Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Clown of God

Our Five in a Row book before Christmas break was The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola.  I hadn't read this book before, and found it to be an appealing story.  It is a retelling of an old legend, about the giving of a gift to the Christ Child.  It worked well to do this book just before Christmas.  Since it was crazy Christmas time, we rowed this book pretty lightly.

We started with learning about juggling.  We watched a juggling how-to video and then gave it a go.  It's not easy!  Both kids had fun with this. 

K was able to get two balls going, in a matter of speaking, and had fun at least trying to do three.  I couldn't pass up the chance to show the kids my favorite Beatles juggling video and they were duly impressed.

After doing Papa Piccolo, it was interesting staying in Italy for a second FIAR book, so we got to talk about this country a little more.  Over a period of a couple days I also introduced several aspects of the Renaissance: 
-We looked through the illustrations of the book at the type of clothing worn at the time.
-We talked about the architecture of the time, and looked for examples of columns and arches.
-I introduced Michelangelo by showing one of his paintings and explaining the Sistine Chapel as we looked at a picture of it.
-We talked briefly about Galileo.

We have several Tomie dePaola books, some of which are K's favorites of all her books.  It was interesting to look at his website.

Lastly, we talked about stained glass windows and how they taught an illiterate people about God. We looked at some examples of round stained glass windows (like what is in the book) through a Google image search.  We made stained glass cookies using the recipe from Homeschool Share.  At the time of this posting they've taken the link down, but if you do a search on the site, it may come up for you later.

With some guidance, the kids did well with taking turns using a glass to cut out the cookie dough and choosing which colors to put in the centers.  K wanted to combine colors, which made for an odd taste, but they looked really pretty.  I'm glad we made these cookies--the melted Lifesavers in the centers give the cookies a festive look, which worked well for the season.  They also turned out to be the extent of my Christmas cookie baking for the year, except for gingerbread cookies which seem to have become a *kid-demanded* tradition.  ("When are we going to make gingerbread cookies?" they frequently implored.)

Those were our activities, and they were plenty to keep us busy.  Another good row!


1 comment:

Joelle said...

Those cookies look like fun! Growing up I remember eating 'stain glass window cookies' at church events. They were made with colored marshmellows. I think they were not cooked, and were rolled into a giant 'log.' Then the log was cut into cookies and it looked like stained glass windows.

I thought this was a very nice story also.