Sunday, October 29, 2006
Every so often during the "school" year, our local homeschool community hosts learning fairs. Obviously they don't fit into a rigid Waldorf curriculum for littles, but my kids love them. It's a chance to be a part of a larger, collective, learning community of their peers. It's a chance to find out what they're interested in, explore it for a bit, and then share it. Through writing. Via art. And of course to talk their heads off in front of a captive audience.
This time around it was the Biography Fair, and Sunburst knew just what she wanted to do. She had been reading the new Magic School Bus book that recently came out: Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition. It contains biographies of scientists, and she had a hard time choosing between Gallileo and Madam Curie. In the end Madame Curie won out. We did some heavy researching online, and Sunburst came up with this:
The portrait is watercolor and ink. I like how her lips and eyes bled... it makes her seem a bit "mad" scientist-like. Anyone that sleeps with radioactive material on their bedside table is probably a bit mad, or well on their way, don'tcha think?
Moonshine had co-opted Sunburst's last three presentations, but this time she was completely unsatisfied with the idea of doing a bit part project to go with her sister's talk. Oh no. This time, she had to do her own thing. She insisted on her own topic, her own presentation board, and her own air-time. That's right, she presented. Fearlessly.
You've got to love homeschool groups. They don't even bat an eye when a four-year-old wants to join in with the bigger kids. The range of biographies went from Tinkerbell to Genghis Khan, and it was really very cool. That said, Moonshine didn't do Tinkerbell (though she was awestruck by the idea.) She did "The REAL Alice."
The Other Alice which talks about the creation of Alice in Wonderland and the friendship between Charles Dodgson (aka Carroll) and the child Alice Liddell. It's a book Moonshine has spent hours looking at on her own, and it was fun for her to pick which pictures she wanted me to copy for her presentation board. We also grabbed some off the internet for her to color, and she asked me to make a line drawing she could watercolor, just like Sunburst did. I helped her with the eyes and lips (to stave off any tantrums) but Moonshine felt she could handle the rosy cheeks on her own.
And Moonshine really knew what she was talking about. A few times I prompted her with some ideas she had expressed interest in while we were gluing pictures down. Some of these ideas she had me write on the board for the benefit of people who could read. "Did she have any brothers and sisters?" and "Why couldn't Alice marry the prince?" Even without prompting though, that girl can talk! And she was hillarious. "So she married somebody else... whooooo mom?" "Uh, Reginald," I told her. "Reginald," she told them. "Reginald whoooooo?" "Hargreaves?" I whispered. "She married Reginald Hargreaves and had only boy children. This many. Three. No girls at all. Just boys. Hahaha."
Preparing for this fair pretty much dominated our week, but it was worth it. The girls had a great time.