Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Thanksgiving ABCs book

We've been working on a Thanksgiving ABCs lapbook this past week and I have to tell you about it because it has actually worked out even better than I hoped! I LOVE that! I found it here. You do need to join her Yahoo group in order to download the file.

The cover

At first, I thought that just Little Man and I would work on it. He's been having a grand time cutting out the little booklets, tracing the letters and pasting in pictures from google images* and stickers from my scrapbook stash.

Then Z-Man showed some interest and I realized that this is a great narration tool! The booklets are quite small and he hasn't exactly mastered the art of teeny tiny writing yet so he narrates and I write. I'm always amazed at what he remembers (and I'm sometimes amazed at what he doesn't, but we're staying positive here.) For instance, for one of the booklets on the Mayflower, he told me, "A guy named John Howland fell overboard and was miraculously saved when he grabbed a rope that just happened to be hanging out of the ship." Seriously? After all the people we've read about (a LOT of whom seem to be named John) you remember the name of the guy who fell overboard? Love that!

The first page.

The first page opened up.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

*I don't look them up with my kids though! I'm always astounded at the nasty images that even the most innocent google images search can turn up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lighthouses and Bridges

What a wonderful week we've had with The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge.

We LOVE this book! I know, I say that about all the FIAR books, don't I? There are a few we haven't read so I may yet find one I don't like. I doubt it though.

I realize that, based on my last few posts, some readers might think all we do is run around outside. Fall is beautiful here and we try to get out in it as much as possible. Believe me, where we live there will be PLENTY of time to hole up in our cozy house for days on end. We DO stay home and do our work most of the time, though. (Wait, "most of the time" would be more than 50%, right? Like, 51% of the time? OK. Just wanted make sure I was telling the truth.)

We talked about lighthouses and the boys remembered all the lighthouses we saw on our trip to Maine:
We read Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie, another book we love, based on the true story of a young girl who has to take care of her whole family AND two lighthouses during a terrible storm.

We drew lighthouses too:

We talked about bridges and read The Bridge Book by Polly Carter, an entertaining summary of bridge building throughout history. It had some really good "boy" stories like the Roman soldier who single-handedly held off an entire army on a narrow bridge until the bridge could be destroyed behind him.

This book is based on the true story of P.T. Barnum and how he proved to doubters and naysayers that the Brooklyn Bridge really was safe to travel:

We made bridges:

and then lots of little boats to go under the bridges, and then diving boards and slides into the water...

Speaking of boats, one of the FIAR lessons is about boats and I found such a fun way to learn the names of a lot of different boats. There are little boat cards to print out at and, if you print out two copies, you can play Go Fish! As in, "Do you have a chinese junk? No, go fish. Do you have a catamaran?" Good homeschooling fun.

Here's THE PERFECT poem by Christina Rosetti that ties in boats, bridges AND our previous weather study. I love it when things come together!

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these.

Oh, and here are some really cool bridge videos:

We ended our week with this absolutely gorgeous book about New York City that made us all want to jump in the van for a field trip:

Next, we'll be expanding on the lighthouse theme with a mini unit study on light! More on that as soon as I find time to post!