My boys, like many others, are Star Wars buffs. (In fact, my very first blog post was about light sabers.) We learned about the holiday by accident last year -- and celebrated by taking the kids to the park so they could have an epic light saber battle with other homeschooled kids. To the untrained eye, our children might have looked like a bunch of Star Wars crazed kids running amok through the woods in the middle of a school day. But our kids were learning, really and truly learning.
They were learning cooperation and leadership. Their imaginations were completely engaged. On the spot, they were crafting an enormously complex storyline, complete with characters and plot twists. They were also definitely getting their fill of physical activity. Running through the woods, swinging a light saber, is hard work!
If your son is a Star Wars fanatic, consider sprinkling some Star Wars themed learning into his day today. I posted a couple ideas on Twitter today. (Find me @jlwf) You can also:
- Head to the library and check out Star Wars books. There is something for every age and interest, from Easy Readers to chapter books. You can also find books about the weaponry, spaceships, special effects, etc.
- Watch the movies. Start with Epidsode 1: The Phantom Menace, or Episode 4: A New Hope, the original 1977 movie that will forever remain "the first Star Wars movie" in my head. The order doesn't matter. Spending time with your kids, digging into their passion, is what matters.
- Discuss/write about the systems of government in Star Wars. The Federation, the Senate...there's a lot of Social Studies and politics in Star Wars. Compare and contrast the various systems of government in the the Stars Wars universe with those in your own backyard.
- Study the science. Cloning is big in Star Wars. (Clone troopers, anyone?) Dig into the science behind the science-fiction. Talk to your kids about Dolly, the cloned sheep. (Watch a fun video here.) Ask their opinions about the ethics involved.
- Draw/paint scenes from the movie. One of the best things about Star Wars is that it's boy AND girl friendly. Boys typically prefer to draw action; they love weapons and spacecraft. Girls may prefer to focus on characters or costumes. (Remember, these are just generalizations. Some boys prefer costumes and some girls are all about the light sabers.)
- Let Yoda teach grammar. Yoda, Luke's tiny yet powerful Jedi Master, can teach your kids a thing or two about the English language. Think not, do you? Check out this Analysis of Yodish.
Do you have any other fun, Star Wars-related learning ideas? I'd love to hear them! What are you doing for Star Wars Day?