This week we are celebrating Eugenia Chu's book, "Brandon Goes to Hong Kong." Eugenia is Chinese-American and when her son w...

Hong Kong Mini Unit Study - Day 1 (with Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken and Broccoli Recipe)

This week we are celebrating Eugenia Chu's book, "Brandon Goes to Hong Kong." Eugenia is Chinese-American and when her son was very young, she searched for books that touched on Chinese culture or included Chinese (Mandarin) vocabulary to read with him. Unfortunately, she didn't really find any! So she began writing her own! I think it is so admirable that she decided to take it upon herself to create the books she wanted to read her son. I suppose maybe it's not so different from me creating unit studies for my kids so I can teach them in the way that works best for all of us.

And so I decided to take inspiration from Eugenia and use her new book (which she graciously sent me a digital version of so I could check it out and review it) as the basis of a week long mini unit study on Hong Kong!

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We started the morning by finding Hong Kong on our world map and guessing what the weather might be like there. Since Hong Kong was along the same line of latitude as the Caribbean, we thought it would be much warmer than here in New Jersey! And we were right! We checked the weather forecast for the week at home and it's supposed to be in the 40s with a bunch of rain. Hong Kong's forecast is in the high 70s all week! So we did a little pretend packing and the kids packed a warm weather outfit along with a couple toys and a snack for the "flight."

We had to pick up some library books and drop off a birthday gift, so we got on the "plane" (aka our minivan) and settled in for a pretend flight. We talked about how long a real flight to Hong Kong was - 16 hours! So if we left here at 7am today (Monday), we figured out that we would arrive at 11pm, which with the time difference would actually be 11am Tuesday in Hong Kong! 

When we arrived back home, we were in Hong Kong! We were hungry so we took the tram up to Victoria Peak (it was a very short trip from the airport - actually, I'm pretty sure we have a teleporter :-D) and had lunch at Victoria Peak Gardens.

For lunch, we had rice with teriyaki chicken, pineapple, and broccoli (the recipe is very simple, you can find it at the end of this post). 

After lunch, we headed to build gardens out of Lego while I read a few more chapters of "Brandon Goes to Hong Kong." I'll be completely honest and say that palm tree is as close as we got to gardens. After that it evolved into Minecraft building. And that's ok! My philosophy for unit studies is exposure to various topics in science, social studies, and geography. I don't force activities. If they don't want to do it, they're not going to enjoy it and they're not going to learn from it, so I let it go. Sometimes I try to circle back and see if they're interested at another time and other times I just keep moving forward. 

Tomorrow we'll be heading to see the Big Buddha! Come back and join us!

Check out all 5 days of Hong Kong fun!

Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken and Broccoli
(there wasn't much measuring going on in this recipe so I'll try to estimate!)

1. Preheat oven to 400०F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil.
2. Cut 2 chicken breasts (about 1.5lbs) into 1/2" chunks. Put in a large bowl and toss with teriyaki sauce (store-bought or homemade) until evenly coated. I probably used about a half cup of sauce. Spread chicken pieces out onto one of the sheet pans. Toss cubed pineapple pieces (about 1 cup) over the chicken. 
3. Chop enough broccoli to fill the other pan into bite size pieces. Season broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  
4. Place both pans in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and broccoli is tender and browned.
5. Serve over rice (we made jasmine rice in the Instant Pot). Garnish with extra teriyaki sauce, sweet red chili sauce, sesame seeds, and/or scrambled eggs.