Today we had so much to do that we immediately launched into the quiz. The quiz was a blank version of the Fast Facts map, which the children had to fill in, matching the name with the ten locations we learned from Kotick's travels.
Quiz: Do you know these places?
1. St. Paul's Island
2. Juan Fernandez Islands
3. Kerguelen Island
4. Galapagos Islands
5. Georgia Islands
6. Orkney Islands
7. Cape of Good Hope
8. Emerald Island
9. Gough's Island
10. Pacific Ocean
Songs: After the quiz, we sang our songs. We now have four: Mandalay, If, The Beaches of Lukannon, and Jungle Book TV Theme Song. We are getting Mandalay and If memorized, holla! Almost everyone has the first verse down, most people have the second verse down too, and we're working on the third verses now.
Story: I didn't have a whole lot to say about the story this week. Its main purpose was to show the seal hunting from the other side of the harpoon, to illustrate the need that the Aleut people had for seals, and to think about the fact that Kipling could show both sides of this killing with such dispassionate detail.
Mandalas: We learned about the five elements in Indian art: earth, air, fire, water, and ether. We learned how they are represented by motifs: square, half-moon, triangle, circle, and teardrop. Ether is the most interesting element -- ask your child what it is! Ether is the empty space wherein all the other elements exist -- it's coldness, absence, space, openness. We learned how people make mandalas as a mental exercise, and how they focus on mandalas during meditation to help them clear their minds. We also talked about how mandalas are transient. I described sand mandalas to them, but it would really be helpful if they could see a few videos:
Materials: thick watercolor paper with black circles outlined in Sharpie. Liquid watercolors in gold, silver, black, and a variety of other colors. Paint brushes, plastic egg cartons for colors and mixing. Have plenty of extra "blanks" in case some children want to start over or make multiple mandalas. Plan to have 3 sheets of watercolor paper per child at least.
Directions: First, quiet your mind and look at your mandala. It is not empty! It is full of ether. This means it holds infinite possibilities. Try and let your mandala tell you what it wants in it before you begin to paint. Then paint whatever you like. There is no wrong way to do it, and no right way to do it. Whatever is in your mind can come out in your mandala. (In the academic class, Evan led us in a few "om" chants while we were gazing at our mandalas that were full of possibilities).
Assignment: The story for next week is The Undertakers. We are going to be learning about the Punjab region this week. The story is a little rough to get through, a lot of dialogue and not a lot of action. Skipping ahead a bit for the little ones is perfectly fine. Here are some links for them to look at regarding crocodiles, the Punjab region, and adjutant cranes:
A page about Indian crocodiles.
Photo of a big old Indian crocodile.
Video footage of the Adjutant crane (stork).
Video of local people feeding wild jackals in India.