Lesson Plans Hey, kids! Join me for a musical adventure around the world!
& the Symphony Anne Harrigan, conductor Tim Marrone, guest actor
Anne Harrigan | Conductor Q. Where were you born? Do you have any brothers or sisters? A. I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I have two younger brothers, but they are both much taller than I am! Q. Where did you grow up? Have you lived in one place/town your whole life or have you moved around during your life? A. I grew up in Minneapolis, but have lived in Baltimore, Maryland, New Haven, Connecticut and Rockford, Michigan. Q. What is your job like? A. My job is to plan what music the symphony will play at each concert, and to help the orchestra to play at its highest level. In some ways I am like a coach for a team, with the symphony being the team. I help them to work in close coordination, and try to inspire them so that they can inspire audiences. Q. What was your biggest accomplishment this year? A. My biggest accomplishments are when the orchestra plays a really fantastic concert, better than anything they have performed before, or successfully tackles a very difficult piece of music. One of the highlights this year was when the orchestra played Ravel’s Bolero. Everyone did an amazing job, and the audience loved it! Q. What do you like most about your job? What do you not like about your job? A. I love meeting people and getting audiences excited about music! I love it when I see kids on the street and they tell me about a piece of music they really enjoyed. Q. What things did you do before you entered this occupation? A. I started conducting when I was 19 years old. Before that (and during that), I taught violin lessons, taught music at schools, played the organ in church and was a waitress. Q. Who are some of your personal heroes, and why? A. Leonard Bernstein was one of my first musical heroes. He loved music, loved young people and wanted to share his love of music with everyone. Q. What activities do you enjoy in your spare time? How did you get involved in them? A. I enjoy the outdoors, especially bicycling and cross country skiing, amateur photography and web design. I am also an enthusiastic fan of swimming. I also love to spend time with my husband and daughter. Q. If you weren’t a music conductor, what would you be? A. I would love to have a job where I could travel around the world on a regular basis. The craziest thing I have ever done is… starting the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra at the age of 25. My dream is…that everyone has the opportunity to be changed by music the way that I have been. The non-musical accomplishment that I am most proud of is…bicycling over the Beartooth Mountains in Montana with 40-50 mph crosswinds. My favorite vacation is...Thailand To prepare for a performance, I…learn everything I can about the life of the composer and circumstances surrounding the composition. I have travelled to different countries to research compositions, and wish I could do so with every piece.
Tim Marone |actor Q. Where were you born? Do you have any brothers or sisters? A. I was born in Frederick, Maryland, the place where Francis Scott Key (the composer of our national anthem) is buried. Frederick is about 45 minutes west of Baltimore. I have two older brothers: one an investment banker; and one a medieval history professor. Q. Where did you grow up? Have you lived in one place/town your whole life or have you moved around during your life? A. I grew up in Western Maryland (Frederick). After graduating from high school, I went to colleges in West Virginia and Maine. After college I lived in Boston, trained for theatre in New York City, then moved to Pennsylvania and worked my way back to Maryland. I have lived in Baltimore for the past 19 years. Q. What is your job like? What was your biggest accomplishment this year? A. No two jobs are exactly the same. Certain elements from one may be applied to another, but it always comes out differently, which is probably a good thing. Basically, I’m presented an idea for a concert, or an event, by a conductor or director, and my job is to put that idea on two feet. That entails writing the script, staging it, building props and costumes, rehearsing and presenting the project with the conductor or director’s guidance. My biggest accomplishment(s) this year was to stage 3 new concerts. Q. What do you like most about your job? What do you not like about your job? A. What I enjoy most is the opportunity to collaborate and perform with some amazing people. I love the process of taking a project all the way from it’s inception to the first performance and to see how the audience responds to the material. I am not wild about the unpredictable nature of being an actor, but that is just what you have to accept if want to be one.. You never quite know when the next job is coming, and no matter how successful you were in the last project, there is no guarantee that it will lead to another one. Q. What things did you do before you entered this occupation? As a young starving artist, I did many things to keep a roof over my head. I worked construction, drove a limo (very badly), was a hotel night auditor, worked in radio for a brief time, and also served as a public relations associate for the United Way until I was fortunate enough to finally become a full time performer. Q. Who are some of your personal heroes, and why? A. Tough question, primarily because there are so many. Charles Dickens is in the top five. No one quite had a way of articulating the pulse of human nature in words like he did. Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and others, because through their music they can take you to places you can’t get to on your own. And of course, Laurel and Hardy because laughter is the best gift you can give. Q. What activities do you enjoy in your spare time? How did you get involved in them? A. Acting requires a lot of running around in crazy schedules with odd hours, so that takes up a lot of my time and energy. In my spare time I just like to relax, read, listen to music and spend time with my girlfriend, family and close friends. Q. If you weren’t an actor, what would you be? A. Another good question as I really never wanted to be anything else, even before I realized I could actually eke out a profession as a performer. In a round-about way of skirting by a definite answer, I suspect that if I weren’t an actor I would find myself working with children or animals. Their needs are honest, simple and direct and if you take the time to listen, you can learn a lot from them.
an introduction to the orchestra What is an orchestra?
An orchestra is a group of musicians, men and women, who play instruments together from all four families: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. 300 years ago, orchestras were small with perhaps 20+ musicians. Through the years, as cities grew and life-styles began to change, an overall impulse to “think big” developed. Composers also began to think bigger, using larger musical forms and demanding grander sounds. Today a symphony orchestra can vary in size, but usually has between 65 and 110 members.
Does each musician play a different part?
No. About two-thirds of the orchestra consists of the string players who are divided into five sections: First Violins, Second Violins, Violas, Cellos and String Basses. Each string section plays one part as a group most of the time. The woodwind, brass and percussion players each have individual parts, as does the harpist.
What gave rise to the modern symphony orchestra as we know it?
Before 1600 in the western European cultures, singing was considered the most important kind of music, so composers wrote mostly vocal music. The instruments of the time were unrefined- they made crude sounds compared to man’s built-in-instrument, the voice. During the 1600’s instruments were improved to make better sounds: Composers began writing music especially for ‘instrumental groups. From the late 1600’s to the present, the orchestra has changed from a small group to a large one, with strings remaining in the majority. The variety of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments has increased; composers have chosen those which fit the musical style and taste of their own time.
How does a band differ from an orchestra?
A band consists of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments with no strings. Sometimes a string bass is included in a band.
About Concert Manners
We go to a concert partly to see the performers, but especially to hear the music they perform for us. Almost anything that helps us listen to the music would be good concert manners. Unlike rock concerts that have music that is usually quite loud all the time, orchestras play music that can be loud one minute and very soft and delicate the next. If you are not sure what would be good concert manners, just ask yourself: “Am I keeping someone else from listening to the music?” It is very important to arrive at the concert early enough to be seated well before the program begins. Since there is very little time between pieces and often no intermission, coming in late would be very disturbing to others, even if we waited for that piece to be finished. How do I know when to applaud? Sometimes an orchestra plays short pieces and sometimes, longer ones. Silence in music (rests) is an important part of a composition also. Sometimes a piece will end so quietly it seems to just fade away. If you’re not sure whether or not a piece is finished, just watch the conductor.
What Happens At An Orchestra Concert The Warm-Up
As you enter the auditorium and QUIETLY take your seat, the musicians will begin to enter the stage, sit down and play their instruments. The musicians are not playing together at this point. Instead they are individually warming-up, just as players warm up before a basketball game.
Just before the concert begins, one final violinist enters the stage and stands beside the empty chair in the front. This important person, the concertmaster, is like a team captain. The concertmaster asks the oboe to sound the note “A” so the whole orchestra can tune. By matching the sound of the oboe, they tune their own instruments by shortening or lengthening parts of their instruments or by changing the tightness of a string. The audience should clap as the concertmaster enters, and then be VERY QUIET using concert manners during the tuning process.
Once the orchestra has tuned and is quiet, the conductor appears. The audience should give welcoming applause as the conductor enters the stage. The conductor is like the coach of a team and has very great responsibilities. He or she: • Chooses the music for all concerts and studies everyone’s part. • Shows the players how fast, slow, loud, and soft the music should be with arm and body movements. • Shows the patterns for conducting different meters. • “Cues” or points to certain musicians who have special parts.
Instruments Of the orchestra The symphony orchestra is divided into four families: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The instruments used in a symphony orchestra fall easily into three categories. Sound is produced by: 1: striking a solid object to make it vibrate (percussion); 2: plucking or bowing a string to make it vibrate (strings) or 3: making the air in a tube vibrate (winds). The wind instruments are divided into two groups: brass and woodwinds. Thus we have four groups, or choirs of instruments in a symphony orchestra.
The Strings All Strings produce their tone by the vibration of stretched strings. Normally the player draws a bow of horsehair over the strings. Other techniques, such as pizzicato (plucking), col legno (playing with the wood of the bow), double stopping (bowing two strings at once), muting (using a mute to produce a muffled, veiled sound), and tremolo (rapid bow movement back and forth in short strokes) are used for special effects. The string orchestra has five sections: 1st violin, 2nd violins, violas, violoncellos, and double basses. There are approximately six octaves covered from the lowest note of the double bass to the highest note of the violins. The strings normally perform like a choir: subdivided into four voices which correspond to the human voice ranges.
The Brasses The Brass section comprises wind instruments in which the vibration is made by the playersâ€™ lips pressed into a cup-shaped mouthpiece. Change of pitch is effected both by lip pressure and the manipulation of valves. As the name implies, the body of these instruments is made of brass and other alloys. There exists a great variety of brass winds which can be heard in military bands, jazz bands, and as folk instruments. In the symphony orchestra, only a few types perform.
The Woodwinds The family of Woodwinds produces a tone through a vibrating column of air enclosed in a pipe or tube, and they produce the vibration by means of a single or double reed with the exception of the flute. The woodwinds have typically a mellow quality which allows them to blend beautifully with the each other, and yet each of instruments has a very distinct and identifiable quality all its own.
The Percussion The Percussion family provides the orchestra with accent, rhythm, and seasoning. There are two kinds of percussion instruments, those where definite pitches are played and non-pitched instruments that just produce a characteristic sound. In most cases, a sound is produced by striking the instrument with another object: a stick, mallet, or beater.
THE STRING FAMILY The VIOLIN is the soprano of the string choir. The violin can sing beautifully in melodic passages. The expressive range of this instrument is very rich, and it usually plays the melody and other important parts. The violin was the first member of the "modern orchestra," formed in the seventeenth century.
The VIOLA is the contralto of the string group. It is built somewhat larger than the violin and its bow is also a little heavier than the violin's. As the tone of the viola is stronger than that of the violin, the viola section is smaller than the violin section. Its middle-range makes it ideal for having its own melodies or doubling the violins or cellos. The CELLO (violoncello) is held between the knees, resting on a peg with the neck pointing over the left shoulder of the player. It is about 48 inches long, and its bow is shorter than the violin's and a little thicker. Its tone is fuller and more powerful. It corresponds to the tenor and baritone range of the human voice. The four strings are tuned one octave lower than the viola's. The cello joined the orchestral family during the Baroque period and subsequently became an important solo instrument, a position it enjoys still today. The DOUBLE BASS, as its name implies, is the lowest voice in the string orchestra. The double bass is so large that the player must either stand holding the instrument upright on the floor or sit on a high stool. It rests on an adjustable peg and is supported by the body and left knee of the player. It is about six feet long. It is not usually used as a solo instrument, but when it is, its effect is surprising.
The HARP is one of the oldest instruments, having been played by the ancient Greeks. It is a very beautiful instrument with 47 strings that are vertical to the sound board. The harp is plucked. By means of 7 pedals, the performer changes the pitch of the strings. As a help, the C strings are colored red and the F strings are blue.
THE WOODWIND FAMILY The FLUTES are the highest instruments of the woodwind family. The flute's little relative, the piccolo, is one octave higher than the flute. The flute is not played in a straight position like other woodwinds but is held sideways. Its length is about 26 1/2 inches. The player produces a tone by blowing air across a small opening near the top of the instrument. No reed or special mouthpiece is used. For many centuries, flutes, were made of wood. Most modern flutes are metallic: silver, gold, or platinum. The flute is an original member of the early orchestra. The CLARINET is a single reed instrument. It is a close second to the flute in agility and its tone quality makes it well suited for all kinds of rapid scales, arpeggios, and figurations calling for ease in mobility and fluidity. It is a cylindrical tube with a bell expanding slightly more than the oboe's. It is usually made of grenadilla wood. Since the nineteenth century, a lower relative of the clarinet, the bass clarinet, has come into general use. Occasionally the E-flat clarinet is also used for special effects. The OBOE belongs to a group of woodwinds called double reeds; two slips of cane are placed one against the other and wrapped together at one end. The air in the tube is set into motion by the air blown through these reeds. The oboe has a gently tapering conical tube and is about 25 1/2 inches long. It is made of wood and is perforated with holes. They are closed either with the fingers or with keys which the player operates. The oboe has been in the orchestra since its beginnings and is often a solo instrument. Usually, there are two oboes in the orchestra. The ENGLISH HORN is also a double reed instrument and is pitched a fifth (5 tones) lower than the oboe. It is larger, measuring about 31 1/2 inches and differs from the oboe in its bulb-shaped bell and the bent metal crook at the top end of the instrument which holds the reed. It is supported by a cord around the player's neck. It has been a regular member of the orchestra since the 19th century. Its primary function, as an auxiliary instrument to the oboe family, is to extend the range of the oboe family downward. It also figures as a solo instrument and orchestral literature abounds in solo passages for it. The BASSOON is the bass of the woodwind section. A double reed instrument, its mouthpiece is the part with the reed, 1/2 inch wide, and a long curved metallic mouthpiece called a crook or bokel. Its air column is about 9 feet 2 inches long and is, so to speak, folded in two. It is held by a neck cord attached to a ring at the top of the instrument. The bassoon is equally suited to carry a tune or to provide accompaniment. Sometimes it is a solo instrument. Complementing the register of the bassoon toward the lowest notes is the contra bassoon. It sounds an octave lower than the ordinary bassoon and produces the deepest notes in the family of the woodwinds.
THE BRASS FAMILY The HORN (French horn)is easily recognized by its circular form and comes from the 17th century hunting horn used also at festivals and in war. It is made using a length of tubing 17 feet long. When it is in its usual playing position, the bell is pointed down and away from the listener and is partially closed by the right hand. Through the invention of rotary valves, the horn has acquired great versatility and is a favorite solo instrument. Its tone combines well with that of all instruments and it forms an important link between the brasses and woodwinds.
The TRUMPET sounds heroic and festive. It has valves, and its tubing measures 6 1/2 feet long when straightened. It serves as a melody instrument. Modern composers often use mutes with the trumpet that change the sound to a mysterious or grotesque quality. When used in classical music, the trumpets, like the horns, play in pairs. In modern works, their number is often doubled, sometimes even tripled. The trumpet is very versatile and is used in all types of ensembles. The TROMBONE is an instrument of power, solemnity, and antiquity, Except for changes in the mouthpiece, there have been no basic changes in it in the last five centuries. It varies its pitches by changing the position of its slide and it measures 9 feet in length. The modern trombone is made of brass, chromium, and nickel. There are usually three trombones in romantic and modern works. By tradition, the trombones are group instruments rather than solo instruments.
The TUBA is the lowest pitched brass instrument and uses a valve system like the trumpet. It is nine feet long, and its bell opens upward to the ceiling. A real bass tuba has been in use since 1875, and so it often has to play parts written for the earlier small tuba or extinct ophicleide. Although its primary use is to give a "bottom" to the music, the tuba is occasionally used for solos.
THE PERCUSSION FAMILY The TIMPANI, also called kettledrums because of their shape, are the backbone of the percussion family. Made of copper, they resemble a kettle resting on a tripod. Stretched across the top is a calfskin head. In a normal orchestra, the sizes of the timpani are 30", 28", 25", and 23". They are used in every area of symphonic music from every time period. Tuned to precise pitches, at least two of them are normally required. Their most important function is the dynamic reinforcement of the string bass part. The BASS DRUM varies is size from 24 to 36 inches, and the normal orchestral bass drum size is 30 inches. It is supported on a special stand. Most drummers strike it with the right hand; however, the bass drum may be struck on either head. It is capable of thunderous noise or soft rolls, and its carrying power is greater than that of any other orchestral instrument. It is often said that its soft tones are felt rather than heard. The CYMBALS are circular discs made of brass alloy and are Turkish by tradition. They are a convex shape so that when struck together to produce a tone, only the edges touch. The cymbals are held by a leather strap and sometimes they are hung and played by a stick or mallet for a special effect. The percussionist usually has two pairs: one pair 15-16 inches in diameter and the other 18 inches in diameter. The SNARE DRUM marks rhythm and adds spice to the music. It takes its name from the construction of gut strings stretched across the underside of the bottom drum head. These "snares" vibrate against the drum head when it is played. The snare drum is 14 to 15 inches in diameter and about six inches deep. It is played with a pair of drum sticks. The TRIANGLE is a bar of round steel bent into the shape of its name with one corner open. The average/length of the bar is 6 1/2". It is struck by a small steel rod called a beater. Recognized by its bright, high tinkle, its sound can be heard above the loudest orchestral sounds. The TAMBOURlNE is a circle of wood, commonly ten inches in diameter with a calfskin head. Small metal discs are set in the wood circle and jingle against themselves. They are actually called jingles. The tambourine also has a single drum head and can be beaten with the hand, or sometimes the thumb is run around the outside edge of the head producing a "rolled" sound. Other percussion instruments include the vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel and chimes; other indefinite pitch instruments include castanets and wood block.
Travel the world with flat stanely Let’s go to Russia! Do You Know These Facts About Russia?
• The official name for Russia is the Russian Federation. • Russia shares borders with many countries, including China, Ukraine, North Korea and Norway. • In terms of land area, Russia is the largest country in the world. The Russian Federation stretches across two continents, Europe and Asia. It is the largest country in the world. The climate is bitterly cold in the winter, and because of this cold climate the country is not heavily populated. • Russia is located across 9 time zones. • At the beginning of 2013, Russia was estimated to have a population of around 143 million. • Russian is the official language of Russia but there are many other languages used in various parts of the country. • Russians drive on the right-hand side of the road. • The currency used in Russia is the ruble. • The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.10. • Russia has over 40 national parks and 100 wildlife reserves. Russia has the world’s largest area of forests. The forests of Russia are home to reindeer, wolves, bear, and lynx. • Basketball, ice hockey and football (soccer) are popular sports in Russia. • Russia has been a leader in literature, arts, and music. It is home to some of the most famous composers including Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky. The Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow and the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg are two of the most famous ballet companies in the world. Ballet was first introduced to Russia from France more than 150 years ago. • Chess is a national obsession. Other pastimes include the card game Durak (Russian Fool) and the computer game Tetris, which was invented in Russia. • Borscht, a traditional food, is a beet soup served hot or cold. Pelmeni is a small, moist dumplings filled with chopped meat and is often served with butter, sour cream and vinegar. • The European mink, a small, solitary animal famed for its beautiful coat lives in Russia. Its feet are semi-webbed • The polar bear, whose three- to fourinch layer of fat keeps it warm lives in northern Russia. • One of the best ways to see the country of Russia is on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The railway extends from Moscow to the Pacific Coast. A train trip the entire distance takes 6 days.
Let’s go to Ireland! Do You Know These Facts About Ireland? • Halloween was derived from an Irish festival called Samhain. • Irishman James Hoban designed the White House • St. Patrick’s clearing of the Emerald Isle of snakes isn’t true. There have never been any snakes in Ireland Flat Stanley visits Irelan d with • St. Patrick was not actually Irish, he was Roman. Maestra Ha rrigan • The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia. • There are more mobile phones in Ireland than there are people. • In Ireland, lakes are called loughs (pronounced as locks) • Gaelic is the commonly spoken language in Ireland, next to Irish and English. • According to the Irish birthday traditions, people hold the birthday child upside down and bump the head slightly on the floor. The bumps correspond to the age of the child. It is believed that this tradition brings good luck. • Titanic, the unsinkable ship, which sunk in its maiden voyage, was made in Ireland. • The Tara mine near Narvan is the largest zinc mine in Europe, and fifth largest in the world. • William Edward Wilson was the first person to accurately measure the temperature of the sun (6059 C). • Ireland has had its own Olympics since the Bronze Age, called the Tailteann Games. • The term ‘boycott’ comes from Irishman Captain James Boycott. • There are more Irish people living OUTside of Ireland than in. • Ireland’s most famous musical export is U2. • According to Census 2011, most of the Irish population identifies themselves as Roman Catholic (84%). • Ireland’s most famous actors include Pierce Brosnan, Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell. • Drisheen is a type of pudding made from cow, pig, or sheep blood. White pudding is a mixture of pork, cereal, bread, fat and suet. Periwinkles are sea snails boiled in salted water.
Let’s go to China! Do You Know These Facts About China? • China is officially known as the People’s Republic of China. • China has the largest population in the world, with over 1.3 billion people (1,343,239,923) as of July 2012. • The capital city is Beijing, while the most populated city is Shanghai. Other major cities include Chongqing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. • China experiences typhoons every year and also suffers from floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts. • The Great Wall of China is the largest man made structure in the world, stretching an incredible 8,850 kilometres (5,500 miles). • The famous Giant Panda is found near the Yangtze River in China. • Eighty percent, of the world’s toys, are made in China, which has quickly built factories to keep up with demand. • The high speed train in Shanghai goes 268 miles per hour (431 kilometers per hour), making it the fastest train in the world. • In China, besides Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, people celebrate Children’s Day by giving children gifts or money. • The tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is in China. • Some people enjoy eating specialties like a bird nest soup, frog, snake, scorpion and dog. But be careful! Not everyone in China likes these. Some Chinese people may find them as strange as you do. It depends on their hometown, their family and their personal taste. • Chinese names usually have a meaning chosen by the family, to reflect something about the person. Also, the last name comes first, usually followed by two syllables that make up the first name. • Unlike dragons in the West, dragons in China are typically regarded as positive symbols of power and good luck. • It is not uncommon for children to keep crickets or cicadas as pets in small wooden cages. • The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday. • To stop population growth the government, has employed a one-child policy. This means very few children grow up with brothers or sisters. • The abacus is an ancient counting machine. It is used in schools, to learn math.
Let’s go to Mexico! Do You Know These Facts About Mexico? • Popular games for children to play are Lotería, (a game similar to bingo but is played with picture cards and song), jump rope, and other outdoor games. • Soccer is the top sport in Mexico. Other favorites include baseball and jai alai, a handball game that originated in Spain. • Many homes in Mexico include not just parents and children but grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or other family members. • Children have two last names. Their father’s last name is the first part, and their mother’s last name is the second part. • A popular food, Mole, is a sauce that is made with up to two dozen ingredients and it typically includes peppers, and spices such as cinnamon and chocolate • Another popular food, tamal, (plural tamales), are corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese or a sweet filling, then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed • The San Quintin kangaroo rat, whose powerful back legs can send it more than 7 feet in a single hop, resides in Mexico. Also, the slow-moving vaquita, the world’s smallest cetacean (animal in the porpoise family), weighing only about 100 pounds lives there as well. • In Mexico today, Spanish is the official language, but more than 60 native languages are spoken. • Mexico City is the oldest city in North America. • Mexico is responsible for introducing chocolate to the world! It was considered the drink of the gods by the early Aztec culture inhabitants. • The currency of Mexico is the Peso. • Mexico is the largest manufacturer of salt in the world. • The City of Mexico was built on a water reservoir and it sinks about 6-10 inches every year! • The Chichen Itza pyramid is considered one of the wonders of the world and it is said that if you stand by the pyramid, you can hear a bird singing. • The oldest living tree in the world (Arbol de Tule) is 40 feet tall and is situated in Mexico. • The largest bullfighting ring of the world, Plaza de Toros is in Mexico. • The Mexican and the United States border is the second largest in the world. • The Chihuahua breed of dog is named after a Mexican state. • Hundreds of dinosaur bones have been found in Northern Mexico. • Mexico receives over 20 million tourists every year.
Let’s go to Italy! Do You Know These Facts About Italy? • Italy has over 61 million people living in it as of 2012. • The famous children’s story, Pinicchio, was written by an Italian. • Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural achievements in poetry, painting and architecture. Famous artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo Da Vinci were part of the Renaissance. • The thermometer is an Italian invention. • The piano hails from Italy. • With almost 40 million visitors, Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world. • Famous Italian explorers include Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci. • The national sport of Italy is soccer (known as football outside of America). • Opera was created in Italy. • Bubonic Plague killed one-third of the Italian population in the 14th century. • The violin and the cello were both invented in Italy. • Italian pizza originated in Naples during the 18th century. Other dishes such as spaghetti, lasagna and risotto all come from Italy. • Italy is famous for its sports cars like Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Lamborghini. • Italians invented optical eye glasses. • Italy has been making wines for over 2800 years.
• The Roman Catholic Church is based in Italy. • Many of Shakespeare’s plays were set in Italy, including Romeo and Juliet from Verona. • Italy is the largest wine-producing country in the world. • Italy is home to some of the world’s greatest composers, like Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini. • The ice cream cone is an Italian invention.
Let’s go to West Africa! Do You Know These Facts About West Africa? • People have probably been living in West Africa for tens of thousands of years. • West Africa is one of world’s most diverse and fascinating regions. • West Africa is made up of the Sahel region (semi-arid savannas) and tropical forests and grasslands. The region is rich in natural resources such as cocoa, diamonds, iron ore, gold, uranium, coffee, rice, cotton, fish and petroleum. • Boasting well over 135 million people, Nigeria has the largest population in West Africa and the entire continent. In terms of world population, Nigeria ranks as the eighth most populous country in the world. • Between 1650 and 1900, it is estimated that more than 55 percent of the 10 million enslaved Africans taken to the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean were from West Africa. • Many of Africa’s largest and most populous ethnic groups are found in West Africa. In Nigeria alone, the Yoruba population contains well over 30 million people, which is more than five million people over the population of Texas. More than 54 percent of the population of West Africa identifies as Muslims. • The West African nation of Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world. • West Africa is also home to Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake. • There are several good-sized rivers - the Niger, the Senegal, and the Volta - which make it easier to travel because you can use boats. • There are fish in the rivers which are good to eat. These rivers also, when they flood, spread good silt all over the land, which makes the land good for growing plants. • The rivers do also breed the mosquitoes that carry yellow fever and malaria, but people living in West Africa gradually developed some immunity to these diseases. • West African people in Nigeria were smelting iron by around 300 BC. Nobody knows for sure whether people in West Africa invented this process themselves. • West Africa is made up of 22 countries and has a population of over 250 million people. By the year 2020 the population is expected to be over 440 million people. • Muslims make up 52% of the population. 10% is Traditional religion and practiced with other religions. 38% is made up of religions other than Islam and Traditional. • The average life span in West Africa is 47 years of age. • The board game oware is quite popular in many parts of West Africa. The word “Oware” originates from the Akan people of Ghana. • Football is also a pastime enjoyed by many, either spectating or playing. The national teams of some West African nations, especially Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast regularly qualify for the World Cup. • West Africans cuisine includes fish especially among the coastal areas, meat, vegetables and fruits most which are grown by farmers within the region. • Underdevelopment, low rainfall, climate change, poverty, rising food prices and declining food stock are all key factors that are contributing toward Western Africa’s food crisis.
Let’s go to France! • French is the second most studied language in the world after English. • The capital city is Paris. Other major cities include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, and Nice-Cannes. • France is the most visited country in the world, with over 80 million visitors every year. • The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. The famous Mona Lisa painting is on display in this museum. • During World War II, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in northern France. The first day of these landings is called D-Day. • The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was built as the entrance point for the 1889 World Fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world. • France was the second country to host the modern Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris. Paris also hosted the games again in 1924. Three winter Olympics have been hosted in France. • The most famous road bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France zig zags through the French landscape. • One of the four grand slam tennis events, the French Open, is held in Paris every year. • Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who made many discoveries in the fields of chemistry and microbiology. • France is famous for the beaux-arts, the many great painters, sculptors. Famous French painters are Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and Auguste Rodin is certainly one of the most famous French sculptors. • French composers which are very famous are: Maurice Ravel (Bolero) and Georges Bizet (Carmen). Children all around the world love French literature, like the famous “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas and “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. • French political leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was born on Corsica. He reformed the French laws. He declared himself Emperor of the French in 1904. Napoleon’s army was defeated by the British in the Battle of Waterloo (now in Belgium) in 1815. He was exiled to the island St. Helena in the Mediterranean Sea where he died in 1821. • The current president of France is François Hollande. • The French main dishes contain: fresh vegetables, meat and cheeses. French cuisine is well known for its freshness and high quality dishes.
Paris with Flat Stanley visits uardt Madame Marq
Let’s go to Iran! Do You Know These Facts About Iran? • Iran, which until 1935 was known as Persia, was the site of some of the world’s oldest villages. They were built near the Caspian Sea at least 6,000 years ago. • Girls and boys are educated separately until the university level. In addition, girls typically have only female teachers, and boys typically have only male teachers. • Soccer is the number one sport in Iran. Both girls and boys enjoy playing the game at school, though usually only men may attend professional games. • It is traditional for families to eat meals together on the floor, gathered around dishes of food spread on a kind of tablecloth called a sofreh. • Khoresh, which is a favorite food, is a fragrant stew of meat, fruit or vegetables, nuts, and spices. It is usually served with fluffy white rice. • Iran’s capital and largest city, Tehran, has some of the worst air pollution in the world. An estimated 27 people die a day from air pollution-related diseases. • The current Iranian flag was adopted in 1980 and has three equal horizontal bands of green, white, and red. Green is the color of Islam and represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, and red stands for bravery and martyrdom. • Nearly half of Iran has an arid desert climate. It receives less than 4 inches of precipitation each year. • The Persian Gulf holds 60% of the world’s oil reserves. Iran alone has reserves of 125 billion barrels of oil, or 10% of the world’s total reserves. Iran pumps nearly 4 million barrels of oil each day. • Iran is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, with settlements dating back to 4000 B.C. • Approximately 70% of Iran’s population is under the age of 30. • Since ancient times, people in Iran have used a water supply system called a qanat (or kanat). It collects underground water and moves it through tunnels to places where people need it. • Iranians have woven beautiful rugs for over 2,500 years. When creating rugs, Iranian weavers often make a mistake intentionally. They want to show their belief that “only God is perfect.” After oil, Iran’s second largest export commodity is carpets. • The capital of Iran is Tehran, which means, “warm slope.” Nearly 12 million people live there. • In Iran, females over the age of nine must wear a hijab in public. Additionally, religious rules do not allow women to wear bathing suits when men are present. • The Persian cat is one of the world’s oldest breeds. They originated in the high plateaus of Iran where their long silky fur protected them from the cold. • Iran is one of the world’s largest producers of caviar, pistachios, and saffron.. • Polo was played in Iran as early as the 6th century B.C., mainly as training for the cavalry. • Iran is the 18th largest country in the world, and is slightly smaller than Alaska. • Iran’s constitution dictates that women are mothers and homemakers. If they want to work outside of the home, they need permission from the male head of the household.
Let’s go home to the USA!
Do You Know These Facts About Our Country, the United States of America? • The United States is divided into 50 states. However state each varies in size considerably. The smallest state is Rhode Island with an area of just 1,545 square miles (4,002 sq km). By contrast the largest state by area is Alaska with 663,268 square miles (1,717,854 sq km) • Alaska has the longest coastline in the United States at 6,640 miles (10,686 km). • English is the most commonly spoken language used in the U.S. Spanish is the second most common language spoken. • The tallest mountain in the world is located in the United States Mauna Kea, located in Hawaii, is only 13,796 feet (4,205 m) in altitude above sea level, however, when measured from the seafloor it is over 32,000 feet (10,000 meters) high, making it taller than Mount Everest (Earth’s tallest mountain above sea level at 29,028 feet or 8,848 meters). • The lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States was at Prospect Creek, Alaska on January 23, 1971. The temperature was -80°F (-62°C). The coldest temperature in the contiguous 48 states was at Rogers Pass, Montana on January 20, 1954. The temperature there was -70°F (-56°C). • The hottest temperature recorded in the United States (and in North America) was in Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913. The temperature measured 134°F (56°C). • The deepest lake in the U.S. is Crater Lake located in Oregon. At 1,932 feet (589 m) it is the world’s seventh deepest lake. • The tallest mountain the US is Mt McKinley, located in the state of Alaska it reaches 20,320 ft (6,194 m) above sea level. • Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 and is the largest state in the US by land area. • Hawaii is the most recent of the 50 states in the US (joining in 1959) and is the only one made up entirely of islands. • The most populated city in the US is New York City, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. • The first man to walk on the moon was American Neil Armstrong (July 21, 1969). • The US consumes more oil than any other country in the world. • The most popular team sports in the US are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. • Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together. • The only place in the United States where coffee is grown commercially is in Hawaii. • The American one-dollar bill contains several hidden images, including a spider in the upper right-hand corner. • The Four Corners region is the only point at which 4 states come together (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah).
Flat Stanley visits the ce nter of Montana in Lewistow n
lesson plans Flat Stanley Geography Lesson Plan Grade Level: Second or Third Grade The students will study geography of the United States, as well as learn to write friendly letters. Materials/Preparation: • • • • • • •
Map of the United States Paper to write letters Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown Family addresses from other states Poster to create their own Flat Stanley Crayons, markers, and a great imagination The entire lesson takes a week - the correspondence part should/could take all year
Activity: • • • • •
The students will read the story and discuss. The students will learn the parts of a friendly letter. The class will create their own Flat Stanley out of poster board, markers, crayons. The class will send their Flat Stanley’s to family members in different states. The class will create an imaginary adventure for Flat Stanley. This could include pictures, video tapes, and should include a letter about his adventure. • The class will map out where he is sent. Put the states on our class map so they can see. • Make and send as many different Flat Stanleys as your class wants. You can put where each Flat Stanley is sent on the back, so you can see where each Flat Stanley has been sent. You can expand this idea.
Flat Stanley Reading Level: 2 Read Aloud Level: 1 The Review After being flattened by a bulletin board, Stanley goes on some adventures including being mailed. Students enjoy listening and guessing what Stanley will do next. Another option is to make one Stanley and have the person you mailed it to send it to another and so on. Put a please mail back to the school date on Stanley along with a letter explaining the project. Everyone will be surprised when they get him back how many signatures and places he has been. OBJECTIVES • Students will learn about other states, countries, or cultures. MATERIALS • Flat Stanley patterns • Paper and markers/crayons for each child • United States wall map • String PROCEDURE • Have each student make and color their own Flat Stanley using a pattern provided. • Have the students take their Flat Stanley home and with parents help, have them mail it to someone they know in another state or country. Include an instruction letter telling them to answer the questions provided and mail the letter and Flat Stanley back to the student. • As the students get the returned mail, mark where it was mailed to on the wall map.
FLAT STANLEY Where could you go if you were flat?
What could you do if you were flat?
What couldnâ€™t you do if you were flat?
Draw a picture of what you would look like flat.
FLAT _______________ Imagine that you are flat. How did you become flat? Where would you go? What would you do? Write a story about what would happen to you.
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Flat Stanley Quiz Choose the correct answer for each question. 1)
Who is the author of the book Flat Stanley? A) Marc Brown B) Peggy Parish C) Tomie dePaola D) Jeff Brown E) David Adler
How did Stanley get flat? A) He was hit by a truck. B) A bulletin board fell on him. C) His brother sat on him. D) Stanley piled books on himself. E) He was born flat.
Who is not a character in this book? A) Arthur B) Mr. Dart C) Max D) Julie E) Mr. Lambchop
Where was the setting at the start of this book? A) The Lambchop's house B) The art museum C) The park D) The street E) By the lake
What problem did Stanley have in the park? A) He was kidnapped. B) He lost his ball. C) He got stuck in a tree. D) He lost his dog. E) He was teased.
What disguise did Stanley wear in the art museum? A) A cowboy outfit B) A shepherdess disguise C) A ballerina disguise
How did Stanley travel to see his friend in California? A) by train B) by ship C) He walked there. D) by mail
What was the resolution of this book? A) Stanley was famous. B) Stanley stayed flat. C) Arthur used a bicycle pump to blow Stanley back up to normal size. D) Arthur was mad. E) Stanley had a good idea.
Take your students on a musical adventure around the world with Flat Stanely! Discover the cultures of the world through musical stories, in...