Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wrap Up: Henry the Castaway

We spent the first two weeks of October on the Five in a Row unit Henry the Castaway, from volume three.  This was a book that neither of my available library systems had, so it's one I put on my kids' Christmas wish lists last year and they got from my brother and sister-in-law.  Score one for homeschool Christmas gifts!  It's an adorable story and a super fun "row".  Here's how we did it:

Social Studies:
In the story, Henry and his dog Angus set out to explore the "uncharted seas".  They come to a river that Henry says "must be the Orinoco River... (which) goes through very wild and dangerous territory."  We found the actual location of the Orinoco River which runs through Venezuela to the Atlantic Ocean  and placed our story disc on it.  The kids colored a map of Venezuela and located the Orinoco River.  We checked some books about Venezuela and South America out of the library, but the kids have mostly ignored them.  We also watched this short video clip about the river, the local plants and animals, and the people groups who live nearby.

We did a second social studies day on Columbus and (general) explorers.  In the story, Henry finds some cats on the island they explore and names them Mrs. Friday (which is an allusion to Robinson Crusoe? I've never read it.), Columbus, and Elizabeth.  He also talks about "exploring the uncharted seas".  We read kids' library book about explorers and discussed what it might have been like to take off in a boat and really not know (exactly) where the ocean you were sailing would go.  While I read, they colored a picture of Columbus.

For geography, we read a book called Mapping Penny's World which was a fantastic introduction to map reading.

We read a library book called Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean.  Very cute story and illustrated how streams flow into larger rivers which flow into the ocean, etc. We also started reading the Caldecott Honor book Paddle-to-the-Sea, which is about a boy who carves a toy canoe and sets it to float out on the melting spring snow from his home in Canada above Lake Superior with the hopes that the boat would float through the Great Lakes and out the St Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.  We aren't finished with this book yet, but it's been a big hit so far!

We did the lesson from the manual about tallying using the animals in one illustration of Henry for counting.  My kids were not super interested in this, so I'm not sure it stuck. We'll try again.

We looked up Scottish Terriers (like Angus) in a dog breed book and that led to discussing different kinds of dogs that the different people we know own.

We found this adorable go-along book about cataways--Castaway Cats.

We spent some time on survival skills and talked about what Henry did right when he was on his adventure with Angus and got stuck on an island with no way to get home.  We read a library book called Lost in the Woods and discussed it.  I'm pretty sure my kids think they're experts at building a shelter and killing wild game, and I'm not remotely confident they paid attention to the admonition to STAY IN ONE PLACE, so yeah... let's just hope they never get lost.  They'd be in trouble.

We also built popsicle stick rafts (since we couldn't really build canoes like Henry had) to float in the water on our own Exploring Adventure.
This is how explorers dress! 
And then... we set off like Henry to see if we could explore the uncharted seas.  For us, the uncharted seas were simply the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.  We went to Fontainbleau State Park to hike nature trails and splash in the "beach" on the shore of the lake.
Setting off down the nature trail.
Ahh, nature.  Either a large worm or a small snake.  I wasn't sure. 
"Splash" turned out to mean totally swim in your clothes regardless of the fact that this was one of the first mornings we had temperatures in the low 70s.  I have no clue why there weren't shivering!  Good thing I packed a dry set of clothes for everyone just in case!  

my view
My sandy one.  This kid LOVES the beach. 
trying to blow his raft along

We brought home a TON of these little brown and white shells.  
A few other fun shots from the week:
Jono doodled this while I read Henry one day.  If you're familiar with the story, I'm sure you'll recognize parts! 
Jono built some towers with sums of seven using cuisenaire rods.  He's a big fan of towers. 
The twins started All About Spelling this week and really enjoy it so far!
It was a fantastic adventure and a wonderful row.  Thanks for following along!

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