Friday, May 21, 2010

Visiting France

France is France and a grand place for Frenchman.
~Harry Truman, letter to Bess Wallace, 5 May 1918

Oh how I wish we had been in France this past week or so but alas, we have merely joined hands with Madeline to explore the city of Paris together.

Madeline (Picture Puffin S.)

I am enthralled with the way literature encourages my little ones to explore the world around them with greater depth. First and foremost, the greatest highlight for Ess has been travelling the world with her new 'Continents of the World' map which she uses to discover the location of the countries featured in the stories we read, visiting their capital cities, locating which countries are in which continents, whether surrounded by land or sea, and observing borders of continents and how they connect. We also love using Google Maps to find places we explore and see them come into closer view as we zoom in for a new perspective. Ess particularly loves grabbing that 'little Google man' to take him to the streets to explore the current day view of the city. (A skill her Aunty Diane taught her she tells me).

We have enjoyed singing many French children's songs including Frere Jacques, Alouette, Les Jolis Papillons and Sur Le Pont D'Avignon.

Beyond the exploration of our world in a Geographical sense, we also explored concepts of number including that of Symmetry. Ess decorated two rows of paper dolls to be Madeline and her friends of that 'old house in Paris, covered in vines' and stood them in two symmetrical lines. We also drew pictures in symmetry, explored symmetry with a mirror, scoured the artwork of the book to see whether the illustrator had used the concept of symmetry in his drawings and when the illustrations were assymetrical - particularly in the arrangements of the 'twelve little girls in two straight lines'.

Symmetry: the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts
facing each other or around an axis.

Perhaps the most fun symmetrical activity we enjoyed was our artwork. The girls made myriad symmetrical butterflies which were lovingly placed around the garden to dry. I remember enjoying making butterflies with my paints as a child and then often spent hours with Ess when she was younger making butterflies.

This was however, the first time little Eee had explored placing paint in the centre of the paper, folding it in half then squelching the paint to move it to the furthest edges of the paper. Oh the delight as she opened her paper to see the ensuing butterfly - a painting in perfect symmetry.

We also enjoyed building the Eiffel Tower from Lego with lots of help from Daddy and of course, lots of symmetry...well almost. (Ess was actually just repairing this after I knocked it over in an attempt to clean up).

This week we have crossed the English Channel from France to the White Cliffs of Dover with Papa Blériot in The Glorious Flight.

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot
We have continued enjoying our French songs and speaking in French using our s'il vous plaît's and merci beaucoup's at the dinner table. We've explored more with the flag and with art, this time exploring the perspective of looking up and down and drawing the same scene or object from different angles, after critically analysing the lovely artwork forming the illustrations of the story.

And so much more...


Millie said...

What great work you are doing together...I hope you'll make it over to Ireland on your "travels"!

Cee said...

Indeed Millie we would love to visit Ireland. Ess asked me just the other day where they speak "Irish". I loved hearing a little Gaelic when I was on the west coast of Ireland about 8 years ago now.

Do you have any recommendations of books we should try to get our hands on to enable us to travel to Ireland and enjoy some of the beauty of your lovely little nation?

Millie said...

I can't think of any books off-hand, but I will ask around.
All children in Ireland learn Irish in son is almost finished his first year of school and he surprises me at how much Irish he knows. The other day, in roleplay type thing, his teacher asked how he was and he told her he had a pain in his nose and she asked if it was red (bleeding)!Their understanding of it amazes me!

Bee Lady said...

Hi Cee,

When I was in grade school I had to memorize a poem. We all had to stand up and recite our poem to the class. I've never forgotten it.

It's like a magic carpet,
Wherever you may look,
When you hold the pages of a lovely picture book.
It carries you to places,
To mountain see and hill,
But when you close the cover
You find you're sitting still.

I have no idea who wrote it, and the words might be a bit off here and there, but I always thought it was such a neat poem. We can go anywhere in the world with a lovely picture book.

Look like you are doing a wonderful job teaching your children.


Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers


Blog Widget by LinkWithin