Daily Schedule

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Wonderful Start to a New Year

On Tuesday, our first day back from the nice long break, the children and I together decided to start our fresh new theme (although we gave rather short shrift to last month's exploration of Innovations). We were just too excited to wait. This month we will all be teaching each other and learning about "Global Citizenship".

I thought it would be fun to narrow this down a bit, so my class will be concentrating on Immigration to our Country. This will allow plenty of opportunities to learn about different cultures - with an emphasis on stories, music, and foods - map reading (including learning difference between city, state, country, and continent), historical time lines, and more. We are already learning about the immigrant experience by reading picture books and a chapter book "read-together". Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty will figure prominently. It is going to be a great month.

We begin the morning - after pebble meditation of course - with reading:

Lily and Miss Liberty is a shorter chapter book that takes place in 1885. The Statue of Liberty is coming from France, but can't be put together until a pedestal has been built. Lily, a girl of about nine, wants to contribute money to the cause, but her mother thinks money would be better spent feeding the poor. Lily finds a way to help in a very imaginative way. (This MAY inspire us to do something similar, who can tell?)

Each child has their very own copy of the book, and is encouraged to follow along with me as I read - a bit slower than usual. This is a wonderful way for early readers to gain confidence. The children will be allowed to take these special books home after we finish, and they may want to read it again with you!

I read an informational picture book called Coming to America: The Story of Immigration earlier this week. This book does an excellent job of presenting the ever-changing immigration history of the United States, including the fact that all citizens of our country come from somewhere else (even Native Americans). We also read that groups have different reasons for coming to our country, including religious freedom, hope for better opportunities, or displacement from their country due to war or natural disasters. And some immigrants came not by choice, like the Africans forced into slavery.

This afternoon, I drew a timeline on the board, and we went back much farther in history than 1885 (the time of Lily and Miss Liberty). We started with 2013, went back to the American Revolution, then back a couple hundred MORE years to the first permanent European settlement in St. Augustine, Florida by the Spanish. I hope this gave the children more of a sense of how young our country really is.

And, since food is a wonderful way to experience and learn about different cultures, we made our first recipe together this afternoon. These Spanish Empanadas were a HUGE hit with the children, and many asked for the recipe. Of course, we hope to be forgiven as the use of refrigerator biscuit dough probably isn't historically accurate. We made two batches - one with vegetarian "meat", and one with just the corn, cheese, and other ingredients. You know what? They were DELICIOUS.


    • 1 lb ground beef (we used vegetarian "meat" crumbles)
    • 1 garlic cloves
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans fresh cut corn, drained
    • 1/2 cup chopped onions
    • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 (16 ounce) cans large refrigerated biscuits 


  1. Brown the ground beef in a frying pan adding the salt and pepper just before done.
  2. Let the beef cool.
  3. In a large bowl mix the corn, onions, cheese, and salsa, then add the cooled beef mixing carefully so not to break up all the cheese.
  4. Roll the biscuits out flat to about 2-1/2 times their size.
  5. Place approx 1/3 cup filling on one side of the center of the circle lengthwise.
  6. Fold the dough over the filling like a turn over and crimp the edges like a pie crust. Be careful not to tear the dough, and to seal the edges completely or your filling will come out! depending on how much filling is used will determine how many biscuits you will use.
  7. Place on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 till lightly browned.

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

What a wonderful post. Geography has always been a favorite of mine and what better way to learn than eating foods from that culture. Thanks for the recipe that just has to be very tasty.