Friday, February 27, 2015

The Belle of Amherst

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me, -
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

~ Emily Dickinson

The Belle of Amherst is a 1976 one-woman play written by William Luce based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson. We saw a recent production at the Roedde House Museum, a beautiful restored Victorian home which was a perfect setting for the play.

Renée Bucciarelli played a very captivating Emily and we love the many poems that were cleverly sprinkled throughout the play. We felt like we met the real Emily right in the parlour of her home in Amherst. There's even tea and Emily's famous "black cake" served during intermission!

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
~ Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Talk

Serena, now that you've read all 5 novels by Pam Muñoz Ryan - "Riding Freedom", "The Dreamer", "Paint the Wind", "Esperanza Rising", and "Becoming Naomi León" - which one is your favourite?

S: I like all of them! I read "Esperanza Rising" and "Becoming Naomi León" recently, they're both about girls overcoming their fears. I drew this picture after the character Esperanza, her name means "hope" in Spanish. "Paint the Wind" was really good too because I like the struggle between Maya and the wild horse Artemisia. But if I really had to choose, my favourite is "The Dreamer". It's a very different kind of book with an interesting format. Because it's based on the life of poet Pablo Neruda, there're lots of beautiful poetry and the illustrations are very dreamy and fantastical.

We recently listened to 2 very fascinating audiobooks by Ellen Klages"The Green Glass Sea" and its sequel "White Sands, Red Menace". Can you tell us what they're about?

S: The books are about 2 girls, Dewey and Suze, who were very different but developed a very deep friendship.

The stories were set during and after World War II. They had to do with the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. I learned a lot about how the lives of all the people who lived and worked in Los Alamos were so secret. Dewey and Suze's parents were "stinkers" (chemists) and "fizzlers" (physicists) who worked on the Manhattan Project.
I like how the friendship between Dewey and Suze was sort of like an atom bomb - things in their lives would set up a chain reaction in their relationship.

Which character do you relate more to, Dewey or Suze?

S: I can relate to both of them. I'm tall and kind of clumsy like Suze, and we're both artistic, but I'm not bossy like her! Like Dewey, I like to learn big words and am inquisitive, and I wear glasses and have curly hair. I enjoy arts & crafts like Suze but not so much building machines like Dewey. And I'm an only child just like both of them!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Science Fair: A Moldy Mystery

Hypothesis: Fresh bread molds faster than store bought bread and whole wheat molds faster than white bread.

This is Serena's second time entering the SDHL Science Fair. Her experiment resulted in the appearance of many slices of bread in some unusual places around the house, including our linen closet...

While fresh bread with no preservatives definitely proves to mold faster than store bought bread, it is not so conclusive that whole wheat molds faster than white.

The most interesting (and disconcerting) finding is that none of the Wonder Bread slices showed any signs of molding for 9 days. Some powerful preservatives!

Serena's investigation in this "Moldy Mystery" earned her a 3rd place in the Homeschool Science Fair. Now the only question remains: who's going to eat all the leftover Wonder Bread?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Animal Artwork

From Mr. Tony's art class:

"Brown Bear" in chalk pastel

"Humpback Whale" in acrylic