Learning During A Pandemic: A Challenge-A-Day

By Carol Bier

This blog is updated daily - generally evening Pacific time

Week 50!

Day 1. Honoring and congratulating one grandchild who passed their driving test today, there is no further challenge. But if you'd like, you can send me one at arsperspectiva@gmail.com.

Day 2. A car - Today's challenge is to name every moving part of a car you can think of, and identify how it moves. [Hint: Start with the largest parts, like doors and hood, identifying how they move, and then move down progressively from there].

Day 3. Truths - How many different kinds of truth can you think of? How are they different from one another? Why is it important in the context of a court or senate hearing to take an oath? Is truth objective? Or subjective? Consider writing an essay or a poem about truth.

Day 4. Numbers - Think of all the ways that numbers impact your life. Make a list. Are there more that should? Or some that shouldn't? What changes can you make to "improve the numbers"?

Day 5. Perseverance - Perseverance is the name of the NASA rover that landed on Mars last week. Why do you think it is called Perseverance? Watch the video of its landing at nasa.gov. Why is there a shadow visible? How long is a Mars-day? How long is an earth-day? Explore NASA's website and consider the ways in which Mars is different from Earth. And think about what ways they are similar.

Mars Perseverance Images (NASA)

Mars Perseverance Landing (NASA)

Weekend challenge: Axis - An axis is a visible or implied line along which or around which something moves or turns. Take a walk through your neighborhood and think about axes. See how many you can find.

Additional weekend challenge: Carpets - Rearranging the letters of the word 'carpets' how many words can you create? Take any two of them (or more) and write a poem.

Week 49!

Day 1. Washington's Farewell Address (1796) - Read the transcript of President George Washington's Farewell address (1796). Who was his audience (i.e. who did he write this for?) How old was he when he wrote this? How long had he served as President by that time? Who helped him write this address? The language is complicated, and the sentences are exceptionally long by today's standards. Read a few paragraphs aloud, and then see if you can write each paragraph you select in language that is more pertinent to our times. What are the key takaways, and why are they important?

Transcript of President George Washington's Farewell Address (1796)

Day 2. Leadership - First, enumerate all of the qualities you expect to see in a great leader. Then, identify who you might point to today as a great leader. Who in the past? Now, if you were me, you would probably first list a few great leaders, then identify the qualities that seem to make them great. That's not a bad approach to today's challenge.

Day 3. Eat the rainbow - Do you know the expression "Eat the Rainbow"? It is designed to ensure that you get all of vitamins and minerals your body needs on a daily basis to remain healthy. See if you can name a vegetable for every color of the rainbow. What about a fruit for every color? How many colors do you eat every day? What changes can you make to improve your intake of vitamins and minerals from the food you eat?

Day 4. Luminescence - What does "luminescence" mean? Look it up. Then list everything you can think of that exhibits the quality of luminescence.

Day 5. Combatting Covid-19 - What can you do to help combat Covid-19? The options are expanding from stay safe and practise social distancing and good hygiene, to getting vaccinated, seeking treatment, participating in research trials, and giving plasma if you've had the virus. Read the guidelines provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, and see what you can do to learn more, protect yourself, and help others.

Combat Covid-19 (https://combatcovid.hhs.gov)

Weekend challenge: What's on your mind? Today's challenge is asking you to share with me what's on your mind? Send your thoughts to arsperspectiva@gmail.com

Additional weekend challenge: Art project - Consider the meaning of "progression." Let us start by saying "progression is a process of development or movement" from what to what? You fill in the blank. And develop a drawing, collage, dance, musical composition or other art project that expresses a progression.

These are challenges I endeavor to write daily for my grandchildren (14, 16, 17), so geared to middle/high school age. The questions may have relevance beyond, and I've shared them as well with neighbors, friends, and relatives, encouraging them to be distributed to those who may find them challenging, engaging, and beneficial during these perilous times. I know some of the questions have been adapted for a 4-year old in Chicago, for a fifth-grade class in Oakland CA, working online, and for a college class in New Haven, as well as for several children who are being home-schooled during this hiatus of normalcy. Many adults enjoy them as well! Some of the challenges will work to generate dinner table conversations, too! We are all in this together!

Although numbered by week/day, the challenges may be used in no particular order (except those for which there is a sequential question). Each one is designed to take 1-2 hours; collectively, they are intended to be interdisciplinary, and to stimulate creative and critical thinking. Some require Internet research, or use of iPhone/Android or iPad. Kids may work together or separately, and they may call an adult or other friend for clarification or to discuss search strategies. Hints might be offered as a second step.

For weeks 1-5, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/04/24/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 6-7, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/04/29/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 8-9, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/05/06/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 10-12, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/06/03/learning-during-a-pandemic-challenge-a-day

For weeks 13-19, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/07/07/learning-during-a-pandemic-challenge-a-day

For weeks 20-25, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/08/25/learning-during-a-pandemic-challenge-a-day

For weeks 26-29, see https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/09/14/learning-during-a-pandemic-challenge-a-day

For weeks 30-33, https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/10/14/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 34-38, https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/11/09/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 39-43, https://www.leonardo.info/blog/2020/12/18/learning-during-a-pandemic-a-challenge-a-day

For weeks 44-48, 

 

Thoughts?    Comments?    Questions?   Suggestions?   Email arsperspectiva@gmail.com

Berkeley, CA © Carol Bier, 2021

 Please circulate to whoever might benefit. Stay healthy!