At Mita’s school the other day I used several books and other props to help me teach the kiddo’s about Ethiopian culture. I want to pass on these great tools as it took me a while to find them!
First of all I asked the class how many letters did the English alphabet have. They all answered 26. I then showed them a part of the Ethiopian Amharic alphabet. They were amazed with the shapes of the letters and how many there were. I passed around the Feedel for Beginners poster from AbshiroKids.com. This poster is very colorful with pictures to keep the kids interested. I plan on framing the poster and putting it in our all-purpose room where we have maps on the walls.
At the end of the talk I played song number 14 from Amharic Kids Songs CD. It was “Old MacDonald Had A Farm”. The kids loved hearing a familiar song in another language. This is a great CD.
I uploaded the songs into Mita and Enu’s Mp3 players for them to listen to on the plane ride home from Ethiopia. They were very comforted by it.
Meg, my oldest, has most of the song’s memorized and Elle loves to dance to it! They have choreographed the songs and work hard at the dancing. One of the best things about this CD is that it comes with a song book that has the songs written out in Amharic letters and phonetically. Each song has a brief English description of the songs for us parents who like to be in the know. It simply explains what the songs are about and gives suggestions on when to play them.
A book that I recently bought, but chose not to read to the class is called, Journey to Ethiopia With Captain Addis and Hanna by Selamawit Gizaw. This is a really fun book that I think would be great to read to your Ethiopian kids when they are younger. The theme of the book is a little girl of Ethiopian heritage flying to Addis Ababa with Captain Addis in his special helicopter and learning about the culture. Kinda like a comic book, super-hero thing.
I have decided to not give this book to Mita and Enu at this time because they are still very much missing home and I’m afraid that they will think (hope, dream) that it would be possible to visit Ethiopia as easy as it is in this book. I remember when we first got home and I told them we were going to eat Ethiopian food. They were so excited because they thought we were going to Ethiopia to eat. Since then I have made it clear that Ethiopia is very far away and we cannot visit for many years. I do, however, think this book would be great for kids who are younger or have been her for most of there lives. I will give it to the girls in time and I can see myself reading it to my grandkids someday!
These are a few of the new things I have in my house. What items have you found that help your kids retain their Ethiopian heritage?
Photo Credits: MandyW 2009