Sunday, October 5, 2014

FIAR: Harold and the Purple Crayon

We rowed Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson the week of September 15-19, 2014.

I originally planned this row for this week because I thought it would be "light".  There are not quite as many suggestions in the FIAR manual, and since we had just completed three activity-heavy book studies in a row, I thought this would be a bit of a break week.  As we got going, the ideas kept flowing, and it was anything BUT a "light" week!  But we sure had fun with the color purple.

We started Monday morning with a grape juice snack.  (She wasn't a fan.)

We did a lesson from art in our art journal about drawing a house with some perspective.  She did great, and even colored hers purple!

This precious, classic tale is about a little boy named Harold who actually draws the story as it unfolds.  The illustrations are delightfully simple, which completely adds to the charm and character of the book.  You just can't study this book without creating your own story board, so I provided the canvas (a paper roll from Ikea) and lots of purple utensils, then invited Emma to create, create, create!!

Max even stopped in to add a few things.  I love how she is giving him directions while eating her snack.  (There is a Trix yogurt that is half pink and half blue.  If you stir it together you get purple yogurt....sort of.  What I won't buy to fit in with a theme.....)

I can't believe I didn't take more detailed pictures of her completed mural.  It hung in our kitchen for a few weeks, and then I chopped a few pieces out of it to put in our scrapbook.  She did a great job, and to go along with this we watched videos on youtube about how crayons are made.  (There are several good ones.)

Then we conducted a little purple experiment....

Blue water in one glass, red water in one glass, and an empty glass in the middle.
Twist two paper towels.
Place one going from the red water to the empty glass.
Place the other going from the blue water to the empty glass.
The water "travels" along the paper towels and fills the empty glass with....

.....purple water!  (The purple was super dark, so we submerged another paper towel to test the color.  Sure enough...purple!)

Harold draws the moon, which is rather central to the story.  So, we checked out several books about the moon and studied the phases of the moon the fun way....with OREO cookies!!! 

We enjoyed these cookies dipped in Moon Milk.  :-)

Harold also draws several pies, which led us to a fun study of fractions.  I made six different fraction "pies" out of paper plates, and found LOTS of cute books about fractions at the library.

This one was my hands down favorite.

It was fun to study fractions using the plates, and it just so happened that this concept popped up this week in our math book!  I just LOVE those happy coincidences!

I never know if some of my ideas will "fly" or not.......For this book, I copied some of the simple illustrations onto card stock using a purple marker.  I laminated the cards, and asked Emma to do some simple story sequencing with them.  She did have fun with that, but the cards themselves surprisingly turned into a huge hit. We made up games all week long with the cards, and she used many of them as patterns to copy onto her "Emma and the Purple Crayon" mural.

I wish I was more artistic....I would like to attempt more story cards in the future, but this book was incredibly simple to copy and I don't think I'll get that lucky again!

Another big hit.....

We went on a purple scavenger hunt in our house.  We gathered 33 purple items!!  That was more than I had hoped for.  We put them in a tub, and spent days classifying them in all different ways.  (This concept went along nicely with our science studies, because we have been discussing animal classifications.)  We also played several rounds of a memory game.  I would ask her to choose a few items to place in the bucket.  Then she would close her eyes and I would remove one item.  She would have to study what was left in the bucket and tell me which item was missing.

Interesting fact......she could do it every single time with five and six items in the bucket.  When we reached seven items, it was repeatedly difficult.  I thought it was fascinating that seven items was the very definitive threshold.  

Anyway, it was fun to have a collection of "purple junk" on the table all week, and at our purple party Friday night we spread it all out and used it as our centerpiece!

One day Emma found this plate on her desk, along with some red and blue paint.

I gave her a piece of heavy card stock and encouraged her to just paint something abstract, but she wanted to make "something real", so we googled lots of pictures of purple things. She settled on a painting of a purple martin bird.  I get a real kick out of how serious she takes things.

For me personally, the highlight of the week was PAINTING PURPLE PUMPKINS!!!  Pumpkins were just starting to make an appearance at the stores.  My sweet mom went out looking for pie pumpkins.  (Not too big, not too small.)  I pulled out several shades of purple acrylic paint and she set to work.  I loved, loved, loved this.

We delivered one to a special friend as a birthday surprise.  The other two are currently living on my mantle in a pile of fall leaves.  They make my soul SING every time I look at them!!!

Purple pumpkins!

I heart homeschooling.  :-)

Naturally, the pumpkins were on display at our end of the week purple party. We hung the mural in the window with two strands of purple Christmas lights from Dollar Tree, and purpled the table the very best we could.  What a FUN color to go crazy with!

Our menu included purple drinks....

Chicken pot pie, Cheeseburger pie, and strawberry pie.
(Since Harold drew nine pies, we needed to have plenty of pie.)
We also had purple jell-o and GREEN salad (because I could not help myself).

Campbell's Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup Velveeta shreds
3 shakes Worcestershire sauce

Combine above ingredients.
Place one roll of crescent dough in bottom of baking dish, and bake about 6 minutes.
Spoon filling into dish and top with a second can of crescent roll dough, sealing edges to form a pie.
Bake until the top is golden brown and the dough is fully cooked.

Quick as a Whistle Chicken Pot Pie

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk (or cream)
1 can Veg All or one bag steamed veggies, plus extra frozen peas
thyme and pepper to taste

Mix together and place in greased, deep baking dish.
Cover with single pie crust, cutting slits to vent.
Bake at 375 until crust is done.

Kraft Easy Spring Pie

1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 packages (small size) flavored Jell-o
1/2 cup cold water
1 graham cracker crust
1 tub Cool-Whip

Stir boiling water into jell-o until dissolved, at least two minutes.  Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 1 1/2 cups.  Add to jell-o, stir until ice is completely melted.  Remove 2 cups of the gelatin and place in small bowl.  Refrigerate 5 minutes or until gelatin is the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.  Carefully spoon into crust.  Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 2 cups whipped topping to remaining gelatin; stir with wire whisk until well blended.  Refrigerate 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and will mound.  Carefully spoon over gelatin layer in crust.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours until firm.

I used strawberry jell-o and an off-brand graham crust.  I wasn't super crazy about the pie, mainly because the crust got super soggy.  I went back and read reviews online, and I think I would try this again using a shortbread crust and peach jell-o. I think the recipe has potential!  :-) 

Although the week turned out busier than I expected, we both THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book.  There were many other Harold titles at our library, as well as several of the stories on DVD, so that provided relaxing evening entertaining.

I'm finding that as we finish a row, I have a hard time placing the books back on the shelf.  I get really attached to the stories and all the fun activities.  I'm so thankful for the memories we are making!  I have read Harold books to my kids for years, but now they are special to me in a whole new way.  The good news is there are so many more fun books still to row!!


  1. What an absolutely fantastic, wonderful, creative, purplish row! I loved how you made this book come alive and the wonderful memories you created. I can't wait to dig into the rest of your blog! And I'd be honored if you linked it up with the FIAR link up!

  2. Oh, how great is that purple picnic explosion?! I love those pumpkins! Great job!