GEEK Schooling: Learning with Star Wars
Do you have a Star Wars fan on your hands? We are HUGE Star Wars fans – all four of us in our household. I don’t know how many times we’ve watched the movies. My husband and I grew up with them on the big screen, bought the VHS tapes, watched them with our children when they came along, and then delightedly watched on the big screen once again when they were re-released. Eventually we bought the new edition on VHS and then DVD. We also went to see the re-releases of the original six films in 3D.
This past Thursday night was a big deal in our household, with the release of The Force Awakens! My daughter and I were involved in a theatrical production of A Christmas Carol so we couldn’t go to the very first viewing, but grabbed the late show with my husband and son. We did manage to put together cosplays for two of us. Here I am as Leia (from The Empire Strikes Back) with my daughter as Rey (from The Force Awakens).
The movie was incredible by the way! We laughed, we cried, and we cheered. It’s a must-see.
We’ve been known to engage in all things Star Wars during a homeschool day. Here are some activities for your fans to start learning with Star Wars – pull them together and you have a unit study!
Lightsaber duelling! Believe me, you can really work up a sweat with a lightsaber battle! If you don’t have lightsabers, buy some foam swords available in almost every dollar store, just take off the “crossguard” (which typically on these swords looks like a circle with a slit in it), and it looks like a lightsaber. OR make your own (see Art, below).
Make a lightsaber. Grab some foam pipe insulation wraps from your local hardware store (or some pool noodles) along with some duct tape in different colours. Wrap the bottom “hilt” part of the saber in the usual silvery-grey colour of duct tape and then wrap the rest round and round in your favourite lightsaber colour. You can also do a search on the internet for other ideas – there are many “how to make a lightsaber” tutorials! You can also learn to draw the animated Clone Wars characters. There are books available at your local bookstore or you can visit StarWars.com to learn to draw characters and make puppets and other crafts, just search for “crafts.”
Play math games on the Star Wars Math CD-Rom. This is an oldie but a goodie, so look for it used. You may also want check out the Star Wars Math Workbooks.
Read some of the many Star Wars novels available – there are versions for young children as well. Do a search for “Star Wars” at your local library. You can also make a language arts course for your child, or download the Star Wars: A Study of the Hero Myth from Live & Learn. It’s a few pages long and provides your high schooler with a rough outline for a ½ credit in English.
Have a little fun with languages – do a search for “Star Wars languages” on the internet and learn all sorts of phrases in Ewokese, Huttese, etc. You can also pick up the book, Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide for even more fun.
Discuss the Science of Star Wars together. Can all those sounds be heard in space in real life? Discuss lasers and gravity. Have your high schooler read the book The Science of Star Wars, written by an astrophysicist.
Study the films from a cinematic perspective. After watching, discuss directing, acting, and special effects. Watch a “making-of” documentary. Challenge your child to create some of their own special effects with a videa camera or smartphone.
Act out a favourite scene from the movies, books, or animated series. Put this together with art and home economics, and you can act it out complete with costumes and props.
Knit Princess Leia buns from Knits for Nerds. Sew an outfit inspired by the Star Wars films or make a full cosplay like me and my daughter did for the Star Wars premiere. Make some Star Wars concoctions in the kitchen. Learn to make a Yoda cake, Wookie cookies, Clone War cupcakes, and more at StarWars.com – just searth for “baking”.
Many of these activities fit beautifully into a birthday party celebration! We made a round paper maché piñata, painted it up like the death star and attacked it with light sabers at one of our birthday parties.
How are you learning with Star Wars in your homeschool? Have you seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
This post originally appeared on the Homeschool Mosaics website and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.