Submitted by Linda
I will confess that I'm not super great at history. In fact, I think that my Oregon public school education was lacking, because I was an adult before I knew the difference between all of the U.S. wars. Or maybe I was a student that was lacking, since I do seem to remember a lot of report card comments about too much socializing. Either way, I'm now playing catch up on world history. And as an adult, I find history much more relevant and meaningful than I did in my younger days.
I didn't know much about Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, except for this painting that my kindergarten friends get to see and experience on our annual Huntington field trip. It was painted by Joseph Wright near 1776, and depicts the famous eruption of 79 AD. Though he spent several years in Italy, didn't see Vesuvius erupt while he was there.
In Pompeii, we had a walking tour of the ruins that was fascinating! Here you can see the street signs (wordless, because of lack of literacy).
One of the art forms that is visible all over Italy is the mosaic. This rooster was outdoors on a building in Venice.
I decided to have my students create a mosaic of the scene pictured here. I chopped a zillion tiny squares of papers, and began with one group of six students on just the foreground. It was hard to be patient and glue one square at a time. Now look below at the final products: Just for fun we added a tiny bit of lava erupting. I love how they made the green bushes and trees right above the rocks in the foreground.