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Explorers: Captain Scott and Maria Merian

Today we learned about some brave explorers. Maria Merian came from Germany, she was born in 1647. Our teacher Rachel dressed up in old fashioned clothes and pretended to be Maria. When Maria was little she studied the ‘Summer birds”. This is what they called butterflies. People thought they were evil and came from under the ground. Maria discovered that this wasn’t true when she was very young. She studied the caterpillars and took careful notes and made beautiful drawings. She had to do this in secret so people wouldn’t think she was a witch. When she was 52 she had her first chance to travel and she went to Suriname. This was a very brave thing to do as women weren’t expected to do this kind of thing in those days. We looked at a map from those days, it wasn’t finished because we hadn’t finished exploring the world yet. It took three months to cross the Atlantic Ocean ( We practised the names of the five oceans!). Local Indian tribes helped her to find the amazing insects and reptiles to draw. The Dutch treated them like slaves and Maria didn’t like that. She stayed for nearly two years but she had to go back when she got malaria. The Russian tzar loved her work and bought lots of her pictures. Thanks to Maria, people learned about life cycles, metamorphosis. It is a shame that not many people know about her. We practised drawing like Maria with watercolours. We had to draw what we really saw. Our pictures our great because we took our time.
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We have a new Explorer Topic Area where we can read about countries and animals, make animals and pretend to be explorers. We can go in there when we have finished our work.
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After play we went to Ruth’s class. There we learned about captain Scott who explored Antarctica.

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