The WorldStrides Education Team has developed a collection of activities inspired by some of our favourite international destinations, including New York, Ireland, Spain, and Italy! Each activity is created with the whole family in mind, and will get you moving, thinking, creating, and most importantly – having fun!
As you take part in the activities you’ll learn about New York’s transport system and have a go at building your own system, practice the fancy footwork of Flamenco, cozy up with a delicious bowl of Irish stew, and tackle the challenge of painting on the ceiling ala, Michelangelo!
New York City: Create your own transportation map
In big cities all around the world, and especially in New York City, residents and tourists alike depend on public transportation to get from Point A to Point B. On average in 2018, more than 5.4 million riders used the NYC subway each day – that’s a lot of riders going through those turnstiles! They all rely on an accurate map to help them navigate the city and arrive at their destination in the most efficient way possible.
LEARN: The first official NYC subway system began operating in 1904 and has greatly expanded since. The NYC subway map as we know it today was redesigned in 1979. Check out this interactive story from the New York Times about the history of the map and its design.
DO: Create your own transportation map! This can be of your house, your neighbourhood, or your larger community. Think about the “route” you usually take and any places you stop along the way. Highlight the places you frequent along with other locations, attractions, and favourite sites.
THINK: What does your transportation map reveal about your (or your family’s) habits? Why did you include some stops while others were left off the map? How have your travel habits changed in the past six months?
Master Flamenco footwork
LEARN: When visiting Spain our students have the opportunity to experience Flamenco dancing firsthand. They not only watch native dancers but also take a dance lesson – how fun! Want to be inspired? Watch these highlights from the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía’s 2016 performance in New York City. The traditional Spanish dance is adored by natives and tourists alike – but the history of the dance is complicated. Read this Smithsonian article to learn more.
DO: Want to learn the basic steps yourself? Follow this YouTube tutorial designed for students of all ages. We think you’ll be surprised what you can learn in just 15 minutes. Get your family or friends to join you.
THINK: What dances exist in your family’s background? What traditional dances exist in other regions around the world? Is there one you would like to know more about? How do the traditional dance costumes positively or negatively represent the regions they characterise?
Cooking a staple Irish meal
LEARN: An Irish favourite, whether when visiting Ireland or around St. Patrick’s Day, is Irish Stew. Usually made with lamb or beef, it’s a delicious meal! Read an article on some of the origins of how it became an Irish staple and on the history of Irish cuisine.
DO: Time to cook this Irish specialty. Help cook dinner one night and make Irish Stew or Irish Beef Stew. There are many different versions! Here is a recipe for Irish Stew and a video to help. Here is a beef version of the recipe. Check out what an educator and member of the Curriculum & Academics team made for dinner below!
THINK: What are some of your family’s favourite recipes? What are some dishes related to a country where you’d like to travel? How has the environment shaped the food culture of that country?
Painting like Michelangelo
LEARN: Excited to visit Rome one day? Love to paint and want to explore a new technique? Watch this Smithsonian Magazine video about how Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in just four short years.
DO: Try your hand at painting like Michelangelo. Grab a piece of paper, some tape, the nearest low table, and your favourite set of coloured pencils, crayons, or even paints. You will quickly learn that creating artwork upside-down is not easy but can be really fun.
THINK: How could Michelangelo’s technique be used for things other than painting a ceiling? What other ways could Michelangelo have painted the Sistine Chapel?
We want to see your mouth-watering Irish stew, your new flamenco moves, and your Michelangelo-inspired masterpiece! Make sure to share it with our team at email@example.com – we might share your hard work and creativity on our social media!