August 27, 2008

Around the world...first stop: America

A few weeks ago, we began our world-wide voyage in North America, with a special focus on our patriotic homeland. I only sort of briefly touched on the geography of the grand ol' USA because I figured the kids, well, they live here and it's just not as exciting as learning about the unknown cultures of Asia and Australia, know what I mean? And I'm so eager to delve into the other countries of North America, especially those in Central America, that I sort of skimmed this great land of ours.

We hit the elementary highlights: the Rockies, the M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter...(you fill in the rest) River and the Great Lakes. As we located these places, I couldn't resist this particular map exercise: take four crayons, color each state a different color, but don't let any two touching states be the same color. My eight-year-old nailed it, can you?

And what's a study of America without mentioning the National Anthem? I had each of the girls copy the first stanza around the flag they colored. This patriotic poem is full of rich language that we simply take for granted. Oh, yeah, it'll give you chills of pride to hear it at the ballpark, and this anthem truly evokes intense patriotism for me. As an interpreter, I get nervous when I sign this song, because it portrays the fight for our freedom with great emotion. Try acting out the words sometime and you'll see what I mean.

Some Anthem Trivia:
Did you know that it's only been our nation's official anthem since 1931, though is was written in 1815?
The flag seen by Francis Scott Key at Fort McHenry in 1814 now hangs in the Smithsonian.
It was first sung at the 1917 Baseball World Series in honor of the men fighting in World War 1. It proved so moving, that it has been sung at every game since.
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1 comment:

Mrs. Darling said...

God Bless the USA!!!!