The Embassy of Indonesia, based in Washington,
D.C., regularly offers concerts, classes in Bahasa
Indonesia, and even martial arts demonstrations.
Using the statistics in the first two sidebars, have students graph the ten most
populated Indonesian provinces and
the ethnic groups as percentages of the
Using a newspaper or the Internet,
students can determine today’s currency exchange rates: How many Indonesian rupiah are equivalent to $1?
Students can choose ten items from
around the house (TV, clothing article,
loaf of bread, etc.) and find out how
many rupiah it would cost to buy each
of those items.
Students of all ages can create drawings,
paintings, or dioramas of a place in Indonesia they would like to visit, an animal
or plant they would like to see, or even
decorations for an Indonesian cultural
celebration they have read about.
Students with a flair for or an interest
in fashion could sketch people in traditional dress, and younger learners might
even enjoy making paper dolls with In-donesian-style clothing.
Students can try their hand at making
batik, the popular wax-resist technique
of fabric dying. Dharma Trading Co.
and Amazon both offer batik-making
kits. What’s a super simple (and not too
messy!) way to try batik with younger
learners? Have students draw a picture
with regular crayons on paper, then lightly
paint over the design with washable watercolor paints. The results can be lovely!
Indonesian Facts to Graph:
Top Ten Most Populated
Jawa Barat: 43,053,732
Jawa Timur: 37,476,757
Jawa Tengah: 32,382,657
Sumatera Utara: 12,982,204
DKI Jakarta: 9,607,787
Sulawesi Selatan: 8,034,776
Sumatera Selatan: 7,450,394
*I have included only the ten most populated
Source: “Population of Indonesia by
Province” (Badan Pusat Statistik—Statistics
After reading some traditional folktales
or Indonesian children’s stories, have
learners create their own legends or
fictional stories about Indonesia (two
examples: “How Mount Merapi Came
to Be” or “A Komodo Dragon’s Island
Write a journal titled “A Day (or “a
Week”) in the Life of an Indonesian
Child My Age.” Talk about what school
is like, the area where you live, what you
eat, do for entertainment, and so on.
With its rich cultural diversity, Indo-
nesian music is varied in style. Gongs,
flutes, and percussion instruments are
commonly used throughout the archi-
pelago. Vocal music can range from
children’s songs to love songs to long
historical chronicles in song form. Kro-
ncong is a musical hybrid that com-
bines European musical elements with
those of traditional Indonesian music.
Gamelan music is an amazing instru-
mental ensemble that typically includes
many bronze percussion instruments.
Experiment with recipes for Indonesian
food. From sweet to savory, there’s a flavor
for every student in one of the many Indonesian cookbooks available. Kari Cornell
and Merry Anwar’s Cooking the Indonesian Way is a great beginner cookbook
written for children. The Rasa Malaysia
website also has loads of easy, kid-friendly
Indonesian recipes from Balinese Chicken to Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).
Don’t have lots of time to cook? Have
kids research the most commonly eaten
fruits in Indonesia, and then buy some,
slice them up, and have a “fruit feast.”
Spelling and Vocabulary
For the lower elementary-aged kids,
spelling and vocabulary words can include these: forest, island, paddy, and rice.
Upper elementary words include
agriculture, archipelago, diversity, tsunami, and
From “good morning” to “delicious”:
How do you say it . . . in Bahasa Indonesia?
My name is …
How are you?
Nama Saya …