23 March 2013

bird field trip flashback part 2: a million dead birds!

time to trot out the olde eagle.
the american museum of natural history has one of the world's largest bird collections, containing more than a million specimens, including examples of species that have been extinct for hundreds of years.

the collections manager, paul sweet, gave us an amazing behind the scenes tour. we came face to face with penguins and eagles and looked through drawer after drawer of jewel-like perfectly preserved birds.

paul explained to us the importance of specimens in studying birds and some of the measures being taken to protect them.

15 March 2013

bird field trip flashback part 1: hospital for wild birds

after studying trees in the early part of the fall, we moved on to their frequent partners the birds.

at the Wild Bird Fund on the upper west side, rita mcmahon introduced us to a few of the injured pigeons they are caring for. a live pigeon feels like a soft, warm pillow.

09 March 2013

cooking with the radsters: part one!

i divided the kids up into two teams in preparation for making lunch: team roasted tomato soup and team quesadilla/chocolate mousse (although the kids promptly changed their names to team odd and team camo-leon!). groups were given recipe cards with instructions and an ingredient list. everyone studied their cards and then examined the ingredients that were brought in from home in order to determine what we still needed. 

after grocery lists were written out we headed for the store!

cooking with the radsters: part two!

team camo-leon getting to work on their quesadillas...

team odd chopping tomatoes for their roasted tomato soup... 

cooking with the radsters: part three!

one of our lunch-time traditions is to wait until everyone is seated, hold hands and say "buen provencho!"(spanish for enjoy your meal).

07 March 2013

faith ringgold and the people could fly

after a discussion on folktales we watched this telling of the african folktale the people could fly, about slaves flying their way to freedom.  the kids liked how expressive joslyn duncan was and even sang along with her. they talked about how this tale made them feel- everyone agreed that it was a hopeful but sad story. later i read faith ringgold's tar beach, about cassie louise lightfoot who dreams she can fly anywhere she wishes. we talked about the similarities and differences between these two stories before focusing on faith ringgold as an artist.

we watched this video about ringgold's process of making the tar beach story quilt and afterwards got to work on making our own! the kids first brainstormed on where they would want to fly to and then wrote a short story to include on their paper quilts. 

mistakes are fun!

a smudge and a stain...

continuing with our theme of celebrating mistakes, we read the fantastic book beautiful oops. afterwards we made our own beautiful oops-es! the kids chose different parts of the book to use as a starting point for their own works of art. this was a fun project- everyone ended up doing every page from the book!

a scrap of paper...

torn paper...