Sunday, April 1, 2012

Asia, part 2


Olivia's school tour through Asia continues with the countries of China, Japan and then Russia. The routines and resources are becoming familiar but Olivia is still having a wonderful time learning. She loves travel days when she get to bring out her passport and we act out the process of leaving one country and entering another. She says, "the people who stamp passports must not be very happy because they sound so serious". :) She has enjoyed learning about each countries' flag and the clothes, food, and activities of its people. She seems to really be drawn to hearing the languages and seeing the writing. Again, we relied heavily on library books as resources for learning. There is lots of good literature out there that comes from these countries and their cultures. We went through the kids of courage packet on China. I highly recommend that resource. It was helpful in discussing life, culture, and religion. During our time in Russia, we listened to the music of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. We also talked about, watched and practiced Ballet which of course is a favorite subject. We also talked about time zones. With Russia being the largest country by land mass, it covers 8 time zones. Olivia couldn't believe that a family in the west part of Russia might be eating breakfast while a family in the east was eating their evening meal.

The tanagram puzzle consisting of 7 shapes that was invented in China and brought to America and made popular by Chinese immigrants

making paper

Ping-Pong (on the Wii)
Chinese Checkers. Olivia really enjoyed this game. This one was just a paper version but I will be on the lookout for the actual game board and marbles.
stenciling (we also reviewed stamping/typesetting/printing)

Chinese dinner: She made the paper lanterns for decoration. We cooked a Chinese noodle and vegetable stirfry for the meal. (In the south of China, rice is staple but in the north of China you see more noodles and dumplings. This is primarily due to climate and is only a general distinction.) 

Japanese Snack: seaweed and rice noodles
origami (It turns out Akira Yoshizawa had his birthday while we were learning about Japan. He is credited with raising origami from a craft to a living art form. You might have noticed the google doodle recently. Nice coincidence!)
Another Japanese art project was Gyotaku, which is taking the imprint of a fish with ink or paint.
We bought a fish from a local market and Olivia daubed it with paint and then pressed gently with rice paper to get the print of the whole fish.

"My fish was THIS big!"

Japanese fishermen used to do this as a way to document their catch; i.e. type of fish and size.
Russian art project based on observing St. Basil's Cathedral--graph paper, pencil, and watercolor
matryoshka dolls
Russian food: blinis and chai tea, also tried rye bread and cheese


The science focus was on oceans while in China and Japan. Then we turned our focus to the Arctic Tundra once we were in Russia. Olivia really enjoys reading and learning about specific animals from these ecosystems. The discovery channel is a great resource for learning too. It just so happened that they were showing Frozen Planet the last couple of weeks which is about the Tundra.

Discussing the properties of cold and warm water and their interactions. The blue water in the bottle was cold while the water in the bath tub was hot. The colder blue water stayed on the bottom or sunk as compared to the warm water.

In our learning about the ocean, Olivia got to taste water as salty as the ocean and here we are growing salt crystals and discussing the water cycle. We also made the concentration of salt and water in seawater and she tasted it. :p
This was an demonstration to look at permafrost, the layer of the Tundra that stays frozen all the time.
Discussing how animals adapt to the climate of the tundra, insulation through fur, feathers, and/or fat layers. We also talked about camouflage.


Our read aloud this time was Gladys Alward. Once again, we really enjoyed it. I will say that this one was one of the most graphic of our missionary read alouds this year. But Olivia seemed to do well. I did summarize/skip over a few parts but not too many. This living book was not only a story of an amazingly determined and dedicated woman but one that really helped explain culture, people, and difficult concepts like communism and war. I was challenged. Olivia said, "Being a missionary is hard. I think that I might want to be one. But then I might have to think harder about that. I would like to travel though and tell people about God's love." :) (I let her talk along those lines all she wants but put no pressure on her. I tell her that she has tons of time to decide what she wants to do with her life and I will help her along the way.)

Olivia is wearing an outfit that I brought her back from Cambodia when she was just about 2 years old. She thought it was beautiful and funny that she still sort of "fit" in it. She said she was dressed like Gladys.

I integrate some of her language arts assignments with our other studies when possible. I was able to do that with the writing of haiku when we were in Japan. We also have done it regularly through copywork and some verbal and picture narrations of the books she reads.

On the left you can see an acrostic she created from her name. On the right is her illustrated haiku (the book we had on haiku said that the specific syllable count was not necessary when writing haiku in English)


Added Later: Olivia wanted to "make me a surprise" and this is what she came down with a while later. I love how creative she is. And, yes, it did me some good knowing she had retained some of the things she was learning. :)

1 comment:

Lacey said...

ang was right! you guys have been busy...love the fish print & matryoshkas, and salt crystals, and... ;)