Studying China

We have spent our first unit of grade 5 studying China. We read Chinese History and Geography from the book: Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere by April Lotempio. To understand the culture in more depth we did the following:

We listened to following talks of Shri Mataji:

We read following books:

      • Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin
      • Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey
        (Listen to Arjun’s essay on Courage with examples from above two books listed.)
      • Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz (Listen to Arjun’s character sketch of Jean Fritz)
      • The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong
      • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
      • Li Lun Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger
      • The Analects of Confucius at World Book Website (we will continue reading this for the rest of the academic year)
      • Myths and Legends of China at World Book Website
      • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (we will continue reading this for the rest of the academic year)

      Creative Writing: Arjun wrote a story called “Facing Your Fears” set in China.

      We watched following movies:

      • Painted Faces on Netflix
      • Monkey King on Amazon Prime
      • Monkey King 2 on YouTube Movies
      • Shaolin on YouTube Movies
      • Genius of The Ancient World: Confucius, Episode 3 on Netflix
      • Princess Weiyoung on Netflix
      • The 36th Chamber of Shaolin on Netflix
      • Return to The 36th Chamber on Netflix
      • Disciples of The 36th Chamber on Netflix
      • Guardian Brothers on Netflix
      • Confucius movie on YouTube
      • The Story of Laozi on YouTube

      Arjun created following Chinese themed artwork:

      Arjun has really become good at using chopsticks. Following food was either made by Arjun on his own such as Chinese Almond Cookies, Egg Drop Soup, Chinese Steamed Cake and so on, or we made them together:

      Our friend who is born and brought up in Hongkong made this Hongkong Style Noodles for us. It was absolutely delicious.

      Hongkong Style Noodles

Meals by Arjun

Arjun has been preparing meals for the family when the mood strikes.  He is using the recipes from “What Shall We Cook Today?”  The conditions are that he has to follow the recipes in the book and he cannot use the same recipe again.  He has been rating the recipes in the book.  Also, he is using only his grandmother’s help to prepare these meals.  All the meals have been delicious and it has been a real joy.  Here are the photos of meals prepared by him with the help of his grandmother.

Factory Workers’ Supper in 1800s

We read about the food and life of a factory worker in 1800s. Almost everyday, their supper used to be potato or porridge and bread. To experience this first-hand, Kabir made baked potato, old fashioned oatmeal and toasts for supper. Arjun seemed confused and excited to see oatmeal at supper rather than breakfast. We enjoyed the meal and realized that it will not be exciting to have this same meal everyday for supper. Also, he folded the cloth napkins and set the table for us tonight. Life is never dull with kids!

Potato, Porridge and Bread for Supper
Potato, Porridge and Bread for Supper

Arjun’s Birthday Cakes

Here are the photos of the birthday cakes I have made for Arjun. You may want to view, Kabir’s birthday cakes too.

9th Birthday

Skates Cake

8th Birthday

Human Body Fruit Cake

7th Birthday

6th Birthday

Magic Tree House Birthday

5th Birthday

4th Birthday

Bucky - Jake the Neverland Pirate Ship Cake for 4th Birthday
Bucky – Jake the Neverland Pirate Ship Cake for 4th Birthday

3rd Birthday

Thomas Cake for Arjun's 3rd Birthday
Thomas Cake for Arjun’s 3rd Birthday

2nd Birthday

Backhoe cake for Arjun's 2nd Birthday
Backhoe cake for Arjun’s 2nd Birthday

1st Birthday

Bear Cupcake
Bear Cupcake for Arjun’s 1st Birthday

Making Butter from Cream

This week we read a story from Russia, The Determinded Frog. In this story, the frog lands in a pitcher of cream and he can’t get out as he slips each time he tries to get out. He doesn’t give up and keeps trying and keeps paddling. Because of all the paddling as he tries to get out of the pitcher of cream, the cream turns into butter and finally he is able to jump out.

After we finished reading this story, we bought some heavy cream and try to turn it into butter by shaking it in a glass jar. Kabir (4 years old), Arjun (1 year old) and I took turns. It was so much fun shaking the jar. Arjun was hilarious and he was shaking himself even when there was no jar in his hand (I held the jar with him whenever it was Arjun’s turn to shake). We kept laughing at Arjun and shaking. We succeeded. The cream turned into butter. We added some salt to the butter. Kabir is so happy with this butter that he is been having toast and butter ever since. He drank all the buttermilk too! Every Friday, Kabir makes dinner and so, tonight he has planned baked potato with the butter we made. He is so proud of this butter.