March 26, 2004

Paper and Piano

This week I read to the kids about the Mongol Empire and the Ming Dynasty of China in the book The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. We also read several library books on the same topics. I did not know that the Mongol Empire was the largest empire that the world has ever seen. We read about Marco Polo who travelled The Silk Road to China and became friends with Kublai Khan. Today, we "made paper" to remember that the Chinese invented paper (in 105 AD, but the invention did not reach Europe until 1009 AD.) The kids tore up little bits of construction paper into a blender. We added water and I pureed the mixture into a pulp the color of sweet potatoes, as Sophie noted. We poured the pulp onto a screen over a pan to drain the liquid, pressed it between two screens and rolled it with a rolling pin, and laid it outside to dry. Even if it doesn't turn out that great, the kids have enjoyed the process. (We found this project in the Story of the World Activity Book.)

Mrs. Green, the boys' music teacher commented on how well Evan has been doing with his piano playing lately. For the past several weeks, he has faithfully set the timer for thirty minutes everyday and practiced the whole time without complaining. Last week, he told me that he liked piano and my jaw about dropped (he used to be quite the complainer.) I'm so glad that he's learning the worth of practicing, even if it is tedious at times.

Posted by melissa at March 26, 2004 01:28 PM