So this week we were off; dressed and prepared for our journey ahead:
Our first leg of the journey to Cathay would take us from Venice in Europe to Ormus, in Persia. We had read up to chapter 18 in Marco Polo’s Travels a few weeks before, taking us to the vicinity of Ormus (Hormuz). One story Rusticello relates is about the Kalif of Baldach and how he was defeated by Ulau, a Tartar (Mongolian) prince, after testing the Christians of his country with a view to killing them. I reread chapter 8 to the children and asked them to choose a portion of the story and write a diary entry concerning it. They did this during their independent study, which is working out so well:
Their individual projects I set each week for each child also remain a huge hit. This week T11 was given the task of researching the camels used in the caravans along the silk road; he subsequently built a model of a caravan using plasticine and playmobil, using a rough material (hessian) for the luggage the camels carried:
During this leg of the trip Polo, in chapter 4, mentions a fountain of oil he discovered in Armenia Major. This oil, said he, was good for burning and also for use on the skin for both animals and humans, to relieve soreness. I asked L10 to research recipes that may have been used on the journey along the silk road and to make some up for our own journey. Which she did with great aplomb!
C10 continued with her project as our entertainer. Last week she had rewritten one of the silk road fables into a play (The Stone Cutter who was Never Satisfied). This week she concentrated her efforts planning everyone’s costumes, bearing in mind they had a limited amount of room to carry extras. She came up with some lovely ideas:
Every afternoon, we did some group work making lamps using clay and the oil Polo spoke about in his book. We researched using this website:
They worked a treat and we liked them so much we’re going to make some others for our own use in the house:
Using red paint we traced Marco Polo’s journey to Ormus via Turkey and Persia. The route he took was country we have already studied in great depth, having looked at the terrain in Turkey 4 years ago and Mesopotamia and Persia three years ago:
We also did bits and pieces from this website, more discussion than anything else.
Next week we will discover why Polo chose the harder route over land, rather than travel in the Hormuz ships!