RachelL is gazing through a telescope while several of her classmates look on, waiting for their turn.
In one of our Summer Fun classes, we’re currently reading David Almond’s The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon, an extremely whimsical story of a shy young man who starts out wanting to touch the sky and ends up inside of the Moon, which happens to be a hole in the sky rather than a rocky extraterrestrial body. Who knew?
One of the parts that we read together in class recently was the passage where the protagonist, Paul, meets an eccentric artist who lives in the penthouse of his apartment block. She urges Paul to have a gander at her brother using her telescope and Paul looks and sees nothing. The woman admonishes him to imagine her brother first and then look again, which he does. This time, Paul sees her brother.
It’s one thing to know, intellectually, what something is and an altogether matter to experience it — touch it and if, as in this case, it’s an instrument of some sort, adjust it and use it. With that in mind, we brought a simple plastic telescope into class and asked each student to try to use it to count the number of butterflies in a small picture placed several meters away on a whiteboard.
Yes, there are fourteen butterflies in that picture.
Even with the aid of the telescope, no one arrived at the correct number but everyone was fairly close and a couple of students, including Yin You, were just off by one.