I’ve wanted to share a little of what we’re doing with Five in a Row because I’ve gained so much from other bloggers sharing their book “rowing.”
Our first week of FIAR, we “rowed” The Story of Ping. Each day, we read the book, and Seth put the story disc on the map of China. Our first day, we talked about China. We read library books on China, and Seth colored a map of China that I’d printed from homeschoolshare.com. (They have great printables listed by individual book.) He decided to draw the flag of China under that, and we practiced saying “hello” in Chinese. We put that page in his kindergarten wonder book.
On our second day, we read about ducks. We got “Ducks Don’t Get Wet” from the library. We learned that ducks preen themselves, smearing oil from an oil gland near their tails onto their feathers. Because oil and water don’t mix, water rolls off their feathers, so they “don’t get wet.” Then we did a science experiment to show that. One of the brown paper bag ducks below has been painted with oil, and the other hasn’t. We put drops of water on each duck, and sure enough, the water rolled off the oily duck’s back. =)
Now it gets a little muddled, and I don’t remember on which day we did which thing, so I’ll just list some other activities and reading that we did.
I printed out the buoyancy charts from homeschoolshare.com, and we tested the buoyancy of different objects, and we learned what a hypothesis is. We put our findings on the chart, and we added that to the wonder book…
We also put a blown up balloon in water and saw how well it floated. That simulated a duck’s air sack that it fills with air when it wants to float. It lets out the air when it wants to dive. I showed them how much easier it is to push a deflated balloon under water than the blown up balloon…
I got rice cakes from the store, and we had them for snack one day. Then we took the leftovers to a local lake, and we fed them to the ducks. American ducks apparently like rice cakes as much as Chinese Ping did. =) We identified the different kinds of ducks at the park.
Seth practiced drawing moving water by copying the techniques used by the illustrator of the Story of Ping, and we added his pictures to the wonder book. I also asked him to tell me things he remembered that we’d learned during the week, and I typed that up to add to the book.
We learned a lesson about discernment and taking punishment well from Ping, and I had an opportunity to talk with him about that later in the week when Seth wasn’t taking his own punishment well. =)
Seth and Evan both really enjoyed watching episodes of “Wild China” on Netflix streaming. Some of the aspects of Chinese life that we’d learned about from different books were really brought to life for them. Seth chose “Wild China” over Curious George sometimes! =)
We had orange chicken with potstickers and rice for dinner one night, and David got a pair of chopsticks at a local Chinese takeout place. They practiced using those to eat their meal. We listened to Chinese internet radio while we ate, and that was a good source of traditional music. =)
I got a lot of ideas from this blog post, and I’m grateful to her for the suggestions. I have no intention of raising a duck, but you see how far you can go with “rowing” a book if you really want to take the time and get deep into it. =)