Because we couldn’t do a real-life escape room this year, we have created a virtual escape room. It can be enjoyed by one person alone or a family working together. Kids 10 and up (or maybe a little younger given how clever you readers are) can enjoy!
It’s a new week. I’m sure some of you parents feel like this stay-at-home order has lasted forever. In case no one has said it today, you’re doing a great job! Here are some more resources to keep kids learning and entertained.
Love the Magic Tree House book series? I know I do! We’re excited about Magic Tree House Adventures, where every week they will have readalongs and activities based around a theme. This week is animals!
The Minnesota Science Museum is letting you watch films free at home. Check out their Omnifest site!
Junior Library Guild is offering free access to great online books for elementary, middle school and high school.
The world-famous Cincinnati Zoo has great videos featuring different animals on their Home Safari page.
The Kitchen Table Classroom has free online art classes for kids. Most can easily be done with supplies you have at home.
If you are looking for images for a report or just want to check out some amazing photos, check out Wikimedia Commons. A good place to start is featured pictures. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself browsing for a while.
Hello book group and others,
I hope you have had a chance to read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. If not, you can get a free digital copy from Gutenberg.org. Here are some discussion questions. Feel free to discuss in the comments. We also hope to have a virtual book group meeting. If you are interested, please email email@example.com.
- Did you enjoy reading the play? Have you ever seen it performed in person or in a movie? What are the advantages and disadvantages to reading vs. viewing?
- Did the play make you laugh? Was there a particular incident or quote that really amused you?
- Why do both Jack and Algernon feel the need to invent Ernest and Bunbury? What do they gain?
- What does the aristocracy in Earnest value? How different (or not) are our values today than the Victorians?
- Lady Bracknell says, “Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.” Is this statement true? Is it ironic that Lady Bracknell marries into society and quickly becomes its most vigorous defender?
- What’s up with all the food fights? Why are they humorous?
- Why are both Gwendolyn and Cecily so committed to the name Ernest? What does it have to do with their romantic idealizations?
- Do names really matter? Can you think of any examples from your life where a person’s name changed your opinion of them for better or worse?
- What is the importance of the city/country split? What qualities do city-dwellers usually have? How about country folks? Do these stereotypes work in Earnest?
- What do you think of the fight between Gwendolen and Cecily when they believe they are engaged to the same man? How do they say very harsh things within the limits of polite language? Do we still do this?
- Algy spends the play spouting outrageous statements. Do you think he means them or is he just playing the enfant terrible? To what extent is he a stand-in for author Oscar Wilde?
- Both couples are engaged after very little actual interaction. To what extent does each character create an imagined vision of their partner? Given that in the Victorian era matches were often arranged by the families and courting couples given very little scope to spend time together, are these engagements significantly different?
- “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” Do you agree?
- Wilde uses several common literary devices, including mistaken identity, unlikely coincidence and the beloved happy ending. Are we meant to consider these ironically? Or is he simply giving us what we expect?
John Worthing, J.P.
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
Miss Prism, Governess
I’m sure many of you are sharing your space with antsy kids. Here are some suggestions of activities that are fun and sneak in some learning.
Lots of great children’s authors are hosting online storytimes. This article has a list with links. Search for #OperationStoryTime on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to find more.
Storyline Online features celebrities reading picture books. Many are perfect for kindergarten through third grade.
We can’t get out to the Minnesota Zoo, but they do have some excellent learning resources to use online and download.
How about concerts from children’s musicians? This website has an updated list of dates and times. Many are free, but some request donations and others may require a small fee.
Math can be fun! Cool Math 4 Kids has games to make practicing grade school math entertaining.
You may remember Highlights magazine from your childhood, since they’ve been around since 1946. Their website has games, learning, real world activity suggestions and more for ages 6-12.