Around the World in 18 Days
Ages Preschool-3rd Grade
Day 1: Persia
Making the rug that would take us around the world. We shredded 10 meters of colourful fabric, and had students pair up to braid sections of it as we attached them. We spiralled the braids and sewed them together to make our magic carpet.
Day 2: Mexico
Being a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines celebrates All Souls Day and All Saints Day on November 1 & 2. Mexico similarly celebrates these days, but in the form of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. As a class, we went through pictures of the festival in Mexico and compared it to the holiday here.
What they found in common:
- Cleaning the tombs and arranging fresh flowers and candles.
- No school.
- Gathering the families.
What was special:
- Costumes: the colourful face painting and festival clothing they wear.
- Music and dancing, a big celebration!
For our little taste of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, I printed a variety of (skull face) pictures that we coloured in and cut out to make into face masks. One of the first grade teachers said her students wore them the rest of the day, including through their reading exam!
Day 3: Kenya
On Friday, we took a trip to a country near and dear to GP’s heart – Kenya! There we learned about the Maasai tribe as we acted out their Origin of Cattle story.
For the story, we picked out:
- Maasinta – the first Maasai, spoke to by God
- Dorobo – his brother
- 10 cattle
The remaining students formed a circle on the floor to represent the cattle enclosure (soon to be filled in the story).
My host sister translated the story for the kids. Pretty cool to read a Swahili story in English and Hiligaynon. Yay cross-cultural teaching!
Here’s the mini story we used:
The Origin of CATTLE
In the beginning, Maasai did not have any cattle. One day God called Maasinta, who was the first Maasai and said to him,
“I want you to make a large enclosure, and when you have done so wait for me. Very early in the morning tomorrow I will give you something called CATTLE. Stand against the outside wall of the house and wait. But when you see or hear anything do not be surprised. Keep very silent.””
So very early the next morning Maasinta went to wait for what was to be given to him.
He heard the sound of THUNDER (drum hands on floor) and God released a fabric bridge from heaven to earth. Cattle descended down into the enclosure. The earth SHOOK (rock side to side) so much his house almost fell over!
Maasinta was very afraid and shocked, but did not make a sound. The brother of Maasinta woke up and came out of the house. He was so surprised when he saw what was happening he said,
God heard this, and so he cut the fabric and stopped the cattle from coming. God thought Maasinta had spoken, and so he said
“Is it true this is enough cattle for you? I will never again do this to you, so you had better love these cattle the same way I love you.”
And that is why the Maasai love cattle so very much.
After the story, we used paper plates with the center cut out to make the NECKLACES similar to the Maasai necklaces. (reference click to info about it). (and include picture of what it’s supposed to look like — in powerpoint)
Day 4: Vietnam
Another trip to a GP partner location!
We first watched a travel video giving some images of the landscapes (all the incredible tiered rice fields and mountains), food, and people of Vietnam. I showed them some pictures of the lanterns found in North Vietnam, how they fill the streets there.
We did a very simple craft that they really liked where we made our own lanterns. I had them decorate their pieces of paper however they pleased, and then followed these simple instructions to cut and paste together a mini lantern for each student.
It was a hit!
Day 5: Ecuador
Used this video: to show some traditional Ecuadorian dance, the girls used their skirts (knee length) to mimic the dancers in the video. And for everyone else we just flapped our arms as wings.
Our craft for the day was a tribute to this picture:
It’s really simple to draw, we just start with three “mountains” then draw a line horizontally through it. I had them color in the 6 spaces with whatever colors or patterns they decided (some were really cool in the end!). I then came around with a glass as a stencil.
Day 6: Italy
Inspired by pictures of mosaics, an ancient and intricate art technique very unique to Italy and the Mediterranean, we made our own paper mosaics (following an outline I made ahead of time).
Day 7: Thailand
I played a travel video of Thailand twice, they loved it so much. They called out what they saw as we watched – I heard:
Elephants! Red! Gold! (And every other color you can imagine) Muppets! (puppets) Karate! (people performing traditional fight)
Day 8: United Arab Emirates
The students absolutely loved the pictures of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We looked at some incredible doors — the shapes, colors, and patterns — that are found there. Then we made our own! I gave them stencils of door outlines, and patterns to overlay – but most of them just wanted to color their own designs. Right on.
Best part was when they ran to the projector at the end and started holding up their doors proudly to add to the list.
Day 9: Japan
I was so excited for Japan, it’s personally my favorite place in the world. We watched a travel culture video that was really well done, themed with the idea that Japan is where the past meets the future. We looked at some more images of fashion, art, and cuisine that’s both modern and traditional.
Then our activity for the day was creating Ikebana — the traditional practice of flower arranging! There are rules for Ikebana though, which made the activity a great but fun challenge.
In Ikebana, there must be a balance in the piece between Heaven, Earth, and Man — Heaven being the highest, with Earth as an offset, and Man represented temporally at the bottom usually in the form of a flower or burst of color.
Here’s a sample diagram we followed:
And here are some of their beautiful creations:
It was really cool to use local plant life for this cross-cultural craft. And they really had a knack for it!
Day 10: Uganda
Drums and listening to music
Day 11: Egypt
We used the ancient Egyptian set of hieroglyphs to practice writing our names in symbols! It was difficult at first, but I was really impressed with some of the preschoolers’ ability.
Here’s some super focused students:
Day 12: Hungary
The Christmas season starts in September for the Philippines, but for me, it’s December 1. So we took a trip to my family’s homeland, Hungary! Hungary is famous for it’s beautiful magyar flower designs, especially on it’s Christmas ornaments. Here’s an example:
We didn’t really have the capacity to embroider like that, so I printed little magyar designs, and we pasted them onto red cardboard and hung them with string. It’s just a little pasko pasalubong (Christmas souvenir) from my heritage!
Day 13: Honduras
A trip to another GP Partner location! We used plastic eggs filled with rice to make small maracas for the students to dance along with Honduran music.
(Tough to get a good picture, because they were constantly moving…!)
Visit GlobalPlayground.org for more information on other project sites, fellowships, and opportunities to get involved.