Monday, April 16, 2018

Gudrun y el jaguar

This year, third grade students have been studying Peru.  They learned that Peru has three regions: la costa, la sierra, and la selva.  We spent part of the school year on the coast, studying Lima (the capital city of Peru), the Nazca Lines, the Ballestas Islands, and the ruins of Chan Chan.  Then we moved to the mountains, where we talked about the Incas and Machu Picchu.  We also read a traditional Peruvian legend about a llama who warns that a flood is coming to destroy the earth.  We are finishing the school year in la selva - the Amazon rainforest.

Students are learning the true story of Gudrun, a woman from Austria who started a butterfly sanctuary in Peru.  Gudrun's story fits perfectly with our chapel theme of "sanctuary" this year.  Students learned how Gudrun created a safe place for endangered butterflies and other animals.  I had the chance to meet Gudrun when I was in Peru and hear her amazing story firsthand.

Students loved the story of how Gudrun started the butterfly sanctuary and took in her first rescue animal -- a baby jaguar named Pedro Bello.

Here are some pictures I took when I visited Pilpintuwasi, Gudrun's butterfly sanctuary and animal orphanage:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Chan Chan

Third grade students recently learned about Chan Chan, an archaeological site in northern Peru.  Made entirely of adobe, Chan Chan was once the largest city in the Americas.  We began our study of Chan Chan by planning a virtual trip to see the ruins.  In Peru, many people travel on buses, so we went to the website of the bus company Cruz del Sur.  Students were amazed to discover that many of the Cruz del Sur buses have WiFi!  We walked through all of the steps to purchase a bus ticket from Lima to Trujillo, the closest city to Chan Chan.  We then took a virtual tour of Trujillo with Google Streetview.

After exploring Trujillo, we researched different ways to travel to Chan Chan, which is about ten minutes by taxi or combi (a shared van).  Once we "arrived" in Chan Chan, we took a virtual tour with a YouTube video.  We also watched footage of a drone flying over the ruins, which gave students a sense of how large the city was.

Chan Chan was built by the Chimú people.  After studying Machu Picchu earlier this year, students were fascinated to learn that the Chimú people were conquered by the Incas.

Chan Chan is built entirely of adobe.  It has survived for hundreds of years because it was built in the northern desert of Peru, which receives very little rain.  Recently, however, rainstorms have become more frequent, threatening the ruins of Chan Chan.  Students learned that archaeologists are working to protect the ruins.  However, at nine square miles, Chan Chan is simply too large to preserve everything.

If you would like to learn more about Chan Chan, check out the following article in Smithsonian Magazine:

After learning about Chan Chan, students created their own "adobe" buildings out of air-dry clay.  Some students brought their buildings home last week and others are bringing them home this week.  When your student brings his/her building home, ask him/her to tell you more about Chan Chan!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

¡Felices fiestas!

Have a wonderful winter break!

Students do not need to practice Spanish at home over break.  However, if they want to, they can practice with Quizlet and Textivate.  Links are below:

La leyenda de la llama

La flor de Nochebuena

El dinero del rey

¿Dónde está Bigotes?

Isabel va a la escuela

Monday, December 18, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

La leyenda de la llama

This year, we are learning about Peru.  We are currently learning a Peruvian legend about a llama.  Here is a shortened version of the story in Spanish:

Un hombre tiene una llama.  Un día, la llama no tiene hambre.  El hombre le dice -- ¿Por qué no tienes hambre?  ¿Estás enferma?  ¿Te duele el estómago?

La llama dice -- Tengo miedo.  Va a llover mucho.  ¡El mundo se va a inundar!

El hombre dice -- Tengo una idea.  Vamos a subir a la montaña más alta.  

-- ¡Qué buena idea! -- dice la llama.

El hombre y la llama caminan hacia la montaña más alta.

On their way to the tallest mountain, the man and the llama meet many different animals.  Some of them choose to go to the mountain with them and others choose not to.

In some versions of this legend, the foxes were the only animals who chose not to go to the mountain.   When the floods came, they tried to run up the mountain, but the tips of their tails touched the water.  That is why foxes have white tips on the end of their tails.

In the version of the legend we read in class, the fox chooses to come to the mountain with the rest of the animals.  Only the penguin stays behind, because he loves the water!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

El dinero del rey - Textivate Activities

Here are some Textivate activities for our latest story, El dinero del rey.  Students may work on this story at home if they choose to do so.  (All Textivate activities are optional.)