Thursday, May 19, 2011

Buggy Art

To prepare ourselves for our BIG field trip to The Frost Entomological Museum on Monday, we decided to do some insect art today. My husband and I were able to get away last weekend for our anniversary. No anniversary trip is complete without a trip to a book store! You Can Draw Insects, by Damien Toll, was a superb find.

I told each of the boys that they had to chose a bug to draw. I wanted them to draw the same picture four times, but color each one differently. JT wanted to use the book and draw a blowfly. EM wanted to be more independent and create his own bug.

We cut small squares of white paper out for each drawing. When the pictures were drawn and colored, we chose different colors of card stock background for each one. These were also cut into slightly larger squares. Finally, we glued each picture onto a colored piece of paper and then glued all four onto a large square of paper.

EM's butterflies.

JT's blowflies.

I think they have a nice Andy Warhol look. Don't you?

We also spent more time this week on writing projects. One area I tend to avoid is writing instruction. At their ages, I don't necessarily feel that it is essential for the boys to be writing huge essays all the time. However, I do try to have a more substantial writing assignment now and again. JT has been working for two weeks putting together a report on rabbits. After reading Watership Down recently, I asked him to do research about 'real' rabbits. He is so good at digesting information by the boat load, but getting him to put it down on paper is another thing entirely. I constantly find myself asking him to, "Please add more details!"

I also gave EM two writing assignments this week. Usually his writing instruction consists of workbooks on grammar and phonics and keeping an illustrated journal. I try to keep his writing a little more casual than JT's. I did ask EM to write a poem and also a short paragraph on the topic "What I Like About School". After initial resistance, he did a wonderful job with both of his assignments. Writing is not his favorite subject, but when he does write something, he loves to share it with everyone. If you come to our house, be prepared to hear a recitation.

We have only THREE official schooling days left before our summer break. Tomorrow is the last spelling test of the year. Both boys will finish their math books by Tuesday. JT will be reciting The Gettysburg Address and EM will be doing The Preamble to the Constitution for our family next week. The field trip to State College is Monday. Tuesday we will be cleaning out desks and having our annual discussion about what worked and what didn't, what we learned and where we are heading in the future. I know this year has been the best so far for me. I'm fairly certain the boys feel the same way. The adventure just keeps getting better and better as we go.

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