderful! Finally, we made mandalas with various grains and some pretty stones, shells, and beads.

This week: Brazil!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

South Korea

Annyong haseyo! Just before spring break, we visited South Korea. Teacher Beth lived there for several years so she had some great pictures and first-hand experiences to share with us. She also brought a TON of amazing food to try: spicy ramen (which we attempted to eat with chopsticks), rice rolls, chocolate cakes, candies... Sorry if we sent your kids home stuffed! :)

We learned about religion in Korea, and the role of Confucianism (though not a religion per se) on strong family ties. We talked about holidays like Lunar New Year and Children's Day (again sorry if they are expecting your family to observe this now! ;)).

Back to school tomorrow and we will be traveling to India!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Catch up!

Hello Expedition Earth friends! I'm sorry I've been so remiss in keeping up this blog. I hereby resolve to do better as we finish out the semester. :) So let's get caught up!

Week 3: We visited Italy. My husband and I went to Florence, Pisa, and Rome on our honeymoon so I brought in some of our souvenirs. We learned about the amazing artists of Italy and why the leaning tower of Pisa is leaning, ate gelato, and played "Rota", the ancient Roman version of Tic Tac Toe.

Week 4: South Africa. We learned about apartheid and Nelson Mandela. We ate some homemade chakalaka (kind of salsa with a can of baked beans in it!) and then we made our own Ndebele (pronounced un-duh-BEE-lee) houses. The paintings on the walls of these houses were used to communicate with neighbors how many people were living inside and their current state (e.g. a pregnant female, baby boy, little girl, healthy/sick, etc).

Week 5: Egypt. We watched a couple of videos about how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and about the process of mummification. The kids wrote their names in ancient hieroglyphics and got directions and a game board for a game called Senet that they could play at home. We also ate aish baladi, which is in Egyptian flatbread. Many Mediterranean countries eat pita bread or something similar, but in Egypt, it is made exclusively with whole wheat flour and is eaten with most meals.

Week 6: Nigeria. We had a guest speaker visit us today, James Bingham, who worked for Boeing for many years as an airplane inspector. He traveled all over the world as part of his job and visited Nigeria several times. He showed us lots of pictures of the houses, the food, and a GIANT ant hill. We realized how blessed we are to have so much food to eat, clothes to wear, and toys to play with. Jim also showed us a hand-carved bow, and the string on it was made from cowhide that they would chew into a pulp and stretch out (some of the kids didn't want to touch the string...). We also handed out another game board to be used at home called Derrah.

Week 7: Israel. Teacher Beth took over for me today as I was home sick. We learned about the religious history of Israel and all the Biblical landmarks that still exist (e.g. the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the mount of olives, and a brief explanation of the Dome of the Rock and how the temple mount changed religious "hands". We watched a travel video about the country in general (it's so beautiful!), and Beth brought some snacks that she described as "like cheese puffs but peanut flavored". Apparently, they were a big hit!

Week 8: Russia. We learned about how MASSIVE Russia is geographically and how diverse the climate and people are. We also did a brief timeline of the history of Russia and introduced the concept of communism, its strengths and weaknesses. We read the book "The Noisy Paint Box" about Wassily Kandinsky and learned about the birth of abstract art (it's a picture book, but parents if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!). We started to do a collaborative grid drawing of St. Basil's cathedral, but it must have been a full moon that night or something because we were a little out of sorts. :) So we cut the grid apart and made a puzzle of the cathedral instead.

Week 9: China. I didn't bring any food from Russia the week before and believe me, I heard about it! So I made it up to them yesterday, found a Russian bakery near my house (who knew?) and brought in a delicious pastry called trubochka. We started out on China learning about the huge population, the Mandarin language and how important tone is when speaking it, and again, a little about communism (Mao, the one child policy, and restrictions on religious freedom). We ate sliced bamboo shoots (or most of us did)! Then the kids had a choice of making a Chinese New Year dragon puppet or making paper. Most of the kids chose the paper so we tore up some white paper, put in a blender with some water, poured the pulp into a big tub of water, and used a window screen to sift it out. We then carefully pressed it dry with some towels and sandwiched it between 2 pieces of felt. It has to dry overnight so hopefully it made it home unscathed! It was a pretty cool, if more than a little messy, project.

I really hope your kids are enjoying this class! Beth and I enjoy teaching it,

and thank you for the opportunity.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weeks 1 and 2 - United Kingdom and Finland

In our first class, we traveled to the United Kingdom. Teacher Beth showed some great souvenirs from her travels there, including currency. We learned what the difference is between Great Britain and the United Kingdom (in case you were wondering:, made Big Ben sculptures, listened to the national anthem, and had our version of high tea.

Last week, we visited Finland with Mr. John Nygard. We learned what "first generation" means as John's parents were both born in Finland. He showed us the coats of arms from several of the townships, let us peruse magazines and newspapers, and brought some delicious Finnish blueberry and raspberry licorice. We had planned to make Finnish stars but ran out of time. If your child took the paper strips to make it at home, here are the instructions:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week 2- India

नमस्ते namaste

This is hello in Hindi. While India doesn't have a national language, Hindi is the most spoken. We were lucky to have shared the neat souvenirs Teacher Isabelle got while on her visit this past summer to India. The girls in class got to dress in a popular garnet known as a sari and the boys learned that the males wore very similar clothes as they did. 

Two very important people came from India, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. And there was also this prince who built an amazing structure for his wife that he loved so very much. The sad part is he built it for her as a Tomb as she passed away and he wished everyone would remember her. He had it built out of marble and amazing stone work. This monument is Taj Mahal.  Ask your students how smooth the marble was. 

India has been added to our passports and our next stop will take us to the 2nd largest country in the world. See you next week! 

Week 1 Review

Hello World Travelers,
This is our first post, we will go over the week and then at the end give some hints on where our travels will take us next! (Parents be sure to ask your kids about their new found information from each country, they will have lots to inform you about! Passports currently stay with us in the class.)

Week 1- We set sail for the United Kingdom. We learned while coloring, that their flag had the same 3 colors as Ours, Red, White and Blue. We learned about their money was called pounds and that a Queen (and Parliament) ruled their country. Our biggest journey in the United Kingdom was Stonehenge.

The children even made their very own (edible) Stonehenge. Before leaving the United Kingdom, we stamped our passports and prepared for our next adventure to the 2nd most populated country in the world!