Independence Day, also called the Fourth of July, is a historic holiday in the United States.

It celebrates the day in the year 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress, declaring the independence of the American colonies from Great Britain.

It is important to remember that while the white colonists gained autonomy from the British empire, the Declaration of Independence did not grant freedom to all of the people who inhabited the land known as the United States. African slaves, who had been forcefully brought to the United States as early as 1619, were not given legal freedom until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, almost one hundred years later.

In the decades following the Emancipation Proclamation, Black Americans have continued to struggle for equal rights and treatment, even to this day. Native Americans were also subject to genocide and displacement as the colonies expanded to form what we now know as the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


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This week we’re taking a look at Canadian coins!

Canada’s long history means that there are a wide variety of coins used throughout the country, but for now we’re going to be looking at the most common ones: penny, nickel, dime, quarter, loonie and toonie. For the first activity you will use the different coin values to see what new coins they can add up to, then have fun coloring in three Canadian coins in the second activity.

Before you begin, you will need a pencil, eraser, and colored pencils or crayons.


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Namaste, Tiny Travelers! This week we’re learning about yoga.

Yoga, which means ‘union’ in Sanskrit, is a spiritual and physical practice originating thousands of years ago in ancient India. It involves breathing, exercise and meditation, which aim to improve health and happiness. During a yoga session a person will move through a sequence of postures, or, ‘asanas.’ Since its creation, yoga has become popular all over the world and developed many different schools of practice. In this week’s lesson you will learn six beginner yoga poses.

Color in the poster, then see if you can do each pose one after the other!


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Traditional Chinese Opera, or Xiqu, has existed in China for over one thousand years. This type of musical theatre, accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments, features unique exaggerated makeup and masks of different colors.

Fun fact:
The color of a character’s mask gives clues to the audience about who they are what qualities they have.

For today’s activity, you will create your own Chinese Opera mask and color a beautiful opera scene. Before you begin, grab some crayons or colored pencils, a pair of scissors to cut out your mask when you are done, and some string to tie it on your face.


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This week we’re journeying to a new destination, Japan!

Japan is actually a string of islands in the Pacific ocean, located just off the east coast of Asia. There are five main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa, in addition to several smaller islands. The geography of Japan is made up of mostly mountains, with many volcanoes as well! The most well-known volcano is Mount Fuji, which is the highest peak in Japan at an elevation of 12,388 feet. Not too far from Mount Fuji is the capital city of Tokyo, home to over 36 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the world!

In today’s lesson, color your own map of Japan, then learn how to make your own origami fish! Origami is the art of paper folding, which has been practiced in Japan for over 300 years. Before you get started on these activities, you will need some crayons or pencils to color your map, and a square sheet of paper for your origami.

First, color your map, then find and circle the following:

The five main islands of Japan:
1) Hokkaido, 2) Honshu, 3) Shikoku, 4) Kyushu and 5) Okinawa

Then, find and circle:
1) the capital city of Tokyo, 2) Mount Fuji, 3) the Pacific Ocean

Next, grab a square sheet of paper, and follow the instructions on the worksheet to create your own origami fish.


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Journey through Puerto Rico with comedian Gina Brillon as she reads the Tiny Travelers Puerto Rico Treasure Quest book out loud. With so much to learn about Puerto Rico, from food to language, traditions, and more, you won’t want to miss out!

 

Today, let’s learn a little bit about traditional textiles and clothing in Panama.

Specifically: Mola, which comes from Panama’s San Blas Islands.
Molas are a type of woven textile made by the women of the Kuna people in Panama’s San Blas Islands. The word mola actually has two meanings: it is a Kuna word for clothing but it also refers to an important type of textile that features colorful panels sewn by the women of the native Kuna people. Traditionally, molas depicted the geometric shapes women painted on their bodies in ancient times. Molas have such importance for the Kuna and their traditional identity that even the school children have mola patterns as part of their school uniform!

As you begin today’s project, you can look online by searching the term “Kuna Molas” for images of the traditional clothing of the Kuna women to see examples of what molas look like. You will also notice other beautiful details that complete the outfits, including a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings, and the mola blouse (dulemor).

Today, color a pattern to make your own paper mola! You can use your mola as a piece of artwork on your wall, or give it as a gift to someone you love!

Fun fact:  Did you know? The tradition of molas as textiles go back to over 175 years!

Fun Fact: Did you know? The San Blas Islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the San Blas archipelago. An archipelago is a group of islands surrounded by water.


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In today’s lesson, we will learn about carnival in the Caribbean islands.

Traditionally, the festival is associated with calypso music, with origins that tie to Ash Wednesday and West and Central African freedom and liberation. In Trinidad and Tobago, carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Costumes (sometimes called “mas”), and calypso music are a big part of the festivities, and recently, soca music has become the most celebrated type of music during carnival. Stick-fighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival! In Bermuda, carnival is called “Heroes Weekend” and in Barbados, carnival, also called “Crop Over,” takes its roots from the end of the sugar cane harvest to celebrate the freedom of African Caribbean people.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is “Vincy Mas,” a carnival initially held in February, but now it is a summer celebration. Vincy Mas includes street festivals, calypso music, steel drum performances, and most famously, Mardi Gras street parties and parades. It’s the same carnival tradition but held at a different time.  This carnival is a two-month-long celebration, beginning in June and ending after the first weekend of August.

In Haiti, locals and visitors alike can celebrate “Haitian Defile Kanaval,” one of the larger carnivals in the Caribbean islands. Today, make a Haitian-inspired Kanaval mask!



In today’s lesson, we will introduce you to some fun poems from the Caribbean islands from Jamaican poet James Berry.

James Berry brings musical quality to his poems that celebrate what he calls “everyday” music – bird calls, tropical storms, the chatter of family and friends, and traditional songs and stories. They bring you the sounds, sights, and smells of James’ Jamaican childhood. You can listen to a poem written and read aloud by James Berry in English titled, “Childhood Tracks”. You can also hear him read aloud a poem in Creole or Patois, which is a Jamaican dialect here: Trick a Duppy.

Next, try to write your own poem in honor of Earth Day! Using “list poem” guidelines, think about the things you see and love about the Earth to create your own poem. What do you love and wish to protect about our planet?



In today’s lesson, we will explore a popular spring pastime in the Caribbean islands: kite flying!

Kite flying in the Caribbean islands is popular throughout the year, but Easter weekend is when you will see the most kites flying. Locals fly homemade kites with creative, colorful designs and keep them in the air all day. Easter weekend kite flying is very popular in Bermuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Trinidad, and Grenada. Jamaica has an international kite festival too! Fun kite competitions are held to find the best kite of the day. Kites are rewarded for the best designs, colors, and build quality. Designs include themes such as butterflies,  birds, and superheroes.

In Barbados,  kite competitions award high school students for creativity and grit! In Grenada, many elementary schools host kite-making workshops and Easter Monday kite competitions. The St. Ann Kite Festival is one of the more popular festivals on the island of Jamaica. It is also known as the “Jamaica International Kite Festival,” and features activities for kids and kite flying. In Trinidad and Tobago, Mad Bulls are bigger kites that require 4 to 10 people to hold and launch the especially strong marling (twine), which helps keep the balance in the sky.

Today, have fun with a kite maze. Then, make your own kite for the next windy day!