Rose and I have finished all of the Five in a Row books I wanted to cover with her from volume two (you can see all of our rows to date here). I chose to skip several titles from this volume for various reasons, usually (but not always) because the book was out of print and/or not available to buy. We will not be rowing Wee Gillis; They Were Strong and Good; Babar; Down Down the Mountain; Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car; Gramma’s Walk; or Follow the Drinking Gourd.
Now, I am a ‘finisher’ so it pains me not to do every single book, but Rose is at the upper age range for FIAR right now and that factors into my decision, too. We will just focus on covering the titles I want to do from volume three, rather than worrying about chasing down every last book. I have about six more books I want to do from volume three, which we have already begun.
Okay, on to our row of When I was Young in the Mountains!
Here’s what we did!
- We discussed the setting for this book ~ Appalachia~ and I showed Rose the general area on the map.
- This story features a traveling photographer. We talked about what that meant and why people needed them then and not so much now. And I tried very hard not to cringe at this picture of the kids with a giant dead snake around their necks, because I don’t want to pass my totally unreasonable fear of snakes to Rose!
- We looked for old-fashioned details in the illustrations…such as the outhouse behind Grandma’s house and the water pump the children use.
- I asked Rose to identify the repeating phrase that runs though the book…hint it’s the title! We talked about how this choice really helps tie the whole story together.
- We discussed the theme of the book – which the manual tells us is contentment: being happy with just having enough. The lives of the children portrayed in this story are certainly a great deal simpler than our own lives!
- In the illustration with the water pump below, the artist chose to illustrate the sky with just a little bit of color. We discussed that technique, which we agreed was a pretty awesome and simple way to get your point across.
- One illustration shows Grandma pouring milk from a pitcher and we talked about how the artist drew the milk – the stream of milk is curved. I had her pour some water from a pitcher to a mug to see the effect for herself.
- Using the notes in the manual to start us off, we discussed some of the illustrations in greater depth. We talked about how the artist chose to portray the faces of the characters very simply, and how a limited palette of colors is used throughout. There is a wonderful double-page illustration of the general store, and we made a giant list of all of the items we could see for sale at the store. We also took some time to admire the simplicity of the dedication page and how it really sums up the simple essence of this story.
- Because there is a scale featured in the general store illustration, we did a quick review of pounds and ounces. Then, I had her choose several items to weigh. She chose her owl from our row of Owl Moon.
- There was a suggestion to make up math problems using the scenario of the children filling buckets at the well. So I asked if they each filled a pail, how many trips would they need to take to get six buckets, and similar problems. She also made a bar graph showing the types of animals in the story and how many times they show up in the illustrations.
- I read Rose the information about snakes from the manual and then she made a snake egg. The idea is to soak an egg in vinegar for a few days until the shell dissolves. But two days later I was checking it and somehow managed to break the shell ~ experiment fail!
- As suggested in the manual, we used the illustration of the family’s dinner to discuss the four food groups. Then, we fixed the cornbread recipe from the FIAR cookbook and had it with pinto beans for lunch.
And that wraps up our row of When I Was Young in the Mountains! Stay tuned for our first FIAR volume three selection!