Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wrap Up: Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear is a unit from Five in a Row, volume 1.  It was one of my absolute favorites!  This book was among some that my sister-in-law bought for my kids for Christmas (I asked for some FIAR titles that neither of our library systems had).  I had planned to row a different book this week, but forgot to get it at the library, and was facing Sunday afternoon planning time with no book. I grabbed this one off the shelf and planned it instead, and I'm SO glad we did!  

On our first day, we read a nonfiction book from the library about bears and tried our hand at drawing one.  I think they turned out really well!  Top row is mine and Charlie's, bottom row is Hazel's and Jono's.  Jono chose to color his bear black with a tan nose and ears like his build-a-bear Albert instead of brown like the bears in our story.  I loved that!  We used these instructions, and I only had to help with the heart-shaped noses for a couple of them.  The rest of the shapes were simple enough for them to do by themselves.  

The second day we spent on geography and the country and culture of Russia.  We found Moscow, St Petersburg, and Minsk on our map (the three cities mentioned in our story).  We read a library book about Russia, and looked some pictures of Russian architecture. We talked about things that were special from Russia like Tchaicovsky's ballets and matryoshka dolls.  We watched The Nutcracker (thank you, Netflix!), watched some Russian dancing on YouTube, and they chose from a coloring activity--either some printed stacking dolls or a coloring sheet of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. 

mine left, Charlie's right, Hazel's are still in progress.
 Our third day we spent at the zoo, with a specific aim to see both kinds of bears that are in our zoo's collection.  Our zoo has Sun bears from southeast Asia, and the north american black bear, who live down here in Louisiana! As usual, the bears looked bored and sleepy.  

Our fourth day was a language arts activity on writing descriptive sentences.  In the book, the two bears are described, "Boris was a heavy-footed brown bear whose heart was soft as butter.  Max--short for Maximovich--was taller than Boris and always seemed quite elegant."  I had the children pick a bear's description and use the same form to describe someone in our family.  I wrote out their sentences and they used them for handwriting practice over the next couple of days.  Their descriptions are hilarious! 

The boys did their handwriting as tracing work.  Hazel did hers as copywork.  She's more confident in the fine motor department. ;)
Our fifth day was an applied math lesson on telling time to the hour.  In the story, Max tells Boris that  his dancing lessons will be "Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Seven o'clock to eight."  We got down the Judy clock and learned to read time to the hour.  We did a lot of practice, with everyone turning the clock to different hours and quizzing one another.  Afterwards, I gave them an optional time-telling worksheet from Kumon's Easy Telling Time.  Two-thirds of them chose to continue their time lesson with some pencil and paper work from the workbook.  Hazel showed additional interest and got an overview of telling time to any multiple of 5 around the clock.  She caught on quickly with only :05 tripping her up.  

Our last day we had a tea party like Max and Boris.  The bears in the story had tea with bread and strawberry preserves.  We had the same, except most of us opted for apple juice in our fancy tea cups instead of tea. Daddy baked us a big loaf of gluten free bread before he left for his business trip especially for the occasion. They were so thrilled to wake up to tea party for breakfast, to use the china teacups and plates, and to invite a "teddy bear" to our party.  Teddy bear in quotes because they came back with 2 cats and a fox.  
digging in
Hazel provided her tea set for the stuffed animals' use.  Kitty got serious about his tea.
Awesome first-thing-in-the-morning hair!
Napkin rings turn us into monsters.
and pirates.
Fox needed a refill.
We enjoyed several go-along books during this row.  They asked me to read The Littlest Matryoshka twice in the same day.  BIG hit.  I loved Renchenka's Eggs. You can never go wrong with Patricia Polacco.  Berlioz the Bear was also super cute.  We love Jan Brett, and this book had a bumblebee sting scene reminiscent of The Story of Ferdinand which the kids though was fun.  Our favorite of the nonfiction books we checked out about Russia was R is for Russia.

 Delightful story, delightful row.  Thanks for reading!


Pheobe Alverson said...

I am looking back through your posts because I'm thinking of adding a bit more structure to our homeschool day. It's a bit more difficult for me since my kids' ages range so much. Your plans are inspiring though! Keep up the good work. And I do love Hazel's morning hair. :D

Erin said...

Ha! Hazel's morning hair is INSANE. I was looking back through some posts from last year and made a mental note to make sure I comb through her hair before I get out the camera this year!