Thursday, 30 May 2013

3/4 View Portraits

Today we did a guided drawing of a 3/4 view portrait. This view is much trickier than straight-on or profile portrait drawing. They eyes, for example, appear to be different sizes as one is further from the viewer than the other. You can see one ear, but not the other, and the features do not appear distributed symmetrically across the face. I think the children did brilliantly for their first try.

By R

By L

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Combewood House

Today we attended our last excursion of the month with Home Education Penrith at Combewood Historic house. We put on our 19th Century costumes one more time and went along to visit this house completed in 1890. That's pretty old for Australia. The children enjoyed old-time games on the lawn and a cream tea whilst waiting their turn to look inside the old house which once belonged to the Cox family - the builder of the road over the Blue Mountains.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Exploring the Blue Mountains

The children have been working for several days on a map to show how the Blue Mountains were explored and crossed in 1813. They also added geological, climate and biological information to the map. We used the free on-line website Scribble Maps. We used the State Library of NSW and NPWS websites and others to collect information.

Try our interactive map. For best viewing expand to full screen (little rectangle on the top right of the map.

The children also used excel to make graphs showing the types of farm animals living in Sydney in 1813. You can see from their graphs that there were huge numbers of sheep (providing wool for the English mills), and this was one reason why new pasture was needed and hence the crossing of the mountains to find it.

By R

By L

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Collage Faces

Today we made these collage profile portraits. We used guidelines from the book Drawing on The Right Side of the Brain to sketch out a face.

Next we shaded in the darkest areas of the face for reference.

We used plain papers in a variety of colours to cover the face. We decided that yellow was the lightest and placed these pieces where light falls onto the face. Other colours were placed according to their tone; with dark blue for the shadow areas.

Here are the final collages

By R

By L

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bicentenary Flyover

Today we went up into the Blue Mountains for the bicentenary crossing flyover. The occasion marked the 200th anniversary of the first crossing of the mountains by Europeans. The planes flew over following the same route that the explorers would have taken along the ground.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Story Writing

This term we are working on story writing. The children are loving it so far. We have been investigating what "ingredients" go together to make up a story, for example genre, setting, characters, and plot. The children have already worked on their characters and setting using some worksheets from Sparklebox.  We found these character writing frames especially useful. 

Today the children put all their hard work together and wrote their story. They worked collaboratively, included both their characters and negotiated about setting and plot. Here's what they came up with:

Stolen Treasure

Once upon a time a rude pirate called Black-Beard sailed to a treasure island. The treasure was stolen by a wizard called Ozo. Black-Beard was very angry because the treasure had been stolen off him by the nasty and wicked wizard.

Black-Beard got off at the island and tried to find the treasure. He saw the Red Indians guarding the castle so he hid in the woods. The fairy god mother called Lilly was going to pick some roses in the forest. She saw the pirate and she took a photo. She sent the photo to Feather Hair the fierce and handsome Red Indian. The photo appeared floating in front of Feather Hair’s face. He looked at it and said to the Indian army “Guard the castle; he’s probably going to come here next”.

Black- Beard the pirate came out of the wood and tried to look in the castle but he got captured by the Red Indians. They tied him up in chains and put him in the dungeon and tied him to the ceiling. While everyone was trying up the pirate in the castle the angry and evil wizard Ozo was looking at his crystal ball and saw it happening. He made himself invisible and got into the castle by magic and stole the treasure. The furious wizard disapparated himself into the pirate ship and he sailed off.

The happy wizard shared the treasure with his wife. The pirate died in the castle. The Indians and the fairy godmother lived happily ever after. 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Old Time Festival

Today we went along to the Old Time Festival at Mamre House. We took the opportunity to dress up again in our 1800's costumes. We enjoyed cookery demonstrations, dancing, pony rides and the farm. The children helped paint the mural pictured above. Here are some more pictures from the day:

Milking the fake cow

Mowing the grass

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Today we went along the the open day at Campbelltown Steam And Machinery Museum. I've posted about their open days before so this time instead of photos I took some video.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Walking The National Pass

Continuing with our Blue Mountains crossing theme, today we took a long bush walk from Wentworth Falls. The National Pass is a 6km round trip up and down the mountain side, with lots of steps it's rated hard. It's supposed to take adults 3-4 hours to complete. We managed the trip in just under 4 hours (not including a cafe stop of course!).

Here's a selection of the photos I took on today's walk:

Just about to start, only 8C but we were soon sweating

Half way

Behind the waterfall

The track leads across the waterfalls at several points

Refuelling at the Conservation Hut cafe towards the end of the day