Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sixth Grade Waldorf: Egypt

Settling into October, we have completed our study of Egypt and are beginning to read the Ancient Greek myths. Before we go into Greece I want to post what accomplished in our Egypt block.

We started by reading "Tales of Egypt" (Roger Lancelyn Green), while on our trip to New Jersey. It was such a sweet time, curled up on our lounge chairs by the pool reading to each other. I could have stayed there much longer, but, Husband's classes being finished, we headed home.

It takes me a few days to return to normal, so while I tried to get us on track with our schooling we continued reading the Tales as our main lesson work. The following Monday we started in with "real" main lesson work, beginning with reading the book of Exodus from our Bible.

Way back in 3rd grade his class learned the Moses story in their Old Testament block. The Boy even had the opportunity to portray Moses in the class play whilst belting out "Let My People Go!" He reminisced about third grade, but this time 'round he really connected with the plague portion of the story. He seemed to get a kick out of the different versions of the plagues when we compared the story across several versions of the Bible. He was so intrigued that he initiated listing them in his MLB and then illustrating each plague.

i've been itching to introduce chalk pastels and thought the Pyramids at Giza made a likely subject. We tried our hand at blending colors, starting with the light colors and progressing to darker. (Ihave decided that I do not like the feel of chalk dust on my hands. Just thinking about it gives me that oogly, shivery feeling.) Overall we did enjoy using the medium, though. Next time maybe mama will need to wear some gloves!.

I won't post his version. After looking at it for a few days, we decided that it looked more like ginormous breasts than the great pyramids.

While reading a few of the myths aloud, the Boy decided to model a sphinx and pyramid, which he placed in front of his Great Boobies of Giza on our school table, making for lively dinnertime conversation.

He started the year with much enthusiasm. I hope he keeps it up!
Chalk pastels of the Pyramids at Giza

For individual reading, the Boy zipped through "The Golden Goblet." (It's a book my older boys read, so I already knew the plot, and therefore saved myself the time of having to read it now.) I'm determined to start him on short essays this year, so had him write a synopsis. Typically I would ask him to narrate a brief version of the story, and would outline it on the board. The next main lesson I would form those bullet points into paragraphs, with his "help." This time I assigned him to write it out in paragraph form on his own, which he balked at, of course. He was panic stricken, actually. Had no idea how to begin. I asked him to recount the story verbally, as we've done in the past. Only this time I didn't write the points on the board. I just concluded with, "That's exactly what you write down." Furrowed brows eased back in place, "Really? That's it?" Meltdown averted!
Main Lesson Book drawing of one of our fave myths.
A few days later he wrote his own essay about Egyptian mummies, drafting it in bullet point style on our white board first.

 Our main lesson book was finished with illustrating one of his favorite myths, the story of Thutmose and the Sphinx.

One of the last things we did was to construct paper pyramids using our new compasses to make them mathematically acuurate. I'll post directions in a day or two for those.
Completed paper pyramid
We finished our block by listening to the "Bartimeus Trilogy," by Jonathan Stroud. It isn't really about Egypt but gives small references to Egyptian artifacts and historical figures. Kind of a stretch, but it served the purpose of car entertainment on a long weekend to North Carolina.

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