Rose and I are trying out Five in a Row. For our first “row” I chose Lentil , possibly so I would have an excuse to make lemonade:). I made a plan ahead of time, but I kept it simple with just some discussion and one simple activity per day. We took two weeks to row this book – doing FIAR every other day or so. We are also using Sonlight Core B, this is just a fun supplement.
- Found both Ohio and our own state on our large U.S. map. She was excited to see that it isn’t all that far.
- Traced the route we would take to get to Ohio, and discussed how to spell Ohio: There’s a “hi” in the middle!
- Discussed having a gift and how she is unique.
- Briefly discussed jealousy and why Old Sneep is so grouchy.
- Made a paper town of Alto. To do this, I searched for Victorian clip-art images of grocery shops, pharmacies, libraries, and other buildings mentioned in the book. I printed out several images for her to color and she set up a street scene. She enjoyed doing this so much that we added a second page to lengthen the road.
- Discussed the flag – there are lots shown in the book! We hung up our flag and she went out to count the stars and stripes.
- Discussed the medium that McCloskey used – she made a pretty good guess (pencil), but it’s actually charcoal.
- Tried drawing with charcoal on a piece of paper – she was surprised at how easy it is to draw with. We got a box of charcoal sticks from Rainbow Resource Center years ago and I was happy to put them to some use. She drew a picture of Colonel Carter’s house, complete with lightning rods and gates. I sprayed the whole picture over lightly with hair spray, which I had heard should keep it from smudging, and it did seem to work.
- Discussed how the pictures in the book help tell the story (like the animals running away when Lentil tries to whistle).
- Tried out a harmonica. She professed that it was “easy” to play and wasn’t much interested in actually learning to play it properly, so we didn’t get into that.
- Cut a banana into halves and quarters and discussed fractions. She continued to cut the banana into smaller and smaller pieces until I lost track of what fraction she was cutting, then she ate it.
- Discussed musical notes very briefly.
- Explored our taste buds. Christopher had a taste bud experiment to do for his science, so I had them work together. They prepared four little dishes of things to try: lemon peel for bitter, lemon slices for sour, white sugar for sweet, and salt for salty.
Using a tongue diagram from Rose’s Flip Flap Body Book, they placed each sample first on the spot where they should taste that flavor most strongly, then on a different part of their tongue. I tried this too and was pretty surprised at the results. The sugar was definitely sweetest on the tip of the tongue, while the bitterness of the lemon peel wasn’t at all pronounced until it was moved to the back of the tongue.
- Whittled soap. Old Sneep whittles while he sits on the park bench, so we tried whittling too, except we used Ivory soap. All of the kids wanted to try this and things got pretty messy, but they really enjoyed this. We used this tutorial. They ended up with a turtle, two fishes, and a boat. Rose got a bit frustrated at times, but the other kids found it quite easy once they got the hang of it.
- Made a lemon-themed dinner. We saved this for the weekend so we would have more time. We had lemon-grilled chicken, lemon green beans, rice pilaf, and lemon bars for dessert. We also made lemonade for the first time, using this recipe and it was so good! Rose helped with the lemon squeezing but lost interest halfway through the lemon bar making. We found the lemon bar recipe in our FIAR cookbook.
I think our trial row was a success! Next she wants to do A Pair of Red Clogs, so I am planning that.