Friday, 28 September 2018

Weekly Wrap UP 9/28/18--Japanese Festival

Every year we attend the Japanese festival at our local Botanical Garden.  Every year they present something different for us to see.  This year was no different.  Since Firedrake is learning Japanese and loves all things Japanese we usually stay for quite a while.  This year since we are wrapping up our Japanese History unit with MarioFan we tried to find some activities that concentrated on older Japanese traditions:)

I took MarioFan to see some things while my husband took Firedrake to see a few things that interested her.  It was brutally hot that day!
Learning origami 

I love the bonsai exhibit!

and the Ikebana flower arranging

Traveling musicians that came all they way from Japan to perform at the festival 

A Japanese dance troop who preform everything

Opening the Saki Container which we were told was made by a Japanese family  since the 1600's 

Watching the drum and dragon dance at the opening ceremony

Kids learning some spinning top tricks 

Ice sculpture demonstration it was either a horse or a dragon but we were to far away 

A Ninja warrior came all the way from Japan to demonstrate fighting techniques and weapons.

We learned there is a museum in Japan all about the history of Ninja warriors.  One day we hope to visit.

Lastly we watch the type of fighting used during the feudal era of Japan.

This was the type of fighting the samurai were trained on. 

We had a wonderful day at the festival and we always learn something new and one day the children want to visit Japan.  Since my husband and daughter went off on their own I don't have pictures of what they saw but was told my daughter wanted to see the music demonstration of traditional musical instruments and manga performance:)

Friday, 21 September 2018

Weekly Wrap Up 9/21/18 -- Japanese history and literature activites

1st day of Coop has begun!  We are now officially on a full schedule for MarioFan! (actually we have been for a couple of weeks but I am behind on blogging)

The Months of August and September MarioFan and I have been working through Ancient Japan history.  Next month we start the Crash course world History program that I listed on our curriculum page.   I felt like this was an topic in middle school we did not cover so I wanted to do a unit study before doing the high school crash course.
Some of the books we will be reading for this unit
I really enjoyed this book which includes some art work and a synopsis of each of the 54 chapter of the book along with some historical back ground on the writer.  
This story is considered the first novel written by a female and is still consider one of the best Japanese books that give a rare insight into the Heian dynasty

It is hard to find but if you can I highly recommend it although parents look through it first as there are a few chapters with adult themes.:)

For Literature we are using Lightening Lit and have completed 2 short stories.  A Crazy Tale by G.K. Chesterton and How Much Land Does a Man Need by L. Tolstoy.  The lesson in the teacher guide lesson was why write fiction vs. non fiction and  on note taking, citation and plagiarism.  In addition to understanding the meaning of the stories listed.  This is to get the boys ready to do a research paper later in the semester.  Throughout the year I will be posting the books the boys will be reading and some of the activities we are doing with this curriculum.

Discussing the purpose of writing either fiction or non fiction was discussed
We did some work book pages together
I snuck up on my Husband while he was teaching Biology to MarioFan on day.  They are doing well together!
I got to listen in while working on my blog.
Our crazy week in a nutshell.  I am running at full tilt now getting everyone to classes, schooling at home,  extra evening activities, and trying to fit in field trips.  It is going to get very busy around here!

Friday, 14 September 2018

weekly wrap up 9/14/18 -- Field trip and Ansel Adams art projects

My friend and I are both doing world history with our boys at the same time although we do not teach this subject together at this time, we occasionally will do a joint field trip together.  Last week we took the boys to the museum of Art, Archeology and Anthropology which was about a two hour drive away.  While it was a decent museum it was no where near as good as the museums we have seen in Europe!

The museum had a room full of replica sculptures 

notice anything about these feet!  The shroud was of a person with six toes.

Boys decided this was their favorite sculpture of the museum

we kept looking to see if they had a Mongol bow but didn't see one

We saw a hinged bow, not sure I have ever seen one before. 

We spent about 3 hours there and the boys were exhausted when we were done.
My only complaint about this museum was there were not enough explanations of what things were.  It was very disjointed in what was explained and what wasn't.  I would have loved to read more about each piece we saw.

We have begun our first joint art class and the first artist we discussed with the kids was Ansel Adams.  We decided to hold this class a week before Co-op actually began so that we could do a photo scavenger hunt at a park and that it might be a fun activity for the boys to do!

We like to include a little information about each artist and try to incorporate their particular style of art in our assignments.  We spend about 2 weeks on each artist.
My friend likes to do the information gathering on each artist and present it to the boys.  We used lots of books, videos and other media to help understand the artist.
Boys looking at a few pictures from Ansel Adams childhood- we split this into lecture into 2 weeks so we had time to do the art activity 
After the lecture of who Ansel Adams was we headed to the park to begin our scavenger photo hunt.  I encouraged the boys to think outside the box and really think about what they were taking a picture of.  I didn't think they did too bad.  In all they had over 12 photos to take.
I tried to encourage the boys to take photos from different position and to look at things differently  

I believe this one was to represent a letter --sometimes the boys asked the other to pose for their picture:)

this pictures was to show texture and nature

picture of something colorful

picture of a body part

picture of a moving object -- tether ball

foot print-- something you made:)
While we were there a deer showed up and one of the options was to  photograph a animal if one could be found:)

I was pretty pleased with the creativity of the boys at the park and they worked together for some things and separately for others.  Not all pictures turned out (some were blurry and there is only so much a camera phone can do) but the above is a small selection.

For Homework the boys needed to take 2 or 3 of their favorite photos and enhance them and turn them into Black and white photos and then we discussed if that changed the mood of the photo.  Here is what the MarioFan came up with.  He enjoyed playing around with the photo app to enhance the photos.

going for a weird look here, but he liked it:)

We had a good discussion of when to use B/W versus color photos and how it affects the picture.  While the boys aren't photographers it gave them a small idea of the amount of artistic challenge it takes to photograph a great picture!  Our coop does have a photography class that MarioFan expressed an interest in-- so I took note for next year!

The following week we continued to talk more about Ansel Adams and then did a quick project reviewing shapes and shading.  We did a little of this last year so I wanted to use a different medium-- Charcoal pencils.  The challenge was to try to create 3 D shapes and shade them so they looked 3Dish.

I have a huge book of photos that Ansel Adams took that we looked at

Learning more about the history of this artist and examining his pictures.

Reviewing shading and learning how to draw 3D shapes.

Boys finished pieces.  I will say that MarioFan is not a huge fan of art and really struggled with this project.  

Since MarioFan is in 9th grade I have promised him that this will be his last year with art projects.  He just doesn't enjoy the process :(.  However I do believe he is getting a bit better in the 3 years we have been really concentrating on art and art history.  He does enjoy the art history part of our lessons at least.  Oh well, can't win them all:)