First up this morning was Parseltongue (French in the Muggle world).
Our plan was to learn to count to 20 - saying the numbers, counting and writing them if we wanted to. As well as writing the words in English and French, I always write them in ‘Loony Language’.
Loony Language means I write them, as they are pronounced, so children can practice when I’m not there. The problem with the written word, particularly in another language (although English pronunciation / spelling is the biggest puzzle of all) is it doesn’t sound how it looks, or in trying to practice, mispronunciation becomes what they learn.
Looney language, removes this problem, they have phonetic way to practice, when I’m not around.
Six!! Now this is ‘6’ in both English and French. I’m English we say ‘six’ but in French we say ‘six’. (That doesn’t help!!!). Loony language helps - we say ‘ss-ee-ss’
Plus we all know I want my own exclusive, language!!
We also only got to 15 not 20. I could have rushed and made sure we got to 20, as planned, but children needed the time. To hear, to practice, to count, to practice, to write. So we just adjust. We always work at the children’s pace.
Below is a pretty accurate version of loony language!
Our second session this morning was Crystal Magic. In this session we learn about the physical and scientific properties of gemstone, their healing attributes and stories, myths and etymology.
One of the (many) things I love about running Luna School is that it fuels my curiosity and desire to know and learn everything. Today we learned about the gemstone carnelian, a stone I have owned, worked with and understood its properties, for a long time.
However, when I went to write the presentation, I suddenly thought about the name 'carnelian'. NEVER before had I ever really given it any thought, but I find myself thinking about words and their roots often these days, and the first thing that popped into my head was 'chilli con carne' (which is interesting as I'm a vegan, and vegetarian prior to that), but the 'carne' means 'meat'. Lots of people eat it with no real notice taken that the name means 'chilli with meat'.
Anyway ... I then started to wonder if the name 'carnelian' was rooted in the word 'caro' or 'carnis' meaning 'flesh' or 'meat' and of course, it does. The name comes from the colour, and its fleshy likeness!
Our final Luna School session of the morning was Enchantment, also known as Creative Writing. Our focus today, as part of our Wild Winter topic, was writing instructions, to build a snowman.
As always we spent lots of time talking and planning, before any writing took place. We considered what information we needed to give to our audience (a title - so they knew what they were creating, a picture - as a visual guide, a list of things needed - so they didn't have run back inside and come back to a melted snowman and clear, organised instructions - to make it easy to follow). We also discussed the importance of clear instructions, in correct order, with accurate details, as (and I quote) "I am a complete simpleton, and hopeless and following instructions, and if I can get it wrong, I will get it wrong!" As well as garnering much needed giggles, this helped children really realise how important it is to be specific.
For example, I told them to give me the first instruction. "Roll two balls ..." "Two balls of cheese, two balls the same size??" And so they 'fixed' their response.
However my favourite included "add twigs" (they became antlers) at which the instruction became "add twigs for arms" (so I added 4 and made an alien snowman ...) and they clarified further. And then, having understood the importance of clarity and specific details, they told me to "add a carrot to the smaller, head part". (They've got it was my first thought, but I pushed again, and our snowman became a unicorn, with a carrot horn) And so, they made their ideas clearer still.
And their final pieces were brilliant.
Do you wanna build a snowman?