Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Writing in Chinese!

Recently, as part of our first theme in reading, we read "The Ballad of Mulan," an exciting legend from China. Mulan was a brave young girl who became a great Chinese hero by taking the place of her old, frail father in a war against invaders.

During our studies of the Mulan legend, we learned to read and write several Chinese characters, which are symbols that represent words.

We used the Chinese characters we learned to create our own stories. Then we illustrated our stories and read them to each other in class. Please enjoy the photographs of our stories below.

Please leave a comment letting us know what you enjoyed about our stories. Do you know other Chinese characters or facts about China that we could learn? Perhaps you could even teach us a word or two in another language!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer in the Sierra Nevada

In August, Mr. Ranney and I went on one of our favorite vacations, camping in the Rock Creek area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We enjoy the clean mountain air at 10,000 feet above sea level.

Our tent trailer is convenient and cozy.

We often have furry visitors at our campsite.

While camping, our favorite daytime activity is hiking. This trail is in an area called Little Lakes Valley. There are many sparkling lakes along the way.

We often see furry friends near the trails, as well - like this pika!

The mountains are spectacular. Because they are so high, there is always some snow on them, even in the summer!

This lake, called Gem Lake, is an emerald green glacial lake at the end of a 4 mile trail. We love to stop here and eat the lunch we've packed. You can see below how Mr. Ranney likes to relax at Gem Lake before the hike back to camp!

On another hike, we visited Emerald Lake. It's located near Mammoth, which is only about a 30 minute drive from Rock Creek. There are many beautiful hiking trails near Mammoth, and we try a different one each time we camp in the area.

Since our campground is also about 30 miles from the town of Bishop, we decided to visit the Laws Railroad Museum, which displays trains and railroad buildings dating back to the late 1800's.

Below is a classroom that was used in the 1880's. How does it compare to our rooms here at Chaparral?

This is the original Bishop ice house used in the early 1880's to store ice cut from local lakes. Back then there were no refrigerators or air conditioners!!

What adventures did you have over the summer?

Please leave a comment and tell about something fun you did!