Learn about Japanese haiku, read about Bosho- the master of haiku, write your own, and even enter an international haiku contest!
Photo: Public Domain
When Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) was a child in Japan, he fell in love with a type of poetry that began with a verse of 5-7-5 syllables. He traveled his homeland island writing short poems about his experiences of his travels. Centuries later, when this stanza was presented to stand-alone, it was named the haiku 俳句. Basho’s incredibly rich anthologies of his poems have made him one of the most beloved poets in the history of Japan. Teach your children about Basho with the following books and resources, and then write a haiku together- all while learning a bit about Japanese culture! Continue reading
Photo credit: Agência Brasil 2006, Creative Commons Use.
Wangari Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) grew up in the green highlands of Kenyan. When she returned from studying college in the US she discovered that her lush homeland was being destroyed by deforestation which caused water and food shortages, malnutrition, and disappearing wildlife. She began to educate others to care for the land and re-plant the forests and they called her Mama Miti, “Mother of Trees.” Ms Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, which empowered woman around Kenya to help take back their land, planting tree by tree.
For her compassion and efforts she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was the first African woman and environmentalist to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Here are resources you can use to teach your children about this inspirational, remarkable woman, and her plight to save her country’s landscape. She shows us that one person truly can save the world! Continue reading
My daughter was born an animal-lover. She’s the kind of kid that saves tadpoles from drying up puddles (thousands right now in buckets in my backyard). The type that questions zookeepers why the social lemur was alone in a cage (he had gotten in a fight with his “wife” and had his tail bitten off). She was the one that protected a mother duck’s nest from kids at the park for hours while her friends played.
In a recent school project that involved reading nonfiction books, she requested books on animals or famous animal scientists. With Earth Day coming up, I immediately thought of Jane Goodall: a beautiful role model for animal lovers and kid who want to protect our Earth.
Photo credit: Jeekc, taken in Hong Kong on 24 October 2004. Creative Commons.
Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.- The Dalai Lama
With so much violence in the world today, it is our duty as parents and teachers to teach our children about compassion, showing them kindness and respect, and giving them examples and role models to follow. Studying great leaders who embody peace helps kids to make better decisions and learn from others wisdom as well as from their mistakes.
The Buddhist religion was founded in India over 2500 years ago, and is currently practiced by over 500 million people all over the world. The countries with the largest number of Buddhists are: China (especially Tibet), Thailand, Japan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Viet Nam, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Laos, and Nepal among others. Every country has different ways to worship, but the universal goal of Buddhism is to achieve a state of enlightenment- freedom from suffering- through acts of compassion on all living things.
The Dalai Lama: Peacemaker from Tibet, a biography by Chris Gibb.
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, though Buddhist around the world follow his teachings of non-violence and kindness.
Dalai is translated from Mongolian as “ocean” and lama in Tibetan Buddhism is “perfect teacher.” In fact lama refers to a religious master, specifically a Tibetan or Mongolian Buddhist monk. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, China, India, Japan, Literature, Malaysia, Nepal, People, Thailand, Tibet
Tagged biography, buddhism, education, famous person, multicultural
In this abridged version of his autobiography, children will be introduced to a global hero: South African Nelson Mandela
Reading biographies written for kids, and learning about important leaders from around the world and challenges they have overcome gives children examples of character traits, perspective on current events, and expands their ideas about other countries. The activities in this article are geared towards the older elementary grades.
You may know that Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned 27 years, elevated to President of South Africa in 1991 and subsequently won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading