Monday, October 20, 2014

FIAR: Lentil

We spent the last week (and a half) rowing Lentil, by Robert McCloskey, one of my very favorite authors.  I normally row a book a week, but since this past week had both Columbus Day and a field trip day, I decided to let Lentil spill over into a second week.  It turned out to be a good decision because we found lots of fun things to do to keep us busy!

Lentil is set in fictitious Alto, Ohio.  It is the story of a boy named Lentil who learns to play the harmonica and is given an opportunity to shine.  The themes associated with this story are:

Lemons (and tastebuds)
Patriotism, citizenship, and the American flag
Harmonicas and Instruments

On day one, we read the story for the very first time.  Young Lentil saves up his pennies to buy a brand new harmonica.  I asked Emma if she would like to save pennies to buy a harmonica too, and of course her answer was YES!  So, I got a big stack of (filthy dirty) pennies and set them on our homeschool table.  During every subject, Emma had the opportunity to earn more and more pennies.  By the end of the day, she was excited that she finally had enough to "buy" her harmonica!

(This was a cute copy work exercise she completed.  I hot glued a real penny on the front of this and put it in our lap book.)

Emma eagerly handed over all her pennies........only to be told that I would only take CLEAN pennies as payment.  :-)  So, into the kitchen we went for a little science fun.  Cleaning pennies!

FINALLY she was ready!  I found this cute harmonica on amazon several months ago and have been saving it for her.
It has a very pleasant sound, and a limited number of notes, so it is very beginner friendly.

We practiced our harmonica in the bathtub, just like Lentil, to check out the acoustics!

I don't always share the lap book projects that we do for FIAR.  These are not really the focus of our book studies, as the authors of FIAR intend for it to be a very conversational and hands on style of learning.  However, we do complete some seat work with each row, and I assemble card stock pages that I add to a GREAT BIG notebook, which is a lap book scrapbook of our FIAR studies.  Some of the printables I use come from  Others are "Fold and Learn" packets directly from the FIAR website.  Still others are just great ideas I gather from other creative FIAR users.

Emma loves to color and enjoys things that are crafty.  So, we have FUN with our notebook.  However, my boys would have hated doing this, so I never would have pushed it.  I only throw that out there because I see online that many people turn FIAR into  a major lap book curriculum.  It certainly can be used that way, but it doesn't have to be.    

That being are some things we created for our notebook during this row...

We read a few books about Ohio, the state where Emma's Aunt (who she adores) is from.  Then, we chose a few facts and made a little Ohio book of our own, in honor of Auntie Kaylyn.

I just love her enthusiasm for illustrations.

This next one is one of my favorite things we put together.  I love how this illustrates the concept. 

Again, she spent some significant time on the artwork.  Well done, Emma!

Lentil attends a homecoming celebration for a town hero, and the citizens all hang out their flags. This row was a great opportunity to practice the pledge and learn about how to properly respect the American flag.

The most fascinating thing we did was learn about Robert Heft, the man responsible for the arrangement of the fifty stars.  Heft, who did not love school, completed his design as part of a school project. His story is inspiring, and I love that a young person contributed to our nation's most prized symbol!

Emma already knew the pledge, but we rehearsed it every day.

We put together a small booklet of new vocabulary words.

And speaking of new words.....

We had more than a few laughs trying to remember "onomatopoeia".  Every day when I would ask her for the word, she would make up something super silly....."olliemolliepoopoo".....

It IS a hard one to remember! 

Then we laughed some more finding all the onomatopoeia's in the story!

I found a great book version of this song at the library by Emily Coplon.  We sang/read it every single day, then made our own little version for our lap book.  (Except we took OUT the page about killing the old red rooster when she comes.  NO WAY were we putting that page in our book!  Ha!)

One day we talked about how the illustrator used the expressions on the character's faces to really help the author tell the story.  We had fun drawing very simple faces to express certain emotions, then I asked her to pick one and draw it for our book.  Here's happy.  :-)

I used these Fruit of the Spirit cards this week while studying lemons, and also the last two weeks while studying apples.  We have been going through them during Bible time, and working on Galatians 5:25.  I wish I could remember the site where I found them.  I printed and colored them, then mounted them on card stock and laminated them.  We will use these frequently as this is a lesson we all need to focus on again and again.  (Especially me!)

The characters in the story pucker from the lemons.  This led us to a study of taste.  I pulled several human body books from our home bookshelves, and checked out a few more from the library.  I even found a fun one about how animals taste, which was a fun spin.

This was a funny 3D tastebud activity from our Easy Make and Learn Human Body book.

I made a simple map of the tongue, and we marked the areas that detect sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.  Then, she drew an example of each of those sensations.

Lemons are very acidic, which led us to an acid/base study using a cabbage juice indicator.  I got this idea from Michelle at Delightful Learning.

Here's my little scientist recording her observations.

We then squeezed lots of extra lemons......

.....and made lemonade!  Homemade lemonade is best if you make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together.  That way, you don't get any grit from the raw sugar.

We also enjoyed a delicious meal of lemon chicken.  This was a new recipe, and it was a winner!

Lemon Chicken Recipe

Melt 3 T of butter in skillet and sauté sliced mushrooms until tender.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
Melt another 3 T of butter in pan.  Dredge chicken breasts (or tenders) in seasoned flour, then cook about 5-6 minutes per side, until golden. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Add one cup of chicken broth to pan and scrape up all the bits off the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a boil and reduce to about 3/4 cup.
Reduce heat, add 3T fresh lemon juice and 1 cup heavy cream.
Return meat and mushrooms to pan and simmer for about 15 minutes, until sauce is thick and chicken is fully cooked.  Serve with egg noodles.

I found a tempting recipe for lemon cake too, but we never did get around to making that one.  I'll have to file it for future use!

Our biggest treat for this unit was a field trip to the symphony!!  My older kids have been more times than they care to count.  They are now officially old enough to refuse going, so I'm delighted to have a new victim attendee.  (I love the symphony!!!)

We prepared for our trip by checking out some books from the library and watching some videos on you tube to learn about how the orchestra works and a bit about instrument families.

I made a quad-fold chart to help us categorize the instruments.  I googled to get clip art instruments to print, and we cut them out and added them to our book.  She loved this, and it made her excited to go hear the music.

The day of the symphony was a lovely day.

My Mom attended with us.

We got second row seats!  Score!

She liked the violins and flute the best.  (Which was funny since this particular youth orchestra performance highlighted brass instruments.)  She has actually talked about violin quite a bit lately and we are thinking about taking up lessons.  The concert master sat directly in front of Emma and waved to her several times during the performance.  She was an eloquent and distinguished looking woman in a long, formal satin gown.  That pretty much cinched the deal on Emma liking violin!

On our way home from downtown, we stopped in at the American Girl Store.  A big treat!  Right inside the doorway there was a display for what else?  Doll instruments!  Perfect!!!

She dutifully looked at all the pretty dolls and clothes, but her real motivation for being there was to get to these..........the very best part of the AG store!!  :-)

Lentil was a wonderful row for us.  I wanted to get up to Nana and Papa's farm to raise and lower a flag on their real flag pole, and learn how to fold one.  We still need to do that one day soon.  We had wonderful talks about patriotism during this row, and emphasized the bravery of those fighting for our country today.  This is what I love so much about Five In A Row....such a wonderful spread of topics and opportunities every week.  We cover so much ground, and in such a fun way.

One last idea I wanted to share.....I saw this at Hobby Lobby for a very reasonable price ($4).  I thought it was too advanced for Emma so I passed this time, but if anyone reading here has older children, this is a cute idea to put to use with lemons!

Thanks for stopping by to share in our Lentil learning.

This week we are on to The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just wanted to say I am the person who wrote She'll be Comin' around the mountain. I wrote it long before i had kids but am now a homeschooling mom of five. pretty cool to see the book referenced here. thanks for the blog. happy homeschooling! (btw, i respect your removal of the rooster killing, we are vegans;).