Saturday, August 12, 2006

Archaeology Detectives

I will get round to uploading some photos, but it was a very busy day yesterday - and I have a busier one today, so they'll have to wait for now!

In the morning Roarke went to have his heart monitor fitted - I'm not being mean, but I can't help the jokes I keep making, as he does look like something out of The Matrix ;0)

Seriously though, its a clever little device, and so far he's recorded one "blip".

He brought back from Chatham another car load of toys/boxes/sacks from our old house which I then had to find a place for (hurrah for having a garage!).

I managed to get out to do the shopping, whilst the boys played pirates: Nan had found an old yellow frame used for decorating (you know, put planks across to stand on to reach high bits etc) which they used in their tent the other day, but which they have now turned into a pirate ship (as you do). They have even made up a children's version of the pirate song - "yo ho ho and a bottle of coke..."

In the afternoon we went to Bromley Museum, which is in the same old Priory building as Orpington Library. They've been running summer activities and last week it was Archaeology Detectives. They had some great little activities set up, including mosaic making, colouring etc. They also had a big sandpit filled with genuine artifacts. Each child had a tray to fill with items they had "dug up" from the sand. They then listed them down and tried to identify them. The next activitiy taught them about restoring artifacts - I must share this one with you as it is a great, reproducible idea for homeschooling:

They had a number of terracotta flower pots that they had smashed. The pieces of each pot went into a clear ziplock bag. If the pot had broken cleanly into, say, six pieces they labelled the bag "easy". If it broke into more, smaller pieces, it was "hard" etc.

The kids then had to take the pieces and using masking tape, try to "restore" the pot. Fabulously easy idea that gave them a very clear insight into restoration.

It would be very easy to take this even further at home. I don't know about you but I have cupboards full of odd plates, cups etc left over as the only remainder of a previous set. You could wrap one in cloth or a tea towel and gently break it (if that isn't a contradiction in terms!). Your young archeologist could then restore it - even better than a pot as we all know what a flower pot should look like, but they might not have such a clear idea how your patterned cup/saucer goes.

Even more realistic, smash two together and get them to sort the pieces out into the right pot.

Big family version - have a square metre area of the garden in which you bury the pieces of 3 different objects (plate, cup, bowl). One child/team digs for the pieces using a small trowel, old paintbrush etc, to take care. Even a sieve for finding the small pieces.

Second child/team takes the tray of collected pieces and cleans/brushes/washes them and dries them.

Third child/team has to reassemble the items using either masking tape or glue.

We shall certainly be trying this!

The boys also finished their Reading Mission today and received their certificates. They finished their 6 books ages ago but have been reporting on 2 at a time each time we've been to the library. I'm very proud of them, and so pleased that Samuel got involved as well. Interestingly, all but 2 of his books were non-fiction.

The evening was spent moving our pc out of our living/dining room, and into the corner of our bedroom. Not where we want it to be, but we only have two main armchairs in the downstairs room and we need to bring up our suite from Chatham. Using the room for 2 functions is hard enough, let alone 3! It would have been fairly straightforward other than a) the new wireless internet connection not working straight away and b) lugging furniture up and down stairs.

We have visitors due on Sunday - our first official entertaining since we've been here. I take my entertaining (too) seriously so today I have a huge list of things to do, to prepare food for tomorrow. Especially because we'll be at church in the morning so unable to do anything then, and I hate rushing back feeling I have to cook everything very quickly as everyone is hungry!

So, off now to the dump with the 2 old armchairs, then Chatham for the suite, then back to rearrange furniture, then 2 loaves to bake, soup to make, ham to boil, chicken to marinade, salads to prepare, cake to make...

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