Friday, June 4, 2010

The Glorious Flight

The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air. ~Wilbur Wright

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot

Taking a flight from France to the white cliffs of Dover in England is not something I have ever done, or even imagined really, until this past couple of weeks when we explored the antics of Mr Louis Blériot in the story The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot. After our visits to France with Madeline we joined with Papa Blériot as he ventured into the unknown with his exploits of invention of a flying machine which would cross the dangerous English Channel. He made it after many attempts at creating something which would actually fly. We made many discoveries along the way.

Ess explored Roman Numerals and enjoying telling me which invention we were up to as we read along together. She enjoyed making the little window book we found at Homeschoolshare writing in her own Roman Numerals to peek at through each window.

Onomatopoeia was a concept we had lots of fun with creating words which make the sound they are describing. In the story we hear the sound of an airship overhead clacketa, clacketa, clacketa, followed by the sound of a motor car crashing into a vegetable cart on its way to market. Crump is the sound we hear when all eyes are fixed to the sky rather than the road as perhaps they should be when one is driving a new motor. Our words were animals sounds and sounds of transport which young minds delight in so.

Ess wrote a lovely little piece of descriptive writing in the style of a section of descriptive prose in The Glorious Flight describing her favourite magic pony.

Our art exploration was that of perspective. Ess couldn't wait to climb our retaining wall to sit on top to draw what she saw down below, after sitting just outside to look up and draw what she could see over the fence. She was very curious as to how differently her apple looked when she drew it from above and then from underneath it through my glass chopping board.

This exploration through drawing has led to many discussions of perspective and how things appear to change when our viewpoint changes, yet in actual fact that are no different at all. We talked of concepts of 'near and far' which little Eee has been drawn to inspired by Mem Fox's fabulous story Where is the Green Sheep? [Board book]. While playing in a playground directly in the flight path to the airport we watched as aeroplanes moved closer and became seemingly larger. We have also discussed the idea that everyone sees things differently according to their own experience and perspective and that it is important for us to realise that we have different viewpoints on certain topics so we need to be open to listen to others in order to understand and appreciate them. It is so easy for misunderstandings to arise when assumptions are made and different viewpoints are not taken into consideration.

We have explored making our own angry faces during a roleplay where I took on the role of the angry cart owner after it had been run into. Little Eee was particularly taken by this roleplay and it was very amusing to watch her sweet little face trying to become angry on demand. :) Ess made the comment that it was very difficult to make an angry face when you are happy. This was evident all over her smily/angry face and mine was surely amusing and oft-requested after our initial roleplaying activity.

Our musical lives this week have continued to reflect our love of French children's songs with the addition of a few aeronautical favourites such as Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and Soaring, Soaring, soaring, aeroplanes are soaring.

Of course we have learnt lots more about aeroplanes by increasing our aeroplane vocabulary to include words such as aileron, fuselage and elevator. We labelled an airplane and even attempted to make a few of our own using paper. We enjoyed an aeroplane matching game and learnt more about parts of planes and different types of planes which have been invented this last century. All thanks to the resources found at

We have also made a Flight Timeline to discover how flying has developed over the past century and as I type Ess is enjoying reading about Amelia Earhart, woman aviation pioneer along with playing games etc over here. We found some fascinating footage of the Wright Brothers as well as a Blériot commemorative flight made by a Swedish pilot last year.

We continue to enjoy watching planes fly overhead and land at the nearby airport and have added a new dimension to our understanding of aeroplanes and flying thanks to this lovely piece of literature.

Credit for many of these lovely ideas for educating my children must be given to the authors of Five in a Row. A resource we are finding very appropriate and enjoyable as well as informative and educational.

No comments:

Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers


Blog Widget by LinkWithin