Just a Few Things Your Child Will Need for Today’s Classes

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for your help with our make-your-own-fireworks project for remote science last week. I heard from a number of you—after you’d extinguished the fires—that you’d appreciate something less intense going forward. I totally understand. It hasn’t been easy to adjust the curriculum to the remote environment, but I’ve been doing what I can. Today, we’re going to go really bare-bones and your child will just need a few items that I’m sure you have around the house—and don’t worry, there are always ways to substitute! Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 450 paper clips (no substitutes!)
  • 100 1-inch paper dots, any color except red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink, brown, white, or black
  • Calculator (new in box—please not the same ones as last week, we are finished with those!)


  • Copy of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the White House (unpublished manuscript—is on display at Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, UK, check website for hours or maybe they can send photos?)
  • Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary (recycled paper only, trying to be good to the planet!)
  • Abridged Oxford English Dictionary (we definitely need both versions—special project coming up!)
  • Spelling words from seven weeks ago (sorry, I can’t resend—but we can do a separate parents-only Zoom about keeping your child’s papers organized if you’re having trouble)
  • 20 sheets of half-lined paper
  • 20 half-sheets of full-lined paper
  • 20 lines, separated from paper


  • 2 pipettes, glass only, washed and sterilized
  • 10 pieces litmus paper
  • 1 Bunsen burner
  • 8 ounces homemade applesauce (for the guinea pig)
  • 1 guinea pig (male only)


  • Wall-sized map of Pangaea
  • 3 members of the community (masked and distanced)
  • Fire truck (full-size)
  • 24 pipe cleaners, invisible
  • 1000 gallons of water (we are making a river)


  • Hrvatsko-engleski rječnik
  • Kasetofon
  • Tri žele krafne
  • Čovjek koji govori hrvatski

And I’m sorry to be sending this so late—I know everyone appreciates advance notice, and I really am trying my best. Looking forward to seeing your kids in ten minutes! ❏

Jeremy Blachman recently resurrected a fictional lawyer he wrote a novel about. 

Photo by Jo Szczepankska


4 Responses

  1. Omg I’m dying. I work at a school. I wanna share this with all of the teachers. This is fantastic.

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