Well this week I am going to share two Multicultural topics with you. As you may remember I skipped Multicultural Monday last week, but then shared two Multicultural posts to go with the MeMe Tales Readathon. If you missed them they are Global Culture and Hazel Cooks Pancit.
Also, The Virtual Book Club for Kids July Author is Don and Audrey Wood. You can still link up any activities and/or crafts to do with any of their books! Just visit my two posts on it: The Dragon and The Princess and The Deep Blue Sea. Oh, and while I'm making announcement, Sharing Saturday is still open. Please stop by and share a child-oriented activity or craft and/or check out what has been shared and be inspired!
Ok, now onto my Multicultural Monday Post. Awhile ago I did a post on meerkats. The people of Hullabalu were kind enough to let Hazel pick out an animal from their website for me to review and she chose Meerkat Moe or as we call him, Meerkat. If you do not know what a meerkat is, it is a small desert animal that lives in Africa. Well, a web editor from National Geographic Education asked me to try their meerkat craft with Hazel. They only had adults make it so they were looking for some feedback of how it works with children. That said, Hazel is below their suggested age and I could see why.
I did paint our forks. Their instructions did not suggest that, but I thought it would look better. We also did not have brown pipe cleaners (due to a little kitty who keeps stealing all my pipe cleaners as toys) so we used gold and we only had color googly eyes or at least that is all I could find. If I were to do this craft again, I would not use the construction paper for the stomach and would use the leftover felt from the head. I let Hazel do as many of the steps as she could on her own. This included drawing the face. I did add the dark shapes for the eyes since I was putting the glue on.
Hazel had trouble twisting the pipe cleaners to form the nose and the tail and she had trouble with the rubber bands. Otherwise she did pretty well. Oh, and I have one more meerkat book to share. I got this after I wrote the other post, but I think it was one of the best out of the books I found for information on them and I loved the pictures. The book is What on Earth Is a Meerkat? by Jenny Tesar. If you want to learn more about these cute little guys, go check it out.
The next thing I want to share with you is about popcorn. We happen to LOVE popcorn in my house. When I was in high school I would eat a huge bowl of air-popped popcorn every day. Now we do not make it as much, however I discovered this book, Popcorn! by Elaine Landau at the library when I was in the children's cooking section and grabbed it. As I read it to Hazel I realized it was perfect for Multicultural Monday.
Popcorn has a long history. Most of its history in the Americas however China and India had popcorn long before Columbus "discovered" America. Native Americans used popcorn as jewelry as well as food. The oldest known popcorn was found in the Bat Cave in New Mexico and was aged to be about 4000 years old. Its size was much smaller than corn is now since they did not use all the genetics we do. (Source: popcorn.org)
There are so many ideas on line for things to do with popcorn. From music and art to science and geography you can find a lesson involving popcorn for just about every subject. However I am more interested in the cultural parts. Native Americans throughout the Americas had popcorn from early on. Each one had its own way to pop the corn as well. There is difference of opinions as to whether popcorn was served at the first Thanksgiving since corn was not grown in the New England area yet though other sites actually name the Indian that brought it, so who knows. Popcorn also became more popular during the depression because it was a cheap luxury and during World War II since the sugar was being sent over to the soldiers there was not the sweets so people enjoyed popcorn as a treat.
The book goes into the history, the science behind what makes popcorn pop and where it is grown as well as other interesting facts. When popcorn vendors first sold popcorn in China, you had to bring your own corn to be popped.
After reading the book, we, of course, made a bowl of popcorn. Don't you love Hazel's new smiling face when she poses for me. She always closes her eyes now! Oh, well. We also tried an experiment we found on www.agclassroom.org/ok. We filled a small plastic cup with kernels and added water. We covered it and let it sit for an hour. Much of the water was gone after an hour. We recovered it and will check it tomorrow morning! I will update you then. We are also planning on making some colored popcorn to make some popcorn pictures.
There are also loads of popcorn songs available on line. We sung one in parent/child swim class last year. It went "I'm a piece of popcorn put me in the pot. (Move child away from you.) Shake me up, shake me up (Move child side to side) until I pop (Lift child in air)." Hazel still loves when we do that swimming.
Oh, and I forgot to mention my friends who own a gourmet popcorn store in Melbourne, Florida. It is a good thing I don't live down there as I would be there all the time. It is called Tin Roof Popcorn. I haven't been there in years, but when I was it was like an old ice cream shop but with flavored popcorn. You could sit at the counter and get a sample so you would know what to order. Talk about dangerous for my diet!! If you are down that way, make sure you check them out (or if you feel like ordering some since they do mail order).
We made some colored popcorn by putting a small amount (I put too much) of water and some food coloring in a plastic bag, then add popcorn. Zip it closed and shake it until it is the color you want. Then give them some paper and glue and let them make popcorn mosaics or pictures.