We did many activities with this book. Here are a few of our favorites.
As we read the book, I mentioned that Boston, where the story takes place, is the capital of Massachusetts. In fact, each state has a capital! K seemed interested in this idea, so I printed out a map the states and their capitals, and K highlighted Boston. We found the capital of our state and looked for the capitals of other states we've been to/lived in.
A very fun activity we did was turn the house into Boston and act out the story. I placed labels for the landmarks, street corners, etc., around in different rooms, and we "flew" from place to place while retelling the story. This helped make the city of Boston become more real and 3-dimensional. K and T relished being Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, though T was a bit frightened when we got to the part where Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings try to cross the busy street with the loud honking cars. Our echo-y hallway and enthusiastic honking probably contributed to the effect. But he was happy to be Michael the policeman, blowing his whistle to get the cars to stop so the ducks could safely cross. Then we watched a Google Earth Lit Trip of Boston. Fascinating! An interesting go-along book was You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts. This story has many landmarks mentioned in Make Way, along with lots of famous Boston characters past and present. Mitt Romney's even in there; kind of funny to see him portrayed as a snooty prep, seeming to stick up his nose at the wayward balloon that wafts through the pages.
From here we took a bit of a side trip. I had it in the back of my mind to talk about bird migration during our row. It so happened that just before we started the book, on Easter Sunday, our family happened to witness migrating sandhill cranes fly over our house. Apparently, they make a stop every year not too far from us. It was an amazing sight to look up that evening and watch them fly over. B said he counted at least 300. Big, slightly awkward birds. They made their rough cries while they flew, as if each was trying to be the first to say, "I see the wetland!", their long awaited stopping place.
We watched the movie Winged Migration. What an excellent movie. It was providential that we had this to watch (thanks, Dad!), as around this time I got really sick. (One reason I've slipped behind in my FIAR posts.) We watched the movie over a period of a few days, and I was glad to watch the amazing footage and rest. There were even sandhill cranes in the movie. Both kids were fascinated; I was surprised how it kept their interest. K was inspired to pretend to be a migrating bird in the backyard. She wanted me to take a picture as she acted out her story.
(sitting on her nest)
I think my favorite FIAR moment in rowing this book was when I asked K to read the book aloud because I knew there was no way I'd be able to get through it without collapsing into fits of uncontrolled coughing. She was glad to do so. T sat on my lap, and when we got to the page where "they chose a cozy spot among the bushes near the water and settled down to build a nest...."