Beautiful Istanbul

While en-route to China we decided to layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey has always been one of those places on my “must see” list. The culture has always intrigued me. However, in the last 1.5 years, Turkey has had a lot going on politically. Things appeared calmer than they were this time last year so we worked it into our itinerary. We flew Turkish Airlines, which is a lovely airline, and landed in Istanbul at about 4:00 pm. By the time we made it through customs we had about 6 hours to explore the city. Knowing this time was VERY limited we made the most of it by heading to some of the famous sites and grabbing some yummy food.

Our first stop was Hagia Sophia. This beautiful and very old structure was quite an interesting sight. It began as a church and then was eventually turned into a mosque. Due to this, mosaics of Christ are positioned in roughly the same area as Islamic scriptures.


We decided to not enter the Blue Mosque as it was super crowded, but we did sit in the courtyard and take in the beauty of the architecture.

Our next stop was the waterfront. We followed the sidewalk along the Golden Horn and took in views of the Galata Tower in the distance. We ended up sitting in a square eating a fish sandwich (balık-ekmek) from this really cool looking boat. What great people watching. We then ended up at another restaurant by the water where we got some cold beers and watched the sunset over a local mosque. Talk about picturesque.


I was bummed because I forgot to try some Turkish ice cream (as per a friend’s suggestion). However, I felt I got a good sense of the city. I most certainly hope to go back and have a more comprehensive view of the city and Turkey in general.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Easy Paper Turkeys

The children I work with LOVE to make crafts. Anytime I bring out crafting materials they are almost fighting to get their hands on it. Crafting is a great way for kids to develop language, follow directions, and improve fine motor skills.

This week we are reading the book The Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman. It is a cute story about how a turkey outsmarts some townspeople. In the story, the characters participate in a contest to make the best turkey. They use all sorts of materials such as oatmeal, potatoes, and soap. Since making soap turkeys might get a little messy, I am keeping it simple with using basic materials such as glue, paper, and recyclables.

These crafts are all simple and are suggested for children 3-11 (preschool- 5th grade).

Paper Turkey:

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Some student art

 

Time to make: 5-10 minutes depending on child’s fine motor skills

You need: construction paper, scissors, liquid glue, google eyes

1) Cut out a brown circle for the turkey body and two wings.

2) Using any color paper you would like, make 6 three inch strips for the tail feathers. Also create a triangle beak and two feet.

3) Glue all of the turkey parts onto a half sheet of construction paper.

Want to make it more challenging? With my older students I had them create a “Turkey Profile.” They had to name the turkey and list personal information about the turkey (e.g., favorite food, favorite games).

All About Me: Turkey Edition

All About Me: Turkey Edition

 

Toilet Paper Turkey ( as seen on Pinterest)

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Time to make: 5 minutes

You need: toilet paper tube, construction paper, markers, liquid glue, stapler, scissors

1) Cut the toilet paper tube in half.

2) Draw two eyes on the front of the tube. Cut a triangle beak and “gobbler” (that red thing on the turkey’s mouth) and glue them below the eyes.

3) Cut 5 strips of construction paper. Make sure they are long strips (i.e., the length of one sheet of construction paper).

4) Fold over the strips to make a loop. Do not crease them. Fan the loops into a tail and staple them together. Then staple them on the backside of  the toilet paper tube.

*Don’t have a toilet paper tube on hand? Egg cartons work just as well. Kids can color or paint the egg carton to give it a brown color.

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Happy Crafting!