Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mark Twain

         On this field trip we drove to Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's hometown. Hannibal is a small town that is filled with Mark Twain attractions, old fashioned shops, and popular landmarks. The first part of the trip was the tour. We went through a small museum that had all the major events in Mark's life in short stories spread out around the rooms. After this we went through the childhood homes of Mark, Becky, and Tom. It was interesting to see how they lived and all the places they visited. The last part of the tour was another museum that had more exhibits on Mark Twain and all the people in his life. The next part of the trip was the riverboat. We rode down the Mississippi river while listening to someone tell about Mark's life, and point out important landmarks that were in Twain's books. (Islands, lighthouse, Lover's Leap, etc.) After the boat ride we took the tiring journey up 244 steps to see the lighthouse up close. We ate a late lunch and then enjoyed our free time by visiting small stores, or going back through the tour to see what we missed. They had lots of shops that sold homemade candies, popcorn, ice cream, fudge, and other treats people enjoyed often back then. Next comes the caves! We boarded up the bus again and drove to the famous Mark Twain Caves. This is the cave from the book Tom Sawyer. We watched a short film telling a little about the cave and how it was formed before entering. When we entered the cave you could really feel a temperature drop! A constant 52 degrees keeps the caves cool and wet. We only walked 5/8 of a mile total on our cave tour, but the total distance through all the passages is around 3 miles. The cave had all the important spots marked off with plaques and lights lit up dark areas. Our tour guide told stories from Tom Sawyer, along with facts about cave.
             My favorite part about the trip was definitely the caves. It was very interesting to see the rocks up close and learn how they formed. Another reason I enjoyed the caves was because the part I read from Tom Sawyer was the chapter when Tom and Becky get lost in the cave. We got to see the spot where Tom and Becky shared the cake, where they found water, and where Injun Joe was spotted.
             The most fun part of the trip was our free time. I loved looking in the little shops and getting an idea of what it would have been like when Mark Twain was living there. There was lots of old fashioned toys and other little trinkets in every shop.
             For next years trip you should spend a little less time in the first museum. A lot of the information found in there were things we had already learned in class.  But all together the trip was fun, informational, and a great experience!
           The research done in class was very important to know when we went on the trip. If you don't learn enough about Mark Twain and his life, before going to Hannibal it won't be fun to see all the things you've heard about. The information we learned in class made me want to learn more about him on the trip, and learning about the people and places in his life made it more fun to see everything in person.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Double Identity

I just finished reading the book Double Identity, by Margret Peterson Haddix. If you liked the Face on the Milk Carton books this one would be great for you. It reminds me of The Face on the Milk Carton, because both of the main characters are having "identity" problems. Both of the girls don't know their whole family history, or who they really are. I really enojoyed this book because, the whole time you were reading it you could make your own predictions. You never knew what was going to happen next, none of my predictions ended up being true. (Big surprise at the end!) There were so many things that could happen! The best part of this book was the ending. Everything finally came together happily, and the main character Bethany finally found out who she really was. In this book Bethany's parent would do anything to protect her. Even if that ment possibly never seeing her again, and continually making up lies.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Stop Motion Animation

         For this project we had to make a short movie out of pictures. To do this we set up our props, or in my group's case food. We took a picture and then moved the prop once. To the side, up, down, etc. After it's moved you take another picture and so on. (move, take picture, move, take picture, over and over.) After you take all the pictures, you and put them into iMovie. It whips through each picture so fast it looks like a video.  In our movie it takes you through each meal of the day, and shows the food tapping onto the plate. We tapped onto the plate or paper and then something would pop onto the screen. From stop motion animation I learned how hard animation must have been before we had all this new technology. It took forever not just to plan our movie but to move each prop just right amount. The best part of our movie was watching the food pop onto the plate. It really look like the meal was coming together like it would in real life. (Without the tapping anyway!) The music played really well with our scenes, it always started and ended in the right spot. The hardest part of the movie was making the pictures all the right lengths in iMovie. The pictures had to flow together so it really looked like you were just watching a normal video. To improve our movie we should've made it longer. The food popped up onto the plate so fast it was hard to tell how much it really changed before another prop popped up after it. The pictures just needed to be lengthened a little bit more in iMovie. People that have a career that deals with SMA, or just regular animation must have lots of patience and time on their hands. It took our class around 2 weeks just to make a 30-1 minute movie. Think of how long it takes to make and hour long movie! - click here to see my movie!