Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pear Day, Cannon Hall, Barnsley

 I've been wanting to go to the annual Pear Day at Cannon Hall for years. 
We always somehow manage to forget it or be away on the day.
 But this year we managed it!

 The historic walled garden adjacent to the main hall dates from the 1760s. 
The annual Pear day celebrates the pear trees, 
which were established there in the early eighteenth century.

 However, they had given out all the free samples of pears
 and completely sold out of pears too.
There looked to be plenty still on the trees, but those were not yet ripe!

Although the pears were gone, there were lots of other things to do...

We had a very interesting chat with a bee keeper.

 Had a walk around the walled gardens.

Rosanna and I went into this old greenhouse, not normally open to the public. The greenhouse is home to the 200 year old Cannon Hall vine, which was grown from a seed brought back by John Spencer-Stanhope from the continent in 1802. A cutting of the vine was exported to Australia, cultivated, I was told by the gardener that its descendants produce today's fine Australian wines.

 We enjoyed the sunshine.

Inside the hall there were Victorian cookery demonstrations,

 on the old range.

 A quick glance into the pantry.

 Eating sugar mice in the servants dining room.
We were really surprised by the size of this room. 
Compared to Downton Abbey, Cannon Hall is tiny. 
But Downton's servants hall appears much smaller than the room above!

Upstairs, Reuben and Geoff had gone off to listen to excerpts from the operas. 
The girls and I got there just as it finished!

Up one more flight of stairs to try on the 'Downton Abbey clothes'.



And finally I got to dress my little boy into a sailor suit!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Word Garlands

 When I was I child I didn't enjoy going into the Imperial Market in Rotherham. In the middle of the building was an antiques stall, presided over by an old stern looking lady with jet black hair and her scarey looking dolls.

 But that terror has gone now, so come inside!

 The old antique shop is still there.

 But now it's a vintage craft centre -The Button Tin.

Everywhere you look there are amazing decorations.

 We went to a workshop to make 'Word Garlands'.
 To make a word garland, first chose a story.
Then write down three words from the story onto strips of paper.

 Chose some material.

Using the paper strip as a template, cut out a fabric strip.

 Write on one of your chosen words onto the strip of fabric.

 Can you guess which story Reuben's words came from?

 Repeat the process with co-ordinating fabric.

 Jemima chose a spotty-pink-strawberry theme.
Once you have made and written on the three strips of fabric,
embroider over the words.

Finally cut out some more strips of fabric, 
to hang between the words and complete the garland.
Ribbon can also be cut to length and used similarly to fill out the garland.
Gemma from the button tin finished off the garlands for us
by sewing the pieces together.

 The finished Gruffalo garland.

 Rosanna's Sleeping Beauty garland.

 For this we used a mixture of fabric and ribbon strips.

Our word birds are also on display.
If you like these ideas, you might also like story in a jar.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

What fraction of the earth is land?

What fraction of the earth is dry land?
I posed this question to Imogen and Jemima.
The girls began tackling the task, by looking at the globe and the continents.

 Next, they found the area of each continent and the area of the earth.
The internet was used, but an atlas could also be used.

The fraction was composed:
Total area of the continents/area of the earth
To make it slightly easier to simplify the fractions 
we rounded each figure to the nearest hundred.

After each fraction simplification, we rounded up or down to the nearest hundred. We kept repeating the process until the fraction could no longer be simplified.

And our answer is...
The earth is 3/10 land and 7/10 water.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cells made simple

Back in May while in Canada, we visited the Toronto science fair. 
A day of amazing science activities.

 I loved this activity, making a cell using lots of craft materials.

 Nucleus - represented by half of a polysterene ball.
The nucleus is the brain of the cell, every eukaryotic cell has one and it contains the genetic material (DNA).

DNA - represented by coiled pipe cleaners.
This molecule contains all the information the cell needs to grow, 
reproduce and carry out its specific jobs.

 Mitochondria- represented by artificial red petals.
The energy needed in the cell is made in the mitochondria.

 Microfilaments - represented by wooden cocktail sticks.
These proteins are part of the skeleton of the cell and 
can be used to move the cell.

Microtubules - represented by drinking straws.
These proteins are part of the transport system inside the cell. They work like roadways to transport stuff from one place to another in the cell.

 Molecules - represented by sequins.
The cell always has lots of free molecules in it's cytoplasm, some of them have jobs there and some are just travelling from one location to another.

 Ribosomes - represented by white petals.
In the cell, ribosomes are used to make proteins.

The finished cells...
 The circular cocci cell.


 The rod shaped bacillus cell

 Back home in the UK, we did some follow up work about cells.
We used this science kit 'Inside the cell'.

 We identified the key components of the cell and 
then compared animal and plant cells.

 We finished off our learning (for now) by making a DNA model.

 Pairing the bases together.

The finished model!

Another great activity from the Toronto science fair is the pollinator game.


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