Our casual unit study of soccer and Africa has begun. I’m reading aloud from “Africa United: Soccer, Passion, Politics, and the First World Cup” every day. A quick flip through on Monday morning convinced me to skip the introductory bits and dive right in. The kids enjoyed the first chapter on the Egypt-Algeria rivalry a lot. Even Matthias, who doesn’t always handle abstraction and history details with grace. I have made a point of always having something to draw on at the table and it’s helping more than usual.

We also explored how to enlarge, or embiggen*,  a map (or drawing) using a proportional grid system.




We played around with a very well-produced and thoughtful presentation: the DeYoung Museum’s exploration of a Yoruba Divination Bowl. I like that it stressed that we need to slow down and really look when looking at art from other cultures. And the videos and history were just right for enhancing the exploration of the beauty of the bowl.

A great resource for soccer is at CBC.ca. The sports page has all sorts of videos to explore. I can’t provide a direct link, but on the left click on ‘2010 FIFA World Cup’ to get 10 pages of videos. Some are short (less than 2 min) and highlight a particular player, while others are half-hour long productions featuring the history of different teams and their current chances.


* all credit to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for the invention of that utterly satisfying bit of whimsical wordplay


3 thoughts on “embiggen

  1. Jen says:

    Your soccer unit sounds like fun.

    And I must be geeky for a moment and let you know that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee did not coin the word “embiggen”, but she must be a fan of the Simpsons.

    Jebediah Springfield, the founder of the town of Springfield said it first. “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.”

  2. hopewellmomschoolagain says:

    Sounds like a fun unit. FYI–although I never did get the hang of it, Rod & Staff’s math teachers scale drawing. Another of the very practical applications they teach. The mapping thing is coming up for us next year–I’m also keeping that soccer book in mind for next year. I love the things you do in your homeschool–so free and well-tailored to your kids interests.
    By the way, now that you’ve been at it several years what do your in-laws think of it all? I remember, long ago, you wrote they were teachers and that Germany do not allow homeschooling.

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