Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just write an essay

I hate school projects. I hated them when I was in school, and I hate them now that my kids are having to do them. Ella has had multiple due in the past few weeks, and Lily had a big one due on Tuesday. With all of them, I took a very hands' off approach. My kids are probably the only ones at their school whose projects don't look like their parents helped.

Lily's project, which was about American Indian tribes in Texas, came with several options. She could have researched and cooked an authentic meal, made traditional clothing, written a story, built a diorama or researched and written an essay.

I, of course, voted for writing the essay. "It's the easiest! You just have to look up the facts and then write them all down neatly." She argued for doing a diorama, and I lost the fight.

This was one of those times when I was very glad that B and I have different strengths and skill sets. While I protested the paint and clay that was taking over my kitchen, he worked patiently with Lily to make sure her people were structurally sound and helped her research Tonkawa tattoos and clothing.

Still, my kitchen looked like this for three days.

I'd make Lily clear off the table every night for dinner, but the mess kept coming back.

This Tonkawa had some structural problems. Either that or he's aiming at birds. The blue thing on a stick next to him is a fish that's been speared.

From the left we have, a faceless Tonkawa, a horse filled with toothpicks, and a very happy Tonkawa with the world's longest loin cloth.

For some reason, glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth were an important part of the production. And behind them in the Tonkowa's Marge Simpson washing fish in a pot.

More things were added after I took these pictures. Ella helped Lily build a buffalo. I didn't know what was going on when I heard Ella say, "I stuck a toothpick in each eye and gave him a frontal lobotomy." The poor buffalo.

I was so relieved when I carefully delivered Lily and the project to school on Tuesday. The only damage was that the faceless Tonkawa lost his arm somewhere along the way.

Lily really did work very hard and do an excellent job on her diorama. But next time, I'm making her write the essay.


Ann in NJ said...

That archer has tremendous flexibility, he must do yoga?

I have mixed feelings about projects. Projects by yourself are far better than group projects, though. And I do try to keep my hands out - it should look like the child did it themselves, isn't that the point?

I think Lily's diorama is excellent, and she'll probably remember the subject much better than if she wrote the essay.

Amy said...

I have to say, power to the diorama! It's for certain she'll never forget the details of their lives because she spent so much time CRAFTING them.

I guess some things are true in every culture: men are always overweeningly happy when they require a long loin cloth. ;)