Thursday, May 14, 2009

Travels With My Family by Marie-Louise Gay

Travels With My Family
by Marie-Louise Gay

Parent-Child Book Discussion

Grades 2-3

May 2009

snack ideas: salt water taffy, carrot sticks and celery with dip, deviled eggs (Huevos Motul), mole sauce to sample?

1. Thumbs Up/Down and general feelings about the book.

2. What was your favorite part of the book?

3. Have you ever been in a hurricane before or had to prepare for one? Was there really a Hurricane Bob! Yes, there really was on August 19, 1991. It was a major storm, a rare category 2 (105 mph) that traveled up the coast from NC all the way to Canada.

What is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall and how fast was it? a) Katrina b) Bob c) Andrew d) Camille e) Kevin
(Camille in 1969 achieved winds of 190 before it made landfall as a Cat 5 with sustained winds that maxed the measuring equipment b/c of gusts 220 mph+. Katrina peaked at 175 mph but hit as a Cat 3, but was so large that its destruction is often compared to Camille)

Do you remember the name of the hurricane that created the wind storm that hit Ohio and gave us all a few days off school? (Ike)

4. Where is Tybee island? (show map). When is the best time to go hunting for shells? What is the name of the current they got stuck in as the tides came in? (rip current). What should you do if you get stuck in a rip current? (swim sideways through the current or ride it out and swim back once you are out of it. Don't swim against it.)

5. Okefenokee Swamp
National Wildlife Refuge site:
map image from

What were car trips like for this family? What did they do to stay busy? What does your family do on long car rides?

Pogo Comic Strip: "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Have you ever been to a swamp? Did you see an alligator?

What is the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
--Crocodile snouts are long and pointed, alligators are shorter and u-shaped
--When mouths are closed you can see crocodile bottom teeth. Alligators just tops.
--Alligators tend to prefer fresh water over salty.

Northwest Ohio was once a large swamp-- The Great Black Swamp
See a real swamp in Ohio: Black Swamp Bird Observatory

6. Salt Spring Island, British Columbia Canada (Farm Animal Chapter)
Have you ever been to a farm before? What was your favorite animal and why?

Facts about Peacocks:
Did you know only the male birds are called peacocks? Females are called peahens and together they are called peafowl.

YouTube Video of a bird making phone noises:

7. Punta Reyes (Also known as Point Reyes) Sneaker Wave Chapter.
San Andreas Fault line runs through the Island.
What happened on the beach at Punta Reyes? Have you ever been hit by a large wave?
Sneaker Waves are quite common at this location, as mentioned at the bottom of this guide from the national park service:
There is no way to predict a sneaker wave, but occasionally a larger wave will take over some smaller waves and grow larger in size. EXTREME examples of sneaker waves are rogue waves.
Tsunamis (tidal waves) are completely different and result from a geological event (like an earthquake).

8. Canyon de Chelly/ Petrified Forest/ Painted Desert (sand storm and tumbleweeds chapter)
National Park Service site:

Tumbleweeds are formed when the roots wither away when certain species of plants die, which then try up and roll away. As they roll, they disperse seeds and may eventually gorw a new plant after they roll through a moist area.

What should you do in a dust storm? Advice from Arizona Dept. Transportation.
Why do you think thunderstorms often accompany dust storms?

9. Oaxaca and Tehuantepec, Mexico- New Year
What is the name for the sauce made of chocolate and chili peppers? (mole)
What did the mother eat that made her so sick? (huevos motul)
Why did the family decide to go to Tehuantepec? (to see the market and eat iguana)
Do turkeys really drown themselves by looking up when it rains? (FALSE- according to Snopes, turkeys can't "look" up, but there are some reasons for this statement.)

Radish night actually takes place December 23rd in Oaxaca. See website for more info and a photo gallery

New Year/Christmas Traditions in Mexico:

10. San Juan Chamula (Mexican Revolution/ Tzotzil Indians)
What do the Tzotzil Indians believe is harmful to their souls? (photographs) Are there other cultures that hold this belief? (Amish, aborigini, voodoo)

Zapatista Rebels in the Jan 1, 1994-- Chiapas region, many cities seized.

11. Slaughter Canyon Cave in Carlsbad Caverns map of location:

What does "slaughter" mean? How did Slaughter Canyon get its name? (named after a person, means "to kill")

What was required to visit the cave? (water bottle per person, flashlight per person)

What is the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite?
I always like to remember that stalactites look like tights hanging from the ceiling. Just remember C= ceiling and G=ground.

12. Of all the vacations in this book, which would have been your favorite, and which is the one you wouldn't want to go to and why?

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