As Earth Day approaches, our attention is focused on tangible ways to help protect our environment. One easy and virtually free way for kids to go green is to start a backyard compost bin. Composting is a natural way for organic (previously living) materials to break down, into a nutrient-rich soil that we can use in our garden. Did you know that in the US we make about 4.43 pounds of waste per person each day? (see epa.gov) That is 250 million TONS of trash per day! We make too much garbage and 13.4% of the waste produced in the US in 2010 was yard trimmings, 13.9% was food scraps. We could be composting this waste, recycling it, and returning it to the ground!
Here are reasons why it’s important to compost, instructions on how to do so with kitchen scraps, and resources (books, clips, and games!) to learn about composting at home. Continue reading
Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Today we’re looking at Gingerbread stories. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Food, France, Ireland, Literature, Mexico, Norway, Russia, The Americas, UK, United States
Tagged fairy tales, fiction children's books, folktales, Gingerbread Man stories
I remember as a child I would be chastised to turn off the light and go to bed, but I would sneak in a flashlight, just to be able to finish the chapter of a thrilling adventure book. Books have the ability to transport us anywhere in the world. Multicultural books help us imagine what it would be like to experience life from a different perspective. Here are 6 reasons to teach our children using multicultural books. Continue reading
Booking Across the USA is a collaborative blogging project created by Jodie from Growing Book By Book. Each of the participating bloggers are showcasing a book and activity related to their state: all 50 states are represented!!! Children’s literature is a fun way to bring history, culture, and geography alive and to learn about the US through “armchair travel.” The book I’ve chosen to represent Texas is Tomie dePaola’s “The Legend of the Bluebonnet.” Continue reading
Do your kids love to learn about penguins as much as mine do!? There are 17 different kinds of penguins, and although they look different, there are some similarities. All live in the southern hemisphere, normally on the coasts of: Antarctica, South Africa, parts of South America, parts of Australia and New Zealand, and many different islands including the Galapagos (where I swam with some!)! All penguins have blackish backs and white bellies, and are flightless birds who are excellent swimmers. They feed underwater on krill and other creatures, and their predators are orcas, sharks, sea lions, and fur and leopard seals. Groups of penguins are called rookeries. Today penguins are threatened because of reduced food supply (due to over-fishing and global warming), pollution (such as oil spills), and reduced habitat (due to melting ice from global warming). Learn more about penguins with these phenomenal resources:
Penguin Resources: Web Sites
Download a free, high-quality poster of the Emperor Penguin’s life cycle from the US government’s Antarctic Program. Continue reading
Posted in Animals, Australia, Australia and Oceania, Games and Toys, Literature, New Zealand, Polar Regions
Tagged education, non-fiction children's books, on-line activities, penguins, science
I’m pleased to welcome back Mia, mom to son Judah, age 5 ½, and wife of Dan. She works as a teacher coach for Children’s Literacy Initiative, a non-profit based in Philadelphia, helping to improve the quality of instruction in inner city schools. Though raising her son in a Jewish home, diverse and multicultural values weigh heavily in making daily parenting choices. In her spare time, she enjoys acupuncture, meditation, walking the dog (Mooshu), cooking delicious plant-based superfoods, reading and writing, and volunteering as an advocate for cancer awareness and healthful living. You can find her at her blog, Remission Statement. Here are some of her favorite books about Hanukkah for kids!
I am giving away a $25 gift certificate to Barefoot Books!! It is no secret that I love quality children’s books that teach culture and languages, and help kids learn about the world. Barefoot Books has always been one of my favorite publishers because their out-of-this-world illustrations, paired with their authentic stories really engage and excite my kids. I have been a loyal customer since my daughter was first born, and I was looking for nice board books in Spanish. As I discovered their books with CDs, we began our collection of the wonderful audio books Barefoot Books offers (*great* activity for kids to do while I’m making dinner!). But my favorite books from Barefoot might be the books that offer simple stories about different cultures. Whether I am going to a baby shower, or one of my friends is bring home their newly adopted child, I look for a special gift on Barefoot Books- I know I sound like a commercial, but honestly I have been singing their praises for as long as I can remember. Continue reading
I am pleased to introduce Maria L Hughes, a children’s book enthusiast and online publisher for Children’s Bookstore. She enjoys blogging about reading and children’s books. Today she’s sharing 4 simple books, teaching tolerance and compassion through endearing stories.
It’s never too early to begin instilling positive attitudes about acceptance and tolerance in your children. The important thing is to expose your child to those who might be different than him or her, and children will often sympathize with others that they’ve become familiar with. It’s also important, however, to simply encourage the idea that accepting differences is important and that hateful behavior is not beneficial for anyone. Here are some books that do both: exposing children to differences in others that they might not even know exist, and teaching tolerance while showing that kindness can benefit not only the one who needs it, but also the one who gives it. Continue reading
It’s that time again…… let’s learn about the world!
It’s time for the December Culture Swap!!! If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more cultural traditions in your December, you’ve come to the right place. This link-up will include crafts, book recommendations, history on holiday traditions, cultural customs, food recipes- a multitude of ideas to help you teach your kids about their community, and about the wider world. The link-up below will be open for the entire month of December, so check back often to see new posts!
Globally-minded parents and educators: I’d love to see some posts for holidays around the world- Christmas, Chanukkah or just learning about any cultures! Do you have some cool gift ideas to help your kids learn about the world and global cultures?
What have you been doing this month to teach your kids about the world? Have you tried any food or done any cool art projects from other countries? Learned another language? Read books from another culture? Share your ideas here so we can all learn from you!:) If you don’t have a blog or web site, write your ideas in the comments! Everyone can benefit when we share your best ideas.
What do you know about Cinderella? Perhaps the blonde-haired, blue eyed, Disney princess? Maybe you’ve read the Brothers Grimm version from 1800′s Germany, or even farther back to the late 1600′s with Charles Perrault‘s version. Did you know that Cinderella stories are not limited to a Western European perspective, and in fact appear in more than 500 versions around the world? No one knows the true origin of the famous folktale and its universal theme of good versus evil- but we can enjoy all of the unique twists and learn about cultural values, as we read the diverse stories.
Kid World Citizen is proud to collaborate with some of the best multicultural and educational blogs on the web to present “Cinderella Story Around the World.” While this international project is only a small sampling of the versions of the folktale that are available, we worked together to provide a cross-cultural selection suitable for elementary classrooms. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Greece, Iraq, Korea, Literature, Martinique, Mexico, Thailand, The Americas, United States, Zimbabwe
Tagged Appalachian, Cinderella Around the World, Creole, fiction children's books, indigenous, Native American, Ojibway
As part of our “Cinderella Around the World” series, I am so excited to review one of my favorite Cinderella stories: The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story retold by Rebecca Hickox and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. This version of the famous story comes from Iraq, and was originally called The Little Red Fish and the Clog of Gold (see an on-line retelling here). Many of the same elements are also present in eastern Iranian, and western Afghanistan stories. Continue reading
As part of the “Cinderella Around the World” series, I have chosen to look at Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China. Yeh-Shen, (also known as Ye Xian 叶限) is one of the world’s first Cinderella stories, and was published in the 9th century (!!!!) in an anthology of stories called Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story From China is the adaptation of this ancient fairy tale, retold by Ai-Ling Louie and wonderfully illustrated by Ed Young. If you do not have access to the book, you can read the full text here. Continue reading
Today’s guest post comes from Amy Broadmore, the mother of three young children ages seven, five, and two. She spends her time teaching and learning from her children, running, and searching for great picture books. She recommends children’s literature with captivating stories and gorgeous illustrations on her blog Delightful Children’s Books.
I love the ability of good stories to both entertain and teach kids at the same time. Here are ten of my favorite stories set in countries around the world. These are, for the most part, fictional stories. Yet, they introduce kids to real places and real experiences. These stories help kids imagine what it would be like to celebrate Eid in Kuwait, go on a family road trip in Australia, wait for the Biblioburro to arrive in Colombia and more. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Colombia, Europe, France, India, Kuwait, Literature, Malawi, The Americas, The Gambia, Ukraine, United States
Tagged Alaska Inuit, fiction children's books, indigenous
It’s time for the September Culture Swap!!! I am sorry I was so late in posting the link-up!:) I am starting up the International Club at my children’s elementary school and we have been gearing up for a busy year.
Globally-minded parents and educators:
What have you been doing this month to teach your kids about the world? Have you tried any food or done any cool art projects from other countries? Learned another language? Read books from another culture? Share your ideas here so we can all learn from you!:) Continue reading
“We have kids from Nicaragua, Guam, and Africa in my class…”
“We made masks from China, Peru, and Africa…”
“He is been to England, Africa, and Italy”
I have a pet peeve. It makes my skin crawl when I hear people referring to Africa as a country, instead of an immensely diverse continent. Did you know Africa has well over 2000 languages and innumerable ethnic groups, in its 54 countries!? My goal is to help parents and teachers dispel stereotypes by teaching a variety of stories from different countries in the continent.
One great book that counters stereotypes, “Africa is Not a Country,” gets to the heart of modern Africa: rural and urban families, living contemporary and traditional lives, and children in their homes, with their families, going to school, and playing with their friends. In this activity- which touches on 25 countries in Africa- kids will be locating and coloring countries on the map as they hear them mentioned in the story. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Geography, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Literature, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, People, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe
Tagged fiction children's books, maps