Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 26 -- Tom Joad and dying houseplants

Place Out of Time remains in full swing. On Monday, we went over the transcript of court testimony of Mr. Tom Joad (the fictional character from The Grapes of Wrath) who spoke on the topic of human dignity. Meanwhile, the justices for the trial have been chosen, and they are all now vying for “votes of confidence.” It’s a concept too involved to explain here, but ask your child about it. On a less intense level, one of our warm-ups this week was to draw (or write about) our POOT characters doing something typical. For example, what was something that Stephen Hawking might be doing regularly?

Hedy Lamarr acting

A fun
writing prompt this week was “a houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.” Kids write letters, short scenes, and impassioned speeches, some of which were then delivered to an actual dying houseplant that I borrowed from the science room. The prognosis for the plant is, I believe, quite positive.
Working on luminaries in Art

We also made progress in our current read aloud, which is Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac. It tells a fictionalized account of the true story of the Navajo code talkers of WWII. It’s a remarkable story that’s worth learning a little more about.

We also took an all-middle school field trip to Hill Auditorium to see the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra perform a number of pieces, including a portion of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. It’s a piece that is familiar to our class because we watched an animated interpretation of it from Fantasia 2000 earlier this year.
In math group, we’ve been doubling down on making progress in our Singapore work, focusing on making individual progress in our books, while occasionally taking breaks to play math games like Farkle and Uno.

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