Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Five in a Row-Lentil by Robert McCloskey

We had a great time with Lentil this week! Most of the activities are straight from the manual. The other ideas are from FIAR forum archives and Homeschool Share. I will list our activities day by day:

Social studies & History: We read the story and placed our story disk on Ohio. We did a little worksheet from Homeschool Share about what direction we would have to go to get to Ohio. It was her first introduction to direction. We talked briefly about how the book was written in 1940 and you could tell by the pictures in the books-one room school house, horse and buggy, the girls all wearing dresses. We talked about what schools, stores, cars, and clothes look like now.

Next we looked at all the flags they used to decorate the town and got out our own flag (we say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning). We talked about what the flag looked like and what the stars and stripes meant. I explained what patriotism was and why we should be glad we live in the USA. I had a video from the library about the history of the flag so we watched that. It was a little over her head but she did learn a little from it. We read a few books from the library about patriotic songs and sang a few. Then we looked up some songs on youtube-I love Ray Charles singing “America the Beautiful.” I cried, the girls were bored. Oh well.
Abby wasn’t a very enthusiastic learner during all this. I guess it was a little over her head. I tried to make it simple but if I had it to do over I think I would have focused more on the difference in the 1940s and now. I had a lot of ideas on that after the day was over. Oh well.

We also got out our new harmonicas and watched a few youtube videos of harmonica players. Macy really liked listening to the girls play them. Those harmonicas entertained us all week!

Language arts: We read the book again and talked about the elements of a good story. She wrote a story using those elements (we wrote it piece by piece-she couldn’t remember all those elements and neither could I). She loves to write stories so this was right up her ally!

She also asked me about a few words in the book-expert, citizen, and tone. I don’t know why I didn’t think to teach her some of the vocabulary in this book! I explained them to her and tried to use the words the rest of the week.
We made lentil stew (from the FIAR forum) and lemon bars (from the FIAR cookbook) for supper that night. Both were really good. Abby helped me peel carrots with our new veggie peeler. She did a great job-she will have to help me more often with that! She and Lyla both helped with the crust for the lemon bars. I had borrowed “The Andy Griffith Show” from the library and we watched a few episodes after supper. We talked about how life in Mayberry was probably a lot like Alto (even though Andy Griffith was 1960s).

Art: We talked about what the artist used to draw the pictures (charcoal) and how he used shading to make the characters look more realistic. We read the book again and looked carefully at all the pictures. She wanted to play I Spy with the pictures-there are a lot of details in this book. We noticed the writing on the buildings and found the letters we had been learning in Abeka K5 phonics.

Next I had her draw a picture to illustrate the story she wrote the day before using charcoal. She got so frustrated with it! It smeared and smudged and was just a mess. I didn’t realize she was such a perfectionist with her artwork! We put up the charcoal and used a pencil. I tried to spin a lesson on it-Robert McCloskey must have had to practice really hard with charcoal to become such an expert at it, just like Lentil and his harmonica.

We also got out our train set and she pretended that Colonel Carter was on board! We were going to set up the town of Alto but Godzilla (aka Macy) interfered with the building project, lol.

When we read the book today Abby commented that it was really good that Lentil couldn’t pucker since he ended up saving the celebration. I used it as an opportunity to incorporate the bible supplement-everyone has special gifts and talents and we aren’t all the same. I have had a hard time figuring out where to work in the bible portion so Abby really helped me out!

Applied math: We learned about fractions. I showed her what they were by using a sheet of paper that we cut in half, then in fourths. We also divided our snack (an apple) and a Melissa and Doug velcro pizza set. I also showed her that 4 quarters make a dollar. She looked amazed that 4 quarters is the same as $1 and declared that I am the smartest mom ever!

Science! Our experiment was on taste buds. I set up 4 tastes: salty, sour, bitter, and sweet. We blindfolded ourselves and tasted each thing then told what taste it was. We drew a map of our tongues and colored the different areas. We talked about which taste we liked best (sweet) and which we liked least (bitter). We read a little about taste buds in our Flip Flap Science Book from Usborne. Then we made lemon slushies (from FIAR forum).

At lunch, we picked up daddy and went to the library which is on Main Street of our small town. Our Main Street is historical so we took a walk up and down the street and talked about what it must have been like for Lentil to walk down Main Street practicing his harmonica. I had printed off some old pictures of our Main Street (probably 50s era) and we looked at those and talked about how our Main Street had a hardware store and a drug store, just like in Alto. We also have a train depot but I forgot to drive by it on our way home. Oh well. I took a funny picture of Abby sitting on a bench pretending to be Old Sneep! In front of our courthouse is a Civil War monument so we stopped and looked at that. She was excited that we had a monument just like Lentil. We also have a bell and the plaque used the word citizen over and over. Yea for carryover! We had a lot of fun!

Our 3 R’s went really well too. I solved our too much tv problem but created a new one! On Saturday we reorganized their bedroom and got some toys out of storage. Now they are having so much fun playing in their bedroom that I have a hard time getting her to come to the table for school work!

For the fine motor problem, I found some worksheets online with simple shapes for her to cut out. We do one every other day or so.

Next week we will be “rowing” Papa Piccolo. It’s off to Italy!

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