Tuesday 26 May 2020

Project 136: Leonardo da Vinci

This week's project was picked after we spotted that the animated film Leo da Vinci was available, and we thought that a project on the quintessential Renaissance Man would allow for a wide variety of activities. 

We started the week with some short videos introducing Leonardo, and watched a documentary about some of his inventions. 
We explored Leonardo's paintings, and changes in the Renaissance, in a number of books, before the children did a colour-by-number version of the Mona Lisa, and a portrait of each other in oil paints. 
The week's art books
Some enigmatic portraits
The children also tried their hand at building a self-supporting bridge with lolly sticks, although despite their best efforts, they needed help with da Vinci's solution in the end. 

da Vinci lolly stick bridge
Next Project: Lewis Carroll's Alice books

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Project 135: Tom's Midnight Garden

As the coronavirus lockdown continues we decided to make use of the time stuck indoors to tackle another book: Tom's Midnight Garden. The tale of a boy who discovers a magical garden at the back of the house where his aunt and uncle live after the clock strikes thirteen.

Tom's Midnight Garden
It's quite a lengthy book, but both the children enjoyed it, and it has aged very well considering it was written in the 1950s. There wasn't a lot of time for project work besides the reading of the book, although we did do some Twinkl worksheets and a word search.

We also had time to watch the 1999 film version - which sticks closely to the original story.

Next week's project: Leonardo da Vinci.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Project 134: World War II

World War II was picked as the project coincided with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

We started the week with an introduction to World War 2 with a presentation and lots of books.

WW2 Books
We played Memoir '44, a strategy game based around a number of D-Day battles. The age difference between the two children probably reflects the difference in opinions. Solomon (age 7) describes it as "the best board game in the world", Monica (age 5) describes it as "rubbish".
Memoir '44
Monica was, however, far keener on the week's film, the BBC film version of Nina Bawden's Carrie's War. They also re-watched a couple of films based in WW2 they had seen previously: The Sound of Music, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. 

For our VE Day tea we had some traditional WW2 foods - including some spam sandwiches and we made an egg-free cake.

Spam and egg-free cake
Finally, we finished the week by starting to make an Airfix Spitfire (although it's a bit trickier than we expected!):
Supermarine Spitfire
Next project: Tom's Midnight Garden

Monday 4 May 2020

Project 133: The United Kingdom

In an attempt to make use of some of the BBC's Home Learning resources, we decided to do a project on the United Kingdom. We went on a journey around Britain at the end of Solomon's first year of home education (Project 41: Britain), and looked at Scotland more closely earlier in the year (Project 119: Scotland and Burns' Night), so it seemed a good time to look at the U.K. as a whole.

As well as the BBC resources, we used some Twinkl resources for UK maps and flags:

Flags of the UK
We used a wide range of online videos, and stories from Great Stories from British History, to give a potted history to the UK and some of its stories. 

We also made sure to discuss some of the foods synonymous with Britain, from afternoon tea to fish and chips and a cooked breakfast. 
An exploration of some British food

To coincide with this week's project we watched The Black Cauldron. We've watched films with an element of Scottish culture (e.g., Brave) and Irish culture (e.g., The Secret of Kells) before, but we hadn't previously watched anything particularly Welsh (which The Black Cauldron supposedly is, even if it's not obvious).

Next Project: World War II