Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Visit to Korea

Last week we "visited" Korea, and I am finally getting around to blogging about the program. I have to thank my son Jim and his wonderful wife Minsun for their help---couldn't have done it without them.

My library has next to no books in the way of Korean folktales (other than Shirley Climo's The Korean Cinderella) or picture books (other then Dear Juno). Both of these are fine books, but not exactly what I was looking for. The Butte County Library has a series of Korean folktales, and I used one of those. The title of the book is The Son of the Cinnamon Tree, but each volume contains two stories, and I used the second one: The Donkey's Egg. Did you know that if you keep a watermelon warm for a month, it will hatch a donkey? You're right, it won't, but the silly farmer in the story doesn't know that.

My son's family also loaned me several easy books with Korean text. I "read" the kids the peekaboo one with the animals from the Asian zodiac, and the one about the mice trying out different vegetables, and saying "Ho! Ho! Spicy!" when they try the garlic and onions.

Jim taught me the following Korean children's song. You can hear it in Korean here:

Mr. Fox

Mister Fox, Mister Fox, What do you do?
I am asleep – O Sleepyhead!

Mister Fox, Mister Fox, What do you do?
I’m washing my face – Oh Handsome guy!

Mister Fox, Mister Fox, What do you do?
I’m eating my lunch.
What do you eat?
Frogs for lunch.
Dead or alive?

I practiced this song a lot, then couldn't remember the tune when it came time to sing it! Sigh . . .

No Korean storytime is complete without a story about a tiger, so I told them a story from A Tiger by the Tail, by Lindy Soon Curry. The story is about a flute player who is treed by a group of tigers. He plays a cheerful tune on his flute, the tigers dance until they fall down exhausted, and the musician escapes.

For our Korean craft we made Sam Taeguk fans. The Sam Taeguk is a popular symbol in Korean, and I happened to have a Sam Taeguk fan to show the kids. The colors symbolize heaven (blue), earth (red), and people (yellow).

I took the idea for the fan from this blog. They have a template for a blank fan, which you may or may not be able to see. It didn't always work for me. I reproduced two blank fans side by side so that the children could color both then fold it in half. After they cut out the fan, they inserted a large craft stick with plenty of glue on it, and then glued the two sides together (staples help too).

It actually makes a nice little fan that works. And who doesn't need a fan in this weather? 

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