This past month I took my turn planning the lesson for our homeschool group. All year I have been intrigued by the fun my friend Kristina over at School Time Snippets has been having with her son using Five in a Row, but it's not really my style for our day to day schooling, so I thought that this month's homeschool groups might be the perfect time to try it out! If you are not familiar with Five in Row, it is a curriculum that bases a whole week's study off of one literature book. It hits on many different subjects, all relating in some way to the story for the week. I chose to use The Story about Ping for our group. Usually the lessons would last all week, but I just chose what I thought would fit nicely into our meeting time.
First we started by talking about the story. Trevor was the only one who had heard the story before, so I told the children that Ping is a duck and that he lives on the Yangtze River in China. We got out a globe and found China and saw how far away it is from The United States. We colored the Chinese flag and drew in the Yangtze River on a map of China.
Now that we had the basics down, we were ready to read! The girls were great listeners, even though Trevor kept trying to stand on the chair right in front of the book so he could see better....we'll work on that =)
Throughout the book, Ping's family is referenced. It states how many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins Ping has. So we did a worksheet to practice our counting skills and colored in a duck for each person in Ping's family (for instance, color one duck blue for Ping's dad, color 42 ducks brown for Ping's 42 cousins, etc.) Then we cut out each group of ducks and did some greater than, less than comparisons (for example, "Does Ping have more uncles or more brothers?")
Lastly, we did a fun science activity. We talked about how ducks are able to float on the water because they fill an air sac in their bodies like a balloon. Then when they want to dive under the water to get food, they let the air out of the sac. We filled up a bucket with water and I put a balloon on top to show how it floated. Then we predicted whether other items would float or sink and then tested our predictions. The last item I brought out was a large canning jar that looked like it was filled with dried beans. I asked the kids if they thought it would sink or float. Of course they thought it would sink, but to their surprise it floated! That is because I had blown up a balloon and put it in the jar and put the dried beans around it. This was to illustrate how the duck looks big like it should sink in the water, but the filled air sac (like the balloon in the jar) enables it to float!
|I didn't get a great picture of this activity in action, I was too busy trying to keep water from getting absolutely everywhere =)|
I thought this was a really fun lesson for the kids! If you aren't familiar with Five in a Row, check it out! I bet you and your kids would have fun with it too! If you want ideas to do activities like this for The Story about Ping and other stories, check out School Time Snippets, Delightful Learning, and Homeschool Share. Those three sites are where I got all of my ideas from!