Last night, we were all over the map during STORIES AND STUDIES.

globe alaska

Alaska: A few months ago we finished a unit on totem poles, and last night we revisited the frozen north to take a look at the making of igloos. Completely fascinating. The snow blocks are not nearly as thick as I had imagined.   What will we learn tonight?  I hope there are pictures of people inside the igloos. What can a person do in there?  Just sleep and eat?  Can you stand up in an igloo? For us Texans, just looking at photographs of igloos offers a degree of relief from the summer heat.

India: To enhance the reading of our current novel, “All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens”, which takes place in India during the 1920’s, we have started a unit on Mohandas Gandhi. I got ahold of a DK Eyewitness book focused on Gandhi and we are reading through it thoughtfully.  There is wall space in my son’s room dedicated to original thinkers who stood up for their beliefs and observations (think Charles Darwin and Galileo).  Obviously, we will order a poster of Gandhi when we conclude this unit.

The American Mid-West: Last night’s Farmer Brown story problem involved calculating the amount of paint necessary to perk up Farmer Brown’s red barn. We also worked on another type of story problem: “Diner Math”!  My son had to compute the total of each table’s orders at the “Le Fictitious Local Diner”, and add on a generous 20% tip.  Yay Diner Math! Yay Farmer Brown story problems! Yay any sort of math that we can look forward to!

And finally, Hungary: our classical music time was spent listening to three different versions of the Hungarian March (AKA the Rakoczi March). BTW, our chosen composers, Berlioz, Liszt, and Brahms knew each other. (BTW, do not take this to mean that they were BFFs.)

  • First, Hector Berlioz’ “Hungarian March”.  This was used in his gigantic musical work, “The Damnation of Faust”.  A great, great march.
  • Next, Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 15”.  A real kitchen sink arrangement – what didn’t Liszt put into this composition? You can hear the Hungarian March PLUS everything from delicate trills to a locomotive gaining momentum, chilling winds, and scary horror-movie background music. So weird.
  • Finally, Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance Number 19”.  Elegant.

Welcome to the best part of my day!

– Jane BH

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