This week, we deviated a little bit from our normal types of outings and took the kids to see a double feature at the picture-show.
We started off with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which is loosely based on Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island. I have to say that I was impressed by the concept of combining the island adventures of Jules Verne with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift into one ‘mysterious’ island – that was a pretty neat twist.
And though the movie could certainly be considered ‘fluff’ or pure entertainment with no redeeming value, the passionate enthusiasm by the lead teen character as a ‘Vernian’ – Jules Verne enthusiast – is enough to piqué the interest of your average adventure-loving kiddo. The movie’s catch-phrase, ‘Who’s up for an adventure?” was fun, too and could definitely lead to outdoorsy family fun, not to mention the somewhat brief, but eye-catching mention of Morse Code. If your kidlet is interested, try showing him/her this: A mnemonic way to learn Morse Code!
Add to that a lesson on using a compass, latitude and longitude, not to mention plate tectonics and references to other literary classics (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I cannot for the life of me remember the others right now – if you can think of them, post in the comments, would ya?); there was plenty to work with in this movie even if the movie fell short of the mark.
After a quick bite to eat, we were back to the theater for The Secret World of Arrietty, an anime-style film inspired by Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, which is one of those amazing classic children’s stories that easily lends itself to numerous learning opportunities. I found several resources that looked promising: The Borrowers Unit Study & Lapbook from Highlights of Homeschooling ($5.00) on CurrClick.com; EasyFunSchool.com’s Literature Unit on The Borrowers; and a .pdf sample from a lesson guide by Shelle Allen-Russell. You can also do a comparison study between the different versions; the original book, the 1997 film and the anime version.
If you’re feeling super adventurous, you could contrast Mary Norton’s ‘Borrowers’ with John Peterson’s ‘The Littles’ – a Venn diagram, maybe?
In any case, the animation was beautiful – a nice change of pace and quite restful to the eyes after the 3D-in-your-face-ness of Mysterious Island.
Next week, we’re planning on a Park Day and working on the Presidential Fitness Challenge. If you’re interested in joining in on the fun, contact us!