Yesterday we made models of the Kon-Tiki raft used by Thor Heyerdahl to float across the Pacific. This turned out to be one of those homeschool craft projects that ends up working really well. Everyone enjoyed it; everyone was thoroughly engrossed and worked diligently for a good portion of the afternoon; and everyone came up with unique, well planned out projects.
To begin, I gave each person one long stick of balsa wood ("Balsa wood?! Real balsa wood? Is this just what they used on the raft? This is so cool!"), a thin, flat piece of balsa wood, yarn, felt, and construction paper. I then left them to construct their rafts, with the usual admonitions of "they will all look different", "there is no right way to do this", "it's not a competition", and "it will not turn out perfectly", of course.
The crafters at work:
Those of drawing of palm branches on the roof of the cabin.
If you look carefully inside the cabin you will see the box that the short-wave radio was set-up on.
That's the rubber raft being towed behind the balsa raft.
The underside showing the centerboards used for stabilization and steering and the seaweed that grew on the bottom of the raft.
My only disappointment is that no one wanted to make the small pelagic crab that lived on board the raft and whom the men named Johannes. Did you know that 'pelagic' means open sea? Thus the pelagic crab is one that lives its life on the open sea and eats plankton that collects on the hairs on its legs.