May 11, 2009

Glowworm caves in a box.

I work part-time as a teacher-aide at a local primary school. A day by day , ever changing kind of job , very enjoyable , lots of small rewards. Never dull! The topic in class at the moment is native animals and environment , with glowworms as the main example. So I thought back to the times when I had visited the Waitomo Caves , how fairytale they are. Lots of the children haven't been there yet , so I suddenly got inspiration to get them there . Kind of.
I made an old fashioned Diorama out of a shoebox.  With 2 peepholes. Here it is without the lid on.    
And now with the lid on. The lid has a piece of purple cellophane glued over a "skylight"window. This way it looks dark , like in the caves , but you can still see something. When you cover that up too and your eyes adjust to the darkness , you will see little pinpoints of lights; the glowworms. My eldest daughter has glow-in -the-dark nailpolish.   I couldn't make a picture of that however , sorry.
Here she is demonstrating how you use the diorama .   Everyone loved it and quite a few people remembered making them , when they were a child. I made quite a few , Mum used to help. Often in the Autumn we would collect toadstools and acorns and mosses and we would put those in a seasonal diorama (or kijkdoos=lookingbox) with a few plastic animals. I used to have a little red riding hood and wolf as well .Then I would take it to our neighbours and they would pay 5 cents or a lolly for seeing the show. 
Lots of teachers wanted to have a look. I should have charged them , lol!
And it's so simple. Aluminium foil on the bottom , then purple cellophane for the water. 4 layers of theatrical rock walls from cardboard and paint. Many spots of that nail polish. I added a cut-out picture of a little boat. and sewed on lots of threads onto the stalagtites , then put glue on them and dipped them into tiny glass beads  , which are used for stamping and scrap booking decoration. A bit fiddly , but those threads are supposed to be the sticky silk from the glowworms. In real life they catch insects with them and gobble them up. 
O.k. it's not to scale , but the kids just loved it and had never seen anything like it. I did have to explain that there were no real life glowworms in the box .  Some immediately figured out, that it wouldn't be too hard to make one of their own with other things in it.  Brilliant. I hope they will! 

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