We participated in our local homeschool association's International Festival Saturday. It was such a good event. Approximately 25 families participated, making it an event to remember!
At the beginning of the school year, each family chose a country to study. Different families take different approaches. Some study the country of their choice for the duration of the fall semester; others study for a month while others study for a week. We chose Mexico this year because we were studying Westward Expansion in History. During the fall, we learned bits and pieces about Mexico as its history overlapped with American history. We did not begin a focused study until January and did not begin work on our actual project until last week. My bout of bronchitis put us behind schedule!
The Mexican Family
Nohnie, Michael, Wilbur, Orville and Homeschool Dawn
I found the sombreros at Party City and my shawl and the bandanas on ebay.
The festival began with a feast! Each family brought something good to eat. There was Chinese fried rice, Vegemite from Australia, Irish cookies, Sushi and much, much more. It was all delicious! I brought Sonora Chicken Enchiladas, fried plantains, chips and salsa, hibiscus tea and Hershey's kisses. Chocolate was important to the pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico.
I enjoyed the Vegemite at the Australia display.
Native American Display
For our display, the boys and I created a 3-foot-high model of a Mayan pyramid. For the first tier, we cut foam board in half length-wise and then cut the sides at angles to fit together. We attached the pieces with duck tape. The second tier was done similarly, only cut to smaller dimensions. The top tier was made by taping two empty Kleenex boxes together. Each tier was taped to the others. For a finishing touch, I mixed three different tones of brown with black and flesh tone paints and mixed in sand. The boys painted two coats. After the paint was dry, we glued reports the boys had written, typed and printed to card stock on the pyramid. You can read their reports here.
We also made a timeline from paper flags I bought at Party City (10 for $3). The boys chose 10 important events from Mexican history, typed them (double spacing between each event), printed to card stock and cut them out in strips. I used hot glue to attach three craft sticks together for a flag pole (I did this 10 times), glued each fact strip to a flag and each flag to a pole. We attached them to our table with packing tape.
Individual presentations followed. Reports were given. One young man played a song from his country of study on the piano, and two boys played violins. One of our teens sang a Psalm in Korean and then in English. It was beautiful and moved many of us to tears! Our family created a power point presentation on Mexico. We simulated a trip to various regions of the country (Mexico City, rainforest, beach, mountains, desert, etc.) and reported on landmarks. We also "spotted" birds along the way. We inserted pictures of birds in the presentation and had the boys pretend to spot and identify them using Spanish vocabulary. I hope to post video later but am currently having technical difficulties.
After presentations, there was dancing! My boys and I had practiced the Mexican Hat Dance with the coordinator beforehand and helped demonstrate it. The whole group joined in, and we had quite a line of dancers. We also danced a traditional Swiss dance and a Filipino dance. It was so much fun!
The event ended with the prize raffle. Each year our coordinator gives out prizes from around the world. As she gives out the prize, she points out the country it came from on the map. This year she gave out candy or treats and a book. Orville won a Toblerone and the book Heidi which represented Switzerland, and Wilbur won a Heath bar and a copy of Beatrix Potter stories which represented England. The girl who won the Japanese snacks and a Sudoku book gave them to Orville because she knew he is studying Japanese and wanted him to have them. Thanks, Katie! In turn, he gave his chocolate to a friend and Heidi to a child who had not won anything. Aren't homeschoolers great?!
Speaking of how great homeschoolers are... our family decided to incorporate a ministry project with our study this year. We asked our friends to bring in their pocket change to donate to a mission in Baja California, Capillo Calvario. The money will be used to provide school supplies and Bibles to the indigenous children of Vicente Guerrero. The pocket change added up to $54.30!
Authentic South Korean Clothing
Paper Mache Llama at the Peruvian Display