May is Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. At my school, we have three huge celebrations throughout the school year: Latino, African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Our last big one in May is Asian/Pacific Islander. Our theme this year was Out of the Margins, Into the Light, which I thought was very appropriate considering the current social climate in our country. My students did so much to prepare for this celebration/presentation in a short amount of time. We read four books and learning about character, setting, and sequencing of events. We watched various videos about cultural customs in a number of different countries. Then we put it all together in a video to show the school. I can’t show you the video here online, but you can see a small glimpse of what we did below!


Wall display of some of our work


Just the cutest class picture ever!

As part of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, my class read Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park. We did a bunch of exercises related to their book and as a finale, I decided to actually buy some Bee-Bim Bop and share it with the class. I had to buy it the night before so we had to heat it up and mix all the ingredients before trying it out. We talked about what is socially acceptable to do if you don’t like the food and I was really impressed by how they reacted to trying this new food. Then as a response, the students cut paper to make their own Bee-Bim Bops!


So excited!


Mixing all the ingredients


More mixing


Trying some Bee-Bim Bop!


Making their own Bee-Bim Bop with cut paper

It’s been a busy month and recently I’ve gotten the chance to visit a number of neat theaters in San Francisco that I’ve never been to before. I’ve always wondered though, why are some places called THEATER while other places are THEATRE? Is there an actual difference and is one more correct than the other? Because with spellcheck, theatre comes up with a red dotted line below it!

San Francisco War Memorial | Herbst Theatre
My church had their Good Friday service at this theatre with all its amazing detail paintings along the wide walls

War Memorial Opera House
My church then had its Eater service next door at the San Francisco Opera House, which I can’t imagine I would have ever had the opportunity to see this view if not for this event.

Curran Theater
Last weekend I saw a super interesting show called The Encounter at the Curran Theater. The show was about an American National Geographic photographer’s encounter with the Mayoruna people of the Amazon River Basin presented as an interactive experience with headphones for each audience member.

It’s almost Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month at our school, which means we’re gearing up for our big celebration in May. For one of our mini project, I showed my students a video of one of the big lantern festivals in Taiwan that happen every year. Then we made mini lanterns on card stock paper that they decorated then cut out. The only bad thing about this project is that since no kindergartner or first grader can be trusted with brass tacks or tying real knots, I ended up tying a billion knots and fitting brass tacks through a million holes. It was all worth it though because their lanterns turned out so cute!


Working hard on the lanterns


Our mini lanterns!

Last weekend I went to the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s the fiftieth anniversary of this festival so it’s a big deal this year! It just so happens that this Cherry Blossom festival goes on for two weekends so in case you missed it last weekend, you can still make it there today (or tomorrow). There were tons of people at this festival being held in Japantown and this weekend there’s even a parade. I don’t think I’m going to make it down there again this weekend, but last week I did enjoy trying a few of the food vendors, perusing the various stalls selling Japan-related merchandise, being jostled around in the crowd, and generally exploring parts of Japantown that I didn’t even know existed. It’s crazy how much more there is to explore in this City!


Welcome!


Hello Kitty for life


Performances


Japanese-style hot dogs


A few of the VERY FEW cherry blossoms actually in bloom