Saturday, April 30, 2016

Awesome History Middle Ages: Mongols- Magellan

 Our seventh session covered the Mongols, Marco Polo, and Joan of Arc (chapters 58-60).

I had planned to play Marco Polo (like Blind Man's Buff), but it was a beautiful day, so we went on an expedition like Marco Polo.

Mostly we walked down through the woods and lake, giving  Marco Polo like explanations for the things we encountered.

These were misunderstandings: "Look!  Their roads are carved from a single piece of stone, many miles long!", exaggerations: "The trees are hundreds of feet tall!", and actual facts, "They have chariots that move without horses!"

            Back home, our art activity was the making of quadrants.

We got our quadrant patterns (and excellent directions for making and using them) here

Our snack was Mongolian pork with rice.

Longtime readers know that I am fascinated by all things Mongolian, and the Mongolians did grow grain, even while they were  nomads.  Before leaving their winter quarters, they would throw the seed on the ground and trample it in with their horses.  By the time they returned in the fall, the grain was ready.

Our 8th session was Print, Powder, and the Age of Exploration (chapters 61-63). This was yesterday, so I am finally caught up!

Our active activity involved gunpowder!  Most fireworks are illegal in my state, but they do allow tiny firecracker type things, so we had fun with those (outside!).

Our art activity was printing.

Primarily we were doing potato printing.  If you haven't done it, you cut a potato in half, carve it as a stamp, dip it into paint, and press it onto paper.

I also had a bunch of rubber stamps (especially letter stamps) and ink pads that I put out.

This is one of those simple projects that makes me glad we are doing the class: everyone is wildly successful at their own level of skill, and everything is amazing at the end!

Our snack was Mexican snacks (snacks from the New World!) provided by our very own Miss Shelli (who is half Mexican).  Yum!

She had bought a lot of different things like guava paste, sesame cakes, and pork rinds (common in Mexico and brought over by the first Europeans!).  She said fresh fruit would be a great choice.  It's served sliced, spritzed with lime juice, then sprinkled with  chili sugar (like cinnamon sugar with chili instead of cinnamon).

Friday, April 29, 2016

Seven Quick Takes: Implausible Explanations for Random Photos

1. The reason so many of my children have shown up with beards made of bubbles is that they all have a deep devotion to St. Nicholas of Myra.

Or maybe it's St. Anthony of Egypt.

I'm pretty sure it's one of those.

2. The reason my teenagers try to look like superheroes every time I try to take their picture is that they actually are superheroes.

They just don't want me to know because they don't want their dear mother to worry too much.

3. They need to be superheroes to save their younger siblings who otherwise must cower together in rocky holes to avoid the dreaded Papparazi Mother who wants "Just One Nice Picture of Everyone Smiling" for the blog.

We know how that always turns out!

But with supersiblings, they can relax...

4. Great news!

We finally found a way to clean up all the Legos.

5. In other news, we  found a picture of Crazy Dave when he was little.

6. Which reminds me: the real reason I  love to  garden is that I play (too much) Plants vs. Zombies.

I know it's just a game, but if the zombies ever do show up, my house is safe!

7. Lastly, here's an actual explanation: This is me, geeking out over the Emperor's grandfather's steampunk microscope!

No kidding, it's a Bausch and Lomb microscope from 1902!

I love it!  It's gorgeous!

However, I was happy to pass it on to my niece because it isn't nearly as powerful a microscope as any of my four.

Have a great weekend!  More fun with Kelly!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Awesome History Middle Ages: West Africa- Magna Carta

 Our 6th episode featured chapters 55-57: West Africa, Cathedrals, and the Magna Carta

This time we had two active activities: a  Mansa Musa themed obstacle course outside, and a mancala game going on inside.

Our art project was making sealing wax and seals (like the seals on the Magna Carta).

We made the seals out of pipe cleaners covered in foil, and they worked pretty well.

I used candle wax as the sealing wax, and that turned out to be a bit too rigid -it tended to pop off the "letter."

I think adding some paraffin or oil would keep it more flexible next time.
Our snack was rolled sugar cookies which the kids cut into cathedral shapes (with a knife).

They then cut windows and filled the space with crushed hard candy.

The way to do this is to roll it on parchment so that you don't have to move it after it's been cut!

 You just slide the parchment onto a baking sheet.

Yummy and beautiful!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

3rd Grade Religious Ed: The Good Shepherd

This past weekend was Good Shepherd Sunday, and the theme was "God Blesses Contrite Hearts." Perfect!

We started out acting out the parable of the Good Shepherd with all the kids looking for our hidden sheep.

We talked about how Jesus himself was the Good Shepherd, looking for people who needed forgiveness.

If you read the Gospels, Jesus forgives a lot of people! 

We talked about three examples: Peter, the woman at Simon's house (washed Jesus' feet with her tears), and Zaccheus.  What did they all have in common?  Contrition- being sorry for what they had done wrong!

What about us? Do we do things that are wrong? Those are sins, but what is a sin? For something to be a sin, it has to have three things:

1. It has to be wrong (if it wasn't wrong, nothing bad happened)
2. You have to know it's wrong (if you didn't know, then it's a mistake)
3. You have to do it on purpose (otherwise it's an accident)

And, of course, if you want to do something wrong, but you don't do it, that's just a temptation!

We went through a lot of examples with the kids telling me if the scenarios were sins, accidents, mistakes, or temptations.

We played this board game!

Then we worked on how to do an examination of conscience.  Did you do anything wrong? Did you not do something you should have? How have you loved God and others?

I encouraged the kids to make a nightly Examen  where they look at what they did wrong, and ask forgiveness, but also look at good things they did (what did you do that made God smile?), and bring that as a gift to the Lord.

We did a little art project, a coloring page of the Good shepherd where we clued bits of cotton to the lamb.

And we finished up with a "Find the Lost Sheep" card game where they were looking for the card with the sheep.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Awesome History Middle Ages: Vikings-Crusades

 The 4th session was chapters 49-51; Vikings, Castles, and Knights.

We started with the art project- body traces so that the kids could design their own armor!

Very fun!  I have them hanging on the stairs since some of my kids now wear very large life sized armor!
The active activity was castle building.  I gave them a choice of building materials, but in the end everyone wanted to build with the large cardboard bricks (presumably because you could build a castle you could step into).

And, of course, Legos.

The snack was mincemeat pie (and grape juice "wine"). 

This was the first time I had made mincemeat pie with actual  meat, but it was really tasty! I used ground beef, apples, whole ground oranges, and whatever dried fruit I had on hand (cherries, apricots, and raisins).

The 5th session was chapters 52-54: Normans- Crusades.

Our active activity was the game Going to Jerusalem (which turns out to be the original name for Musical Chairs!)

Our art activity was designing coats of arms.

Our snack was apples, cheese, and bread.

And I'm almost caught up!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Poem of the Week: Spring

  By Gerard Manley Hopkins
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning. 

HT: Poetry Foundation       

Saturday, April 23, 2016

3rd Grade Religous Ed: Holy Week and Easter

 For Holy Week, we started off reviewing how Lent had been going  for them and looking at the seeds they had planted weeks ago when we did the parable of the mustard seed. 
Actually, I had been bringing the plants in each week that I was
here, but this was the first time the plants were actually flowering!  I had them take them home.

Then we did the Jesse Box for Palm Sunday , Good Friday,and Easter Sunday. Kerygma fest!
 Really wonderful!

We also did the Holy Week eggs.

The kids took turns opening the eggs.  There are a lot of different versions out there, but here's mine:

1. Palm leaf (paper) for Palm Sunday.

2. 40 cents in silver coins (Judas's betrayal).
3. Eucharist (pin) Last Supper.
4. Thorn (rose twig) Crown of Thorns.
5. Whip (thread) Scourging.
6. Cross (wood) Carrying the Cross
7. Nails (square cut nails) Crucifixion
8. INRI (paper) Jesus Christ King of the Jews
9. Dice and sponge (dice beads, piece of sponge) dicing for Jesus' clothes, offering him vinegar
10. Spear (toothpick and paint) Spear
11. Rock (rock!) stone sealing the tomb
12.Empty () the tomb was empty!

No class on Easter,  on Divine Mercy Sunday I was out of town, but the next week we talked about Easter! And had testing for half the class!

This time we did Easter eggs, which were based on the Way of Light (which is an Easter practice based on the Way of the Cross).

Again, there are many ways to do this and my selection was based mainly on what I had available. :)

1. Candy (candy!) Sweet surprise of Jesus being raised
2. Tears (tear shaped gems) Mary Magdalene's tears upon not finding Jesus' body.
3. Light (LED) Jesus enlightening the disciples on the way to Emmaus.
4. Host (paper host which opens to a picture of Jesus) They recognized him in the breaking of the bread.
5. Saints (saint medals) The risen Jesus was seen by the apostles and the "saints."
6. Stole (purple ribbon) Jesus gives the power to absolve sins.
7. Hand (glove) Thomas wants to see the holes in Jesus' hands and feet!
8. Fish (pipe cleaner fish - I started out with a real dried fish, but I tried it on Choclo and he was amused but declared it the most shocking thing he had ever found in an Easter egg, so I went with the pipe cleaner) The catch of fish where Jesus cooks the apostles breakfast.
9. Rock (rock!) Jesus founds his church on Peter
10. World (bouncy ball) Jesus tells them to tell the Gospel to the whole world and baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
11. Cloud (cotton ball) Jesus ascends on a cloud
12. Holy Spirit (picture) Jesus sends the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

We didn't have a lot of time left, but we talked about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity.  I am fond of an explanation I got from St. Patrick's Summer

We are each one what and one who.  What I am is a woman, who I am is Mrs. Pavlat. Some things are whats, but not whos (like a chair- we can pretend the chair is a who, but really, we know it's a what, not a who. 

Jesus and the Trinity are hard to understand because they aren't like anything else we ever run into.  Jesus, like us, is one who (He's Jesus) but, unlike us, he's two whats (God and man).  No one else is like that.  The Trinity is even harder for us to grasp because it is three whos (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) but only one what (God).

From there we talked about the Father and the Holy Spirit sending Jesus into the world (kerygma alert!), and Jesus and the Father sending the Holy Spirit to give us this new life!

We acted out the apostles before the Holy Spirit (running away and denying Jesus) and after the Holy Spirit (telling everyone about Jesus even when it cost them their lives!).

We also looked at how to recognize the Holy Spirit in their own lives. 
  • Have you ever thought about doing something bad, but then didn't do it? That's the Holy Spirit helping you resist temptation!
  • Have you ever suddenly thought of something nice you could do for someone?  That's the Holy Spirit, too!
  • Have you ever suddenly understood something about God, like realizing it's really Jesus in Holy Communion?  That's the Holy Spirit enlightening your mind!
  • Have you ever seen a really beautiful  sunset and thought, "Wow, God is amazing?" That's also the Holy Spirit!
And then we ran out of time! :)