Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mississippi shanty boat

I love the serendipitous moments of homeschooling.  As part of our study of the Mississippi River, we have been reading Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling.  On the pages we read today we came across a picture and description of a shanty boat with the occupant fishing for both fish and mussels (the mussels being used to make shell buttons.)  It just so happened that we had two very large boxes in our front hall which the children had been playing with, but which were going to be rapidly destroyed unless I came up with a purpose for them.  What better use than to have P., TM, and D. turn them into a shanty boat to float on the Mississippi?  The three children weren't entirely sure about the whole thing, but soon through themselves into boat production.  Two hours of play and creating later this is the result?

Everyone in the boat.  The living quarters are in the box on the end.  You can see the chimney for sticking up and the mussel shells outside the boat on the step.

Fishing rods and fish were also created.  P. is fishing, though it is difficult to see the rod, line, and fish.

The living quarters took the most time to create.  There were counters, a stove, a sink, utensils, plates, and food.  Since I don't crawl into tight places, the children each took turns taking pictures of the inside.  Here is the sink for filling the teapot:
 And the one-burner stove complete with knob control:

I foresee quite a few more hours happily spent on the Mississippi.  I'm thinking maybe we will add to it and create a life size diorama around it.  We'll leave it up until I can't take the chaos the any longer.  You just gotta love something that so engages a child that they forget to eat lunch.  Around 1:30, I suggested they may want to take a break to eat, which they did in record time and then went back to the river.

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