historyetc – opium and steam

another great day with friends, this time the deependers with their en famille daughter. A history day, but some friends had broken cars, and others appointments to keep and others still extra working days. The theme was trade with china – lord macartney and opium, and also coal and steam. We took an artist from the period as well = turner. We met the deependers en famille daughter as well, who is lovely :) and SB is more than ever keen to go.

DH thought we should use our skills to potentially create opium ;) but instead we baked bread and put poppy seeds on the rolls and discussed opium, what it does and how it is used and abused [PSHE?] . Our bread roll baking does seem to be going well. We clearly had to let it prove, knock back and shape and then cook, but here are the finished loaves, v well received :)


Following that, K took everyone in the conservatory to make bonsai trees from pipe cleaners, wire, felt and sequins. This was to discuss Macartneys mission to China, develop the need for trade to be 2 way idea, and discuss kowtowing. ANyway, it is thought his emabssy may have brought back bonsai . SB spent ages making her bonsai. We also looked at a book of bonsai and discussed the techniques. I think we will dig up some seedlings and have a go – meant to do that in history as well but ran out of time!

After the obligatory pasta lunch, we then discussed the life and art of Turner, and used watercolours to try and get some of his blurry shots. There is a gap here as k-the-younger only finished after i took the pick. K and I did one each too, as nice and relaxing. I agree with waldorf that using good materials enhances the learning. Poster paint wouldn’t have had the same impact here as watercolour. I have to say, we def aren’t Steiner educators tho, just like many learning philosophies there are interesting and relevant bits to pick up.

Our final history was to discuss steam, making workable steam engines, the beginning of the end for the cottage industry and the rise of mechanisation, and from their industrialisation. I would have discussed luddites, but TBH, the pop pop boats were far too much fun :) K had bought some some while ago at Greenbelt, so we didn’t self assemble, but that is on our list of things to do :)

A great day, thankyou :)

2 responses to “historyetc – opium and steam

  1. Looks like a great day :-).

  2. Pingback: Cheating for Wednesday « In At The Deep End

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