No Harm Done

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Night at the (Living) Wax Museum

Have you ever had one of those times, maybe in high school, maybe in college, when you had so many things to get done you sorted them by due dates and accomplished them in order? "First my biology paper. When that's done I'll attack the calculus assignment. Then, when that's done I'll start that Western Civ. essay." (Right. Like I've ever taken calculus.)

Anyway, my life has been like that since Christmas. One project or event after another. Everything got put off until I could no longer ignore it. The final event in a long string of activities - the pinnacle event, if you will - was the "Night At The (Living) Wax Museum" event.

A fellow homeschooler and I organized the evening, and we each not only had to make sure everything was ready for the evening, but also help our children finish their projects.

The concept of the event was this: Children were to pick a historical figure to research and then create a tabletop display. On the night of the Museum, the children dressed up as their figures and posed in front of their displays. (Like wax figures) Next to each child was an "ON" button. When an adult pressed it, the child was to come to life and recite a short biography they'd written about their character.

The kids did a fantastic job, and it was such a fun evening. We had Davy Crockett, Nikolas Tesla, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan, and the entire Ingalls family!

Braden and Brogan each did a great job on their projects. Braden was King Richard the First (Richard the Lionhearted), and Brogan was Theseus (who slew the Minotaur).

Here they are posing. they had to remain absolutely still until someone pushed their ON button - no small feat for Brogan!


Brogan is hard to understand on the video, but when his button was pressed he said, "I am Theseus. I killed the Minotaur and saved the children." He narrated the story of Theseus to me, and I typed it up to put on his display board.

Here is the text of his narration:

The Minotaur was half-human and half-bull. He lived under the palace in a maze. A maze that you couldn’t get in or out of. Actually, you could get in, but you couldn’t get out of. The maze was under King Minos’ palace.

The Minotaur ate humans. Kinos Minos didn’t want to feed the Minotaur his own people. So he told Athens, “ Send seven boys and seven girls at the same time to feed the Minotaur, or else we will destroy your town.” Every year, Athens sent him 14 children.

Theseus didn’t like this, so he went to kill the Minotaur. He sailed on a boat.

King Minos’ daughter, the princess, wanted to help Theseus, so she gave him a sword, some woolen string, and a torch. She let him into the labyrinth.

Inside the labyrinth. The torch helped Theseus fight and see. He tied the wool to the door, and let the ball roll down to the center of the maze. He followed the yarn. The yarn led him to the center of the maze. He found the Minotaur. They fought and fought and fought until the Minotaur died.

Theseus followed the yarn back to the door. He got out of the maze. He rescued the children and then brought them back home!

King Richard I (and Batman)

Here is the text of Braden's report:

Richard the First

Richard was born on September 8, 1157 at Oxford. He was the third son of King Henry the second. Even so, he was essentially French, like most of the family. English was not his first language, in fact he didn’t speak much of it very often. His first language was French. He had a big family: four brothers and two sisters! One of his brothers died as a boy. He was a handsome man with good political and military skills. He did have a questionable sense of responsibility. He, like his brothers, often questioned his father’s authority.

Richard and his brothers tried a revolt against King Henry the Second, their father. They wanted their brother Henry the Third to be the king. The revolt failed, and Richard was the only brother still fighting at the end. Richard’s father put Richard’s mother in jail because she helped her sons to revolt. Richard refused to fight the king face to face, and begged for a pardon. He was only 17 years old. He pledged his service to the king.

He became king in 1189 after his father, King Henry the Second, died. Shortly after he went on the Third Crusade with his ally, King Phillip the 2nd of France. The crusade proved a failure almost from the start because he quarreled with his allies, Phillip and Leopold V of Austria. They both left, and Richard was alone. However he captured the area of Acre and executed 2700 prisoners of war.

He came within sight of Jerusalem on the crusade. He tried to conquer it and could not. He refused to look at it because God would not deliver it to him. He eventually made a truce with Saladin, the Muslim leader of the Saracens, and Richard’s main adversary in the Crusades. This resulted in Jerusalem staying in Saladin’s hands and Richard going home.

When he was returning home, he went across Austria and ran across Leopold V of Austria. He was captured by Leopold and placed in a tower. Legend has it that his friend and assistant, Blondel, wandered through Europe humming a song. He stopped at a tower in Austria, hoping it would give him shelter. While he rested, Blondel began humming the song. From above he heard the next line of the song. Blondel had found Richard!

Duke Leopold agreed to give him back if the people paid him 150,000 marks – over 3 million dollars today! The British people paid it, despite the discouraging attempts by Prince John. This showed how popular Richard was.

Richard returned home to England. He made peace with his brother John, who had been trying to get the throne.

In a French village, a peasant uncovered some treasure. The lord said it was money from his vassal. Richard, in turn, said he wanted it. The lord said no, so Richard laid siege to the village. The story goes that he was riding too close to a castle wall without full armor. A bowman saw him and was taking aim. The story goes that Richard paused to applaud the bowman. The arrow hit him, and he refused to get treatment for it. He later died from the arrow wound.
Richard died on April 6, 1199, without an heir. His brother (nicknamed John Lackland, because both his father and his brother, Richard, refused to give him any land) became king.

And finally, if you're still reading this, here's the video of their recitations. You'll have to tilt your head sideways, though, because I'm a dork and forgot to tilt the camera.


At 2:57 PM , Blogger Melkhi said...

What a wonderful project! Good work Braden and Brogan! You look quite dashing in your costumes, and we are impressed with how well you gave your reports in character and from memory. Evan, Matthew, Sophie, Logan and I watched the video. Logan apparently thought you were talking to him, because he screamed at you. :)

Don't worry, I'm used to sideways videos, because I can't remember to turn the stinkin' camera either.


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