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The Colors of July July 31, 2012

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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July fun with colors!

Last Friday morning, July 27, 2012, we had an activity about the English words for colors.  The children were learning and practicing these words in English and I was learning the colors in Russian.  The children are better at this than I am, and it is a lot of fun for them when I make a mistake.  Of course, the hardest part of learning a new language is to speak.  It is important to be willing to make mistakes, even if others laugh at you, so I do not mind.

Colors are fun to learn because everything has a color.  We played games with fruits and their colors, and with vegetables and their colors.  The week before we had learned fruits and vegetables so this was a chance to practice these words again.  Then we asked the children to tell the colors of their clothes.  Summer clothes in Ukraine and in America are very colorful, so there were lots of good colors to name.  In both countries, pink and purple are favorites for girls of all ages.  English words with two “p’s” like purple and pumpkin are hard to say, so these are good words to practice at home.  Boys seem to like red and orange.

Another fun part of learning colors is using crayons, so we did a coloring activity.  The children had to read the color words and then pick the correct crayons to finish their color palatte.  All of the children did very well with this and had a lot of fun.

Summer fun will continue on Friday at 10:00AM in the Window on America Room.  This week we will have a special guest from America and we will talk about sports in honor of the Olympics.  Ukraine already has some medals so keep watching the Olympics and come visit us at the library on Friday morning, and tell us how many medals Ukraine has won by then.


Fruits and Vegetables a la Kherson!! July 25, 2012

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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During the summer, we have fun all week at the library.  On Fridays, we have a special activity in the morning.  On Friday, July 20, 2012, we played games and colored while learning the English names for the fruits and vegetables that are so plentiful and delicious here in Kherson.

The children took turns saying the English names like cucumber, cabbage, watermelon, and peaches.  Of course, everyone knows lemon and banana, but some of the other names are difficult to say and to remember.  While the children are learning the English names, I am learning the Russian names.  Some of these are hard to remember also, but a few, like kapusta, are used in America by the many different ethnic groups that have settled in America.

Most of the farmers where I live in Massachusetts, are from Poland, so they love their cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes just like Ukrainians do.  The growing season there is too short for melons, so we get those from other states that are further south.  We do have plenty of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and wonderful sweet corn, eggplant and cucumbers.  By this time of year, we also have so much zucchini that everyone with a garden is trying to give it away for free.  We also have many, many orchards growing all different kinds of apples.  These will be ready to eat in September and October.

Back at the library, we finished up our Fun Friday with a coloring project.  The children colored a picture of a basket of fruit and vegetables and then matched the produce with the English names.  They all did a great job coloring and were able to identify the fruits and vegetables, even the kiwi!

So come and visit on Friday mornings about 10:00AM if you want to have fun and practice speaking English.  When school starts again in September, we will again have English Clubs on Sunday,  so watch for news about that.


Fourth of July Celebration at the Library July 11, 2012

Posted by americanex in holidays, Uncategorized.

Waiting for celebrationLast week, we celebrated American Independence Day, which is better known in America as Fourth of July.  We had a nice group of children ages 5-15 who joined us to learn about this holiday in America.  We had two American guests, Darell Francis and Steve McCafferty.  They are also Peace Corps Volounteers.

We talked about the parades, public speeches, picnics, and fireworks that are always part of our Fourth of July holiday.  It is a day when we remember the difficult struggle for Independence and express our gratitude for the leaders of our country who fought the Revolutionary War to become free of England.  July 4, 2012 is the 236th birthday of the United States.

We played games and made a wonderful poster with Uncle Sam on the poster.  Uncle Sam is not a real person, but he is a symbol of our Independence.  He is dressed in red, white, and blue which are the colors of the American flag.  Many people in the United States dress in red, white, and blue on Fourth of July.

We also talked about food that we would eat in America at the picnics and parties that are a big part of our celebration.  Hot dogs, hamburgs, corn on the cob, and watermelon will always be part of any American Fourth of July.  On Coney Island, in New York City, the 94th annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest took place on Fourth of July.  We watched the YouTube video of this contest, which is very funny.  The male winner ate 64 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes and the female winner ate 45!  It is said that this contest was started by a group of immigrants to America who wanted to show that they were true Americans because they could eat the American hot dog!

The best part of our celebration was Darrell playing his guitar and letting the children take a turn as well.  Darrell sang American favorites such as “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” and also sang a Russian song that he has learned.  Everyone sang along with Darrell and had a good time.  We will invite our guests to come back for another celebration and will make sure that Darrell brings his guitar.

Drawing the post

New Blogger! July 3, 2012

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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I am Mary Beth Phair, the new Peace Corps Volunteer at the Window on America Center for Future Leaders at the Kherson Library for Children. I will be working at the Library and living in Kherson for the next two years. I came here from America with my husband, Steve. I am getting to know my way around Kherson. I really like your beautiful city. I ride on the Marchutka’s, go swimming in the river, shop in the bazaar, and watch football on TV. I lived in Belchertown, Massachusetts, a small town of about 12,000 people. It would probably be considered a village in Ukraine. I have one daughter. Her name is Molly and she is 24 years old. She lives in Washington, DC. Molly works as an accountant. Stop by the library this summer and we can practice English together. When school starts in the fall, the English Clubs will begin again. I look forward to meeting you and getting a chance to learn about each other.