As I thought, My Name is Mina is proving to be a source of lots of learning, and lots of fun.
Mina talks about different beliefs about death and the afterlife, which was a springboard for learning about funeral rites in different cultures. We read about historical views on the afterlife from the British Museum, and the boys did one of the suggested art activities, which was to design a tombstone for a historical or fictional character, including symbols related to their life. Gman did one for Bilbo Baggins (of Lord of the Rings):
Waif chose Buddha for his:
Mina also talks in the book about a Tibetan creation myth, whereby the universe emerges from an egg. This inspired some super pictures. Gman did two interpretations:
And here’s Waif’s interpretation, complete with all the planets:
Next stop: poetry. My Name is Mina is peppered with “extraordinary activities” for readers to do. One of these is to write a poem “that repeats a word and repeats a word and repeats a word and repeats a word and repeats a word until it almost loses its meaning. (It can be useful to choose a word that you don’t like, or that scares or disturbs you.)“ It’s a measure of how squeamish the boys are that Gman’s word was “fracture” and Waif’s was “needle”!! This is the first time Waif has written a poem and I think he did great:
If you’d like to read Gman’s poem, he has posted it on his own blog here: http://thebatamonblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/fractured-bone-poem/
I think it’s safe to say that we are enjoying this read and all the activities it has inspired. Who needs a curriculum when you can be a free spirit like Mina?