Even though I have traveled in Europe, the South Pacific and Asia, the cultural experiences in India were very new for me. I knew very little about Indian culture before this trip. I was saturated with the language, music, dance, literature, art, religion, architecture, and food of South India and found it so enjoyable.
The preparation for the trip to India and the five weeks in Tamil Nadu, South India have had a positive impact on my life and teaching. The experience has developed a great network of people and resource material regarding India that I did not have access to before. Insights gained for my classroom have included a new perspective of geography and its effect on people in the sub continent.
It is amazing that connections with India are made while teaching fourth grade Wisconsin history. Current events from India have a greater meaning for me and I stop to share them with my students. It was a pleasure to stay with a host teacher in suburban Madurai, a city that I had never heard of nor could pronounce just weeks before. We share many of the same concerns and joys.
Joel teaches 4th grade in Wausau, WI
Go to Joel’s lesson plans (Elementary level+):
– Geography of India
– Trash! How Cities Work: Dealing with Garbage in the US and India