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 are headed to the United States of America.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the land was inhabited by an estimated 50 million indigenous peoples, who lived in dozens of different tribes throughout the land. Today, the indigenous population is around 4.5 million, the result of disease and genocide committed by empires driven by their desire for conquest.

For this week’s activity you will color a map of the USA and identify key geographic landmarks, then find indigenous tribe names in a word search. This map of the United States shows the areas of land that were occupied by 34 indigenous peoples during the time before European settlers colonized North America, only a small portion of the tribes that used to live on this land. It is important to note that many indigenous populations have been known by different names, many of which are not what they refer to themselves as. For this reason you may not recognize all of the tribe names on this map. Try and see what you can learn about the names you don’t know.

Indigenous peoples – a term of self-identification that describes a person/people who have a long history living in and strong link with a specific territory, who have distinct cultures and societies, that pre-date colonial settlement

Genocide – the organized killing of a group of people, because of their race, religion, culture or nationality

Empire – one ruler who gathers and controls a group of territories or peoples

Conquest – to gain something (in this case, land), often with force and violence

Resources/Further Reading


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Sanskrit is the world’s oldest language and the holy language of the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions.

It is one of twenty two languages spoken in India today, and while it is not the most commonly used, it is the foundation of almost all languages of Indian origin. Sanskrit grammar is very complex with eight different grammatical cases (English only has three), sixteen vowel sounds and three different ways that numbers can be grammatically written.

In today’s lesson you will learn to write five words in Sanskrit; Together, speak, body, like and om- which is the sound that people make when meditating. Grab a pencil and eraser and try it out!


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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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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!

 

In today’s lesson, we will learn about the Ancient Maya number system

This color-by-number activity will bring to life the Temple of the Grand Jaguar at the Tikal ruins in Guatemala! The Ancient Maya used a counting system that was able to represent very large numbers by using only 3 symbols:

a dot to represent the number 1
a stick or bar to represent the number 5
and a shell symbol for zero, or completion

Check out the Mayan numbers chart and see if you can write your age in using Mayan numbers. See if you can also write out your favorite number in Mayan numbers too! Then, visit the ruins of Tikal, an ancient Maya City found in the rainforests of Guatemala near the border of Belize! The ancient Mayans lived in the southern part of Mexico and northern Central America, including Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.


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In today’s lesson, you will make a flag banner for the countries in Central America.

The three stripes (blue, white, blue) are common in many Central American flags. For example, in the Salvadoran flag, the royal blue shade was chosen to represent the oceans and sky of Central America. The white represents unity and peace. In Guatemala’s flag, the blue stripes represent the two oceans on each side of the country, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Today, let’s bring the flags of Central America to life! Using the examples provided, create, and color your own flags. When you’re done, cut them out and string together to form your own flag banner!

Instructions:

  1. Color the country flags to match the flag examples. Then, cut out each flag.
  2. Decide where you will put your flag garland and cut a piece of yarn for the size that you want.
  3. Cut the fold over the top area of the flag and hook it over the piece of yarn.
  4. Tape the folded part to the back of the flag.
  5. Add each flag to your banner string.

If you need more string, cut more yarn and tie a knot to tie the string together.



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!



In today’s lesson, you will complete your flag garland of the are 13 independent countries in the Caribbean Islands!

Even though there are 13 countries, it is also important to know that there are also 21 different territories and places with a different kind of status than a country. A territory means that the islands or place is part of another country. For example, Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States of America, and Martinique a french speaking island is a territory of France.

Today, let’s bring to life some more of the flags from the Caribbean! Using the examples provided, create and color your own flags. When you’re done, cut them out and string together to form your own flag banner!

Instructions:

  1. Color the country flags to match the flag examples. Then, cut out each flag.
  2. Decide where you will put your flag garland and cut a piece of yarn for the size that you want.
  3. Cut the fold over the top area of the flag and hook it over the piece of yarn.
  4. Then, tape the folded part to the back of the flag.
  5. Add each flag to your banner string.

If you need more string cut more yarn and tie a knot to tie the string together.



In today’s lesson, we will learn about the flags of different countries within the Caribbean islands.

Did you know that each flag carries a special meaning? For example, the two black triangles in the Jamaican flag represent overcoming hardships from the past and future. The two green triangles represent hope and good farming while the yellow cross represents soil and sunlight in the sky of Jamaica. The flag colors in Trinidad and Tobago, represent Earth, water, and fire. Black is a symbol of unity and strength, red a symbol of the energy and warmth of the sun, and white for the sea that unites the two principal islands. The colors in flags represent the beliefs and values of each country. The flags of the Caribbean are all unique but they have some similarities in their designs.

Today, let’s bring to life some of the flags from the Caribbean islands! Using the examples provided, create, and color your own flags. When you’re done, cut them out and string together to form your own flag banner! Come back tomorrow for more flags from the Caribbean islands for part 2 of this lesson.

Instructions:

  1. Color the country flags to match the flag examples. Then, cut out each flag.
  2. Decide where you will put your flag banner and cut a piece of yarn for the size that you want.
  3. Cut the fold over the top area of the flag and hook it over the piece of yarn.
  4. Then, tape the folded part to the back of the flag.
  5. Add it to your string and collect more flags of the Caribbean islands in part 2 tomorrow.