Jacob lives far away from these Maasai boys, but Minga (my mother-in-law) and I tried to give my students a small understanding of the place we visited this summer, Tanzania, Africa.
My students anticipated Minga’s visit for weeks. Over the long Labor Day weekend, I compiled a sampling of our 1000 photos into a Google slide show. I also included videos. I brought in watermelon and cucumber because, in reality, we ate fresh fruits and vegetables every day in Tanzania. We dressed the kids like Maasai. Minga talked about the discovery at Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro crater of a new species of man Homo Habilis. The incredible long expanse of time is difficult to conceptualize, but she tried with a long rope. My sixth graders are studying this time period in their Social Studies class, a nice coincidence.
I had a surprise for my students…pen pals. When we visited Endoro School in Karatu, our guide suggested that I get the names of the children who surrounded me. I showed this picture and they proceeded to “claim” pen pals.
My students’ pen pal letters are as varied as they are. Erin sat at the computer and translated her “high-level” words into Kiswahili. At my suggestion, she made a key at the bottom of the page to help teach her pen pal the words in English.
Emily wanted to share her art talent and decided to do a silhouette drawing of an acacia tree with a girl reading.
Here is Madison’s letter that is just so Madison!