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Learn about France: Architecture

Welcome to France, Tiny Travelers!

This week, we’re going to bring Notre Dame Cathedral to life! It is located in the capital of France, Paris, on a small island in the River Seine. 

There are lots of fascinating facts about this beautiful landmark to learn. The name “Notre Dame de Paris” literally means “Our Lady of Paris,” and the cathedral is famous for the story of the hunchback who once lived there and rang its bell! Have you heard of it? The hunchback must have been busy, because there are ten bells at Notre Dame, and they all have names — most of them come from Catholic saints, like Anne-Geneviève.

Notre Dame was built over 700 years ago, during the Middle Ages! It’s a great example of Gothic architecture, which you might recognize from dramatic features like stained glass windows (the cathedral has three, known as the rose windows), pointed arches, and elaborate decoration. 

For this week’s lesson let’s color a lively scene from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, including the following elements:  

Accordion

South tower (right)

North tower (left)

River Seine

Beret


You might even feel a little gust of fall wind coming through as you color this lovely scene!


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Learn About Haiti: Culture!

Welcome to Haiti, Tiny Travelers!

This week, we have a chance to add a splash of color to Haiti’s Rara festival! This carnival, which is full of lively street processions, embodies the musical spirit and vibrant culture of Haiti.

There are many elements that make up the ritualistic musical reunion that is Rara: woodwind instruments called vaksen or banbou, the metal-made trumpet kòne, different types of drums, maracas, grags (also called güiras), flutes, and much more! Streets are enveloped in song and melodies as Rara bands, some featuring only women, make their way through neighborhoods (sometimes for miles!), while parade-goers and fans partake by way of singing and dancing.

The vaksin or banbou are especially popular during Rara — they are long hollow tubes that serve as horns, and, depending on their size, create a different sound! Their unique sound is essentially synonymous to Rara. The tanbou, a barrel drum stemming from Haiti, which is carried cross-body, is also very much present, and it is said that the older the drum…the better the sound!

For this week’s lesson you will color a scene from the Rara carnaval, including the following elements:

Vaksin
Kòne
Tanbou
Chapo pay
Zwazo

You might even feel the music coming through as you color this lovely scene from the parade!


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Welcome to Egypt, Tiny Travelers!

This week we we will continue to apply all of your learning about maps, geography, and land and water forms as we explore Egypt. Located in northeast Africa, Egypt has a desert climate of extreme hot during the summer and cold during the winter. Because Egypt only receives about one inch of rainfall each year, the Nile River is an important source of water, with annual floods that allow for crops to grow. These floods were crucial for the ancient civilizations that inhabited Egypt, which is why some of the most iconic historic sites are located near the Nile, such as the great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Valley of Kings, not to mention the capital city of Cairo. 

For this week’s lesson you will color a map of Egypt, then find and circle important geographic landmarks and cultural sites:

  1. The Nile River
  2. The Red Sea
  3. The Western Desert
  4. The Sinai Peninsula
  5. The Mediterranean Sea
  1. The capital city of Cairo 
  2. The Pyramids of Giza
  3. The Valley of Kings

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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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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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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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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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