Students at Innovation Respond

I am back at Innovation Academy and have begun sharing my experience with students in person.  It’s been wonderful to see how the students were able to learn through my experiences in Ukraine and Turkey. They really are starting to think of themselves and our school as part of the global community.  Check out what they had to say after reading the blog:


An Innovation Academy student checks out Cossack dolls that were gifts from staff members at Zaporizya Classical Lyseum

“I found it surprising that in many schools in Ukraine parents have to pay in order for children to get a grade or so their children will get accepted.  I found it interesting that they learn a lot of languages (from an early age).”

“Ms. Krakauer went to visit a church in Ukraine.  She said that there are a lot of bells ringing, and the church was painted with bright colors!  This could be similar to our religion because in Catholic churches they ring bells (that’s hung in the church) to show when it’s noon or 6 pm, to announce funerals, and to celebrate a wedding!”

“On Orthodox Easter, Ms. Krakauer ate at a restaurant and it was clear that people eat a lot in Ukraine.  The video mentioned that it is custom to eat until you are stuffed.  It also mentioned that it was good luck if the egg you received wasn’t cracked first, showing some possible superstitions.”

An Innovation Academy student holds up a letter from a Ukrainian student he is going to write to

“I loved looking at Ms. Krakauer’s post about the weird food she tried.  I would love to try cherry varenyky.  It sounds really yummy with the honey. I would also like to try salo because I love bacon!”

“I feel that Ms. Krakauer was very brave to try lard.  I find it challenging because it is a new food that I would never go near.”

“One thing that Ms. Krakauer did that I think would be fun was visit Khortytsya Island because it sounds like it’s a historic place and it sounds like a beautiful place! I would love to see a wild boar!  It sounds so much fun to use a bow and arrow.”

“I was surprised that there was a type of therapy room.  I have never seen one in America. It was so cool looking!”

“She had Easter in Ukraine. It was different than the US Easter. They had a feast and did Pysanky eggs there so elegant compared from what I made.  I would like to make Pysanky eggs.”

“I think something challenging that Ms. Krakauer had to do was watch and try to understand a play.  It would be challenging because it could be in a different language.”


Students were excited to get little gifts from Ukraine and Turkey, including this evil eye “good luck” pin.

The Turkish Hamam was a sort of spa-like place with face masks and saunas.  They had a full body peeling.  Ms. Krakauer says in her blog that since people don’t have bathing rooms in their houses, they go to a public place to bathe.  This shows that the Turks practice old traditions, since this hamam idea dates back to the Ottoman Empire.”

“Ms. Krakauer had an experience of a riot over a football game. I think it would be challenging because it would make me feel worried because I would get hurt.”

“Ms. Krakauer was wondering if she would offend the Muslim religion and their people if she wore short sleeves or a tank top.  This would be different than my Catholic religion because we wouldn’t be offended.”

“There seem to be a lot of mountains in Turkey — tall mountains.  Ms. Krakauer’s hotel was built right into one of them!  That shows that the people who live there use the resources they have.”

A sweet thank you note!

“One thing that Ms. Krakauer did that I think would be challenging is trying to figure out what bus to go on, or what it costs to go on on the bus.  When I was in New York, I had trouble figuring out which bus to take, and figuring out where to get off.  I would find it challenging because I wouldn’t know the language, so I wouldn’t know what things to say, or what some people say.”

“She saw Turkish taffy and Turkish cheese is white.  She also saw fish and some sort of meat.  Their food is different from ours.”

“In Cappadocia there were underground cities where people used to live to escape getting killed during the many battles.  There are hundreds of underground cities all over Cappadocia where people lived. They carved out the cities from the basalt rock left over from years of volcano eruptions.”

“Ms. Krakauer encountered Turkish culture in the Istanbul marketplace when she was haggling over prices.  This shows that the Turkish shopkeepers want to get the most amount of money possible.”

And if you didn’t get a chance to check out Nate’s video response to the students in Zaporizhya, check it out here:

Students in Zaporizhya recorded their own video responses here and here. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of the relationship between countries.  What other ideas do you have for ways that our school can connect with others globally?

Want to learn more? I’ll be holding Global Gab sessions at Innovation Academy for any interested students, parents, or teachers.  Come join us from 3:30-4:30 on Tuesday, May 22 (to learn about Ukraine) or Tuesday, June 5 (to learn about Turkey).

Categories: Turkey, Ukraine, USA

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10 replies »

  1. hey Ms. Krakauer!
    those were a lot of responses! it was fun reading many of the responses students wrote, and seeing their perspective.
    the Cossack dolls look pretty cool too! 🙂
    hearing all these responses is almost like an overview of your journey from Ukraine, to Turkey.
    i’m interested in your Global Gab sessions, but i’ll have to ask my parents before i can go! i hope i can! 😉
    – anna

    • Thanks, Anna! The responses came from the homework sheets that you all did, but I only picked out a few because there were so many. Hope you can come to the Global Gab sessions, but maybe it’ll be repetitive to you because you’ve read everything! I’ll have to think about what else I could show…

  2. do you know where the Global Gab Sessions will happen?
    as in, in the school auditorium? in your classroom?

    i can’t wait for it because i’m going to be coming!!!

    • I’m still finalizing the location. Last time, we did it in Mr. Maier’s room but the light from the windows made the screen hard to see. I’ll keep everyone posted once we decide for sure. Glad you can come!

  3. Really cool cossack dolls very neat! I have small colonial dolls that look just like those! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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