Before April vacation we were able to explore two more continents, Asia and Antartica. First up, Asia. Having traveled to Thailand a few years ago with teachers, I was excited to share pictures and videos from a small section of such a large continent. In addition to that, it was fun to share the class book my student made from the year I traveled there. After learning all about Thailand, students wrote about their favorite facts creating a Student Treasures book. (Side Note: If you haven’t heard about this free student publishing company…check them out!)
Bridging our study of Europe to Asia, I was able to share some information about Russia. Russia spans across the European and Asian continents (who knew), with the majority of the country in Asia. Two summers ago, with my family, I visited St. Petersburg for the day. St. Petersburg is located in the European section of the country, but it was a good link to Asia. As a class we were able to look at a map and talk about continent borders.
It was a fun week, reading facts, watching mini videos, taking notes, and answering lots of questions. Students are really loving the Travel Kids YouTube videos about different places. Their favorite this time around was toss up between Giant Pandas in China and the Tiger Temple in Thailand. When we watched the video about taking a hot air balloon ride in Turkey, students were curious about where Turkey got its name. This was a job for Mrs. Eastman (or Google Eastman as the kids fondly call our classroom aide when we need to figure something out). How lucky are we to live in a world where answers are right at our fingertips!
As our study of Asia was winding down I took some time to share my own stories, pictures and videos from my trip to Thailand. It’s not everyday you can talk about elephants who are artists, meeting boys who are studying as monks, or share pictures of grand palaces dripping with gold and jewels. What a difference sharing first hand knowledge of a place; what it sounds like, looks like, what the people are like, what the food tastes like, and on and on. I find it much easier to talk about a place I have been to as opposed to one I have only read about. Students had so many questions, some of which I didn’t know the answers to, but many I could answer because of my travel experiences.
It was fun exploring a different part of the world with students for another week. I am looking forward to returning from break to wrap up our continent studies with Australia!