Friday, May 3, 2013

Story of the World Vol 2 Chapters 37, 38 and 39

I cancelled history club last month because we had just returned from our Spring Vacation and I was still feeling very unsettled and overwhelmed.  So after a 2 month break from the club, it felt good to get back into it again.  We had gorgeous weather for our meeting and we had a ton of fun.

Chapter 37 was about Galileo and his impact on the religions of his time.  Sadly I have no pictures of our "Pisa Drop" activity, where we learned that objects dropped from the same height at the same time will hit the ground simultaneously regardless of weight.  Thank you gravity!

Chapter 38 was all about Good Queen Bess. We learned the Queen Elizabeth was so loved by her people that they even made buildings in the shape of an E, with gardens in between the arms of the E.  So we set to work using a variety of blocks to make a large E on the living room floor. The kids got creative with colored dominoes, bristle blocks, play mobiles and actual flowers from the yard to create the gardens and impromptu farm life too.

During Elizabethan times the people had some very interesting home remedies.  Here are a few that we tried today:
1. Eat molasses covered spiders (cooked spaghetti) to give you a quick pick-me-up. I tried to make little bundles of noodles that were tied together with another noodle. I put them in the fridge over night so they'd be a little stiff. It kinda worked.  The kids said they were gross.  Yeah.

2.  Egg yolk, flowers and vinegar to make a salve for "boo-boos".

"Ok, mom, now what?"  

3.  Get rid of your cough with cherry tree bark and maple syrup made as a tea.  We used cinnamon sticks instead.  The kids actually really liked this.  Some of them mixed it with milk and really loved it! And the house smelled great.

4. Can't sleep? Drink some sleeping potion made from wilted lettuce leaves in hot chicken broth.  I actually used cabbage, so it didn't wilt much.  The kids said this was super gross.  And nobody fell asleep! Dang it!
 Chapter 39 was all about Shakespeare.  We acted out a scene from McBeth when the three weird women make their Eye-of-Newt Soup.  This was by far the most fun activity. First I had the kids dress up as weird witches and wizards.  Basically I just gave them my bucket of dress up clothes and let them get creative.

The activity book by Susan Wise Bauer

 suggests putting each of the soup ingredients into separate labeled jars that are dumped into the cauldron one by one as they are mentioned by the weird women.  I adapted her idea by making it a "lower-sugar" version of the recipe.  Here's what we added to our Eye-of-Newt soup:
Fingers = Red Vines cut in half (instead of tootsie rolls)
Eyes of Newts = Red, bumpy coated peanuts (instead of chocolate chips)
Tongue of Dog = Dried mango slices (instead of red licorice)
Lizard's Leg = Pretzel sticks (I kept this idea since it was non-sugar)
Owlet's wings = mini marshmallows ( I kept this idea too since I have no idea what owlet wings are supposed to look like)
Scale of dragons = Banana chips (instead of smarties)
Tooth of Wolf = pumpkin seeds (instead of candy corn)
Gall of goat =  raisins (again, I kept this idea since it wasn't candy)

Cup of Baboon's blood = unsweetened cranberry juice.  That's right! NO SUGAR BABY.

So I put these items in jars and I gave each child a jar to hold.

I taught the kids to say the lines "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble" as they marched around the cauldron (large plastic bowl on the floor).   Then as I continued to read the poem/spell/recipe/ they each dumped in their jar of ingredients when indicated.

The best part was drinking the baboon's blood. Like I said, it had no sugar. So I only gave them a teeny sip to try.  Here's how most of them reacted.
Don't worry, they each got a baggie of snacks from the cauldron of Eye-of-Newt Soup to make it go down a little easier.

I think the kids enjoyed the 20 minutes of free time with friends best of all. They took advantage of the beautiful sunshine today to jump on the trampoline, ride bikes and play on the swing set.  It was a great morning!

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