World Travelers

Ni hao! That’s how I greeted my students when we traveled on our virtual field trip to China today.

And what a day it was. End-of-quarter chaos aside, we also got a visit from one of our favorite volunteers who also is an avid ornithologist. Bluebird Bob, as his fellow bird aficionados call him, brought in a stuffed Great Horned Owl for our life cycle study. We loved listening to him talk about birds and studying the owl like scientists.

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That was just the morning. In the afternoon, we boarded the Hansen Airlines flight to Beijing. After a brief safety announcement, the students settled in with their green tea and cups of lychee and watched an in-flight movie about Chinese New Year. Excitement was high as we disembarked from the plane and boarded our tour bus. Via PowerPoint, we traveled all around China, viewing incredible sights—ranging from the Great Wall to the Li River to the Terracotta Warriors.

“Were you alive when the Great Wall was finished?” one student asked of me (then, Miss Hansen the tour guide). I fought back a smile and reminded him of the timeline of our local history. “Whoa! I guess that is really old!” he exclaimed. Yep. Really old.

We followed the tour with a stop at a museum, where students got to hold artifacts and try on various headwear from China—check out the hats!

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Chinese brush paintings were next. We tried to exemplify the spirit of simplicity and the beauty of nature. Some students succeeded in this endeavor more than others, but all of the artists created their own versions of the black-and-white bamboo shoots.

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The day ended with some delicious rice and gyoza (Chinese dumplings). Students had to use chopsticks—some were pros while others ended up using sort of a stab-and-eat method.

By the time the bell rang and students left with their lucky red envelopes and White Rabbit candy (my favorite), I was exhausted! It was like jet lag without ever leaving the country. However, I love the amazement in students’ eyes when they learn about different cultures and the connections that they make as we travel. All of the craziness is worth it when they skip out the door and tell their friends, “Guess where we just were? China!”

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With that, wan an. Goodnight!

Slice of Life

Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana, and Betsy at Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

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