Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Culture Day Festivities

In social studies, we are learning about 4 different countries -- Peru, Ukraine, India and Tunisia.  Today's "Culture Day" really gave us a chance to learn more about the culture of three of these countries.

To start with, we were taught a bit about Ukrainian dancing.  We watched this video, to help us get the idea of the "Troika" dance:

We learned each part of the dance and then put it all together to perform!
Some of our reflections...
It was good exercise.  -- Wyatt
It was really tiring me out but it was fun.  -- Compton
I liked it because it was crazy.  -- Kade
I liked when you got to go under another person and
I learned that Ukrainian dancing is unique.  -- Tristan
I liked the Ukrainian dancing because it is tiring and I can teach it to my family. -- Taya
Doing the dancing taught me a new dance move.  -- Alexa

In our next activity, we got to learn more about Peru.  Clothing in Peru is often made from alpaca and llama wool.  We got to see and touch some!
It was amazing how soft they were!  The necklace you see in this picture was made from a rock found in Peru.

Next, we learned that hand sewn pictures, called arpillera, are a popular form of art in Peru.  The pictures often show the markets where women go to buy and sell vegetables, clothing and wool.  Here are some pictures of arpilleras from the internet:
Mountain Village Harvest Scene Arpillera
Market Day Arpillera
Country Village Arpillera
Photo credit for all 3 pictures: Arpilleras from Peru by The Folk Art Gallery

Then it was our turn to try to make a similar type of picture, but using construction paper.  The details were quite tricky and it got a little messy, but the results were wonderful!


Some of our reflections...
I learned that the people in Peru make the craft out of yarn. -- Mavry
It was cool how they stiched the cloth into a picture. -- Hayden
I learned that they have different animals than us.  -- Aidan
I enjoyed making the mountains.  -- Trace
I learned what kind of art they did.  -- Jaxson
It was fun just to experience the Peru animals.  -- Chacie

Our last session focused on the culture of India.  Since we had learned about the culture in the other countries, we started by talking about what culture is and some specific ideas about culture in India.  This web shows our thinking...

When we talked about clothing, we looked at pictures from the internet of ladies from India wearing saris.  Our teacher even showed us one...
We couldn't believe how long it was!  How do ladies even wear it?  This video answered that question for us...

Next, we learned about mandalas.  This is an art form that often starts with a circle in the middle and contains many bright colors and designs.  Mandala means "circle" in the ancient language of Sanskrit.  They can be made out of sand or drawn or painted.  Some people believe that they help to keep evil spirits away.  Here is one example...

Photo Credit: Mandalas

Then it was our turn to try making them.  We used a template of a design and placed a clear page over top.  Using permanent markers, we then colored the design.  While we worked, we listened to music from India.

Some of our reflections...
I learned that you can turn a long piece of fabric into a dress.  -- Tatum
I liked the dress.  It is pretty.  -- Baileigh
The sari was really long and I don't know how to wear it too.  -- Asher
Mandalas keep bad spirits away.  -- Sam

But the best part of the day had to be lunch--a multicultural feast!  Our class was responsible for bringing food from India.  The other classes brought food from Peru and Ukraine.  We were lucky to have so many wonderful parent volunteers come in and get everything set up for us and served us the lunch.  There was so much food to try -- from mango smoothies to butter chicken to quinoa.  Many of us even found a new food that we liked!



Even our principal jumped in and helped with the serving!

Some of our reflections...
I liked the Indian chicken because it was tender, juicy and very squishy.  -- Ava
I enjoyed the steak because it was yummy.  -- Mieka
I liked the donut because it was sweet and the chicken was crunchy.  -- Landon
What I think was interesting is that before I tried some bread, I thought it was normal.  But when I tried it, I realized that there was stuff inside it.  Now I like to call it "surprise bread".  -- Makayla
I liked the chicken curry because
I wanted to try something new that I might like and that I did like.  -- Breanna
I liked the pancake because it was rolled up.  -- Evan
I thought the donut type thing was interesting because they were filled with potatoes.  -- Logan
That wrapped up our Culture Day -- what a fabulous way to learn about the culture of these countries!

We were wondering...

Have you ever attended a cultural celebration?
What do you know about the culture of another country?

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