October 19, 2011
Today we talked about how the illustrations in The Tale of Peter Rabbit are naturalistic. The plants and animals in the book closely resemble those in real life (minus the shoes and jacket on Peter!). We talked about how Beatrix Potter owned and observed many animals growing up and as a result of that she was able to draw them very realistically. We compared and contrasted the illustrations in the book with drawings from a Peter Rabbit coloring book that we have that are not naturalistic but instead very cartoon-like.
Here’s an illustration from the book. Peter Rabbit, though dressed in clothes, looks very much like a real rabbit in his body shape and features. The vegetation also looks very realistic.
In contrast, here’s the coloring book drawing from the same passage in the book. Notice the cartoon eyes and unrealistic body shape (such as the paws that look more like hands). And the flowers are ridiculously perfect and unrealistic.
Elliot attempted to make a realistic drawing by looking at the illustrations in the book. He commented how hard it was. I reminded him that Beatrix Potter practiced for years to be able to draw so well.
We ended our lesson by enjoying some little Peter Rabbit crackers (Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Bunnies).
Elliot re-told the story with his “props”.
He made a “rabbit pie”. He said it represented how Peter Rabbit’s father got caught and put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor.
October 17, 2011
We did lots today for Language Arts. We learned a couple new vocabulary words, discussed descriptive language, and read all about Beatrix Potter. We were delighted to learn that she was homeschooled! We also learned that she wrote a letter to a sick child she knew, including a story she came up with off the top of her head about a naughty little rabbit, which later became The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Beatrix Potter uses a lot of descriptive language in her writing that makes it much more interesting. I put up an example of a boring sentence and together we came up with a much more interesting one that uses some descriptive language.
We added “descriptive language” to our Choices Writers Can Make to Add Interest page.
This book is the oldest book we have done yet, with the copyright date being 1902.
October 12, 2011
Today was our science day. We talked about what kinds of things can be grown in a garden and we learned about different insects and animals that can live in a garden, some of which are beneficial to the garden and some which are harmful. We learned about how seeds sprout and grow and we planted our own beans and we’ll be digging them up periodically over the next few weeks to see how they change.
Both kids currently have a garden theme going on right now, so this is a shared project.
We also watched a Sid the Science Kid about dirt and soil.