Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 19: Sweden

Sweden- Land of the Midnight Sun

Ok, so we're all finished with Thanksgiving and ready to hit our next destination.  Grab your sweaters and warm mittens because we're off to Sweden!  Now, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that all I know about Sweden I learned at IKEA.  I'm pretty sure I could pick it out on the map (maybe) but I know I like their meatballs :)  So here we go, let's learn something about Sweden!!
First, let's find it on a map.  It's located in Northern Europe on what is called the Scandinavian Peninsula.  The capital, Stockholm, is in the southern part of the country, which is also the most populated part of the country.  Stockholm's latitude and longitude are 59.33°N/18.07°E - did you find it?  Was it where you thought it was?  Sweden is the third largest country in Europe (after France and Spain) but still only about the size of California, and has less than 10 million people living in it.  It is officially known as "The Kingdom of Sweden" and King Carl XVI has been ruling since 1973.  King Carl XVI and his Queen Silvia don't have any real authority though, like Great Britain, the country is governed by the laws of the Democratic Parliament.  They rule a country of well educated, peaceful people with some of the highest quality of life statistics. 

Must be the good food that makes them so happy :)  This week we'll be making some of that good, simple food.  Besides the good food, another thing Sweden has a lot of is Moose.  There are supposed to be between 300,000 and 400,000 moose (mooses?) living in Sweden.  For a country the size of California, and considering the size of a moose, that's A LOT!  So expect a cute moose project. Some famous people have come out of Sweden, too.  There's Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite (1866) and the namesake of the Nobel Awards.  So we'll be blowing up some stuff!!! Just kidding, that would be fun but I don't know where I'd get any dynamite (and there's the safety factor).  So we're going back to my old childhood friend, Pippi Longstocking, a fictional character written by Astrid Lindgren.   And lastly, because Sweden is known as "The Land of the Midnight Sun" we will do a little science project with light and dark - maybe learn shadow puppets?!  It should be a fun week - we've already started our research with a little after-school trip to IKEA, Sweden's most famous store! Can't beat a plate of swedish meatballs for $3.99!!

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