And what was pretty good about it (the best being that everything is running smoothly, by the grace of God, and the men are coming up reasonably healthy and reuniting with their families) is that it is a current events story i feel comfortable teaching my soon to be 8 year old about! Hooray!
Up until now, i've been pretty mum about the whole business. I remember the day in '86 when someone at our school had the great idea to have us all watch the Challenger lift off because it carried the first teacher in space. And there us 5th graders sat with a group of 2nd graders to watch the horrifying events of the morning, while our teachers and principal shuttled in and out of the room dealing with their own shock, and having to contain ours, while coming up with a game plan. So you can say i've been a little antsy to say anything about the Chilean miners...until today!
But that's just what we did....as soon as our feet hit the floor this morning!
We talked of the geography and methods of mining. We talked of the science of living underground--trapped a mile below for 17 days with little food or light. We covered math in conversions from days to months and metres to feet to miles. We touched on everything else from plate techonics to modern technology. We talked about life vs. time: miners celebrating birthdays, babies being born, men who had just started working a few months ago with a man who was going to retire in a few months. We discussed the strength these men have to possess to stay alive for 69 days underground. We discussed world relations of Chile and Bolivia having to put aside differences now because the miners include a Bolivian citizen; and how a number of US companies and NASA helped with donations of materials so that the Chilean government could design a plan that would be so successful! We delighted in their superstitious belief about the number 33: there were 33 of them, it took 33 days for the rescue shaft to be completed, and they were rescued on 10/13/10 (add them up, you get 33)--they marvel at the fact that their 33's match up to the number of years that Jesus was alive on this earth. We talked of the power of hope. Of faith. Of determination. And of courage.
And then, we went downstairs for an hour and watched 2 rescues. Cookie monster's hooked now. I can't get her to come back up and eat breakfast so we can start school. And once she heard the chanting "Chi chi chi, le le le. Los Mineros de Chile," she couldn't stop singing it.
We've found a great live feed website to share called Breakingnews.com. It is filtered to receive only the news on the miners, and MSNBC links video of important developments very quickly. They even have a video of the ride up the rescue shaft with the rescue of Edison Pena. The BBC has a great website that is updated as well with international feed. I find their feed for mobile devices is best...as in if you are in a place that you can't watch video feed but you will be able to read updates.
I know we'll be glued all day!!