Friday, October 20, 2017

Learning About the Middle East

Over the past few weeks we studied the Middle East! As usual, most of our books were recommended from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.

Here is our booklist:

  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  • Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
  • Lost and Found Cat by Doug Kuntz
  • Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Sitti and the Cats by Sally Bahous Allen
  • The Hungry Coat by Demi

    The Librarian of Basra, Four Feet, Two Sandals, and Lost and Found Cat are really good ways to introduce the issues of war and refugees in the Middle East (although, in hindsight, Four Feet, Two Sandals should be on our reading list for Pakistan...I made a note for the future!). Juanito has been motivated to pray for refugees since reading these books, but at the same time, these books did not instill fear of unrest. And, as always, I highly recommend anything by Demi! We loved The Hungry Coat and the lesson shared!

    We watched some about the United Arab Emirates on the Human Planet. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode.) The kids always love watching Human Planet. We also watched a few short videos on Youtube about rug making! Here's a sample:

    I love our Around the World Coloring Book, which we used for Saudi Arabia and Israel (and Turkey for our co-op).

    We played sidewalk games from Iran and Israel, thanks to Sidewalk Games Around the World. As you'll see, we improvised and used duplos instead of rocks and peach pits.

    We also made two meals, a Turkish veggie bake and Iranian Musaka, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. The kids were excited to try eggplant since we had read about eggplant in The Hungry Coat.

    I am working the kids into narrating in both English and Spanish. Since they each narrated about whales in Spanish, we did English narrations for the Middle East for the book The Hungry Coat. Here is Rosie's:
    He didn't have some food and the people didn't give him food. He took a bath with the donkey. He changed his clothes and he went back. He gave the food to his hungry coat.

    And Juanito's:
    Nasretti liked to help whomever he could, and then he heard a cook scream in the caravansary. And then he went there and put apples on the floor, little pieces of apple, and then the goat nibbled to the last piece and he was able to catch the goat. The cook invited him to eat with the other guests, but he said he was going to a banquet with an old friend. And then he decided he didn't have time to change his coat, and then he sat in the corner with no food. And he tried to talk to the guests by yelling to them across the room. And then he trotted on his little donkey and headed home. And he had an idea. He took off his coat with patches upon patches and smelling of goat. And he took a bath and poured a whole jar of soap until the room was filled with bubbles. And then he put on a shiny new coat. And he hopped onto the donkey and trotted to the banquet hall. And then they served him food and drink. And he picked up a lot of food and put it in his coat and poured a bottle of wine into his coat. And then one person said, "Why are you feeing your coat, my old friend?" And then he said, "Remember, look at the man, not at the coat. You can change the coat but not the man. Even a good man can wear a bad coat, and a good coat can cover a man with the heart of a wolf." And then they celebrated with dancing and fireworks.

    For co-op, we specifically focused on Turkey. We prayed for a missionary couple in Turkey, since our usual book (Around the World with Kate and Mack) didn't have a people group from the Middle East. Then, after reading The Hungry Coat, we colored the flag of Turkey, along with a map of Turkey from the Around the World Coloring Book. And we played a Turkish game that was similar to London Bridge! I found the game from the Turkish Culture Foundation.

    We looked at samples of Ebru art, and then made our own via these instructions from PBS:

    For our snack, the kids started with hummus, which my kids had helped me make earlier in the week!

    While the kids were snacking on hummus, I prepped some orange tea (with apple cider to cool it off) to eat with apricots and date bread! The Turkish tea cups are from my dear friend.

    As you probably know, I am quite passionate about sponsorship...and tying our studies into writing and praying for our sponsored kids. So we turned our Ebru artwork into cards! Here's what I made for our Manna 4 Lempira girls with my test artwork from the night before (I wanted to be sure that the project would work!):

    Next up, Japan!

    Here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Central & Southern Africa

    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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