Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to India

   This week we began our culture/history theme of the Mughals and India.  My co-teacher happens to be from India, so she is - of course - quite knowledgable of the region and its history.  She spent her weekend preparing the classroom, decorating much of the room with clothes and other interesting items from India. 
   On Monday we had the students gather in the other classroom while we got ready the materials for a special Indian welcoming ceremony.  She had a tray with 2 small homemade oil lamps and rose water, and she handed me garlands she had made from streamers wrapped together.  We had the students line up outside the classroom and enter one by one. 
As they entered, my co-teacher first sprinkled the rose water on them, then swirled the candles around in front of them.  After that I placed the garland around their necks.  As the students entered they saw a classroom decorated with beautiful objects from India.
Once they had all entered and sat down on chairs that had been lined up near the computer to watch a short video, my co-teacher gave them an explanation of the greeting, and answered questions they had.  The students watched a short video on India that showed different images with accompanying music.  Following this short video clip, the students asked questions about India. 


Later on throughout the day, the students were encouraged to explore the culture shelves which contained many beautiful objects from India.
One particular thing the students were encouraged to try was the "Indian mouth-freshener" - a combination of spices that leave a nice taste in your mouth, however it is an acquired taste. 

Indian mouth-freshener

On the shelf, she also had common Indian spices on a tray, and in bottles - all with nice labels.
The wall next to the culture shelves is decorated with beautiful Indian clothes.
It takes a lot of work, but the children are so much more engaged when you take the time to "prepare the environment."  I was quite impressed by all the effort my co-teacher put in, and wanted to share this lesson with all of you. 


  1. Masha Allah! that is a wonderful way to share ones culture and history! I bet the kids loved it!

  2. Thanks my co-teacher...I wouldn't have been able to do it without you :)