Runnels School third-graders have “traveled” to foreign shores in their reading class this year, and they learned more about several destinations April 17 during the annual Trip Around the World day.
Students took in the sights and sounds of several of the faraway places they’ve learned about without ever leaving the comfort of the school campus, a news release from the school said.
For the tour, classrooms were transformed into five destinations: France, Scotland, China, Mexico and Australia.
Using passports they made in class, third-graders stopped at each port of call to learn a about its culture, language, landmarks, attractions and cuisines.
At the France station, students learned about the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and had an art lesson about famous French masters. They stomped grapes in the tradition of French winemakers and learned that a bottle of champagne contains about 50 million bubbles. Students ate croissants while listening to Edith Piaf.
The tour of Scotland included a sing-a-long to bagpipe music, a Gaelic language lesson and an introduction to the British pound sterling. Students tried on kilts, learned about tartan plaids and coats of arms and viewed the highlands, the lowlands, lochs and castles.
Upon entering the classroom on China, students removed their shoes in the Asian tradition, heard the story of “Lon Po Po” or “Little Red Riding Hood” and became acquainted with the history of the fortune cookie. They also tried picking up grains of rice with chopsticks.
At the Mexico stop, students learned where the Spanish language originated and where it is spoken. They were taught the Spanish names of a few colors and numbers and then used their new vocabulary words to request sheets of red, orange, or yellow tissue paper to make huge traditional flowers, which have been used as decorations in Mexico since pre-Columbian times. Students also sampled churros and broke piñatas.
On the tour of Australia, students picked up information on the Great Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera House and the Outback. Students learned about the platypus and echidna, egg-laying mammals unique to the land down under. A highlight was passing around a boomerang.
Serving as tour guides were third-grade parent volunteers.
“We always have many volunteers for this project,” said third-grade reading teacher Lisa Harris, who organized the project. “Parents knowledgeable about particular countries enjoy sharing what they know with students. They always add something new to the project — new crafts, vocabulary, ideas and foods.”
At the end of the tour, the travelers had lunch featuring dishes from around the world.