Continuing to catch up on the latest Five in a Row adventures at our house…here is our recent row of Peter Rabbit….this is such a classic story and I was happy to be able to share it again with Rose. I have always gotten a kick out of Beatrix Potter’s gentle humor and never tire of reading her, so this was great fun for both of us. We have a large volume of Beatrix Potter tales, so I chose to use that, rather than a single copy of the book.
Here’s what we did!
- We discussed trust in relationships ~ specifically the relationship between Peter and his mother where sadly, not much trust is going on!
- We discussed what made Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail “good little bunnies” and how Peter was different. We also discussed the rules Mrs. Rabbit had set for her children (staying out of Mr. Mc Gregor’s garden) and what her reasons were for doing so.
- We found England on our globe and looked for the details in the story that are especially English, with the help of our FIAR manual.
- We reviewed onomatopoeia – Mr. McGregor’s hoe scritch-scratches in the dirt.
- As suggested in the manual, we re-read the passage about the white cat watching the goldfish ~ because it contains excellent descriptive language!
- We reviewed the vocabulary words from the manual.
- I shared the notes on naturalists in the FIAR manual with Rose – we learned a lot about how Beatrix Potter got so good at drawing animals ~ she spent a lot of time observing them and actually cared for many of the animals she drew in her stories. She really knew her subjects!
- As a go-along we read The Country Artist: A Story About Beatrix Potter ~ I would recommend this for kids around Rose’s age (8) or older, due to the level of the text. We read it over a week and enjoyed it. But some parts of it were a bit sad, since Beatrix lived quite a lonely life as a child. It was wonderful to see how she made her dreams a reality, though.
- We briefly discussed the medium used in the illustrations (watercolor).
- As suggested in the manual, we discussed what “days to maturity” means for seeds. Then, she made a little pencil drawing of vegetables. I also defined “fortnight” for her.
- I had her make a list of everything Mr. McGregor grew in his garden, then we looked through the text and illustrations for anything we missed ~ he grew an impressive variety!
- We briefly talked about fear, and what happens when Peter becomes overwhelmed by it ~ he has trouble thinking and focusing on what to do next. The manual links this to another FIAR story that discusses fear, Storm in the Night, so I reminded her of that row.
- To wrap up this row, we made the recipes in the FIAR cookbook ~ vegetable soup, currant buns, and blackberry bread pudding. They all came out awesome and I will make them again! Here is Rose, hard at work on the dough for the currant buns..
Okay, that’s it for this row…my next FIAR post will be on Miss Rumphius.