Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Exploring the Tree of Life and other adventures

It was Art Day this week in Young Explorers!

But I know you want to hear all the juicy details of our morning, so enjoy the recap!

1. Ice-breaker and Oh Canada
Some of us were at the Great Books socratic event this weekend, where we partook in a fun icebreaker that I decided to replicate for YE.  Working in pairs, we had to find out some basic information in order to introduce our partner and tell what book he or she was currently reading. I modelled some ways to introduce a friend to a group, then we gave it a go.

2. Combo Poetry/Socratic Discussion
"Will you walk into my parlour?" said the spider to the fly ... This poem, The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt is actually a fable in poetic form.  The spider uses flattery to lure a fly into his trap, and actually this poem is quite famous.  The first line has been parodied in Alice in Wonderland; it has been adapted to song; and its title is also the title of a Rolling Stones number.  This morning in YE, we talked about insincere flattery, and did a little role-playing as well.

We also read and discussed another Ziz tale - The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle by Jacqueline Jules. This Ziz does not want to share his lamp oil and is acting quite selfishly, but in the end he does share and finds after sharing that his lamp has even more oil - it has multiplied. Some of the kids didn't seem enthralled about hearing another Ziz story which surprised me, since I thought they really enjoyed the last one. However, the discussion that ensued was VERY lively as we chatted about generosity and sharing what you have.

It started after one child said "Steal from the rich to give to the poor." This child had recently read Robin Hood. Well - talk about an uproar. The questions came fast and furious:

Is it ok to steal from the rich and give to the poor? (Most thought that was a good idea!!)
Do the poor "care" where the money comes from? Should they care? (Hmm, some thinking about this)
If I work REALLY hard to earn money and I become rich, why should it be ok for someone to steal my hard-earned money? (Hmmm, more scratching heads ...)
Would Jesus have stolen from the rich? (Hmmm ... this theory of stealing from the rich is not working out so well)
*Should* we give money to the poor? (YES, lots of roaring here)
So its our responsibility to share what we have? (YES)
But how do I learn to be generous, who teaches me? (Our parents)
Who teaches them? (Their parents)
But HOW do they *know* how to live as a good person and be generous? Again, around in circles here. Finally, someone said God. And from there they dissected it down to the Bible as being the way to inform us how to live the way we do, kind and generous.

I love it when Socratic discussion works out. Its purpose is to come to a truth about humanity, and I think we were able to do that today.

3. Art Picture Study - Renoir's Le Moulin de la Galette
Renoir depicts Parisian daily life here, at a Sunday dance near the top of Montmartre. The kids thought it was interesting that the chandeliers seem to hang from the sky! A couple of the boys think the man in the couple dancing is carrying a pistol ... but I don't see it and I think that's just a boy's imagination for you!

4. Composer - Scott Joplin and The Entertainer

Yay, ragtime - the style of music which was the precursor to jazz!! We took a major departure from the orchestra to listen to this highly popular two-time ragtime.  My daughter tried to tell me he was a Canadian composer since he composed the Maple Leaf Rag, but alas, she is mistaken. Scott Joplin was born the son of a slave in Texas, and taught himself to play on a piano in a home where his mother worked. Because of his musical talent, he received free music lessons locally from a teacher who taught him well in classical music form - this classical training profoundly influenced his composing style. He is the best-known ragtime composer!

We listened to an awesome iTunes version - my favorite - which has a mix of piano and orchestra, but you can hear this piano-only version for free on You-Tube.

5. Its Art Day - Tree-of-Life-Inspired Work
I had been collecting several ideas for making our own Klimt's Tree of Life artwork, which we played with today. This is the original inspiration - we noted it had large swirls for the tree, but is filled with lots of geometric shapes and takes on a collage-style feeling.

First, we had the kids practice making the large swirls on scrap paper, and talked about the geometric elements we saw. Then, they were given construction paper (black, gold or silver), metallic pens, cut-out geometric shapes and glue sticks, white paint and q-tips - and glitter pens.  We put on the classical tunes while we worked and then got busy!

And finally, for the complete YE experience, I must disclose that one of my students taught me a Bollywood dance she learned.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and God bless your homes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Let's talk!