Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wrap Up: Wee Gillis

Our Wee Gillis unit is a wrap!

Wee Gillis is a book by Munro Leaf, from Five in a Row volume 2.  I was excited about this book for two reasons.  One, we Wallaces have some Scottish heritage and two, we really enjoyed our row of Ferdiand, which is also by Munro Leaf.  Here's what we did with Wee Gillis:

Geography: We placed our story disk on Scotland, colored a map of Scotland, and discussed the lowlands and the highlands, as mentioned in the story.

Social Studies: We learned about kilts, tartan, and bagpipes!  I read some from a library book on Scotland and we talked about traditional Scottish dress, kilts, and tartan.  I showed the kids the wool blanket that David got in Scotland that is in the Wallace clan tartan, and then we tried paper weaving a Wallace tartan-like pattern.

the real and the paper Wallace tartans, for comparison, with a goofy face from the 6yo

and bagpipes! We watched several youtube videos of bagpipe players, and then we made our own "bagpipes" following these instructions.  They don't really make "music" but they do illustrate how bagpipes work, and the kids LOVED them.

The kids' Musikgarten class has also been studying the British Isles and I planned this row to coincide with their week in Scotland.  They listened to some music with bagpipes, read a Scottish fairy tale, and sang some related songs, I think? I don't always get clear answers to "What did you do in music class?" It's fun when those things can line up like that, though!

Science: In the story, Wee Gillis' lungs get very, very strong from calling cattle with his lowland relatives and holding his breath while stalking stags with his highland relatives.  We read a library book about our lungs and then tried this lung capacity experiment.  Jono took one picture of Charlie, but you can't see much.

No one was satisfied after their first attempts (marked in black sharpie) and wanted to try again.  Jonathan and Charlie significantly improved their result (in silver, hard to see) on their second try.  I suspect Hazel's lungs held more air than she managed to blow out, too, but she couldn't prove it.  Mama can empty the entire bottle.  Kids were suitably impressed.

Art: I photocopied two illustrations from the book for us to compare.  The two pictures appear at first glance to be nearly identical, but the kids found four things that were different between them and circled them.  They seemed to really enjoy looking for those details.  I'll have to get some similar puzzles for them to work through.

For language Arts we read some lovely poetry! We read the A.A. Milne poem "Halfway Down" and the Robert Burns poem "My Heart is in the Highlands" and discussed them.  We ended up reading most of the rest of the book of poems by A.A. Milne.  He's certainly a favorite.

We watched both the movie of Wee Gillis (from the library) and the Pixar movie Brave, which we hadn't yet seen.  Both were popular, although the kids said that Brave was too scary.  That's been true of every Pixar movie they've seen the first time through, so I wasn't surprised.  I thought it was cute!  I did not show them Braveheart, of course, but we did read the little blurb in our Scotland library book about William Wallace and his campaign for Scottish freedom in the 13th century.  Charlie was particularly interested in that, given his middle and last names.

Overall Wee Gillis was a very enjoyable row, and we just have one more book on our list before Thanksgiving!  We'll be spending some time learning about flight with The Glorious Flight and then do a short geography unit before we head to Virginia to see the grandparents for Thanksgiving.

Thanks for following along!


scott b said...

Hello, where did you find a film for wee gillis? i have made searches online and have only found an american woman singing about it on youtube. I am curious if this is just available in america.

Erin said...

We found this DVD at the library. It has Wee Gillis as a "bonus story" following The Mouse and the Motorcycle.