Mystery of the Thunderstone…

Today we visited the Museum for an archaeology workshop which involved drama exploring a Roman story surrounding an artefact;

Simulated archaology digs;

… and exploring Roman artefacts;

And some Neolithic Stone Age items too …

It was fantastic to watch the group work and listen to the fabulous discussions as they grid referenced their finds and talked about the f8bdsduring the activities. .

The activity in the museum upstairs wasn’t too well thought out for the group we had but Lil’Lady enjoyed it non the less. .

But thank goodness for the other Home Ed parents who were able to keep the children engaged.



The Boys research piece of Len Johnson …

The Boys Project at Archives+  came to an end today. .This is his finished work on Len Johnson the Manchester Black Boxer born in Moss Side and the colour bar in boxing and how he created an organisation to raise awareness about the colour bar and to stop discrimination..fascinating story and so proud at how much effort he put in. I love his art work too.a surprising talent I didn’t know he had.

The final work will be up on their official blog in a week or so…

Viking Forest School Day…..

We have not studied Vikings yet abd I was a luttle worried thst wgat knowledge we have wpulfnt have bern a good basis for Lil’ Lady to fo this session today. So last might we sient a few hoyrscwatchung some grwat youtube videos on Vikings thst wrre age appropriate… I am si glad we dud as it gave her ci fidence to join in the Q&A parts of the day.

Thete were lots of questions asked about what we already knew, with more information given..really please that Lil’ Lady was raising her hand – her confidence is growing daily, and her need to defer to me us lessening too.

It was really interesting. The Boy was impressed that our guide was dressed the part. .. 

The morning was full of games to begin…viking strength games plus tug of war, kubbs (like skittles). 

Then they had the story of how Runes came to be and they got to practice writing Runes.

Whilst they got on with games I headed out for a walk. As much as I love sessions like this..I know there is a need for me to give them some space..we met back up for lunch followed by getting up close and personal with Axes and Saw’s and how the Vikings used them. 

How the Vikings used their Axe in battle! 

After supervision with the axe and saw I ventured off again to let them commence weaving and firebuilding… they came out of the session happy and excited  to tell me all they’d gotten up to. Great day had by all again… 

Fabulous Greek Super Learning Day at Manchester Museum… 

Today was Lil’ Lady’s turn at the Museum for a day of Greek discovery. 

We set off very early as part of the city centre had road closures. 

We kick started the day with a self guided tour, an ipad and a  sheet of paper where we imagined we were on a voyage and we had to find items; we took pictures on the ipad. We were supposed to be in groups, however Lil’ Lady ended up by herself.

The artifacts asked for were based around ancient Greek myths, Gods and people as we went on our voyage.

For example 

“In Perseus’ myth, Perseus uses Hades’ cap of invisibility to escape from Medusa’s evil sisters.

Find Something that could turn you invisible on a sticky Situation!”

This was fab as it allowed us to explore our knowledge and recall what we already knew whilst engaging with the different artefacts in the gallery.

After we finished our self guided tour we had time for a snack then we had a Greek Myths storytelling and drama workshop. 

Here the Group examined Greek pottery for inspiration before putting into action Greek Drama techniques to create their own group myth. Using the story mountain/arch technique.

Freeze frame drama …

Artifact handling 

Look how happy that face is…. and then she proceeds to describe how the sword is blunt be a use it got stool in bone when it killed a man… (definatley my child)

The last session after lunch was all about trade.

So after a talk about the 4 city states they’ll be using to do their own trade activity..Athens, Tyre, Naucratis, Kroton. (I was surprised at how far the Greek Empire spread) each group was given a home city, where they had to investigate what they had to trade (traditional ancient Greek artifacts.) Then they were to become the traders of those cities as they went on a journey around the room visiting the different cities to trade. Except they moved around the room like a giant board game…

Getting closer to my city to trade 

And they’ve made it… 

The game was the perfect end to the day. ..Lil’ Lady had a fabulous time and made a few new friends, and enjoyed meeting up with old ones…and I was surprised at her confidence today.. a big  đŸ‘ from me too! 

Black and British Season: History…

It annoys me that they give Black British History a season or a month however at the same time I am glad they do as it means that it at least gets an airing. The BBC season has been the focus of the Boys History learning this month… There have been some wonderful programming.. that not only teaching him about his on heritage as being part Nigerian (through myself) but about the struggle of people of colour In the UK , but also their presence in the UK from Roman times onwards……

It’s really opened his eyes  and mind….

The programming for the season can be found here BBC Black and British Season…..

It’s also lead to lots of debate about the political climate in the USA… and its history, especially related to Slavery and Racism… and how todays political climate can be seen as a result of that history….

We’ve particularly likes Black and British: A Forgotten History

We’ve even bought the book that accompanies the series from The Book People referal link  (Direct Link)

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He also loved Back in time for Brixton  A documentary following a family who give up their modern lives for one summer to experience what life was like for Caribbeans who immigrated to Britain in the postwar period. We’ve wacted so many of these series and this didn’t dissapoint…but he was disappointed there was only two episodes…


He’s virtually watched the whole of the programing and devoured it.. I’d highly recommend for you to watch on catch up on iplayer if you can…

Street Art and City Scapes. ..

Since half term the Boy has been taking advantage of sessions at Manchester Central Library Achieves +

They have had on Art sessions for the Home Ed community (arranged by a Home Ed parent) themed  around Manchester and Street Art/City Scapes which has been fabulous for a continuation of our street art Adventures this past year (  see my previous post  HERE)

The  first session they looked at literal street art and the architecture of the buildings in Manchester City centre…

Then today he went on an  art walk… sketching city scapes on umbrellas whilst learning about the History of some of the buildings in Manchester.Old and New.
Manchester town hall- it’s bell tower 280 feet tall, with 25 bells and it too 14 million bricks to build and it’s outer wall is 7ft thick.

The Midland Hotel- has  7 different types of marble and it’s where the meeting of Mr Royles and Mr Royce took place and Royles Royce was born…ad they have a suit names after them.

The Gmex -used to be a railway station in the 1800’s until tracks expanded into the city centre…it was refurbished in the 80s/90s into an event centre..  its now called Manchester Central and Central Library itself ….

(These are the Boys highlights)

Even my eldest took part…and absolutely adored it so well repeat this on our own with Lil’ Lady too.

In the New Year they’ll continue doing a history project on Manchester.. The Boy and his friend will be using an animation program to create a film on  the changing nature of Manchester over the past hundred years..

Street Art Walk with the Boy …

So today we mixed a little culture, art, polictics and social history on this art walk.  Back in June Manchester hosted a Cities of Hope Street Art festival. If you’ve seen my instagram you will see that we searched out lots of pieces then rsearched them at home, so when I saw this tour I had to book the Boy on.

The tour focused on the changing face and history of Manchester through it’s street art in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats.

He absolutely loved it. He came home talking about how he disliked the council and their erossion of art in the city centre to make way for gentrification (win!!)

He was amazed at just how much there is that he has just passed by and never noticed before.  These are just a few of the pictures and pieves from today….

Converse advert was the biggest mural in Manchester before the Cities of Hope exhibtion. This piece was by Phonographic, a female Artist from Sheffield. SHe always does things you woudl’nt find in the city, so birds…..Which has spawned a whole host of pieces that are not just art but adverts, but it’s a double edged sword as artists need to eat

Old man and woman City of Hope piece by Christian Guemy and an interpretation of the work by artist currently unknown.

This is a long lost Banksy that Manchester council has “protected” by putting some perspex over the top which casue condensation and mold which essentially destroyed the piece. Its now covered by these flyers, and tags. It was forgotten for over 10 years. The smaller character symbolises hidden things that are lost.

Cities of Hope piece about dealing with subatace abuse and mentsl health. This piece is by an artist called Case. The man in the art is homeless and this was a piece done after work done withthe charity Back on Track. Homelessness is a huge issue in MAnchester at the moment. Finding cut. Benefits cut. Not enough housing, austerity cuts, and it too is affecting the changing face of Manchester.

Below the mural is an iron curb. This can not be found anywhere else in the world and is unique to Manchester. These where used during the industrial revolution because the barrels of goods cracked the curbs so they were replaced with iron instead. I never knew this about my own city…..

Street signs white to blue means east to west. The font of the signs was specially created and only found in this area.

This mural about the elements it was made by four different artists and will no longer be available to view as gentrification of Manchester continues.  A high rise will be built in front of it so it will no longer be in view.

This Mosaic is an outline of a Cotton Mill that existed during the industrial revolution that was demolished. .it was created by local schools and the community to pay homage to Manchester’s industrial and textile past…it you look can see the room..the outline of the windows etc…

The pale colours tiles are newspaper articles and documents  from the years the cotton mill existed.

The blue tiles are imprints of the lace work and fabrics that were produced at the cotton mill all those years ago. ..
We’ve passed this Mosaic for years and never knew what once existed there or what it represented…. 

I could go on and on…it was such a great tour…and a great way to learn about Manchester’s History..and about current issues facing the city…