Last year I did quite a few Five in A Row units with my daughters. I’ve had a couple emails asking if I’ve done any more since the last few I blogged about. The truth is we did but it was before I started purposely photo-blogging. I don’t have as many pictures as some of the other books we rowed but I’ll put a few up now and try and recall all that we did.
Last November we rowed Lentil by Robert McCloskey. For geography we went a little deeper in detail about our 50 states and, in particular, Ohio, the setting of Lentil. The Scrambled States of America is a fun book to use to introduce the names of some of the states to your child. From there we went on to discuss maps and then drew the streets from Lentil’s hometown in our driveway with chalk. We further expanded on that by starting another map of our own hometown complete with recognizable landmarks and favorite stores and parks. We used blocks to build buildings and used wooden cars to drive on the streets.
For language arts we picked patriotism as our vocabulary word since that is so prevalent a theme in the book. We added the word patriotism to our word box. (You can see a picture of our word boxes at the end of my post on Ping.) Since Mira already knew the Pledge of Allegiance we took the time to go line by line and explain the significance behind it. The book, I Pledge Allegiance, was a great addition to this lesson. We discussed the meaning of the stars and stripes on the flag and jammed out to John Philip Sousa. I picked up WeeSing America from the library and boy- it made our car rides and bath-time really enertaining.
For art we pulled out the charcoals again and discussed the differences and similarities between this illustrators’ images and those of Bemelmans’ Madeline. We discussed how an illustrator can add depth to the book by adding images not necessarily described in the pages. For example in the scene where Lentil is attempting to whistle “but only strange sounds came out.” Even though the author didn’t write about the dogs and cats running from him, the illustrator added to the scene by drawing the animals fleeing from him. I asked Mira to add to the scene and she came up with drawing a bystander holding his ears and grimacing at the sounds.
We did a small bit on architecture and compared the buildings in both books with those in our area. This was fun as the lesson naturally spilled over into our car rides when we would point out interesting or exotic looking buildings.
The girls also got to delve into the art of whittling by carving their own sculptures out of a bar of soap using plastic knives.
For those that haven’t read Lentil, there is a scene where a cantankerous old man is sucking on a lemon which made everyone around pucker their lips. We used this opportunity to learn about taste buds. I happened to stumble upon a great short video starring Nigel Marven. My daughter LOVES Nigel Marven so this was one of those awesome home schooling moments where everything tied in so nicely together. After watching this video and reading a few library books on the sense of taste we performed our own experiment.
For math we stuck to the lemon-theme and introduced the concepts of whole and halves. We followed up this brief lesson by making some yummy lemonade.
I pulled out the music board I had made awhile back and tied it into our math lesson by briefly going over whole, half, and quarter notes.
***We rowed a few other FIAR books and I will search for any relevant photos and do a blog on them sometime in the near future. I hope. (But I’m not making any promises.)