March 28, 2008
My first grader came home with directions for her very first big school project. Nowadays, one would think the teacher would be asking for a multimedia PowerPoint presentation, a couple of digital pictures downloaded from the internet, interpretive dance perhaps? Apparently, what old is new – remember dioramas? You know, those flimsy shoeboxes filled with low-tech cardboard animals that bring back memories of plaid polyester pants and “Free to Be You and Me”? Those things you thought went the way of the Dodo bird, or at least, Betamax video tapes.
Handmade is the key, it seems, and the closer to nature is closer to the highest grade on the rubric. So off to the craft store we went, and eschewing those cool little pre-made trees and plastic animals, we headed straight for the modeling clay and pipe cleaners. In what was proving to be a more difficult endeavor, we managed to find an old shoebox hidden deep in the bowels of my closet since any cardboard boxes that enter our house get recycled immediately.
My daughter chose to do a desert scene, and after a trip to the beach to get some sand, we were truly ready to start (ok, I know they sell sand at the craft store, but any excuse to go to the beach – even in 40 degree weather). A little search on the internet for desert animals and H. was ready to start her career as the next Rodin. (Just a word to the wise – when searching Yahoo Images for camels, you might want to have your child leave the room. Apparently, “camel toe” is much more highly searched for than plain old “camels.”)
The final product. Hopefully she will be able to pass the oral defense portion of the project.