Monday, September 13, 2010

Treasure map

I love some of the little assignments that Anant brings home. Some of them are serious explorations to encourage the children to record their observations. Others are complementary to their lessons. Like this one on making an ancient treasure map, a simple fun optional activity to convey the importance of maps and mapping that appears in a lesson in social studies. I wonder if there is a child who wouldn't want to do this activity. It doesn't take much time, and helps the child organise his/her work better, because they have to finish their homework before the fun work obviously.  I feel these weekday activities are really important for the children, much more than those lengthy projects given during summer.

Step 1: Treat the paper to create a faux ancient effect

Use slightly thick handmade paper, at least thicker than the standard printer paper. Tear edges to make the paper appear old. Crumple it and flatten it out. Ask any adult around to make some tea decoction (OK, they can drink some if they want). Ask them to make it really as strong as possible. Pour it into a cake tin and let it cool.

Swirl the paper around in the tea decoction and press down on it with a brush. (Photo by Namitha)

Place the sheets/s of paper one at a time into this decoction. Press over the creases with a thick brush. You can even scratch on it lightly with the handle of the brush. Swirl the paper. It takes about half an hour to develop a light tint. Keep it for longer if necessary. Place sheets between sheets of clean paper to dry.

Remove the paper from the tray and place between sheets of clean paper. (Photo by Anant)

Step 2: Creating the treasure map. 

Sketch the treasure map on a rough sheet of paper. When the design is final, draw it lightly with pencil on the dried "ancient" parchment, and use a fineliner pen to draw the final version. It might be a good idea to use a brown pen to add to the aged look. As you can see we made do with black. You can add 3 D objects while presenting the project. You are only limited by time and imagination. In fact, this might be a great idea for designing a board game.

Don't be surprised to find elements that the child is especially fond  of or which signify "treasure and mystery"  popping in here and there. Skeletons, ghosts, monsters... anyone?  Here is a Anant's version of the map to find Red Rackham's treasure. The little treasure chest was conjured up using cardboard, an old glittery invitation card, and odds and ends found in my craft box.  (Photo by Namitha)

1 comment:

  1. ARRRRRR....tis a BEAUT.

    and to add to it - here's a freaky pirate song that Anant might like. Tis a top fave of Nandu's. And if you like this one - do check out Eric Herman's other songs. We love them all...


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