Case in Point: Ibn Battuta

STORIES AND STUDIES.  Hey!  This learning business is supposed to be for the benefit of my son, but I cannot believe how often I am learning things, too.  The latest case in point: Ibn Battuta.  We began a unit on explorers last night and first down the shoot, deserving of his very own chapter, was Ibn Battuta.  Ibn Battuta???  Just in case the name isn’t ringing a bell, Ibn Battuta, who hailed from Morocco, set out on a journey in 1325, and by the time his enthusiastic explorations (Africa, Asia, the Far East) concluded thirty years later, he had traveled 75,000 miles.

Our Mohandas Gandhi unit – We read about philosophers and activists who inspired Gandhi. One was Emmeline Pankhurst, a suffragette from London. My son was familiar with her name from the Mary Poppins movie! In the song, “Sister Suffragette” (adorable song BTW), Mrs. Banks sings, “…Take heart! For Mrs. Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!”.  Then we had to talk about what “irons” were.  I love this incidental learning part.

Our Farmer Brown story question focused upon his barn cat, Mrs. Ridiculous, and her new brood of 7 kittens, and the costs involved with their first visit to the vet’s office.  Farmer Brown is so responsible.

Music Time – the theme was “Let’s Waltz with Tchaikovsky”:

  • Serenade for Strings, movement 2 (waltz). Tchaikovsky wrote that he was quite pleased with this composition (and it is known that he wasn’t quite pleased with some of his works) (so this is really saying something).
  • Swan Lake, the waltz from Act II. Every piece, EVERY PIECE, from this ballet is A+++.
  • Eugene Onegin (a lyric opera), the polonaise from Act III. (A polonaise is a three-quarter time dance, livelier than a typical waltz.) This grand piece has an infectious melody that you find yourself humming over and over. Interesting factoid: according to Wikipedia, a polonaise is always the first dance at the Polish equivalent of a high school or college senior prom.

Welcome to the best part of my day!

– Jane BH

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