BROOKSVILLE — In past summers, Brooksville Elementary School global lab resource teacher Kathy Gates has traveled to India, China and Canada with Global Exploration for Educators and has brought back information and cool stuff to share with her students.
This year she went to Peru.
The cool stuff with which she returned included packaged samples of grain and remarkably large corn kernels, a miniature rendition of a common Andean rooftop ornament, a small woven wool wall hanging and some musical instruments, one made from a gourd.
"I can go across the curriculum with the stuff I brought back," Gates said.
For the younger children, she will introduce Peru and share a book, The Llama's Secret, with them, as well as explain her souvenirs.
The older students will hear about climate. Because of its topography, in some areas Peru has a moderate, but dry, climate. Other areas are rain forests. The country has cold, high mountaintops. She will discuss the influence of the Humboldt Current on climate.
Gates also will talk about earthquakes and how ancient stone formations have been able to withstand the tremors.
She has information about Peru's history, languages, rivers, economy, people and religion. She was particularly impressed with the ancient Inca civilization site, Machu Picchu.
Because the older students have already learned about other countries, Gates said, "They've had enough cultures now that we can compare and contrast."
Gates' travels open the world to her kindergarten through fifth-grade students.
"They don't travel, so I want to bring the world to them," she said. "I love bringing this information back to these kids, some of whom haven't been to the other side of the county to see the beach."
The students, Gates has observed, in particular the older ones, are taking what they hear from her to their homes.
"It makes me so happy when they come to me and say, 'On the National Geographic channel, Mrs. Gates, I saw what we were talking about.' They're applying what they learn in here to their worlds outside of school."