Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up.....India

We wrapped this up like, nearly a month ago, but FlyLady says I'm not behind, just jump in where we are. So, I'm jumping in.

One Grain of Rice

This was a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. 

We stopped reading the book halfway through, right after Rani asks for her reward....a single grain of rice today, two grains of rice tomorrow, four grains of rice the next day, eight grains of rice the day after that...and so on. She asked that for 30 days she be given twice the number of grains of rice which she had received the day before.

I asked Sweetling and Toa how much rice they thought that would be. Sweetling of course, was wise to this tale and had already heard a similar tale, so she deferred her answer to allow Toa to guess. Toa didn't think it would be very much. We adjourned to the kitchen table with a bag of rice and an empty egg carton. We marked the cups of the egg carton 1-12 and began counting. We put one grain of rice in the first cup, two in the second cup, four in the third, and so on. We made it to day 10 before we gave up on counting out rice and moved to paper and pencil to work the rest of the math.
I assigned Sweetling an extended activity of developing a spreadsheet that would compute the grains of rice for each day and then also find the total grains of rice Rani received from all 30 days.

NOT the Taj Mahal

This was another cool math activity. This one is all about the language of math. To begin, we gathered two sets of ten small objects from around the house. Both sets had to have the exact same objects and same number of objects. Then, we erected a barrier across the middle of the table. (We used the big family sized cereal boxes.) On one side of the barrier, one person constructs something out of her objects. When she is finished building, she must give instructions to the other person so that the partner can build the exact same structure. Neither partner may look at the other's structure. They can ask and answer questions, but they cannot peek or use any gestures to communicate.

 Here were our first structures--

For an example, the building instructions might have gone something like this--

"Turn your clear plastic container upside down. Put your orange cup right side up on top of that."

"So, the cup could hold water?"

"Right. Now place a skinny tan popsicle stick across the diameter of the cup, along the y axis if we were drawing a graph."

"So, vertically, right?"

"Right. Now, where that diameter intersects the circle, you are going to lay another skinny popsicle stick perpendicular to the diameter."

"Wait...what?? The diameter intersects the edge of the circle twice!"

"Oh yeah, you're going to put a popsicle stick at each intersection. Sorry. You'll have one at the top and one at the bottom. But they will both be perpendicular to the diameter and parallel to each other."

Here was the second structure we built. I scooted them together after they were completed for an easier photo shoot. (They are slightly skewed in relation to one another, because we were sitting across a corner of a table, not directly across from one another.)

And then Toa of Boy had to get in on the building action. He built the one on the left, and then talked me through building the one on the right. He got the container on the bottom and the cup, and then he got stuck on how to describe where to put the fat red popsicle stick.

I asked him to think of something he knew, that he could use to describe where the popsicle stick should be. (Remember, I had no idea where it should be, so my help was pretty vague.)

Toa of Boy thought for a minute, then looked at the clock on the kitchen wall and said, "If this were a clock, the red popsicle stick should touch the numbers 2 and 10."

I was SO proud of him and amazed that he came up with that analogy completely on his own. He talked me through placing the second popsicle stick by telling me it would touch the numbers 5 and 7 on a clock face. (Once again, the structures in the photo are rotated in respect to one another, because of how we were sitting in respect to each other.)

Fanciful Animals

We loved the over the top colors and the amazing patterns of the Indian clothing and art. We read Heart of a Tiger and decided to do our own brilliantly colored animal art.

To begin, we used a couple of How to Draw Animal books to practice our animals in our sketch books. Then I gave them each a 12x12 piece of black cardstock and a white conte crayon. They drew their animals on the black cardstock and then used tempera paints to fill in their animal and add a background. 

Finally, when the paint had dried, they used silver or gold oil pastels to add some details with a little bling. I got that idea from Deep Space Sparkle.

Elephant Ink Art

Another great art project from Deep Space Sparkle. Sadly, I failed to take photos of our pieces, likely because we did this on the last day of the unit, so the camera just didn't come out. But do check it out on Deep Space Sparkle.

Elephants, Elephants, Elephants

Sweetling loves elephants. I was amazed at the decorations and the painting that is done ON the elephants for the various festivals in India. I thought about getting out my face paints and taking turns painting cool designs on each others arms and legs. Had it been warm enough to wear shorts and short sleeves, we probably would have.

Sadly, we didn't come across this beautiful project till after we were finished with the unit. (And when I same come across, what I mean is that Patty from Deep Space Sparkle was kind enough to send me the link to another art blog that she loves.) They are cool enough that we're going to make Indian elephants in the middle of our Antarctica unit.

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