Yesterday was our literature co-op. This month, we read The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
As a go-along, we went to the University of Michigan's Burton Tower. We went up to the observation deck to watch and listen to Steven Ball perform on the carillon. I think it was one of the best field trips we've ever done.
Mr. Ball did an exceptional job of interacting with the group and explaining things to the kids. He spoke not only about the carillon, which was very interesting, but also touched on clocks and automata, which were a direct tie-in with the story. And this with no advance notice about the story from us. I was terribly impressed.
He told us about the Peregrine Falcons living at the tower. He showed us the practice instruments and allowed the kids to try them. He even explained some things about timekeeping and trains, as well. He kept us engaged, no matter the topic.
We had cold, rainy (with hail) weather yesterday and once I realized I had left my camera in the car, I didn't want to return for it. Although it would have been nice to share pictures here, let me encourage anyone who finds themselves in Ann Arbor at lunch time to take the time to go up in the tower and watch Mr. Ball perform. It's definitely worth your time.