In the end it was surprisingly painless, because Littleboy 1, having moaned about it making it, suddenly decided 10 minutes into the project that he absolutely loved it and launched into it with his boundless enthusiasm. At the same time his brother, feeling left out, decided that he was going to make his own diorama - not for a school project, just because he wanted to. So they both spent a morning cutting out coloured paper and writing captions on stickers.
Thanks to those who commented on the former post for confirming that UK schools, indeed, also ask for dioramas. However, I wonder if this may be an American import (like "show and tell", "playdate" and various other kiddie terms that have crept across the pond).
"A diorama is a rite of passage for every American schoolkid," confirmed my friend K, a former teacher, who came round the other day and admired the shoeboxes and their contents. At some point, she said, every child is asked to make one, and as they get older they are required to be more and more complicated and impressive. (I'm glad Littleboy 2 got his moment, then, before we leave - he took it school and showed it to his teacher, who reportedly said "Wow!")
I must admit, I thought Littleboy 1's sea turtle diorama was pretty good.....until I was in his classroom this morning and caught sight of some other children's efforts. One had modelled animals out of plasticine, one had included real sand (why didn't I think of that?) and someone else had typed in the captions on a computer and printed them out, including the Latin name of his sea creature....oh, wait, maybe that was his Mum.
Clearly, in New York dioramas are a competitive sport.
|Sea turtle, by Littleboy 1. (The pink blobs are jellyfish)|
|Tigers by Littleboy 2. Done just for fun.|