School USA Week

24th to 28th November 2014

At the end of November, the school held a USA themed week. The children had suggested this following the success of China Week at the end of January. The week was chosen so that the children could celebrate Thanksgiving in true style on Thursday 27th November. The children were challenged to make another film about their week and discussed ways to improve their camera and presentation skills before beginning to present their findings.

During the week the children used the internet to find out all sorts of facts about the USA, ranging from area and population to the history of famous buildings and landmarks. They wrote their own notes and cue cards and then took turns to record each other on film. Together they made a set of Top Trumps giving facts and figures about the fifty states and they used this information to make graphs using the iPads. The children also had the opportunity to do some personal research, finding out about an aspect of the USA in which they were particularly interested. Some chose American films and pop stars whilst others explored particular places. They recorded their findings for the film.

There was a themed lunch each day, with food from different areas of the USA to taste. These ranged from Tex Mex to Jambalaya and hamburgers, fires and coleslaw. The children tried all the various foods a lot of which were new to them. Tacos and pumpkin bread got the thumbs up but refried beans and Cajun spice were less popular. The children made their own pumpkin bread and corn bread which they ate as accompaniments to their Thanksgiving Day turkey.

The children learnt about some of the different festivals celebrated in the USA including Mardi Gras (which is usually celebrated in February) and Thanksgiving. As part of their Mardi Gras celebrations they made Mardi Gras masks which they wore to the Cajun Style lunch provided by Hazel. There were traditional Mardi Gras beads on the brightly decorated table and Hazel then presented them with a Mardi Gras King cake. There is a custom that whoever finds the baby in their piece of cake becomes King for the day. Katie was delighted to find the baby in her piece of cake and enjoyed having a crown, servants and bodyguards for remainder of the day.

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day and the children celebrated it in true style with roast turkey, roast potatoes and vegetables with, of course, apple pie for pudding. The children learnt the story of the first Thanksgiving and then made a cartoon film to tell the tale.

The week ended with a Wild West Day. The children all came to school dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. They performed the line dance they had been practising during the week and then made 'Wanted' posters of some of the outlaws who lived in the Wild West a few hundred years ago. The week was rounded off with a traditional Cowboy Campfire where the children toasted marshmallows to make smores.

The week was a great success with so many skills being used and developed to find out some many different things about this very diverse country. Many thanks to Hazel for all the wonderful cooking ideas which made the week so special. The children are already thinking up another week – Germany, India and Spain have all been mentioned!

Text provided by Lismore Primary School on 3rd December 2014
Photographs provided by Lismore Primary School on 13th December 2014

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