True Colors: Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper (To Inspire Kids)

Be confident.  Do not compare yourself to others.  You are important.  Life, laugh and be happy.   Be grateful – Be Positive.
True Colors
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up

Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Shodo: Japanese Calligraphy in Schools Done With Pride and Time


World-wide, many students have to work quickly and get classwork done.   Work is done using pencils, ballpoint pens,  felt-tip pens or even computers.  Sometimes, with all this rushing, there is often little time to pay attention to handwriting skills.

Japanese Culture: The Art of Shodo

In Japanese schools, Shodo requires the use of a brush that will be dipped in ink.  While Western schools use the alphabet to form wo words are formed by characters.










You have probably seen many examples of Shodo in frames.  The art of Shodo originated in China where the Chinese use characters for words.  Next time that you are in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant look for the calligraphy of thick black characters.  A person familiar with either language would read down to up and maybe smile or nod.  The characters might be a greeting, blessing or kind words of wisdom.


Black paint is not slapped on quickly.  There is a design.  The white spaces must balance the black characters.  Each character must be centred and blend nicely with the other characters.  Students learn that there are different strokes to vary the characters and add designs that are pleasing to the eye.  You may wish to examine this art further in a book or looking at examples in restaurants or furniture stores.  You might even like to experiment with it.

Children of Outer Mongolia

Flag of Mongolia

Mongolia is a country where half its population lives in two other countries – China and Russia.





Outer Mongolia lies in central Asia between Siberia (Russia) on the north and China on the south.

How Big is Outer Mongolia?

It is a country twice the size of Eastern Europe.(The Eastern European countries include: Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, RomaniaMoldova, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, BulgariaUkraineBelarusSerbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and HerzegovinaAlbania, Kosovo and Macedonia.  It has huge areas with very few people.

Where Do People Live in Outer Mongolia?

Thirty-eight (38%) of the population lives in the capital Ulan Bator. The rest of the population lives in the Gobi Desert.

Half of the Mongolian population live in cities, and the other half live as nomads (herders of animals that wander from place to place)

The Gobi Desert

The nomads live in tents called “Gers” and wear robes called “Deels” and are herders.  They have to endure/survive long cold winters and short summers. The average temperature is blow freezing.


Ger or yurt- where nomads live





Kids must go to school from 6-18 years old. Grades 1-4 is primary school.

After that, kids can study for specific jobs. Urban children, usually have to travel very far to get to secondary school. Many of them board at school.


In the towns and cities, there are usually basketball courts, sand pits and parks. They can also access the internet and play video games in cafes.

Traditional Mongolian games are played using Shagai pieces which are bones from the ankle of a sheep or a goat.


In the Gobi Desert or out-of-town areas, work and play is done by ponies.  Mongolian ponies are bred to be strong and to stand the cold winters.  Children learn to ride at the same time that they learn to walk.

Important animals

Horses, yaks and camels can carry people and goods.  Sheep’s wool keeps people warm.  Goats are valued for their coats which make Angora wool.  Angora clothes are very expensive.

Yaks can carry people or goods. 
Angora wool obtained from these special goats.  

Going to School in Japan

Let’s start with a few facts.  Japan has a population of about 127 million.  Tokyo is the capital city.  Here is a map and the flag of Japan.

The school year starts in April.  To enter Grade One, a student has to be six years of age.  Students learn practically the same subjects as learners in Western Cultures.  The vast majority of Japanese students do not skip school or arrive late for class.

Celebrating Japanese Culture – Haiku Poetry

Haiku, a form of poetry, was first developed over 400 years ago.  It is a well loved Japanese style of poetry and known world-wide.

                              Line 1: 5 syllables or beats

                Line 2: 7 syllables

                Line 3: 5 syllables

Here is an example

Winter is coming.       (5)   Topic is winter

Snow will be arriving soon.  (7)  Something about winter

We should get our skates.   (5)  Your opinion

                                                                                                                                                     1         2   3     4    5                                                                                               Win-ter is  com-ing

                               Topic: Tired Cat

Tired cat sleeps all night.

He needs lots of rest for a

Long day of napping


My homework is late.

My dog ate it this morning.

I sure like my dog.


You will notice that line 1 is a topic:   winter, cat, homework

                             line 2 is about your topic   snow, rest, dog

                             line 3 is your opinion, conclusion ending

The Wedding of the Painted Doll – Lyrics from 1929

When I was in kindergarten, our class sang and acted out this song.  I was a flower.


It’s a holiday today’s the wedding

Of the painted doll

It’s a jolly day the news is spreading

All around the hall


Red Riding Hood

and Buster Brown

The jumping jack jumped into town

From far and near they’re coming here

Church bells ringing, bringing

All the little dollies

From the follies, with their painted cheeks

Little Mama doll has fussed around for weeks and weeks


Shoo the blues, no time to lose

Rice and shoes will spread the news

That it’s a holiday,

Today’s the wedding of the little painted doll

Here come the bridesmaids

Look at them in their places,

Look at the fancy laces

Look at them as they smile

All sorrow away

Here comes the bride now


Look at the little cutie

Look at the little beauty

Look at the little doll

It’s her wedding day

Here’s the preacher man, oh look

As he takes his little black book

He’s assured he knows his stuff

‘Cos he’s done it often enough

Here comes the bridegroom

 Ready for the service

 Just a little nervous

 Hears the preacher say

 You’re married to stay

Australia Day (Jan.26) Quiz

Fitting European countries into Australia

On January 26th,  about 18 million Australians celebrate Australia Day.

Here is a quiz for you.  Scroll down for the answers.

1. What do Koalas like to eat?

a) flowers b) Eucalyptus leaves  c) Grass

2.Why did most British and Irish people go to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries?

Australian Flag
Australian Coat of Arms

a) they came as prisoners   b) they wanted warm weather

c) they travelled the wrong way  d) they came to see kangaroos

3. What is the traditional Aboriginal musical instrument called?

a) didgeridoo     b) steel drum     c) guitar     d) organ

4.   What is the capital of Australia.

a) Sydney   b) Canberra

5. Kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch (pocket). Which other Australian animal does that?

a) koala     b) sheep   c) crocodile     d) cow

6. What is the wild Australian dog called?

a) dingo    b) dingbat    c) fox    d) dogo

7.  Which Australian City would you find the opera house?

a) London    b) Sydney    c) Perth

8.   What is the name for the large Australian bird that cannot fly?

a) Aussie goose   b) Ostrich    c) Emu


9.  During which season do Australians celebrate Christmas?

a) Winter   b ) Spring    c) Summer    d) Autumn/Fall

10.  Aborigines used this tool for hunting?

a) boomerang    b) gun    c) bow and arrow

Scroll down for answers.











1 b.    2. a    3. a   4. b.   5. a.  6.a.  7b.  8. c  9. a   10. a

The Ugly Bug Ball: Fun Song For Kids of All Ages

The Ugly Bug Ball” is a song written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by Burl Ives as Osh Popham in the movie Summer Magic. It was included in the VHS, Disney Sing Along Songs: The Bare Necessities.


The Vinyl Record Cover


Once a lonely caterpillar sat and cried
To a sympathetic beetle by his side
I’ve got nobody to hug
I’m such an ug-i-ly bug

Then a spider and a dragonfly replied
If you’re serious and want to win a bride
Come along with us, to the glorious annual ugly bug ball

Come on let’s crawl (gotta crawl gotta crawl)
To the ugly bug ball (to the ball to the ball)
And a happy time we’ll have there, one and all at the ugly bug ball


While the crickets click their cricky melodies
All the ants




were fancy dancing with the fleas


Then up from under the ground



The worms came squirming around

Oh they danced until their legs were nearly lame
Every little crawling creature you could name
Everyone was glad
What a time they had
They were so happy they came

Come on let’s crawl (gotta crawl gotta crawl)

To the ugly bug ball (to the ball to the ball)
And a happy time we’ll have there, one and all and the ugly bug ball

Then our caterpillar saw a pretty queen
She was beautiful and yellow black and green
He said would you care to dance
Their dancing lead to romance
Then she sat upon his caterpillar knee
And he gave his caterpillar queen a squeeze
Soon they’ll honeymoon
Build a big cocoon
Thanks to the ugly bug ball

Come on let’s crawl (gotta crawl gotta crawl)
To the ugly bug ball (to the ball to the ball)
And a happy time we’ll have there, one and all and the ugly bug ball


  • At first, Walt Disney did not care for the song. Songwriter Robert Sherman explained to Disney that to bugs, other bugs were not ugly!  Even if they look ugly to us, beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Disney liked the idea and the song went on to become one of the popular songs of the year.

Dozer the Marathon Dog



Good Doggie!




Dozer, a three-year-old “goldendoodle,” saw a bunch of people run by his home in Fulton, Maryland. He became so excited that he crossed his invisible fence and started running with them. Seven miles later, Dozer crossed the finish line.  This was a fun raising event for the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center.

The runners did not know Dozer was alone. He returned home the next day, looking so tired that his owners took him to the vet. Word got around, and they realized Dozer was the dog on the marathon’s TV coverage. Marathon organizers gave Dozer a special award. Now he has his own runner’s page and Facebook fan page.

He has raised over $21,000 for the cancer center.


What a good dog!




Pull Aluminium Pop/Soda Tabs for Kids Cancer Camp


I know that parents and schools are trying to replace soda or pop drinks with milk or fruit juices such as orange or apple juice.

It is the right thing to do.  This blog is about collecting aluminium tabs – and hopefully they will be from juice cans.

If you know of people who still drink soda or pop from cans, please ask them to save the tabs.

Now, you have to gather 20 lbs of tabs before you can recycle them for charity.  That is a lot of tabs, but if you started in elementary school and collected through high school, you would help send a kid with cancer to “Fantastic Summer Camp.”

The information is here.  Perhaps, your parents work in a restaurant or in a convenience store.  They might have a small box for these tabs.

The 9 Year Old Pharaoh known as Tutankhamun or Tut

Tutankhamun or King Tut (as many call him) was born in Egypt and ruled as Pharaoh (King) from around 1332 to 1323 BC or about  3360 years ago.

When Tut was nearly 9 years of age he became a Pharaoh.  He had a teacher so that he would be well educated

A Young Ruler

It is recorded that the young Pharaoh was often immature and had a temper.

It was necessary for powerful men to advise him and help him to grow up to be calm and wise.

Making Changes
When Tutankhamun was 13 years of age, he and his advisors made huge changes in Egypt. When Tut became Pharaoh, Egyptians worshipped a god named ATEN.  Now as Pharaoh, Tut ordered that the new god AMUN replace ATEN. He also stated that he was the new god Amun and as a god he ordered everyone to worship him.

Death of Tut:

Tut’s gold coffin

Pharaoh Tutankhamun died at the age of 18 years.  How he died is uncertain.  In the  year 1922 an English man named Edward Carter found his tomb with the magnificent death mask.  A death mask is done by placing a mould on the dead person’s face.  This image is then painted or in Tut’s case made of gold.

Death mask of Tutankhamun