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Big Learning News 11-16-04

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 2:43 November 16, 2004

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Table of Contents

Expanded Bird Watching Pages on BigLearning.org
Art Supplies: Air-Dry Clay
Book Review : Wingwalker
Web Site: New York Philharmonic Site for Kids


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New on BigLearning.org

We're For The Birds!

Our Bird Watching for Kids page has new articles and links!

Don't forget, our Nature Activities for Kids and Woodworking for Kids pages have also been recently updated and expanded.

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Materials for Creating

Giotto Plastiroc Air Dry Modeling Material (Clay-like)

(Ages 5 and up)

We've been experimenting with various brands of air-hardening clay-like modeling material, which hardens without having to be fired in a kiln.

Plastiroc is a joy to work with - it's soft and pliable, yet holds it shape well. It's easy to stick parts together, and it dries stony hard without falling apart. It finishes beautifully with acrylic craft paint. If your kids enjoy ceramic projects, Plastiroc is a great way to learn techniques without needing a full-blown ceramics shop.

Plastiroc is available through many art supply catalogs.

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Book Review

Wingwalker by Rosemary Wells, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Hyperion, 2002)

Ages 7 - 12

Wingwalker is a lovely piece of children's historical fiction set in the dust bowl drought of the 1930s. The story is told from the perspective of seven-year-old Reuben, who watches his families economic fortunes sink as the drought worsens. His family travels far from their home in Oklahoma when his father takes a job as a wingwalker in a traveling carnival.

The artwork is lovely, the scenes compelling, and the language rich and evocative.

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Web Site

New York Philharmonic Kidzone

http://www.nyphilkids.org/

There's lots to do on this kids' orchestra site, including:

Instrument Room where you can learn about the orchestra instruments and hear them play.

Musicians Lounge where you can "meet" some of the musicians in the orchestra.

Orchestration Station, where you can select which instruments you want to play a piece, and hear the results.

There's lots more, and the information has a nice personal touch - for example some of the instrument profiles include quotes from philharmonic musicians about what they think about when playing the instrument. The Game Room has some fun and clever games too.

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Big Learning News 2004 Karen Cole
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