Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Studies Culture Study–India

This week we completed our study about cultures.  Essential Questions guided our study.  We asked: “What is a culture?”  “How are people alike and different?” and “How are cultures alike and different?”

We learned that there are many elements in every culture.  Some of those elements are clothing, language, food, celebrations, and traditions.  To connect all of these elements, our class studied the culture of India.  We presented our knowledge to the other kindergarten classes in a cultural fair.

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The first group of students welcomed visitors with a HIndi greeting.  DS said “namaste” and told us that this means hello.  DB, DD, and LL told us where we can find India on the map and showed us the flag.

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Moving on to the next group, VC, AG, and KK shared information about Indian clothing.  We learned that, while many Indian people wear clothes like us for day-to-day activities, when it’s time for a big celebrations, many women wear sarees.  These are fancy silk dresses that are draped around a person.  We saw many pictures of beautiful sarees.



  At the language station, AW, LC, and DM talked about the Hindi language (it’s not the only language spoken in India, but it’s spoken by many people) and taught visitors to count to 10 in Hindi.  Take a look at the poster they made and practice counting to 10 yourself!  You will notice that some of the words are spelled different in the poster and in the list.  We added the list because we found many variations in the spellings of the pronunciations, so here you can see two that we looked at.


100_4248Counting to 10

Ek - 1
Dho - 2
Theen -3
Chaar - 4
chah - 6
Saath -7
Aat- 8
Nau- 9
Das –10


Watch this video to hear the numbers pronounced.  We found this video on YouTube.  


100_4255-1At the celebrations station, RR, BJ, KW, JP, and MS told people about celebrations in India.  Our favorite celebration is Diwali – the festival of lights.  It is one of the biggest Hindu festivals.  People light diyas and small candles during this time.  There are also many fireworks.  We learned about Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.  Tiny footprints show that Lakshmi has visited a house, so we made footprints for our classroom.

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Continuing to learn about celebrations, our visitors talked with JT, CD, and AI, who talked about Mehndi, a special decoration painted on hands and arms.  This is usually done for celebrations. 

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The final station visitors saw was the food station.  Here, GF, CR, and LJ talked about some of the food eaten in India.  As a special treat, the girls served mango juice and chapati to the visitors.  One thing our class noted about chapati is that it looks a lot like tortillas, which we have all eaten at lunch and which many of our students eat at home!


Here are some final images from our work.  Visitors are creating their own Mehndi patterns on hand papers, AW and DM are helping visitors practice counting to 10, DS is working on a mandala project by filling in a design with colored sand, and students are creating their Lakshmi footprints to decorate the room.

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Here is a photo of our hallway bulletin board.  You can see a recap of all we learned and presented. The picture on the right shows AW’s final thoughts on the presentations.  “We are learning to tell others about what we are learning.” 

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Read along with us!  In the carousel below is a variety of books about India.  Our favorites are “Count Your Way Through India” and “I is for India.”

Thanks for learning about Indian culture with us.

Happy reading!


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