History of Horses in America

History of Horses in America

Dear Reader,

History of Horses in AmericaBefore America was the industrial powerhouse it is today, it was an agricultural powerhouse.  In fact, success in American agriculture nearly bankrupted England at one point.  Downton Abbey fans will recognize the back story where Lord Grantham needed to marry an American heiress to save his family’s estate.  But that is another story, told by someone else for another time. Continue reading


A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park Book Review

A Single Shard by Linda Sue ParkA Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is set in the Koryo era of Korean history, from which modern Korea derives its name. This blog post offers some explanation of the cultural and geographical setting of the story. Koryo is often spelled as Goryeo due to the Portugese romanization of the Korean alphabet although the Koryo spelling is more indicative of the actual pronunciation in English.

While Koryo considered itself a sovereign nation, it maintained a close relationship with the Song and Liao dynasties of China and sent celadon pottery as tribute to the emperor.  Besides the Chinese empire, Koryo sent celadon pottery as diplomatic gifts to other countries.
The capital to which Tree Ear journeys was previously called Songdo, now Kaesong.  Koryo actually had several capitals rather than a single capital, which included the modern day cities of Seoul and Pyongyang.
Buddhism was the historic primary religion before it was eclipsed by Confucism in the Joseon era. While trade was important to Koryo, there was not a large middle class.  Most citizens were either aristocrats or peasants.  Life was very hard as a peasant.  Merchants and artisans like Potter Min were the beginning of a emergent middle class but control was still firmly in the hands of the King and the aristocrats.
Caledon pottery was mostly centered in what is now Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province) in South Korea on the coast of the Yellow Sea.  While Korean pottery has a very long tradition, it was during the Koryo period that the distinctive greenware was developed before it was eclipsed by a preference for white and white and blue pottery.
Thank you for reading,
You might also like a post with free student work pages and teacher answer keys at this link. It is a free instant download PDF for teachers and homeschools.

Lunar New Year is the Annual Spring Festival

Dear Reader,

As cultures reach out and exchange traditions to celebrate the diversity in this world, one tradition that has been growing in global awareness is the annual Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year.  If you live in a city with a high East Asian population, you can participate in the festivities such as the Lion Dance and fireworks at night.  In the United States, the San Francisco celebration is particularly noteworthy.

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Literary Riddle to Consider and Solve

literary-riddle-to-solveThis post has a literary riddle to consider and solve. If you read widely, this should not be difficult. Think a little!

I’m back . . . as there have been a severe lack riddles on this blog.  I have to keep readers on their toes.  I have a literary based riddle for you to solve. The answer is the name of a certain book.  Continue reading

Early American Farm Horses informational blog post

Early American Farm Horse Facts and Farmer Boy

The early American farm horse helped build the country, as described in the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Wilders were successful and relatively wealthy farmers. Their barns (yes, more than one) are described in detail and they owned a herd of horses. The purebred Morgans also brought in quite a lot of money each year when Pa Wilder sold matched pairs of horses to New York City horse buyers. The Ingalls in contrast felt lucky to have even a single team of horses instead of oxen. The Ingalls horses, Sam and David, were not described by breed or even appearance, but they were just as important to the Ingalls as the purebred Morgans were to the Wilders. Sam and David were likely mixed breed horses which did not make them any less useful or less of a farm horse.

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Dancing Dime Experiment and Video

In simple terms, the frozen glass bottle, dime, and hot water on it all try to achieve the ambient temperature of the room (i.e. the whole and neutral state). This causes a physical reaction of the dime dancing as the cooler air from the frozen bottle clashes with the warmer air from the water. Metal works well in this experiment because it heats and cools quickly. Continue reading