Inventors, Inventions and Missionaries

Inventors, inventions and missionaries… an eclectic mix of information but a perfect way to celebrate the end of Year 3 Unit 2. Yes, before Thanksgiving our co-op has completed half a year of Tapestry of Grace!

We began our celebration with brunch.

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We then moved to the gym where all the student display boards and grammar-level art projects were set up.

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Next on the agenda.. a scavenger hunt! Our youngest co-op members colored sheets of various missionaries and inventors. After coloring, they were instructed to find a board that featured their character.

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All the “readers” of the group were given a scavenger hunt sheet that featured one question per board. Before our celebration, students sent in three questions of varying levels of difficulty that could be answered by reading their boards. Thus the 3rd-4th graders had a fairly simple question sheet, the 5th-6th graders had a “medium-difficulty” sheet, and the 7th-12th graders had a challenging one. Students had about 30 minutes to complete the scavenger hunt.

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I love this project-based format for end-of-units because all students learn from one another. In the past we’ve done more teacher-directed end-of-units such as skits, songs, recitations, etc. These are fun and meaningful as well, but the organization falls on the adults. Students are truly proud of their display-board projects and enjoy mingling and answering and asking questions of one another. I like that the unit focuses on their projects and accomplishments!

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It’s also just plain impressive to see 30+ boards – all missionaries and inventors of the 19th century – displayed at once! What a century this was!

I love the art the grammar students displayed. Shown here are pinatas, boomerangs, yarn art, spinning tops and log cabins.

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Some particularly fun displays included some “radium” punch served by two Marie Curie models –

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Tea cookies that Lottie Moon served to earn the trust of the Chinese chilren –

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And cotton –

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This end-of-unit began as an “invention fair” only. However, Year 3 church history is full of inspiring missionary stories. Unfortunately, we are unable to devote a whole class period this year at co-op to the discussion of these heroes of our faith. Thus we decided to incorporate their stories at our end-of-unit gatherings. Many of our students chose to focus their research on missionaries. This was perhaps one of my favorites –

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I’ll tell you why… Billy Graham does not enter the “Tapestry scene” until Year 4. However, the young student who made this board wanted to study Billy Graham because his daddy works for Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham’s ministry. This Daddy is currently traveling the United States visiting churches and telling others about Operation Christmas Child, the shoe-box ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. We are not legalistic at the Boone ToG Co-op. If a student wants to study the missionary who has reached more people with the gospel than any other, he may!

I enjoyed all the boards, but particularly loved reading about two female missionaries. One of the questions on the scavenger hunt was, “What missionary had a physical attribute that helped her relate to the people she ministered to? What was that attribute?” The answer – both Lottie Moon and Amy Carmichael. I found it quite interesting that Lottie Moon, who grew to only be 4’3″, was called to minister to the petite Chinese people. Darked-eyed Amy Carmichael ministered to the brown-eyed people of India. As a young girl, Amy longed for blue eyes, but God had plans for her, and those plans included her brown eyes. They helped the Indian people trust her!

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I love how His Story is told in his-tory! Just like God had a plan for Amy and Lottie, he has a plan for all of us. Will I allow Him to use me even in my weaknesses or areas I’d like to change? These are things I ponder as we wrap up our history studies and change our focus to the holidays ahead. And with Thanksgiving approaching next week, I can’t help but thank the Lord for our curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, and all the students and parents in our co-op. Our first half-year of studies has been rich and I am grateful.

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