Horses are a big thing around our house. Both girls take riding lessons and older sister Grace is very involved at the barn. We spend tons of time driving back and forth to the barn and many weekends at horse shows. So it was fun for Rose and I to have a Five in a Row book with a horse theme.
Here’s what we did!
- This story takes place in Maine, which just happens to be my very favorite state. We are heading there for vacation in a few weeks and I am greatly looking forward to it. We found Maine on the map.
- We talked about what “turn of the century” means, because that’s when this book takes place.
- This book offered a good opportunity to talk about dishonesty, since one of the characters steals the finest horse in town. We talked about how that man was treated after he was found out. So often, being dishonest comes with a built-in consequence! Especially in stories:).
- The main characters in the story give gifts to other characters who help them throughout the story. We played a little memory game to see if she could remember what was given to whom.
- The manual suggested using the opening of the book “Long before my mother was born, her aunts owned a store…” to introduce the concept of reminiscing, so we did just that!
- We talked about how this book is really three stories in one…the author comes up with three different explanations for who may have cared for Prince. It’s an interesting and fun technique, and we spent just a few minutes discussing it.
- We talked about the medium used ~ watercolor ~ and spent some time looking through the illustrations to notice the many details pointed out in the manual. There were so many things ~ such as the story opening and closing with a watch face illustration ~ that I am not sure I would have picked up on my own. This is exactly what I love about FIAR!
- We talked about how overlapping objects, like the bowl of candy in the general store, are drawn. We arranged fruit in a bowl to see the effect first-hand. You can only see partial outlines of some of the fruit.
- She tried the technique out for herself, with watercolors.
- We reviewed how many years are in a century and did the simple counting by hundreds activity suggested in the manual.
- We reviewed the two’s time tables.
- We discussed why it is important for a shopkeeper to be able to tell time. Rose sometimes struggles with this skill, so it was nice to have a way to introduce the concept of its importance so gently.
- We touched briefly on how to care for horses, always a popular topic.
- And we briefly discussed ice houses and how important ice was in the “old days” and what a luxury it was. I also shared the information from the manual with her about why leaves change color in the fall.