Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Project Fair

As a part of our homeschool co-op, Grace participated in a year-end Project Fair. Her project was on the Silk Road. It was really fun to research, learn about, and work on this project with her! I think she especially enjoyed collecting examples of the goods that were traded on the Silk Road (thanks, Grandma!) It was hard to get a good picture of the whole display, but here it is in pieces:

Grace in her authentic (but too-small) Chinese silk shirt,
in front of her display.

Grace had to be ready to answer any questions people
might ask as they perused the displays. (Do you see the cheat sheet in her pocket?)
She did a great job of interacting with the kids and adults
and was very knowledgeable about her subject!

Some of the other projects.

Here's a close-up of the main map with information
about some of the major cities and stops on the Silk Road.
One of her favorites was the Taklamakan Desert, which means in a local dialect,
"If you go in, you won't come out."

On one side she had information about Marco Polo,
who traveled along the Silk Road to get to Kublai Khan's court in China.

On the other side, she had information about silk,
which was obviously the most valuable and abundant resource carried along the Silk Road.
She got really into this subject, learning all about silkworms, (not really a worm, but a caterpillar!) how silk is made, and the Chinese legend of the origin of silk.

Then on the table she had examples of some of the most common goods traded on the Silk Road. Included are silk, raisins, spices, gunpowder and fireworks, porcelain, bamboo...

...copper and paper...

...and of course, tea!

Here's the whole thing!
Great job, Grace!
I'm proud of all the hard work you did to make this wonderful project!!
And here's Grace's report on the Silk Road (that golden yellow paper on her display):

The Silk Road wasn’t Really a Road at all.

It did not have blacktop or signs. It was actually an ancient caravan trail that crossed dangerous mountains and hot deserts. It connected China in the east to Europe and Byzantium in the west. The Silk Road was over 5,000 miles long!

Long caravans of two-humped Bactrian camels carried silk, rugs, spices, tea, bamboo and gunpowder from China to the west. These camels were the only animals that could survive the difficult journey across the desert.

The traders traveled from oasis to oasis (a place in the desert where water could be found). Many of these stops grew to be big cities because of the Silk Road. Some, like Kashgar, still have a famous market every week!

The Silk Road carried more than just goods. It carried people, ideas, inventions, art, beliefs and religions, like Buddhism and Christianity. People on both ends of the Silk Road learned about things they had never known before. This changed their ideas about the world.

I am thankful for the Silk Road because it brought Christianity to different places! ☺
Grace Mailly, 4th grade 4/09

Obviously there was a lot of work that went into this project, but after the fair was over, what do you do with the huge thing?? Stick it in a closet somewhere? Dismantle it and put the papers in a folder to be filed away? I'll post our solution soon...!


Debby said...

Beautiful job, Grace! Way to go!! I learned a lot from you this evening, thank you.

Melissa, you've worked really faithfully with Grace and it shows (must get info on your homeschool co-op, by the way). It is always evident that your homeschooling is a labor of love. Inspiring.



Anne Basso said...

That's incredible work. She should be very proud of herself!

Rachel said...

Her project is wonderful! Go homeschoolers!

Me! Me! Pick Me! *Hand raised in air with enthusiasm* I learned the answer to this at the MACHE conf.

You keep it (for a little while) and then when you're ready (or when Grace is okay with the idea) you burn it with other projects, but it's okay because you've taken so many pictures of it. (I hope that answer did not offend!)

melissa said...

Good answer, Rachel! :) I do think the best thing to do with projects is to throw most of them away after taking some great pictures of them to put in a portfolio (or mom's blog). After all, NO ONE has space for every salt dough map, sugar cube pyramid, paper mache mask, etc.

So after cluttering up Grace's desk for about 2 weeks, I ask her to say goodbye to her lovely work, take pictures of her with it, and toss it!

However, that's not what we're doing with this one! :) You'll have to wait and see.