Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pareu project inspired by Call it Courage

 
We've progressed to the part of Call it Courage focused on Mafatu staying alive on his new island.  Older Toad made a pareu to wear in his custom built structure. In the story, Mafatu makes a pareu from mulberry fiber. Our mulberry tree is too small to harvest the bark off of so we started with plain cotton fabric. For our decoration, we looked at a book (Made in the South Pacific by Christine Price) of South Pacific art and design for tapa pattern inspiration.  Daddy Toad has some fabric with tapa inspired patterns that he bought in Moorea that we looked at as well.

Older Toad has some experience with plant based dyes because last year we did a unit study on mushrooms and he did some mushroom yarn dyeing with Grandma. I wanted to choose a different plant based dye that was more tropical so we used coffee. Coffee does not appear in the story but pareu were traditionally decorated with plant based dyes so we went with it.  I put a third of a cup of coffee grounds in a cup of water and boiled it for 20 minutes. Then I strained out the coffee and simmered the dark liquid for another half an hour. We had a nice dark liquid for our dye. We have an artist in Ybor City, Arnold Martinez, who paints using coffee and wine. Going to his studio will make a nice fieldtrip in the future. 

The hardest part of the project for Toad was to adapt to how the dye stained the fabric. He's used to the tacky feel of paint that stays where you put it, this liquid spread out more. He was getting frustrated that his pattern wasn't turning out how he wanted, but once he figured out his materials, he relaxed and adapted his design.



He also spent several days working on his structure.  The first version was shorter and got destroyed by our Lab who loves sticks.  


The second version had some help from Grandpa and was taller.  It's still up so the boys have been playing in it every afternoon.


After we read this section Toad was impressed by how much work Mafatu had to do to stay alive.  Since it's Thanksgiving this week, I worked that appreciation into a brief talk of the history of Thanksgiving.  Worlds apart, but I hope he got a little appreciation for how easy we have it these days.  He had fun working on his projects and got to change back into his regular clothes so the mosquitoes wouldn't eat him, and went to the fridge for a snack.  TOUGH life!

9 comments:

Coombe Mill said...

I love the way you are bringing the book to live, no better way to learn!

toady mama said...

Thank you!

RedTedArt said...

Wonderful. :-)

Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

Maggy

Rebekah said...

Love the shelter! Amazing work!

Thank you for sharing at The Outdoor Play Party!

PragmaticMom said...

That is fabulous how you have done so many meaningful projects for Call It Courage! Your son is sooo lucky!

Momand Kiddo said...

Very creative! Thanks for linking up to TCB.

Carrie said...

What wonderful activities! Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!

toady mama said...

Thanks ladies!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

What a fantastic activity, and I love the dwelling your son and his grandpa made. We haven't read Call It Courage, but I look forward to sharing it with my girls in the future. Thanks for linking up to RAT!

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