Asian-Pacific Month- Travels to New Zealand

We packed our bags for our next journey this time south of the equator.   This land was one of high mountains, volcanoes, fjords, waterfalls and beaches.  For most people, the word “fjord” conjures up thoughts of Scandinavia and the frozen North.   But New Zealand, is a surprise to many,  because it can boast some of the world’s best fjords — hemmed by towering cliffs, fantastically deep and stretching like long, crooked fingers from the Tasman Sea into some of New Zealand’s most lush and remote scenery.  It was amazing to us that you can be at a beach and only go 75 miles to get there.  There is a North Island and a South Island.   We have to travel many more to get to a beach in North Carolina.  We don’t have volcanoes!

They have mountains called the Southern Alps.

We saw some flightless birds.  They developed differently then other birds because originally there were no natural prey trying to get them.  The kiwi is one of these birds.  The giant weta (large insect) lives there and can be as big as 3 mice.

We learned that the Maori people greet each other by rubbing  their noses together.  The men originally did a loud chant that scared away enemies.  Today the All Blacks rugby team does this loud chant.  Wonder if they are trying to intimidate their opponents?  They also like to play cricket.  We aren’t sure what cricket is but it has a ball and bat so we think it might be like baseball.

Students wear uniforms to school.  You go to school 13 years where we only have 12 years.

There are many types of transportation.  There are four large cities.  The capital is Wellington which is between the two islands.  This is not the largest city.

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed there and made New Zealand popular.

They have sheep and cows.

They have lots of rain and a mild temperate climate and have sun .map of New Zealand


In New Zealand, they have 14 flightless birds.  Two are the Kokopa and the kiwi which are both flightless birds.  In New Zealand they grow things like Kiwi and grapes.   There is a parrot that likes snow and the only parrot that ate meat, sheep meat that is and it is lucky they stopped.  In New Zealand they have a special greeting putting noses together.  In New Zealand they have 20 active volcanoes.  They call hiking trekking in New Zealand.  The first person to climb Mount Everest trained in the mountains of New Zealand.   The sing songs from the Maori people.


The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings was made there.  There is a bug called a weta and there are 5 types of weta.  New Zealand is safe.  New Zealand police don’t carry guns.  New Zealand is in the South.  New Zealand has a famous rugby team called the All Blacks.  And it’s national bird is the Kiwi.  And they grow kiwi!   New Zealand people are called Maori.  New Zealand is near Australia and Antarctica   If you are coming from Los Angeles, California to New Zealand you have to stop in Hawaii first.  It can take a whole day to travel there from here.  New Zealand has a parrot that lives in the cold and that is the only parrot that lives in the cold.



Inquiry about Currency Around the World

Our dollar bill also referred to as a buck has George Washington the first president.  Not all of our bills have Presidents but several do.  Our coins are penny (1cent) nickel (5cents), dime (10 cents), quarter (25 cents), half dollar or fifty cent piece (50 cents.  Four quarters make a dollar.  10 dimes make a dollar.


This week we’ve had the opportunity to learn about currency from some of our blogging friends from around the world in their project Our World, Our Numbers.


We had already been solving word problems with money the previous week so this fit into our extended global learning about other countries and their money.

We loved the Canadian video about their coins, Mrs. Yollis’s video about the President’s and coins in America.  We discovered that our bills are not as colorful as they are in other parts of the world.  They are called bucks or bills here and notes in some places.  We liked seeing our friends in Middleham shopping in an actual store.   We can’t just take a walk and go to the store at our school.   We have to plan months in advance for a couple of field trips per year then we send home a permission slip for parents to give permission to go and then we travel by bus to our destination.  We thought New Zealand and Australia both had colorful money.

This is a local ad for groceries in our area.   Prices vary each week and by different stores.



We played some games and learned more about money at this site from the US Mint.


We decided to look at the British Museum video about the history of money.



Native Americans (USA), Aboriginal Cultures (Australia), Maori (New Zealand)


We’ve been busy comparing three cultures from around the globe.   With the help of Ross Mannell we explored the Aboriginal cultures in Australia, the Maori cultures in New Zealand and the Native Americans in the USA.  We made pictures of what we thought life would look like for the different groups.

What do they all have in common?  What are the differences?

  1. They all valued the land and took care of it.   
  2. They respect and honor nature and animals.
  3. They are spiritual and have stories told from one generation to the next.
  4. They  only used what they needed .  They were hunters, gathers and some tribes  practiced agriculture and fishing.
  5. They often celebrated with dances and song.
  6. Their homes were made  from twigs, grasses, sticks and things from nature.
  7. They were the first people in their country.
  8. Each group/tribe/clan lived in different places so they had different tools, weapons, clothes, homes and foods depending on what area of the country they were from.
  9. Unlike Native Americans, no formal treaties existed with Aboriginal people. It’s only in modern times the status of Aboriginal people as the first Australians has been recognized through land rites and respect of their culture.  They told stories on bark, cave walls and rocks with their drawings.   Men could play the didgeridoo and women could not.   They hunted with spears and boomerangs.     Each clan had a name.  Animals were done with dot art.  Turtles, kangaroos, dingos, emus were painted on the cave walls and used on boomerangs.
  10. The Maori belong to the Polynesian group.  They believed they were the caretakers of the land for the next generation.  They shared dreamtime stories that told about creation and how things came to be.   They celebrate with dances and songs.   They wear tattoos on their faces and bodies.  There are many different clans.

Some facts about the Cherokee one Native American/American Indian tribe… in North Carolina.

  • The Cherokee Indians are believed to have broken away from the Iroquois.
  • The Cherokee Nation once stretched from the Ohio River to South Carolina
  • They raised crops of corn, beans and melon (known as the 3 sisters) & tobacco.  The corn provided stalks up which the beans could grow; the beans added nourishing nitrogen to the soil; the squash spread out and prevented weeds from taking over .  (We saw this in the BrainPop Jr. video about Native Americans helping the Pilgrims with our Thanksgiving study.)
  • The Cherokee hunted deer, bear and gathered plants for food and trade.
  • I-85 (runs through Charlotte near Monroe NC) use to be an old Indian route used for trade
  • The Cherokee language has an innovative writing system that was invented by the Cherokee scholar Sequoyah.  Sequoyah’s writing system is a syllabary. That means one character represents each syllable. (Another language that uses a syllabary today is Japanese.)
  • Like their distant cousins the Iroquois,  the Cherokee Indians had an even division of power between men and women.  Cherokee men were in charge of hunting, war, and diplomacy. Cherokee women were in charge of farming, property, and family. Men made political decisions for the tribe, and women made social decisions for the clans. Chiefs were men, and landowners were women. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.  Now women can be chiefs.  Men can be farmers.
  • Cherokee houses were made of river cane and plaster, with thatched roofs.
  • There are many traditional Cherokee legends and fairy tales. Story-telling is very important to the Cherokee Indian culture.  ( The Maori culture has their dreamtime stories about creation and how things came to be).
  • Creeks, Chicksaws, and Shawnees were other tribes that were sometimes enemies and sometimes friends.
  • Each Cherokee tribe has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country.  However, Cherokee Indians are also US citizens and must obey American law.
  • During the 1800’s, the US government created an “Indian Territory” in Oklahoma and sent all the eastern Native American tribes to live there. This was called the Trail of Tears and many Cherokee died on the journey there.   Some tribes willingly agreed to this plan. Other tribes didn’t want to go, and the American army forced them. The Cherokee tribe was one of the largest eastern tribes, and they didn’t want to leave their homeland.  Some Cherokee are still located in North Carolina along with Oklahoma.  The ones in North Carolina live on a reservation.   They still hold ceremonies  make baskets and art work and have a large tourist industry with visitors each year to the mountains of North Carolina.
  • Traditional Cherokee art  included pipe craving , river cane baskets,  gourd art, and pottery. After moving to Oklahoma, the Cherokees couldn’t get the materials they used to use for traditional crafts, so they concentrated on other crafts like beadwork and blankets.
  • Cherokee (Tsalagi) language is spoken.
  • What do you think environmentally friendly farming – sustainable farming   

  •     Is it new or an old concept from the past?  Do you think these groups practiced this before it became popular with today’s society?

  • Do you think the landforms determined how these different groups lived and what they believed?

  • What is your opinion about our responsibility to the land, plants and animals found on it?

Quad Blogging Begins This Week

We are starting an exciting adventure with friends from around the globe to learn about our favorite things.  These classes are excited about blogging and looking forward to quad blogging so please take time to read their post and make a comment.  They would love to hear from America about favorite things.  To read their post just click on the link on the side under Quad Blogging buddies.

Quad blogging is where four classes spend time learning about different countries and cultures from around the world through their blogs, by writing posts, reading posts and leaving comments.  Classes take it in turns to have their classroom in the spotlight for a week.  During that time, the other three classrooms visit and leave comments.

We’ve enjoyed a Flat Stanley project last year with a Room with a View and hosted Snail and Whale from New Zealand so we know these classes.  Although we are a new group of students we’ve heard about these projects and look forward to more.

Week 1  starts November 4th 2012  3/4C & 3/4K @Upper Plenty-  Ms. Crowther Victoria, Australia



Week 2: A Room with a View- Mrs. Monaghan – Middleham, England


 Week 3:  Mr Baker and the Ins & Outs in Palmerston North, New Zealand



Week 4:  Going Global- our week-  Roadrunners & Mrs. Todd in Monroe, North Carolina

Maori Welcome Song

Where do you find the Maori language?  What do you know about the Maori culture?

Room 113 students had a chance on Thursday to learn a welcome song.   Ms. Lologa and her students  at New Town taught us the words to a new song as we skyped with them.

Tena Koe – Hello to one

Tena Korua Hello to two

Tena Koutou – Hello to all

Haere mai everyone, Welcome everyone

Adventures into Global Learning

Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina are introducing students to a global society.   Each elementary school is part of the Global Gateway program.   Teacher’s work on modules learning how to bring globalization into their classrooms and lessons.  They will collaborate and learn about ways to incorporate global learning into their curriculum.

Students will do inquiry based learning by finding answers to questions about a specific region of study.  At Rocky River the second grade will focus on Australia and New Zealand and some smaller islands.

  •  How do Australia, New Zealand and North Carolina compare?
  • Do they have similar cultures?
  • Do they have similar traditions?
  • How are they different?

School Year Ends- Flat Friends Fly Back to England

You’ve been around the globe lately and once again you are put in a box to fly off to England.  Mrs. Todd took you home to enjoy a nap before your journey began on Saturday.  The weather was a perfect spring day so you loved the sunshine.   You were put in a box that say Flat rate.

 Mrs. Todd had to tell the man at Parcel Plus what was in the box with you.  She put in a surprise or two but we can’t tell you what it is!   She had to write the address down then he typed it and put it on the box so it would go back to North Yorkshire, England.  She filled the box full so hopefully you aren’t to smashed.  

You are on your way home after  weeks in America.   You’ve had  many adventures around Monroe while here.  Baseball games, soccer games, theme parks, the beach, malls (large shopping areas), out to eat and games at home.  There were rainy days that remind you of home and sunny warm days too.  There were thunder storms too.

Some things we’ve done with you at school  is our final assessments in math, reading and writing  , doing  final projects, reading one last book and signing autograph /year books.  We went to lunch and you got to meet our new friends from New Zealand the Snail and the Whale.  

The last few days you helped draw flags for 73 countries.  We had field day and recess and you cheered us on as we had fun.     We learned how children in different parts of the world all play a form of hopscotch.  You got to meet our Flat Friends as they returned home to Rocky River.  You got to taste Tin Tams and Vegemite from Australia.   You got to help clean and pack up the room.

We had an indoor picnic lunch the last day of school.  You got to see us climb on the big yellow buses to head home for the summer.   Some of us went by car or van.  You got to have blue crushed ice and ice cream sundaes and watch a movie about the coral reef.  You also got to see Sleeping Beauty and Snow White to celebrate our Fairy Tale unit.  You got to help us with Reader’s Theater.    You got to see us get our awards for World Education games and reading and math awards.  We had three students come to school all 180 days-  James, Elliott and Nicolas was here every day.   Elliott has been in school every day for three years.  Congratulations to these boys.  You got to learn about the Queen’s diamond jubilee and we looked at the Olympics in ancient and modern times.   You should arrive home in time for the real Olympics.

Snail and Whale Swam in for a visit

When we arrived at school this morning Sebastian spotted another package.  It was near the Promethean Board so we all hurried to look at it.


Later we decided we needed to know some things about it….

  1. Who was it from?
  2. Was it light or heavy?
  3. Where did it come from?
  4. Why did it come here?
  5. How much did it cost to send it to us?
  6. Who is if for?
  7. How many days did it take to arrive?
  8. How much will it cost to go back?

Then we passed the package around to find out some of the answers.

It was light.  It was to Brenda Todd.  It came from Jim Alvaro.   It cost $6.30 cents to mail it by United States Post Office.

It didn’t say international mail or air mail like the other packages had in bold print.  It had Priority Mail on the box.  We then spotted a small thing that said air mail.

We then make predictions about what might be inside this mystery package.

  •  Will- Another set of Flat Stanley’s.
  • David- Flat Stanley’s
  • Angel- Flat Stanley’s
  • Oscar- Flat Stanley
  • Jaidyn- more candy and a towel, Flat Stanley’s
  • Monzerrat- a towel
  • Liana- Flat Stanley
  • J ohn-Flat Stanley
  • Sophia- Flat Stanley and some notes
  • Brittany- Snail and Whale project
  • Allison- Flat Stanley , candy, book
  • Bryan- candy, Flat Stanley and note and book
  • Nicolas- Flat Stanley’s we sent
  • Kaitlyn- candy, towel, Flat Stanley
  • James- book and Flat Stanley
  • Elliott- Flat Stanley
After lunch we opened the package and found that Brittany had predicted right.  It was the snail and whale all the way from New Zealand.  Perhaps all the rain we had yesterday washed them in from the sea.   The box wasn’t wet.   We looked at the book and inside saw that they had traveled from another school.  We noticed inside the book it came from Russell Street School in Palmerston North , New Zealand then traveled on to The Classroom Connection in New Brunswick , Canada.   We don’t know where it went from there.  If you know please tell us.

Snail and Whale on PhotoPeach

Teaching Peers About Other Places


Kia Ora, 


What do  second graders from Rocky River and New Town two schools in Union County, NC learn when they get  together for a Skype session ?   They teach each other about places miles and continents  away that they are learning about this year.    The students at Rocky River have  been learning about Australia  so they answered questions about animals, food, schools, sports and landmarks.  They shared pictures and a song  about a Kookaburra under a gum tree  with New Town students.  They shared  about the Great Barrier Reef,  Uluru/Ayers Rock and the Outback.  The students  had drawn  pictures of Kangaroos, dingoes, wombats and koalas  to share.   Ms. Lologa asked about the special package that had arrived from Australia.  We were  surprised they knew about our Flat Selves arriving from Sydney.   She mentioned they had looked at our Going Global blog site right before the skype.  We were excited they had been one of our visitors.    The second grade classes from New Town had several questions and shared a song and dance with us.  Their teacher, Ms. Lologa,   from New Zealand is a VIF teacher in Union County.     There were two classes  participating from New Town.  Although our connection was not the best we still enjoyed sharing with them. 


Ms. Lologa  answered questions about New Zealand.  Students counted in Maori for us.   We hope to Skype again and have some more time to ask questions about New Zealand.  Students asked about schools and volcanoes.    They heard about landforms and sports like cricket and rugby.

When the  Skype session ended one of the students mentioned he even saw a friend.  Connections new and old being made all in a short time.