Monday, June 13, 2011

Cultural Studies: Italy week

Just a quick note. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn't sign my kids up for any camps or classes this summer. However I decided to sort of do my own cultural studies program with them. Basically there is a country or region or group of people we study every week. Some of it will correspond to things that we will be doing, for example we will study Native Americans during the week of our first camping trip, and Island Cultural during a week when we will be staying on an island (okay, in Lake Erie, lol, still it's an island!) To prep I basically scoured the library for books, DVDs, CDs and any other materials to go with the theme. I used these as a jumping off point to let the boys move into directions of their own interest.

Some things we did/studied:

  • Galileo and the night sky
  • Michaelangelo, especially the sculptures and the Sistine Chapel
  • Created our own clay sculptures
  • Zack drew a flag of Italy for what will be a banner of flags
  • Ancient Rome (used a book I got as a souvenir years ago called "Rome Then and Now"
  • Listened to lots of opera, especially The Barber of Seville
  • Listened to a bit of Italian language on my old travel tapes
  • Watched a DVD about Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Catholic church (that it is located in Vatican City, the Pope lives there, and that it is its own country.)
  • As a finale to the week, ate lunch at a nice little local Italian place.
Just to be clear, although it sounds like wow, we must have been in a classroom or something all week, it really wasn't as time intensive as it sounds. The boys love to do art, so that was easy. I had books written for children that I would read during story time, even some fun books like Olivia goes to Venice. And of course popping in a DVD is easy, or an opera CD while they would be playing Legos. The total time actually spent per day on the theme of the week did not exceed a half hour.

I enjoyed watching them open up to it and expand in their own ways. I asked them what they liked best about Italy at the end of the week and Zack responded Leonardo, because he was an artist and an inventor and a scientist. Nathan said he liked that they play a lot of soccer.

This week we are in Asia. My husband is looking forward to Phad Thai on fathers' day.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! We do that from time to time here also. Bon voyage!