Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Having fun in history

This entry was originally posted at my other site, Twice Bloomed Wisteria.

I think I have mentioned earlier that our home school is using The World in Ancient Times series published by Oxford for our history reading. We are loving the stories about archaeologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists in the first book, The Early Human World, who are making discoveries and attempting to place the pieces of our past. Yesterday, we read about Jean-Marie Chauvet, Christian Hillaire, and Eliette Deschamps finding cave art in December of 1994. The thrill of making a discovery and the significance of the art in the research of our past is documented in just enough detail for the children. Though the book has some great pictures, we took it a step further and looked at more pictures in Sister Wendy Beckett's The Story of Painting and the really cool website of the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-D'Arc. Take the tour!!

We, next, tried a cave art project from Art Smart by Susan Rodriguez. The children went outside and gathered sticks, dried grasses, bits of charcoal, and some roots to use as brushes. We then took butcher paper and placed it onto the concrete patio and texturized it with brown and tan crayons. After the paper was transformed into a cave wall, we hung it in the dog trot and Princess and Pink Panther started drawing animals and hands. They both commented that using the found tools was much more difficult and if they had it to do over again, they would know which things would make better tools and could do a better job.

I was excited because all the elements - books, art project, Internet site - came together to create something tangible, something fun, something they will remember. My husband came home and said that if it were darker he would have thought he was in a cave. That was just enough encouragement for the children to add more paper and art to the hallway. As long as I don't trip on the skull of a cave bear (or any other creature for that matter), let the transformations begin.

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