Friday, September 27, 2013

Wrap Up: Lentil

We have just finished another super fun Five in a Row unit study on the book Lentil, by Robert McCloskey.  Lentil is a book that we owned before we began our FIAR journey, so it was familiar, and Robert McCloskey is one of our favorite children's authors.  We always enjoy getting to know a familiar book even better by taking it through Five in a Row.  Here's what we did with Lentil:

Social Studies:
1. Map work and coloring page for the state of Ohio, in the United States.  We found both Ohio and Louisiana, colored both, and discussed how far Lentil lived from us.
2. Patriotism and the United States flag.  In the book, there is a big parade welcoming home Colonel Carter, the town's most important citizen.  They decorate with flags.  We read a library book about our flag and what the colors and symbols on it mean, and made flag collages.  We listened to Wee Sing America while we worked, for some familiarity with America's famous patriotic songs.

Art: We tried our hand at soap whittling, which is not as easy as it seems!  In the story, the antagonist spends his time "whittling and grumbling".  My kids much preferred playing with the soap afterwards than the actual activity of carving it.

1. Acoustics and sound.  We set out to discover why Lentil says that when he plays his harmonica in the bathtub the tone is improved 100%.  We watched the Magic School Bus on sound and bounced a ball on the couch (it didn't bounce much) and then in the bathtub (it bounced a lot).  We decided that sound waves must bounce better in hard places like the tub just like balls did.  Then all of the kids got a harmonica and they put on show after show after show.
really hard to get a picture of a busy kid bouncing a ball!
again with the bouncy blurry kid

2. Taste buds!  Old Sneep (the antagonist) tries to ruin the Colonel's homecoming by sucking on lemons so that the members of the band would pucker up when they looked at him and be unable to play their instruments.  We read the page in our Flip Flap Body Book about taste buds and then tasted some salty, sweet, sour, and bitter foods.

not a fan of the sour lemon!
in disbelief that Mom actually handed over a cup of (bitter) coffee!

Music: Besides playing with our new harmonicas, we explored the instruments in the brass section of the orchestra.  The book talks about several brass instruments, so we listened to that section and read the accompanying pages in The Story of the Orchestra.

In non-FIAR school news, we have a new plan for nature study and a new artist and composer for picture and music study.  Our new artist is John James Audubon, the 19th century naturalist who painted many many bird species.  Our local zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and a park are named for him, so I thought he'd be a good artist to study.  We started with a picture study of a pelican he painted.  The kids were surprisingly enthusiastic about it!

We have been listening to Camille Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals for composer study.  We have a book and CD that includes a poem by Jack Prelutsky for each movement of the piece, along with fantastic illustrations by Mary Grand-Pre, who illustrated the Harry Potter books.  The kids have LOVED this. We've been listening at breakfast most mornings.

Finally, nature study.  We have had the hardest time getting nature study off the ground.  It's something I really want to do, but I have not been consistent with it.  I decided that I just needed to follow someone else's plans and DO IT until it became more comfortable and routine.  So, we jumped in with the first of the 10 "Getting Started" Outdoor Hour Challenges (OHCs) on the Handbook of Nature Study blog.  Here's the first one: We followed her instructions to the letter.  I read the introductory material in the Handbook of Nature Study (well, re-read, since I had read them before), then we went out for a walk around the block with our eyes and ears open, but with no other expectations.  The kids brought in some leaves, seeds, and acorns they were excited about, and I gave them the opportunity to record some of what they saw or found in their nature journals.  The twins and I all made nature journal entries, and Jono put his leaves and magnolia seed pods in the nature basket to save for later.  Overall, it was an enormous success!  We're going to head out on an OHC every week and try to finish those introductory ten before Christmas.  I'm so excited to have a plan!

We had a few bumps in the road, schedule-wise, during the last couple of weeks, and didn't get to quite everything I had planned for Lentil, but we still very much enjoyed it, and we're looking forward to a couple of weeks with Henry the Castaway coming up next!  Thanks for following along! 

No comments: