Monday, October 6, 2008
Planetary Study Concludes with a Space Shuttle Construction
Patti, Cristina and I sometimes have to stop and remind ourselves that it is only the first week of October. The children have been so busy and so productive that it seems at times that we never had a two month leave over the summer. So many children picked up were they left off in June that their work has continued to progress with enormous success.
One of my students, who is now in his third year at the school, became very involved in studying the planets last Spring alongside several other students who have since graduated to first grade. I remembered his interest in this work when I stumbled upon a Boy Scout model kit of a space shuttle at a garage sale this past August. I believe I paid $2.00 for the wood working project.
Two weeks ago, when this student took out the solar system work, started to spread out the planets and got the circle tray from the geometry cabinet, I sensed that he may find my garage sale item fascinating. I waited until he had finished his large drawing of the planets (and labeled them), which took several days, before I showed him the package. I asked him if he would be interested in building a space shuttle and if so he could leave his planetary work out as inspiration for his new work.
First he carefully sanded each of the wood pieces. He wore construction goggles while he worked. His focus was so intense that he often missed snack and let out moans when the end of a day was announced. He worked on his project for two weeks. It went home today. His mother came down into the classroom and carefully carried it to the car. It even had a United States flag decal on it which was a gift from my assistant Patti Ryan.
This morning after his mother left, he walked passed Suzy who was putting finishing touches on her stool and he walked passed Lloyd who was getting ready to hammer nails into his basket. He seemed more confident as one does after mastering a work.
Enjoy the series of photos below. I have divided them into two groups - 1.) Large Drawing of the Planets 2.) Space Shuttle construction.
1.) Large Drawing of the Planets with Labels
2.) Building Space Shuttle