I made my sister a model greenhouse for Christmas this year, working from scratch to build the structure and create all the various pieces from furniture to flowers. I like making three dimensional models from paper, too.
So, I loved making crafty book reports when I was in school. I made a scale model of the train from The Great Train Robbery using shoe boxes with 3X5 cards marking important locations and actions. I can only imagine what fun I would have had if I had been able to place myself in the model using green screen technology the way Cindy Gonzalez’s students were able to do:
As part of the conversation, Joy Kirr shared a link to an article about making dioramas more dynamic
Great question. Here’s something @MatthewXJoseph just sent me – https://t.co/VHcHwqUaPs
The ex I shared looks like history. As an ELA T, I often think of dioramas as old-fashioned “book projects.” I’d ❤️for my students to share their books with the world in more relevant ways.
I think I bristled a little at the notion that dioramas were somehow irrelevant. But, I have to admit that I like Dr. Matthew X. Joseph’s ideas for making them dynamic by using tools like Flipgrid or Aurasma.
I will defend dioramas, however, as not being irrelevant in and of themselves. Making analog models is a viable skill in our digital age. Do a search on Google Images, Pinterest or Etsy to see some of the amazing work being done both professionally and artistically.
Lora Collins, 3D Studio Supervisor at Smithsonian Exhibits, describes her fascinating career in this article that begins with her early memories of visiting dioramas with her mother and then, as a young artist, finding her way into the field. She focuses on making mannequins but unlike the stiff department store figures, Collins creates figures that tell stories such as the man on the aircraft carrier who looks like he is in a high wind as he guides in a plane. And, she is still honing her craft, learning more about forensic reconstruction as part of her work creating figures from the Ice Age.
I think one of the coolest uses of social media comes from The New York Public Library. Each Friday from 10 – 11 AM, they use the NYPL_Recommends Twitter account to suggest titles for future reading based on your favorite titles.
I just finished the most recent title in Deana Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mystery series. If you haven’t read these mysteries, I can highly recommend the series. A bit of breathless Victorian kitsch with tongue firmly in cheek. I am caught up with the series, and I need some more feisty Victorian heroines so I asked the New York Public Library.
They recommended Caro Peacock and Tasha Alexander:
I find the cadences and images of William Butler Yeats’ poem, “The Lake of Isle of Innisfree,” comforting, and often as I turn up the gravel driveway that leads to my old farmhouse, I hear his words: “I shall arise and go now, and go to Innisfree.” In the poem, he describes the peacefulness of a rural retreat–“the bee-loud glade”–where he lives alone. And, while our farm sits on the edge of a bustling town and road, we can wander to vine covered bowers around the old ceramic silo where the nature has managed to dominate man and his racket.
This is my place, where I seemingly was meant to be, and for all its challenges–frustrating Internet, old wiring and plumbing, and lots of upkeep–it is home. We live in rhythm with the seasons: spring brings the usual succession of flowers from daffodils to irises to the summer perennials. Hummingbirds arrive, and after a brief absence for nesting, they will be back in full force, often downing a quart of food a day, zooming from feeder to feeder, perching briefly and sipping deeply, chasing others as they defend their territory. Eventually, as summer progresses, they do settle down and will share feeders with 3 or 4 perching together.
The gardens have settled in to this place as well. After 8 years of cultivation, I have established perennial beds that include lots of flowering, bee and hummingbird friendly plants that bloom from now til first frost and sometimes even a bit afterwards. I’ll do some planting this year, but it is mostly maintenance: lots and lots of weeding. But it is work that gets me out of the house and away from the laptop and even a few minutes can make a difference and sooth my soul. Every school should have such a place for kids and adults where they can dig in the dirt and make things grow.
I have added a new element this year: I am experimenting with a kitchen scraps garden. I planted potato eyes, onion and garlic sprouts and one celery end for which I held out no hope. Lo and behold, when I returned from my trip, it had put forth some leaves! This is easy and essentially free.
I have had an urge to make some postcards for fun and to use as examples for upcoming Creative Commons presentations. I did it in March 2018, mostly using images found at the Digital Public Library of America. That is where I started this year, too.
I don’t think there is any connection between April Fool’s Day and the The Fool, “first” card of most Tarot decks. I use the marks because it is usually numbered 0. Tarot cards, once the stuff of carnival midways and roadside shacks, are makingtheir mark in the mainstream.
The Tarot of Marseilles dates back to the mid-17th century. It has roots in Switzerland and the card I used was created in 17551 by Claude Burdel, a master card maker and engraver in Fribourg, Switzerland. I found the card and went looking for “foolish” poems. The lines from Cat Stevens seemed to float to the top of my brain.
And that made me think about my favorite movie, Harold and Maude. The ending is one of the best I can remember. NOTE: this is THE ENDING, so if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t watch it. Go watch the movie, instead.