Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The History of Modern Art

We visited a Modern Art Museum and also learned how modern art evolved.

I must admit that I've never been a big fan of modern art and have never really been able to understand it. Much of it looks quite simple enough that a child could have created it, and some of it looks as if it was created by spilling paint on the floor. To me, in addition to aesthetic appeal art needs to appear like it was a challenge to create.

A large yellow circle on a black background may look like rising sun, or a glowing ball of fire, but to me, I think I could copy it without too much struggle. On the other hand, I really enjoy geometric art. MC Escher's tessellations are absorbing as are the repeating patterns of eastern art.

Although this piece is three dimensional, it still seems quite plain. I just don't get it.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm?

Ok

Well, it turns out I'm not alone in my lack of appreciation for modern art. Enter Prager University. Prager University is a web site which produces short videos (5 minutes or so) designed to make people think. Although I do not agree with several of the videos, there are many I really do like. The topics range from religion to capitalism to how to be happy.

This video entitled "Why is Modern Art so Bad," explains the history of modern art and how it evolved. It was actually quite interesting, so if you have 5 minutes why not watch it?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Volume in Milliliters

Distance, Area, Volume Unit Study

Day 11: We determined how much different containers could hold in milliliters.

In Germany restaurant beverages are not sold in small, medium and large sizes, but rather in milliliters or liters. .3 liter and .5 liter sizes are the most common. How much is .3 liters?


First several drinking vessels were gathered.

Next, they were placed in size order by appearance.

Next, they were filled with water and the water was dumped into a container containing milliliter markings.

Each container was labeled with the amount of liquid it could hold and reordered if necessary. The kids learned why the Eeorye cup is my favorite one. (It holds the most liquid.)



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Geology Unit Study - Rock Identification

Week 6: We identified rocks.

Rocks are used to build roads, buildings, make glass, and carve. They are set into jewelry, used as game pieces, table tops, and in a variety of other ways. Within the three main categories of rock sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous, rocks can be further divided.

The book How the Earth Works (How It Works) has a nine step process for further identifying rocks. Many of the steps are similar to those used in Mineral Identification. Looking at the grains within a rock, determining if it fizzes with vinegar, testing its hardness, and calculating its density provide significant clues to identification.

The first step was to determine if the rock fizzed with vinegar. If it did fizz, it was likely to be a type of limestone.

Each of the steps in the process asks a question and then directs to another step depending on the answer.

By working through the steps rocks identification is narrowed to sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous rock. For each type there are examples of the most common rocks from the group with pictures and some characteristics of the rock.

The rock section of geology contains pictures and brief descriptions of different types of rocks which was helpful during the identification process.

Rock identification is difficult, and going through the steps in the process gave us a better idea of what to look for when examining new rocks.

For activity ideas from others check out these blog hops.



* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Renaissance Unit Study - Venetian Carnival

Renaissance Unit Study

Week 11: We made Venetian Carnival masks.

How would you like it if someone threw an egg at you? Carnival in Venice began during the 11th century as a religious tradition. But as the years passed, the celebrations turned away from religion and towards fun and mischief. During the 13th century, one carnival tradition practiced by men, was throwing eggs at ladies. Naturally the ladies didn't appreciate the egg throwing, so the men began wearing masks to hide their identity.

Seven main types of masks, each with their own special significance, hid the identity of the wearer. The masks enabled people could engage in improper behavior without fear of retribution. People liked the freedom and the carnival season stretched to six months in length. Gamboling and drinking rates increased. Debtors hid from creditors and noblemen who came upon hard times begged for cash to replenish their supplies.

Masks were works of art and constructed from clay, paint and other materials as shown in How Venetian Masquerade Masks are Made below.



Soon laws were passed forbidding masks except for designated special events and celebrations. With the reforms, carnival became a time to speak out against government and poke fun at life's rituals in a format much like Saturday Night Live. Skits and performances are still a big part of the carnival tradition today all throughout Europe.


Bravo! Zan Angelo! is a picture book about a family of carnival actors and a quick read to go along with this lesson.

Carnival Masks
Materials
Blank Masks
Glue
Glue Gun
Craft Jewels
Glitter Glue
Lots of craft supplies

Unfortunately the glitter glue and objects attached to the masks with kids glue fell off as soon as they were dry. Other than that this project requires little explaining, so just scroll through the pictures and enjoy.








He made a sad bird mask.

For activity ideas from others check out these blog hops.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winter Books for Kids

Winter is a time for snuggling up under blankets inside, but also for getting out and exploring nature. Here are some winter picture sure to inspire exploration.


The Big Snow - Picture book which tells how many animals prepare for and spend the winter months. This is a great book to read to kids in conjunction with a nature study. In addition, it's perfect for young children before beginning more advanced science texts of a Charlotte Mason curriculum such as Ambleside On-line.

Winter Trees - Picture book which describes how to identify trees by their shape.

Snow Tracks by Jean George - This book tells the story of what the animals are doing based on their tracks.

Up North in Winter by Deborah Hartley - During the year 1911, Grandpa had to take a job in another town. The winter was cold and life was difficult.

When Peter was lost in the forest by Hans Peterson - Seven year old Peter curiously follows animal tracks, but soon gets lost. He's lucky enough to find shelter for the night in an old broken down house.

In the same way The Big Snow describes what animals do during the winter, White Snow, Bright Snow describes what people do.


For activity ideas from others check out these blog hops.



* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Trees - Identify Trees by Their Shape

We identified trees by their shape and painted winter tree silhouettes.

In the spring, summer and fall many trees can be easily identified by their leaves and fruit, but in winter when the leaves of deciduous trees fall to the ground the challenge is greater. The simple children's picture book Winter Trees describes how to identify several common trees in winter by their shape and bark.

After reading the book, we took a second look at several trees we were familiar with.

 The apple trees had "spooky" branches with sharp bends.

 The alder trees had multiple trunks and were shaped like pointy ovals.

 The oak tree had a very round shape.

 The maple was shaped like the arch of a Gothic window with it's pointy top.

 The magnolia looked like an umbrella since the  branches were much thicker near the ends.

 The birch trees had a V shape since most had double trunks.

 The silver lime trees were very triangular.

The horse chestnut trees were oval shaped.

Tree Silhouettes

The silhouettes were started by lightly sketching the shape of the tree on the watercolor paper. The tree above is an Oak and therefore has a round shape.


Next, the trunk was lightly drawn, and big branches seen in the photos were attached to the trunk. From there, small branches were added.

 Once the sketches were complete, they were colored with black sharpie markers.

Finally, a line was drawn across the page to represent the ground and the backgrounds were painted with watercolor paints.

Silver Lime Tree Silhouette (daughter age 12)

 Oak Tree Silhouette (by mom)







Please visit our Science Page for more hands-on and creative Science.
For activity ideas from others visit these blog hops.

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.
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