Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Andy and the Lion

Andy and the Lion was written in the 1930s and is the warm tale of a boy obsessed by lions.  I'd never read this book before and it made for another well-rounded Five in a Row unit.

One of our activities was a discussion about tall tales.  What are they?  Who tells them?  We read a little about Paul Bunyan and the kids watched a video about him and Babe while I made Babe's Giant Blueberry Pancakes for lunch.  They loved this treat!

In the story, Andy visits the library to check out a book about his favorite, lions.  We like to visit the library, too.  K already loves the nonfiction section.  (Just the other day she had such a stack of books she wanted to check out, she couldn't carry them all.  We still had lots at home, so I told her she needed to put some back.  Surely, she didn't need two books about aluminum, etc.  T is a lot more random in the books he finds.  I have to be a bit more watchful with his choices--even at the library there's a lot of very strange, jarring books that I don't want my kids lingering over.)  Anyway, here was a good opportunity to learn a bit about the Dewey Decimal System.  This was an especially good time to show K some of the other sections of the library.  Before we left I made a list of the sections of the library and briefly explained the kinds of books in each.  At the library, we went around to the different sections and K picked out one title from each that she thought sounded interesting and I jotted it down.  While we were doing this, she was a little distracted by T, who was meanwhile playing on the computer nearby.  But she still found some books in the "new" sections that she wanted to check out.  Later when we headed to the checkout desk, we also stopped in a section of the grown-ups books so I could show her that the adult books also follow the same numbering system.

Many of the pictures in Andy and the Lion form an S-line composition.  After K understood this concept, she had fun tracing the S in many of the pictures.  Then I drew a large S on a piece of paper and she cut out pictures from magazines to glue over it.  She was pleased with how her composition came out.  Maybe in future years she'll be able to more easily discern the S line of design in other works of art she views.

Since this a book concerning lions, naturally we took a day to learn about them.  There's lots of interesting facts to discover.  I made some worksheets with pictures and fill in the blank sentences and taught the concepts from these, K filling in the blanks after we'd gone over all the facts.

We also listened to a roaring lion here.

Lastly, a really fun activity for this book was to go on a sculpture hunt.  We talked about the New York Public Library lion statues that are described in the book and I showed K pictures of various other sculptures.  Then we went for a drive to find real sculptures in our area.  The kids had loads of fun with this and T still solemnly points out statues when he sees them.  Our excursion was made easier in that many of the sculptures pictured below were within a few blocks of each other--easy walking distance.  The kids really liked being able to get close to the statues.  So many of them had good detail and interesting texture that they enjoyed touching.  I had about six more statues on my list to find, but by noon we had seen 13 statues, the last two being at a super fun city park.  The kids were enthusiastic and satisfied by what we'd seen.  And hungry.  I didn't want to push my luck, so maybe we'll go looking for more statues another day.

When we got home, K said, "Now let's make our own sculptures!"  A day or two later, after I'd located an easy flour/salt recipe, we did. 
K made a variety of sculptures with her share of the dough.  The six on the left were hers.

I made a bird with some of the dough and when T saw my bird, he wanted to use his entire ball of dough to make a nest.  After everything was baked, we found that T's nest fit the bird perfectly.  Maybe one of these days we'll get around to painting them.

Oh, and I also want to mention that we spent some time on the Bible story of Esther for our Jesus time during this row.  Andy is kind and brave and we discussed how Mordecai and Esther also display these character qualities.  The kids loved watching Veggie Tales Esther.  This movie really captured their imaginations and they asked to watch it several more days in a row.  Enough to have it memorized by the time it was due back at the library.

You never know what you'll all learn in a Five in a Row unit!

1 comment:

Plus one Wee Bean said...

They have such great smiles!