16 December 2008

Let's go out with a BANG!

As the end of an exciting unit coincides with the imminent end of (a long) term, what better excuse do we need than to have a morning of FUN?  Pattern-themed seasonal fun into the bargain!

First, paper-chains.  Your challenge is to use up to 4 different colours of paper strip in a repeating pattern


to make a chain of 12.  While you stick.....


have a bit of a think.....

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and see if you can work out how many loops of each colour you would end up with if you chose to use two colours.  What about if you used three?  Four?

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Next, how about making a repeating pattern all the way round the border of a 'special' greetings card (I wonder of you can keep a secret)?

You might like to use stamps and ink pads.....

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or maybe shiny, glittery stickers.

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You may prefer to draw your own designs.....

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Look carefully.  What's so 'special' about our cards? 

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Now; pause a while and sniff.  Breathe d e e p l y.  Mmmm!  What do you smell?  Something warmly spicy?  Could it be cinnamon?  Ah yes.  Cinnamon.  Two HUGE containers of it.  Mixed (by hand!) with an equal volume of applesauce.  Mixed - and squashed and squished and bashed.....


until it turns into a pliable, roll-able, mud-like dough.


Flatten your lump with your hand.....


and then choose two or three different pastry-cutters to cut out some shapes.

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Next, use a drinking straw to poke a hole in each shape (you'll see why later).

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Leave them somewhere to dry - this will take two or three days (much patience required!)

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Finally, when they are completely dry (and quite hard) but still smelling oh-so-deliciously of cinnamon, thread them (remember those holes you poked?) with pretty ribbon.


Now they are ready to be hung somewhere.  Maybe in a repeating pattern.....

All that spicy-smelling cinnamon.  It surely must have been good enough to eat.  But trust me, it was absolutely not edible in any way.  The teeniest taste and - blah!

However, our next (and last) activity was quite definitely edible.  Star-shaped biscuits (or cookies - we're bilingual in our class), already baked, were sitting there plumply.  Pale and interesting.....

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waiting for a slick coating of icing (frosting!)  Followed by all kinds of colourful goodies to press into the icing layer.  Smarties.....


the cutest pink and white h e a r t s .....


and edible confetti.


Now - let your imagination run wild as you press your choice of goodies onto your biscuit - in a pattern (of course!)

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(And yes.....


the odd taste.....


is OK!)


A last few adjustments, et voilà!


Now; don't they look just too good to eat?

Once again, with especial thanks to Kathy as well as to Viivi's mum.  Thank you both!

Pattern Quest

Take a close look at the 16 photographs of different patterns below:

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They were all taken in the classroom.  Why not see if you can spot whereabouts each photo was taken? 

Do you have your own camera?  Are you 'handy' with coloured pencils?  How about making your own pattern quest for your friends?

What other games can you think up to play using pictures of patterns?

12 December 2008

Our own version of Mehndi.....

We have been investigating Mendhi patterns.

At festivals and weddings, Muslim women and girls decorate their hands with patterns called Mendhi.

Mendhi is the name for the orange-brown dye which is used to make the patterns.  It is made from henna, tamarind, tea and water, mixed to a paste.  (Henna, tamarind and tea are all plants.)

We decided to have a go at making our own designs.  If you would like to have a go yourselves, this it what to do:

First of all trace around a hand (a bit tickly, this, so make sure that you don't move or you might end up with too many fingers!)

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Next, trace around the shape with a black marker.

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Now, divide the hand up using three or four black wavy or whirly lines.....


and then fill in each of the spaces that you have made with a different fine, delicate, repeating pattern.


And there you have it.....

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Mehndi, Class 2i-style!

11 December 2008

Fancy a game of checkers?

First take a slice of bread.  Cut it in half.


Now, spread one half (thickly!) with cream cheese and the other half with jam.


Aargh!  No!  Don't lick the kni....

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Now, slice each slice in half again (yes, that makes four 'soldiers') and then each soldier into four squares. "Sixteen," shouts Owen, even before I can frame the question!


Now comes the tricky bit.  Or should I say the sticky bit?

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You need to rebuild your slice of bread, but this time it should show a checkerboard pattern.  Easy!


Easy?  Hmm!

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And finally, you get to play the game.  Open wide.....


and eat up the board.....Yum!