Sunday, 14 July 2013

More research

I came downstairs the other morning, and my seven-year-old unschooled boy told me he was researching the Empire State Building. Recently, he has been very interested in landmarks and this has led to him building a number of 3D puzzles made by Ravensburger - Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Eiffel Tower, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, even a spherical globe, which was quite a challenge ...

His interest has also led to an interest in 3-D drawing and he has been working on this skill ina very focused way for some time, producing many drawings which show improving technique ...

Fortunately, Grandma is able to offer some guidance here and he has been listening to her input and taking on board her tips for improving his style. He has recently moved on to drawing still life and groups of objects and has a blank canvas waiting for a still life painting to take shape.

The next puzzle he is trying to save up for is the Empire State Building, hence the morning research project. I was intrigued. He googled "Empire State Building", found the Wikipedia page, read the information and was noting down key facts - all unprompted.

Interestingly, I noticed he had written down the date the tower was built, so I asked him how old it was and he struggled to work it out. I realised he didn't really understand the timelime which would enable him to relate the date he had in front of him to real time which he could understand. So we drew a timeline from 1900 to 2013 and marked on to it some key dates including birthdates of various family members. From there, because he knows how old Grandma and Grandpa are and could work out how many years older the Tower is than them, he worked out the Tower's age. He also read for how long the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York, and a little about the World Trade Centre - and it's destruction. He asked about that, and we had a conversation. He has since looked at a few images on Google, processing this event in his own way. He also found out what is now the tallest building in the world, which led to a bit of geography as we found the United Arab Emirates in our atlas, and then looked at where all the other landmarks are located as well. Not bad for a half hour's work before breakfast!

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