Look at what we did for a homeschool project that involved reading, music, math, music theory, creative writing, english, science, computer, history, language, and social studies!
Nathan plays violin for the Bartlesville Symphony, and was super excited when he found out they would be playing Scheherazade, the symphonic suite written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
We began playing it as background music, so that they became familiar with it.
Then I took them to the library and showed them 1,001 Nights (translated by Sir Richard Burton), and found a cartoon video series of Arabian Nights. The kids loved the idea of a wicked king kept in check by storytelling by a wise woman, and we used this to talk about how to write stories. Nathan talked to them about how every story needs someone the story is about and something they want, and usually a problem that makes it hard to get what they want. The story, he said, is about how they get through the hard part and solve their problems. They created their own stories of what they thought Scheherazade could have told each night to the wicked king, all while we were practicing writing sentences with nouns and verbs and starting with capital letters and ending with punctuation.
We also studied Arabia, and the countries of the Middle East, and talked about how Kyrie is from Pakistan. We talked about their culture, and tried some of the food, and talked about our Muslim friends and what that religion is about a little bit, and looked at pictures of some of the famous buildings. We talked about the differences in clothing, rights, language, and perspectives of women and about women and violence against women in those countries and our county during different times of history. We even talked about how the Nephites may have been the covenant people for a time in the Book of Mormon, but they totally got schooled when the Lamanites treated their wives and children better, as well as reviewing principles from the Family Proclamation.
One day when we had a long drive, Nathan played the actual symphonic piece for them, telling the story as they listened to the piece. Then I used THIS WEBSITE to practice with them, and to introduce them to very simple animation techniques as it also presented a story version that points out the characters, as well as the mood and voice and themes and color and instrumentation of the piece. We used THIS WEBSITE to talk about the different movements of the piece. We also looked at THIS WEBSITE to review later with the older kids, specifically to talk about how different instruments were used as different characters and how to listen for the story the way Papa had told it to them when we listened in the car. The site includes a video of it being performed by the Vienna Philharmonic, and we watched that with all of the kids several times on YouTube.
For art, we taught them the surrealist technique of “exquisite corpse“. Nathan folded papers into three parts, and everyone first drew the head of one of the characters from their stories on one fold. Then they passed the papers down, and drew the body of a different character, and then passed them down again, and drew the feet of a different character.
So each paper had three characters on it combined, drawn by different children, and used to tell different stories.
Then they drew more pictures as “backgrounds” to their stories, and we took pictures of them. Then we took pictures of their three-piece characters, “cut” them out on the computer, and did stop-motion movement across the backgrounds created. We recorded voice-overs of them telling their stories, and used an app to animate the mouth movements of their characters.
And THAT, my friends, is how they made THIS!
The Christensen Kids present the story of Scheherazade!