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Floating Lotus Leaves

Explore Thailand then make miniature lotus-flower rafts in the tradition of the Loy Krathong festival.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. 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?
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Roll petal points around a crayon to give them an up-turned shape. Glue layers together with Crayola School Glue.
    7. 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.
    8. Twist filters together and glue in the center of petals. Add final decorative touches with Crayola Glitter Glue.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    LA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Students work in small groups to research the geography of Thailand. Using large chart paper, students sketch a map of Southeast Asia, outlining all countries in the area. Identify the capital of Thailand, any significant landforms, cities, etc. Post maps in the classrooms for reference.

    Monsoons occur in Thailand. Students investigate these storms and their consequences. How do these storms influence the economy of Thailand?

    Student groups create a travel brochure for Thailand. What are the significant sightseeing areas of this country? When is the best time to visit Thailand?

    Thailand's form of government is a monarchy. How is a monarchy similar to or different from your country's government? What does this mean for its people? What other countries are ruled by monarchies?

    About 90% of all Thai people practice the religion of Buddhism . The lotus plant symbolizes purity and goodness in Buddhism. What other symbols are used in this religion?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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