With roots in West Africa, France, and Spain, music is an important part of the culture in the Caribbean.

The music that is played throughout the islands shows how the islands share some similar musical traditions and instruments. There are so many exciting genres of music in the Caribbean islands that include mento, reggae, dancehall, dub, and dembow from Jamaica,  and calypso and soca from Trinidad and Tobago. There are also Latin music genres such as bachata, salsa, merengue, rumba, and reggaeton coming from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

In today’s lesson, learn about some popular musical instruments in the Caribbean islands. Take a little trip through the musical maze and collect instruments on your way to the festival! When you are done, check out this song featuring one of our favorite young reggae artists of today: Koffee.


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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.


Tostones are a type of twice-fried green plantains that are eaten in different Latin American countries and the Caribbean

these countries include Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras, and in Haiti. Did you know that a type of music and poetry that comes from the mountain regions of Puerto Rico known as Jibaro, brought over from Spanish settlers in the 1600s, talks about this side dish known today as tostones?  Tostones have a long history and today you can learn how to make tostones with the help of a grown up.

In today’s lesson, learn how to make tostones with a grown-up using our favorite recipe.


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Note to parents

This recipe should be done with adult supervision as it involves slicing and frying oil on a stove top.


In today’s lesson, we will continue to apply your learning about maps, geography, and land and water forms as we explore the Caribbean Islands.

In lesson 6, we learned about some land and water forms that include a landform called an archipelago. An archipelago is a group of islands that are close together. That is why the islands in the Caribbean are called the Caribbean Archipelago. Did you know that there are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean archipelago? There are 13 countries in the Caribbean and 12 territories! A territory is an extension of other countries. In the Caribbean, there are three main ecosystems such as forests, coastal areas, and wetlands full of wildlife, from birds to reptiles, and sea creatures!

Today, you will color a map of the Caribbean islands and find some land and water forms in the region. Then, you can color some of our favorite animals of the Caribbean! Before you get started, you will need crayons or colored pencils to color the map.

First, color the physical map of the Caribbean. Find and circle the following water forms on the map:

Landforms

  • Lucayan Archipelago
  • Greater Antilles
  • Lesser Antilles

Water Forms

  • Straits of Florida
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Caribbean Sea


Let’s get cooking, Tiny Travelers!

From pasteles to arroz con gandules, chicharrón to bacalaíto, Puerto Ricans love their food and take great pride in cooking from the heart. For today’s activity, we are going to focus on one of the most beloved sweets in Puerto Rico: an icy type of ice cream called limber.

Limbers can be found all over Puerto Rico; at roadside fruit stands, local colmados (convenience stores), and even gas stations! Limbers are commonly made with tropical juices and sometimes with milk! They are the perfect treat to cool down on a warm day, or when you want a light snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you’re wondering about its unique name, limbers are actually named after Charles A. Lindbergh, the first pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. When Lindbergh flew alone to Puerto Rico on his 26th birthday, on February 4, 1928, he was offered a frozen fruit juice. He enjoyed it so much that the locals then started freezing the juice and calling it “limber” in his honor!

Today’s activity includes a fun Puerto Rico coloring sheet in which you can explore what foods you would traditionally find on the table at home. Once you’ve completed your coloring sheet, try making a limber with our recipe! This easy-to-follow recipe can be customized in a variety of ways to adapt to ingredients you have in your home.The flavor options are endless – you can use any fruit that you have available and it’s a kid-approved healthy alternative to a traditional popsicle!


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Note to parents

This recipe should be done with adult supervision.


The vejigante, pronounced ve-hee-GAN-teh is a character that represents an enemy or monster and can be seen in Puerto Rico during festivals such as Carnaval, Fiestas de Santiago Apóstol (in honor of St. James ), and other days of celebrations. The vejigante mask is known as the careta and it is usually made using papier-mâché or coconut husks and sometimes gourds. The legend of the vejigante comes from the Spanish settlers that brought over this symbol from Spain.

The Loíza vejigante masks are some of the most recognizable examples in Puerto Rican folk art. This style became popular by the late Don Castor Ayala over 60 years ago! Today, the Ayala family still makes these masks out of coconut and bamboo from their home in Loíza, in the northeast coast of Puerto Rico!

In today’s lesson, you can color your own vejigante mask also known as a careta.

Even though the masks represent a villian type of character, they are still used in playful ways and shown in bright colors throughout celebrations. Can you bring your vejigante to life using bright, fun, and playful colors?


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Let’s dance, Tiny Travelers! Today we will explore the rich history of Puerto Rico’s Bomba and Plena music.

Drawing inspiration from traditional African music, what’s fun about Bomba and Plena is that they are both interactive! In Bomba music, singers lead a call-and-response chorus along to the beat that the musicians make with their barrel drums known as the subidor or primo (bomba barrel or drum). The musicians also play other percussion instruments including maracas, and the cuá or fuá, two sticks that are played against a piece of wood or the barrel of the bomba drum. While Plena music has one rhythm, Bomba can have up to 16 different rhythms! Plena music tells more of a story, usually about events or times when people needed to join together to make a change.

Puerto Rico has a long history of using music as a form of storytelling. In both Bomba and Plena, you can hear songs about resistance, struggle, celebration, and joy! No matter the style, it is music that brings together the soul of the Puerto Rican people and their cultural pride for their beloved island!

Today, you can bring to life a scene of Bomba musicians and dancers with a fun coloring activity. While you color, enjoy the sound of Bomba with this song: Mayelá (bomba) by Viento De Agua. To see a video of Bomba musicians, singers, and dancers, take a look here!

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


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In Puerto Rico, we find a special kind of frog called the coquí, pronounced ko-kee.

Coquís are named for the loud sound the male frogs make at night. Coquís are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. During the day, they rest in the shade under logs and rocks. Coquís are carnivores, which is a fancy word for meat-eater. They like to eat other small critters like ants, crickets, moths, spiders, snails, smaller frogs, and even lizards!!

In today’s lesson, you will learn how to draw your own coquí! Before you begin, you will need a pencil, eraser, and colored pencils or crayons.

Coquís are one of the largest frog species found in Puerto Rico!

Coquís are a beloved symbol of Puerto Rico and the Taíno culture. Legends tell of a time when the island was inhabited by millions of coquís way before humans came to the island of Puerto Rico.

Many frog types have webbed feet but not coquís! Their scientific name (Eleutherodactylus) literally translates to “free toes.”

Coquís grow to be about one to two inches long. That’s the size of two quarters side by side. So tiny but so loud when they all sing at night in the jungles of El Yunque rainforest! Check out the clip to hear the sound the male coquís make at night!


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In today’s lesson, we will continue to apply your learning about maps, geography, and land and water forms as we explore Puerto Rico.

One very important landform in Puerto Rico is the mountain range known as Cordillera Central. These incredibly lush mountains in the center of Puerto Rico run the length of the country from east to west. Bananas, pineapples, and plantains are grown throughout the region as well as coffee. The beaches and coastlines of Puerto Rico are also some of the most beautiful in the world! The important water forms include the Atlantic Ocean in the north, the Caribbean Sea in the south, and the Vieques Sound between mainland Puerto Rico and the island of Vieques in the east. A sound is a waterform that is located along a coastline and it is a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land.

Today, you will color a map of Puerto Rico. Once you’re done, follow the guide to create a 3D salt dough map of Puerto Rico as well!

Before you get started, you will need crayons or colored pencils to color the map.

First, color the physical map of Puerto Rico.

Find and circle the following water forms on the map:
1) The Atlantic Ocean
2) The Caribbean Sea
3) The Vieques Sound

Then, find and circle the following landforms:
1) Cordillera Central Mountains
2) Vieques Island
3) Culebra Island


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