Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Greek Vase

One of the homework for Year 5 last term was "Make a Greek vase", it carries a maximum of 10 points. Now that's a lot of points to score. The list of suggested homeworks for us to choose, varies from 2 to 10 points. It is up to us which one the children want to do, but they need to have a minimum of 25 points for the half term period between 2nd November until 15th of December. Which means, we need to submit a homework every week in order to get the minimum points. As a guide, 2 points is what the children score for half-an-hour's worth of work and they need to work for at least 30 minutes on any two days in a week.

Making this vase would be a good idea, it carries a lot of points and it would also be good for DS's motoring skill. Except, I have never done any vase or related craft work in my ancient entire life. So how to guide him? An email from one of the parent in the class saved the day. The parent was arranging for a pottery class from one of the Dutch Pottery in The Hague and she would like to know whether we were interested to join in. For the 2 hour lesson, the children would be doing their very own Greek vase and it only cost euro 15. DS jumped on the idea because that means he would be meeting his classmates and having fun playing with clay!!

For me, that means one homework completed in 2 hours time and I did not even have to scratch my brain and scream my head off  push DS to complete his homework, hooorayyy !!!!

Greek Vase by DS
Another view

It looks shiny after it's been baked in the oven. Below is how it looks before it's baked.

Before baking

At the end of the 2 hour lesson, the vases were left at the Pottery for the baking process and would be ready for collection after 2 weeks.

I managed to take a few vases by the other children as well.

This one is really nice

There were various shapes and decorations, but two things were very obvious as mentioned by the instructor at the end of the lesson, "The girls' vases are more decorative and have more patterns while the boys' ones are much more bolder in colours". One of the parent's comments was funny though, "It seems as if they have little controls over their hands. . . " hehehehe. . . .  But to be honest, I was amazed by the outcome. I wonder how the instructor and his one helper managed 17 children aged 9/10 years old through the whole process.

Let's see some of the kids in the class :

The instructor

Some of the kids, listening tentatively...

At the end of the session, all the boys at DS's table have yet to decorate their vases with Greek motifs hummphh. . . . I know, they spent the time talking and kidding each other mostly :D

Bila dah kena marah (by me of course), baru nak decorate!!!

Alhamdulillah, that was one very productive Saturday :D  But of course  DS still had to submit one homework (or a draft one) the following Friday, so I made him wrote what he did during the pottery class hehehehe. . . . I was actually curious and tried to understand how exactly they did the vase :D

He wrote a 2 pages decription complete with drawings (on my suggestion).

Complimentary note from the teacher

And received 11 points for the vase (every kids got the same) and 4 extra points for the writing and also earned 1 house point for his Gouda House.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pandora's Box

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Year 5 learn everything under the sun about Ancient Greek last term. That means they take 3 1/2 months to cover the issue, from early September until middle of December. Not only they learn it in class, their homeworks are also about Ancient Greek. So whether I like it or not, I as the helper at home, has to learn as well.

But DS homework this last term was somehow easier compared to when he was in Year 4. We were given a few pages of ideas, and we may choose anything that we want to do. The way it was done, it's easier to score minimum points which was 25 per half term (ie 50 points for the whole term). Of course, I tend to pick on the easier ones and tried my very best to influence DS to choose the ones that I chose :D

One of the homework that DS did was Pandora's Box. The task was something like this :

Create and decorate Pandora's Box, make cards portraying the many negative elements that come out from the box.

Of course I heard of this box before but I did not know what it actually is. Since DS seemed to know the story, I let him do the decorating and the cards. Initially he resisted on using the stuff that I already bought because he thought that it's too girlish. But then I said Pandora was a girl.

DS's version of Pandora's Box

I know you all agree that it's girlish right??? Hehehe.. I did not know what to get, I must be the worst craft person in the world, I just simply have no idea how and what to decorate!!! Then I saw these ready made stuff and it's sold quite cheap here. The whole bag was only 1 euro (DS only used a few pieces). He can simply remove the sticker and stick it to the box any way he liked it. And the box? It's a chocolate box that a visitor brought some time ago... it does come in handy huhhh...

So I said to DS, it did not matter how you decorate the box, what the teacher wanted to see was whether you understand the story behind it.

This is what DS said he told the teacher when he brought in the box to the class :

The colourful decoration represents what life is before Pandora opens the box. Bright, cheerful and happy life.

The bad elements that come out....

He made many cards to represent the negative elements, Fear, Crime, Hate, Sickness, Evil, Anger, Stupidity etc and the cartoons, he copied from the emoticons hehehe...(I love the Sickness one) The red crawling fire represents the elements trying to come out from the box.

And at last... Hope

My research on the Wiki reveals the following :

In classic Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create her, so he did - using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many gifts: Athena clothed her, Aphrodite gave her beauty, and Hermes speech.

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus' brother. With her, Pandora was given a beautiful jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her curiosity given to her by the gods, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing that lay at the bottom, which was Hope.

The original Greek word used was actually "pithos" which means "a large jar", however in the 16th century, Erasmus of Rotterdam a Dutch humanist had mistranslated "pithos" as "pyxis" which means "box". The phrase "Pandora's Box" has endured ever since.

Mama's Note : I remember watching one of Angelina Folie's (the actress not the Cat) film, which involves her biking on the Great Wall of China to walking deep in the wilderness of Africa in search of the Pandora's Box where she has to kill the hero to save the world. Ohh so sad. . . .


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