Sometime in the middle of last week, we finished a row on Mirette on the High Wire from Five in a Row, volume two. Such a wonderful story on courage and determination! We loved it!
For each of our FIAR subjects, we did the following:
Social Studies/Geography: We reviewed Paris and France. We had read two other books with FIAR that took us to Paris and France (Madeline and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World), so the location was familiar. We made French flags out of construction paper, and then spent some time watching circus and high wire walking acts on youtube.
Language Arts: We discussed that Emily Arnold McCully had won the Caldecott Medal for the most outstanding picture book in the year that Mirette was published. We talked about what made outstanding picture books, and then pulled from our shelves all the other books we had that were Caldecott winners or honor books. We have a lot! We took some time to read through and enjoy some of those books.
Applied Math: We went to the library and checked out this wonderful book, also about a high wire walker.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is about a French high wire walker who illegally strung a wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the 1970s and walked back and forth between them. There is a documentary on Netflix about him, as well, if you're interested, but it's not entirely appropriate for children. I enjoyed it! Our math lesson was about the shortest distance between two points being a straight line. I drew a picture of the two sky scrapers on a sheet of paper (VERY rough sketch) and asked the kids if one of them worked on the top floor of one building and other worked on the top floor of the other building, what you would have to do to go visit one another. We drew lines going down the elevator, across the street, and up the elevator on the other side. Then we drew a line across from one building to the other, the way the wire-walker did it. MUCH shorter! Fun way to demonstrate that mathematical concept, I thought, and entirely my husband's idea. Go Dad!
Science: We talked about our senses, and read a library book about how our body uses our brains, our ears, and our muscles to help us keep our balance. I set up a little cinder block and 2x4 balance beam and we tried walking forward, backward, sideways, stepping over some bean bags as we walked the length, walking with a bean bag on our heads, etc. The kids were MUCH better at this than I was. Their balance is actually quite remarkable!
We enjoyed several go-along books this week about the circus. There are also a few sequels about Mirette by the same author. Our library had Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagara Falls, so we read that one as well.
We are only rowing one more book this year before we take a summer break from Five in a Row! We plan to continue with some school stuff through the summer, especially phonics/reading, but this mama would like a planning break, so FIAR will be shelved until sometime in August or September. I'll post one more wrap up of our unit on Another Celebrated Dancing Bear when we finish it, and then you can probably expect the blog to be pretty quiet for a few months. Thanks for following along!