Monday, April 16, 2012

Making connections

A couple of weeks ago the public school across the street had its movie night. It was one of the nights my folks were in town, and most of the grown-ups headed up to see Snuggler in Kiss Me, Kate. Andrew took Little Guy to see the movie, instead. It was Hugo.

I knew nothing about the movie other than that it was supposed to be good. It turned out to be an excellent choice for my young inventor. Andrew mentioned in passing that it was based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. So on a trip to the library the other day I picked up a copy of the book. Little Guy -- my only reluctant reader -- sat down and read a third of it in one evening.

He elected to read more of it today for school, and at some juncture mentioned that the book spoke about an early movie where the only thing that happens is that a train arrives. I said, "Does it give the name of the movie?" Yes, it was A Train Arrives in the Station. So I pulled out the laptop and lo and behold, the 1895-era movie was there on YouTube.

Little Guy said, "Do they have A Trip to the Moon by George Melies?" Indeed, that was there, too. He watched it twice.

Then I suggested that his writing assignment for the week should be to write a script for a second trip to the moon movie, in the spirit of the first. He was all for it, especially when I said the follow-up project would be to film it.

When his writing for the day was done he asked if he could watch Safety Last, with Harold Lloyd. It, too, was mentioned in the book. We found it, but since it was over an hour long it had to wait until the rest of his school work was done. But this afternoon, after a longish time spent drawing Rube Goldberg-like inventions, Little Guy asked again to see the movie. So he watched it, and laughed, and exclaimed over the famous scenes, and noted how different it was than A Train Arrives in the Station, and how much more of a plot it had than A Trip to the Moon. And I felt that this was a very good homeschooling day, indeed.

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