Wednesday, December 31, 2008

King Kong Needed a Crane

"Look mommy George is on the crane". I look over to see Shnook's Curious George driving the new crane he got for Christmas. Then George was swatting at something as he was on top of the crane.
T- "Its King Kong"
Kids- "who is King Kong?"
Aah the question that sparked a thousand lessons. T quickly finds a clip on youtube of the 1976 (2005 way to realistic and scary) rendition of King Kong where the huge beast is atop the Empire State building swatting down airplanes.
We watched the clip twice, all the while I was fielding questions left and right. "How did he get up there?" Why is he holding that lady?" "Why are they trying to hurt him?" I answered as much as I could which of course led to more questions. What island? Where is it? Was it the island of Atlantis?" Why did they bring him to New York? Of which I answered "to put him in a show so they could make money." Then a great question came.
Shmeep- "Why are bad guys always trying to get money?"
Unfortunately we did not stay on that question long because they began to act out the scene.
George was on top of the crane swatting down planes.
Shmeep- King Kong should have climbed a crane. He could have jumped onto the ball part and the string would have come down slowly so he wouldn't have gotten hurt. The building of New York is never done, so there are always lots of cranes around.
K- Try it out with George. If George hangs from the ball what happens?
The boys try it out and sure enough the crane slowly gave way under the pressure of their pulling.
T- we should do a lesson on King Kong
The boys and I swing into grear. They decide they want to create their own version of King Kong where he doesn't die in the end. I ask what they will need to know, what supplies they will use, and I had them come up with a plan for carrying out their production.
We watched several more clips and compared the 1933, 1976, and 2005 versions of the ending. We discussed special effects and how far things have come. We watched again and discussed the changing landscape of NYC, and lastly we discussed the changing fashion.
Next we got down the logistics. How tall is the Empire State building? How tall was King Kong? How many planes were attacking him and how many did he knock down. I showed Shmeep how to do conversions so we could try and get the scale right for our model. Turns out we could not do it to scale given our materials, so we just set a goal height for our building.
We found a book that had a picture of the Empire State building and the boys went to work building the first part of our set.
Shnook noted that in the movie you don't see hands controlling King Kong. He suggested we turn our characters into marionettes so that our hands don't show. (Told you he was clever)
Currently we are still in production stay tuned for the finished product :)

1 comment:

  1.!!!...i remember making marionettes!!!...oh the joys of younger life...this was great...i really admire your ability to turn any situation into a learning opportunity...