Wednesday, May 12, 2010


My son had an assignment to create a diorama of a room featured in the novel, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. We (his parents) didn't find out about the assignment until Monday, and were pretty ticked that he hadn't bothered to work on it last weekend.

We probably should have left him to flounder on his own, letting him learn the consequences of his actions. Yet Chris and I both like to make stuff. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to help with the diorama, because we think this sort of thing is fun.

Chris jumped in and created a grand piano out of cardboard and chopsticks, and he glued on a picture from the internet to create the keys and the inside of the piano. (Unfortunately I had to put small photos into this post -- you really should click on the photos to get a larger view.)

Piano and plants for diorama

When I came home from work, Ross had just started to concoct some potted plants. I knew I had tiny clay pots and some "silk" leaves, so it wasn't a great leap to make better-looking plants.

Diorama top

And so it went. We parental packrats went to our stashes and found fabric for carpeting and curtains, the metal from a windshield wiper blade for a curtain rod, upholstery foam, straws, etc. Ross cut and painted and glued along with us.

Diorama window and plants

It was a family effort. We worked together and learned together.

I asked Ross what he'd say to his teacher if she asked him if he had help. He thought for a bit and said, "I'd tell her that my parents helped me." I said, "Good. Because I think it's better to tell the truth."

We did not help so that we'd be rescuing him from a possible poor grade. We helped because we like to do this stuff. I know I may catch some flak for my choice, but so be it.

Ross through the diorama door


Lisa Gallup said...

How FUN!! Sami used to always submit miniature rooms to the NM State Fair and won her age group more than once. I think they are so much fun. :) Ross' room looks great!!

Joanne said...

What a clever bunch you are! That piano is wonderful.
I'm sure Ross would have learned more and had more fun working along with his parents rather than on his own.