A List Maker's Life: Picnic Table Talk: Alphabet

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Picnic Table Talk: Alphabet

Welcome back Summer Prize Picnic friends!

To fit this week's alphabet theme I decided to share an ABC list. During my time at Hope I had an amazing opportunity to study abroad. Along with a group of other education students, I spent a term studying literacy teaching practices & the national curriculum in Liverpool, England. When I returned, I documented my trip by creating an alphabet book of the trip's highlights. I had many different memories for each letter, but I will just share a few here (I'll spare you all the inside jokes...).

A - Albert's Docks
On our first night in Liverpool we ventured out to the docks. It turned out to be a favorite stop for sight seeing, enjoying the water, shopping, and eating ice cream.

B - Buckingham Palace
We visited just in time for the 11:00 AM changing of the guards; all the pomp & circumstance was fascinating

C - Childwall
This Church of England school was one of my 3 field placements. I worked with students in a 5/6 year split, as well as a year 2 classroom.

D - Diana
Throughout England many were still grieving the passing of Princess Diana.

E - Edinburgh
A group of us hopped on a bus for a weekend visit to Edinburgh. Our time in Scotland turned out to be a highlight of my term.

F - Field Trip
During my time with one of the elementary schools I had the opportunity to join a class on a field trip to study architecture through out Liverpool.

G - Globe Theatre
We toured the Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition built as an exact replica of the famous Globe Theatre on the Thames River.

H - Hampton Court
On our last weekend in London we enjoyed a boat tip down the Royal Highway with our destination being Hampton Court Palace, the home of Henry the VIII.

I - Inservice
While teaching in Liverpool I participated in an inservice discussing England's National Literacy Project.

J - Jacket Potatoes
Much of the food left a bit to be desired. Stuffed, baked potatoes became my meal of choice.

K - Knotty Ash School
This was the public elementary school I worked with. This was my favorite teaching experience of the trip. I worked with students in year 2 & 4. I also observed in a classroom of infant & toddler hearing impaired students.

L - Leicester Square
We stopped for lunch in this London park after our mission to buy new Doc Martens was complete.

M - Museum of Childhood
An afternoon visit during our time in Edinburgh. I had all sorts of fun shopping for children's books in the museum gift shop.

N - National Curriculum
The English schools were under a national curriculum, meaning that all teachers were required to teach the same lessons. This sounded interestingly confining to us as American teachers as we are used to having freedom in lesson planning within the boundaries of benchmarks.

O - O'Hare Airport
Our trip started and ended at this Chicago airport.

P - Playgrounds
We found it interesting that the schools had fields, instead of playground equipment. The kids knew how to make their own fun with jump ropes, balls, and hula hoops.

Q - Queen's Walk
A lovely park walk near Buckingham Palace

R - Rent
During our weekend's in London we took in a couple different shows. We saw Rent at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

S - St. Vincent De Paul
This was the Catholic school I worked with. I spent most of my time in "the nursery." We would call that preschool, but these little "Brains of Britain" were already reading.

T- Tower Bridge
This famous London site was interesting to explore. We toured it by night and loved the lights of the towers. I always thought this was "London Bridge" like in the children's song. However, we stood on the plain old London Bridge to get a picture of the Tower Bridge in the background.

U - Uniforms
The children in all three schools I worked in were required to wear uniforms.

V - Virgin Trains
Our mode of transportation between cities

W - Westminster Abbey
This cathedral is the burial grounds for past queens and kings. It was also the site of Diana's funeral. The man who greeted us at the church joked that the last American to come through the church was a good looking, short guy. "You might know his name from some movie or something." He was talking about Tom Cruise.

X - Xtraordianry friends, memories, sites & adventures

Y - Youth Hostel
When we set off for our weekend in Scotland we had no idea what kind of sleeping accommodations we'd find. We ended up in a new (clean) youth hostel with room for all 6 of us who were traveling together

Z - Zebras??
Still don't know what the street signs meant that read "Humped Zebra Crossing"

I am looking forward to visiting lots of other Picnic Table Talks this week to see what ABC fun you've posted!
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  1. You are so lucky to have gone to England, I am so jealous! Going across the pond is one of my dreams! Sounds like an unforgetable experience.

  2. What a fun list! How cool that you had that experience.

  3. cool! love the list! my favorite place is Ireland!!!:)

    When i lived in Germany (dad was military) we went to englad to get our Irish Wolfhound. Liam was soo sweet and soo huge!

    I have a wonderful bloggy friend whom i've known for 3 years that lives in england i love seeing pictures she takes for her blog about her little boy Issac

  4. How fun! That must have been a great experience!

  5. Wow! Sounds like an amazing trip! Great idea for an abc list and great way to remember the trip.

  6. Lovely list! We lived in Edinburgh for 3 years (our daughter Emma was born there) and Cambridge, England for 3 months, so this post brought back some wonderful memories.

    I don't remember seeing any "Humped Zebra Crossing" signs (we didn't have a car and so I didn't pay much attention to road signs), but is there any chance it could mean a raised (speedbump style) crosswalk?

  7. What an amazing experience!

  8. Katie it is so wonderful that you had this experience, I WISH I would have taken the time to study abroad. Big regret still. I love that you had the idea to make an ABC book of your experience and now we all get to share in your amazing trip. I really love seeing the "old" pictures of you and Annie and Jill.

  9. Oh, I so want to visit England. I was supposed to go to grad school there, but...then my husband proposed, and we got married instead. I should have just made him come with me - one of my regrets.

  10. How creative and what a wonderful way to capture your memories!


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