Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kia ora tatou--Our visit to New Zealand

This month's World Travelers Club country is New Zealand.  Many of you know that we are in a club that also helps with public speaking.  Each month for World Travelers, each child prepares a small project about the chosen country.  They then present it to our group.  Joey has been doing it for a while and they all really enjoy it.  The children can even collect passport stamps for each country.

Fun Facts about New Zealand.

New Zealand lies in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,200 miles to the east of Australia, and consists of two main islands - The North Island and the South Island.  It has many small islands, such as Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands.  Its closest neighbors are New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.

The capital city Wellington is also the largest city and located on the North Island.  This island has a more temperate climate.  The South Island is the largest land mass and is divided along its length by the Southern Alps.  The country experiences high rainfall, particularly in winter, which lasts from June 21 - September 22. The kids thought it was neat that they are experiencing opposite seasons than this country.

The indigenous population, called the Maori, makes up 15% of the population.  The Maori people arrived in New Zealand, by canoe about the 15th century.  The majority of the population is of European descent.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation to grant women the right to vote on the same basis as men.

The residents of New Zealand are nicknamed "Kiwis".  It's not after the fruit, but the kiwi bird which is native to New Zealand.

Homeschooling is becoming extremely popular in this country.  They actually give parents up to $700.00 a year to homeschool one child, and around $400.00 for each additional child.

Some slang from New Zealand:
sticking plaster:  bandaid
torch:  flashlight
crisp:  potato chips
chips:  French fries
choc-a-block:  full to overflowing
dummy:  pacifier
buggered:  exhausted
nappy:  diaper

We started out by locating New Zealand on our globe, and then we colored our flags and did a dot-to-dot of the two large islands.  While doing those to things, we watched the movie, New Zealand to the Max.

I had done some reading ahead of time so that I could make a project suggestion list for them to choose from.  It's easier that way.

Lydia chose the Blue Penguin.  We used a plastic water bottle, newspaper, glue, white paint, black paint, and blue/white feathers to her creation.

 I forgot to take pics of her painting the newspaper.

Interesting facts about the Little Blue Penguin:

  • They can sleep while they float on water
  • They are also known as Fairy Penguins
  • They biggest predators/dangers are cars, dogs, cats, and on the other end...whales.
  • They only get about 12 inches tall and weigh about 2 pounds.

Brayden decided to learn about Pancake Rocks.

These are limestone formations located on the South Island on the West Coast.  These formation were caused with pressure from the ocean and then during seismic activity they were raised above the ocean's surface.  The rocks were then submitted to wind, rain and wave erosion that caused them to look like huge stacks of pancakes.  During high tide there are visible blow holes that cause water to shoot high in the air as if a whale is laying there.

Joey decided to look at the Maori culture.

We learned about the "Kaha" tradition of giving gifts to our hosts.

He also learned about the Haka dance.  Which is traditionally called the War Dance, but was also presented to dignitaries and other special ocassions.  It was traditionally done by men, but women and children would also do the dance.  But separately from the men of course.  It's done at every game of the New Zealand All Black Rugby team.  And facial expressions are very important!!

This is the video he will be showing at the end of his presentation.

We also made gluten-dairy-egg-oat free Anzac biscuits.  We messed up somewhere in the recipe, maybe substituted the wrong ingredients because they baked into one large cookie....but everyone, including daddy really liked them!

We just scraped the yummies off the pan and enjoyed them anyway!

We also enjoyed a fun food that is served at kids parties and as a snack treat.  It is called Fairy Bread.  Not the healthiest option...but very easy for the kids to make.

It is simply bread, butter and colored sugar sprinkles.

We enjoyed our brief visit through New Zealand.  It is a beautiful country and I think it would be great to visit there someday.  But for now, we are happy to visit it in books and TV.

Some of our resources. (I am not providing can find this stuff at Amazon, the library and we rented the movie from Netflix.)
New Zealand: A Natural History
This was a really neat book.  Got it from the library.

And internet searches.

1 comment:

  1. we lived in NZ for 4mos, LOVED IT!! we made friends there that were HSing their kids at the time. They have the voucher system there, so they get money to go to any school they wish, private or public (Or home) I wish they had that system here!