Weeks 5-6 Mexico

If you are using Exploring Countries and Cultures, please share your ideas with us.
Julie - Staff
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Liquid Starch???

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

4littlehearts wrote:We are in the 5th week of ECC and wanted to make the piniata from the Global Art book but do not know where to find this. Any ideas?
Post by jasntas » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:45 pm
In the archives I found this recipe for liquid starch:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... rch#p55977

Post by hollybygolly » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:52 pm
We found ours in the laundry aisle at Walmart...near the spray starch. It's super cheap!

Post by BHelf » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:53 am
Yep, Walmart...laundry aisle. Still have a ton even though my kids spilled it all over the place.

Post by NJCheryl » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:46 am
We tried starch for our pinanta last year. The next morning all of the newspaper had fallen off the balloon! We tried again with just a flour and water paper mache and that worked much better.
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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico

Unread post by DS4home »

We had fun flying down to Mexico. After the simulated plane ride on our kitchen chairs, I had the kids exit the plane and line up at the customs counter. Then I ducked around the corner and donned a sombrero. As I greeted them and stamped their passports I tried out some Spanish words. We have a couple of wool blankets from Mexico, so I took one and layed it out on the floor like a carpet. After they passed customs they had to walk across the carpet into Mexico. The kids loved it :-)
So, I encourage you to get out some of those souveniers if you've ever traveled that way. It made the event feel much more real to the kids!

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ECC Student Sheet Week 5

Unread post by cbollin »

annaz wrote:Am I missing a sheet? On the weekly grid for Week 5 Mexico, under Science, Tuesday, there are the asterisks ** and it usually means there's a Student Sheet, right? I don't have a student sheet. Can someone check for me? Thanks.
go back to week 5, Monday and turn page over (I had to find it too)

In my 2nd edition packet, the Week 5, Tuesday's student page was printed on the back side of the Week 5 Monday page.
It's like a two sided worksheet, but you take 2 days to do it.
side one is the world map labeled deserts. sounds like the page you did today. that was with help from a page or two in Living World.
side two is used on Tuesday and is a chart you fill in from POE on climate, features. locations, animals, plants, facts as help with narration of the facts in the readings.

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Weeks 5-6 Mexico - pinata, fiesta, books, and more - age 7

Unread post by MicheleMomOfTwo »

We've had a great two weeks in Mexico, and I wanted to share my experiences.

In Bible, we've been reading Cameron Townsend. I have a Highly Sensitive Child, my daughter who is 7, and we were not able to read Kingdom Tales. I am hesitant about most of the missionary biographies, but we started Cameron Townsend. There have been a few sensitive topics already that have made me question our decision (such as alcoholism, depression, mental illness, and the drowning of Robby). My husband reads the read-alouds in the evening and does a good job of censoring when necessary. But I may rely on the shorter version of the biographies in YWAM's Young Reader Series (the ones written in prose, that are shorter, condensed versions). Then for read aloud, we'll substitute in Laura Ingalls Wilder or chapter books from the Book Basket list (we loved "Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill")

For art we made the Huichol Yarn Art, Pinata, and Mexican tissue paper flowers, and they were all great successes. My tips for the Pinata - we didn't have liquid starch so I used a paste made of one part flour two parts water and it worked great. Covered the balloon about 2.5 times, then painted after drying. Loved it. I tried taping the balloon down, as was suggested in the book, but when I had to move the tape the balloon popped. On second attempt we tied it to the kitchen light and that was much better for working and drying. Something else about the paper flowers, we also made smaller versions that seemed a bit more manageable... instead of 6 sheets of tissue we used 4, and instead of cutting the accordion in half, we cut it into thirds. Something you might want to try.

Being advantaged that we are located in San Antonio, we took a field trip to El Mercado - the Mexican market in downtown San Antonio. If you are nearby or can plan a trip, make sure you include the market. It went along especially nicely with the book basket book "Saturday Market."

Regarding book basket books, for Kalman's non-fiction books on Mexico, I put a sticky note on each for my daughter to focus on looking at the photos and reading their captions, rather than trying to read through all the text. Where there are pages with content not appropriate for my Highly Sensitive Child (like skeletons and day of the dead things), I paper clip them together and she understands not to look at them. We loved many of the other books, such as Nine Days til Christmas, Erandi's Braids, Treasure Nap, Hill of Fire, Desert Song, Desert Giant, and A Desert Year.

For our Mexican Fiesta I picked up a plastic red and green tablecloth at Hobby Lobby, along with a centerpiece decoration and some Fiesta plastic cups. I picked up a family sized order of fajitas from our favorite Mexican restaurant and we ate at home surrounded by our paper flowers while listening to Mariachi music. The girls had such a fun time, and I didn't even know if we'd be able to have a Fiesta (I only planned it the day before since I am past 40 weeks pregnant right now!). We finished up our Fiesta with the pinata. All this to say, don't worry about how elaborate your Fiesta is - your kids don't read the message board and see all the different options. We didn't make the homemade tortillas because I didn't want to make something with shortening or lard or whatever the heart-stopping ingredient was. They had a piece of candy from the pinata. Even though we eat great Mexican food once every week or two, having it at home with decorations and music made it special, and I didn't have to cook a thing! :)

Everything else about the curriculum and the country study has been great. We've even done math drill while tossing a ball back and forth or even swinging in the backyard. It has made math drill a favorite!

Michele C.
San Antonio, TX
MFW 1st, ADV, and ECC currently
Daughters 7 and 4
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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico

Unread post by Mallorie »

We've been extremely pressed for time these last couple of weeks, so I have modified some art projects. We have done paper mache in the past, so I didn't feel it was necessary to do a traditional pinata, but I did want to make them. So I took brown paper lunch sacks, fringed some construction paper, and we glued them on. They also had a variety of other decorations. I think I got that idea from this site.

We also decided on the clay sun faces, but instead of buying clay or making salt dough, we made large round sugar cookies. We made "paint" out of egg yolks mixed with food coloring and painted them. So now we have a treat to share on our fiesta day this Saturday. The kids loved it.
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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico

Unread post by kelisue1 »

We made Cascarones, a.k.a. confetti eggs. They are fairly easy to make and ALOT of fun! Here's how:

http://www.mamalatinatips.com/2012/04/h ... -eggs.html

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ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by Yodergoat »

We really enjoyed this first introducton to a "foreign" country! I'll share some of the things we did, though of course not all by any means!

I tried to make this unit fun by secretly borrowing sombreros from a friend and making very simple ponchos from cheap thrift store scarves for myself and Gail (she is wearing hers in the photos). I also downloaded a couple of mariachi songs on the computer and had all this ready for her on the first day. She didn't know about any of these items ahead of time. After reading on this forum about parents simulating the "travel" to another country, I decided to do likewise. I had her meet with me (dressed as I normally would) as a travel agent and discussed her desire to travel to Mexico. I suggested she take the Amtrak train from Memphis TN to New Orleans, where she would embark on a cruise ship. I had photos of the train and ship to show her from the computer since she has never seen a passenger train or a cruise ship. I gave her the tickets and then after a crowded brief "train ride" in kitchen chairs I sent her to the back porch (which I said was the deck of a cruise ship). I left her out there while I donned the borrowed sombrero and homemade poncho and turned on the music, then opened to door to "Mexico." I stamped her passport with the flag sticker and greeted her in Spanish. After she had gotten over her shock and a fit of the giggles at seeing me dressed in such a way, I dressed her in her own poncho and sombrero. We watched a travel video about Mexico and read a few books to finish our introduction to Mexico.
Welcome to Mexico!
Welcome to Mexico!
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We have been very very close to Mexico (within sight of it) while on a birding trip/vacation to South Texas earlier this year. Although we didn't enter the country, we did get an idea of some of the terrain, plants, animals and birds that can be found there... including wild parrots, Plain Chachalacas, Green Jays, Mexican groundsquirrels and more. And the towns we visited had populations of about 90% Hispanic, so everywhere we went we encountered some form of Mexican culture and the language. Gail was the ONLY pale blond-haired child at the beach, at the playground, at our bed and breakfast, and in the wildlife refuges. It was an interesting experience and gave us a little tiny "taste" of Mexico.

We loved the Cameron Townsend missionary biography. As we were reading this, my husband took a silly turn and drew a face on a balloon and put the larger sombrero on this... the balloon became "Presidente Cardenas" who is mentioned so often in the book. This balloon head in a sombrero has been sitting in our living room about 10 days now, and whenever the air conditioner is on it moves and the head bobs, which gives the balloon man some character. Just a simple, silly thing, but it made it memorable!

We read a book about a modern day Mayan boy called The Corn Grows Ripe. This led to much discussion about the family's worship of the old Mayan gods combined with Catholicism. It was an interesting story about how the boy "makes milpa," preparing the jungle for planting by cutting and burning and then sowing his corn.
During the last couple of weeks, I have made a few Mexican dishes (these are in our normal meal rotation anyway) and have been using Spanish words when I can. I took three years of French, so Spanish comes pretty easily to me.

We didn't have much to do in the way of field trips, so we went by our town's one very small Mexican grocery and looked through the items. I picked up a few candies and gums to put in our piñata and a couple of bottled Mexican drinks. Oh, and we had already enjoyed some "Mexican Cokes" from the regular grocery. These are the little tall skinny Cokes in glass bottles, which are imported from Mexico and taste great because they are made with sugar instead of corn syrup. I always wondered why those glass bottle Cokes taste so good!

Yesterday we ate at the buffet at a local Mexican restaurant, and when we got home we did our academic stuff and then made a piñata. We did take a shortcut and used a large paper grocery sack as the base and layered on fringed pieces of tissue paper in the colors of the Mexican flag. I secretly filled it with candy and gum beforehand. It was fun and simple to make and looked okay from a distance! (Behind her you can see our Mexico bulletin board which had a few items on it.)
Easy piñata made from a paper bag and tissue paper.
Easy piñata made from a paper bag and tissue paper.
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Today, Gail and I worked hard making homemade tortillas, beef tamales and chicken taquitos and flautas for our "fiesta." These are favorites of mine anyway, although I rarely go through the labor/time of making tamales. Gail was excited because she was able to fill, roll and then tie (with corn husk strips) her own tiny tamales with no assistance, and some of them actually turned out looking great. After supper, Gail broke the paper bag piñata, which took a surprising number of hits with a baseball bat. Then we ate the treats from the Mexican store... some were good, and some were just strange to our tastebuds (like violet flavored gum). Some candies broke open due to the violence of the piñata breaking!
The piñata was shockingly tough! Note the Hola Gatita shirt under the scarf.
The piñata was shockingly tough! Note the Hola Gatita shirt under the scarf.
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This morning I secretly made a slideshow of pictures of various Mexican things (terrain, people, animals, customs, cities, old ruins, etc) set to some Mexican music, and we gathered around this evening to watch this and discuss. I'm hoping to make a similar "video" for each country we study. We can re-watch them later to help us remember some of the things we learned.

We'll have many enjoyable memories from our Mexican unit. Now, northward to Canada!
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by MelissaB »

Wow, great stuff!!

We like the glass bottle Cokes w/ real sugar, too. :)

P.S. Gail is beautiful & adorable! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Oh my goodness, SO FUN! Thanks so much for sharing. Love the pics! :-)
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by romans8x28 »

So fun! In the morning we're "flying to Mexico" for two weeks!
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Amy C.
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by Amy C. »

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Our first time through ECC, we found that we preferred homemade tortillas to store bought, and decided we would start making our own, but that fell by the wayside in the busyness of life. They were really delicioso! :-)
Yodergoat wrote:I liked them so well that I am going to ask for a tortilla press for Christmas!
Good idea!

Amy C.
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by CaseyVG »

Thank you for sharing! We're a week away from "flying" to Mexico. You gave me lots of good ideas! Have fun in Canada!

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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by MunkyWrangler »

Wow! This looks like so much fun! I can't wait to start ECC. Can we come to your house? :-)

BTW, that tire swing made my day. I had one when I was little and it is a pain finding one around here.
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Re: ECC Mexico study (lengthy, with pictures)

Unread post by CaseyVG »

Mallorie wrote:So I took brown paper lunch sacks, fringed some construction paper, and we glued them on. They also had a variety of other decorations.
Thank you for sharing your pinata idea! We tried to make a paper mache one, but it wasn't dry in time for our fiesta. I made a quick paper bag one and they decorated it before our friends arrived. It worked great! I blogged about our trip to Mexico if you want to see ours (address is in my signature). We didn't have sombrero's though! :)

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Julie - Staff
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Re: Weeks 5-6 Mexico - Cameron Townsend

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

To wrap up the story of Cameron Townsend, your family might enjoy this 1-minute video from the Museum of the Bible, celebrating the day that Cameron founded Wycliffe Bible Translators. You can scroll down to read the transcript underneath and talk about the number of translations resulting from Cameron's realization.

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