Monday, March 18, 2013

Wrap Up: the Tale of Peter Rabbit

Last week we rowed the Five in a Row title The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  Like many of the timeless classics included in FIAR, this was one we owned before we started the program and had read many times.  It's a favorite, though, so I knew we'd enjoy a week of more detailed study.  

For social studies, we colored the flag of the United Kingdom.  This was our 3rd unit set in England (the summer olympics and Mr Gumpy's Motorcar were the other two), but we had never done the flag. We talked about English gardens, and discussed the reasons why mamas might have rules for their kids.  They all thought it was horrible that Peter would blatantly disobey his mother and go to the garden since his father was put into a pie there (!) but had a harder time generalizing that to this mama's rules about not acting like an idiot on the trampoline.  Go figure.  

For science, we germinated some lima bean seeds in clear plastic cups.  The kids had such fun watching them change and grow.  We followed instructions from a blog post I read, and it worked well.  They've been in the school room window, and most every morning there has been a shout from the first kid to wander in there, "EVERYBODY, come see the BEANS!!"  I didn't take pictures of the beginning, but here they are as of this morning--in desperate need of transplanting if we want them to keep growing! Maybe we'll do that this afternoon.  

We went off-manual for our applied math lesson with this unit.  I printed the "Where's the Trowel" game from the Homeschool Creations Preschool Garden Pack.  It was a great game for working on place value and counting inside of 20.  My kids still struggle with 13-19, so it was fun and great practice! 

For art, we looked at all of Mrs. Potter's lovely watercolor throughout our Beatrix Potter treasury (includes Peter Rabbit, plus many of her other wonderful stories).  Then we got out our watercolors and painted a picture of Peter in Mr McGregor's garden.  The kids were cracking me up throughout this whole activity.  SO serious!

For language arts, we reviewed onomatopoeia.  The kids remembered the term from Mr. Gumpy's Motorcar, and had no trouble identifying the "scriiiiiitch, scratch" of Mr. McGregor's hoe and the "lippity lippity" of Peter's walk as such.

We also had a delightful conversation about animal fantasy stories.  We talked about books that use animals who act like people, wear clothes, cook dinner, etc, which they think is soooooo silly.  Then I asked them to each go choose another animal fantasy story from our bookshelf to read before rest time that day.  They had no trouble there, either!  Jonathan chose a Paddington Bear book that David brought us from his last trip to London for work.  It even fit the England theme!  Charlie, of course, lost no time finding his all-time favorite book Richard Scarry's What do People do all Day?  I can't remember what Hazel chose that day, but she's been pointing out every animal fantasy story we've read since, and it turns out we read a lot of them!

And finally, we read several children's library books on gardening and started planning our first every backyard garden.  So far, all we have accomplished is watching Daddy build our square foot garden box.  The plan is to get soil into our box and plants in the ground in the next week.  I'll keep you posted!

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