david smith’s voltri vii

david smith was the final modern artist the girls investigated
at the winter series of the national gallery of art‘s stories in art program.

after reading Half of an Elephant by gusti,
in which an elephant goes on a humorous journey to find his missing half,
they examined an assemblage sculpture of david smith
— voltri VIII —
and then assembled their own sculpture with wood and metal.

david smith's voltri VII
surrounded by Impressionist paintings while reading Half an Elephant

the girls decided to work independently
— like on opposite sides of the room —
and came up with remarkably similar creations.
great minds think alike.

their prize for attending all three sessions of the winter stories in art:
a hard-back copy of Sandy’s Circus: A Story About Alexander Calder
(by tanya lee stone and boris kulikov),
one of the artists that they’d studied earlier.

i wonder what the national gallery of art has up their curator’s sleeve for the spring?

head, thorax and abdomen

working with janice vanCleave’s Teaching the Fun of Science to Young Learners,
the girls built models as a part of their investigation of insect body parts.
remember the 3 + 3 rule:
if it has 3 body parts and 3 pairs of legs,
then it’s an insect.
can you count the legs,
point out the antennae,
and identify two pairs of wings on these colorful bugs?

terrariums and the water cycle

new carrollton library had a workshop on making simple terrariums. the girls used a recycled water bottle, a little charcoal, rocks, soil, a tiny cutting from a plant, a little water, and stickers to create and decorate their own water-bottle terrarium.

a local gardener guided the workshop
the supplies...
decorating with weather-themed stickers
reviewing the water-cycle

i am happy to report that their cuttings are still alive and growing! in a few months, we’ll have to move them to a proper pot.

dive! dive! dive! the history and technology of submarines

this past March at the national museum of the US navy, the girls studied the technology of submarines, experimented with buoyancy, made their own periscope and propeller, and designed their own underwater ROV with legos, all while learning the history of the “silent service.”

investigating the relationship between density and buoyancy
exploring submarine history
daddy, i sat on a torpedo today!
break time on the guns
decorating her periscope
her propeller model got flattened a bit on the way home
a cartesian diver: apply enough pressure to the bottle and the diver will sink!

since the group is split between readers and non-readers, i spend my time with signGirl, while radianceGirl and mercyGirl tackle more independent work with the older kids. i love it when they feel like they don’t need me: go forth and conquer the mysteries of science, my young scientists!

with so many historical artifacts and replicas, i don’t know a better place to have had these hands-on experiences than the national museum of the US navy. thanks again, laura & karen! see you in April when we explore the principals of gas, flight and hot air balloons!