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Explore Thailand then make miniature lotus-flower rafts in the tradition of the Loy Krathong festival.
Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia. Find it on a map and explore its geography. The country is situated along the sea and many large rivers run through it. The Thais' main foods--fish and rice--depend upon clear, clean abundant water to thrive. What other reasons make water so important to the Thais, and to all people?
Thailand is also situated in an area where monsoons occur. Monsoons are strong seasonal winds that bring heavy rains. Before Buddhism was introduced in the country, the Thai people worshiped river spirits. Thais would then, as today, celebrate the end of monsoon season with a festival to honor Mother Water, thank her for her abundance, and apologize for using and polluting it. This festival is called Loy Krathong (gra-tongs). Loy means to float and krathong means small raft.
On the full moon in November, lighted lanterns are floated on rivers and waterways throughout Thailand. The lanterns are different sizes and shapes. Some are very elaborate, and others are handmade. The first lanterns were made of woven banana leaves shaped like lotus flowers. Often the lanterns carry incense, coins, and candles. People make a wish or put their troubles on the lantern and then let it go out of their lives. Parades, contests, and fireworks are also a part of this occasion.
To make a floating lotus-flower raft, use Crayola® Crayons to draw a large circle on a recycled file folder. Draw a smaller circle inside of the larger one. Sketch pointy lotus petals between the two circles. Cut around the flower with Crayola Scissors. Draw more similar circles with smaller petals on file folders to make upper layers of the lotus flower.
To make the lotus raft waterproof, cover both sides of the largest flower very thickly with crayons. Decorate upper layers of the lotus petals with Crayola Washable Markers.
Roll petal points around a crayon to give them an up-turned shape. Glue layers together with Crayola School Glue.
Decorate a few white, round coffee filters with Crayola Washable Markers. Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Spritz the filters to blend colors. Dry.
Twist filters together and glue in the center of petals. Add final decorative touches with Crayola Glitter Glue.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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