Monday, July 09, 2012

Miss Rumphius

Belatedly blogging about our last FIAR adventure from last year!  Our final Five in a Row book for the year was Miss Rumphius.  I've always loved lupines, and I love this book. I was excited to have the chance to row it with K. We spent a full two weeks with this book and did a lot of activities.

Our first activity was to discuss the sections of the library.  We had just done this a couple months earlier with Andy and the Lion, but we visit the library often.  This time, before we left for the library, I had K close her eyes and point to a library section from a list.  She landed on section 400: Languages.  The book she chose was Scholastic's Student Thesaurus.  While she was browsing this section, she also noticed and wanted to check out some parts of speech books--If You Were an Interjection, If You Were a Verb, and others. I guess it was good to find books she otherwise wouldn't have noticed!

Miss Rumphius visits many parts of the world and we talked about some of the geographic regions in the story.  I introduced the term biome and we watched this Youtube biome song.  We also watched this one, which is cute because it's done by a teacher and is a knock-off of a recent pop song.  Biomes is a concept usually taught to older grades, so I just lightly introduced it for now.

For art, we made a multi-media pictures of lupine, using the method described here.  This was a fun project that took a few days to complete; K was happy with how hers turned out.

Miss Rumphius appears to visit Northern Africa and we talked about the Islamic influence on the architecture in the pictures.  K really enjoyed using tracing paper to make a drawing of the buildings.  We looked at some examples of Islamic architecture online (here is a good one).  I showed her that people still go for rides on camels, too!  (Sorry, I didn't save that source.)

We used a flashlight to talk about how the movement of the sun changes the way our shadows look.  Then we made a simple sundial and marked the position of its shadow at noon.  The day had started out sunny, but by noon clouds were coming in and it was blowing cold and gusty.  You can barely see the shadow.

After we retreated inside, it started raining.  I was afraid K's chalk marks would get washed away.  About 4 pm we went back out--it was now sunny and warm again--and K was intrigued by how the shadow had moved and lengthened.  Since then she hasn't failed to point out when we have short shadows.

Miss Rumphius sowed five bushels of lupine seed in her quest to make the world a more beautiful place.  We looked at a container that holds approximately one bushel and marveled at how much seed five bushels would have been.  And how many walks it must have taken to sow all those seeds!  (If she could carry about a pint of seeds in her pockets, it would have been 320 walks.)  We have the book I Love You! A Bushel and a Peck, illustrated by Rosemary Wells.  We listened to the song on Youtube and tried to sing along while following the words in the book.

After a disscussion about seeds, we took a field trip to a local nursery.  Lo and behold, there were lupine plants right at the front entrance!

This nursery had a beautiful selection of seed packets that K enjoyed perusing.

There was also a section which was similar to a conservatory.

There were lots of statues to look at.  There were fountains, too.  I think we stopped at every. single. one.

It had nothing to do with the story, but the kids had great fun looking at the koi pond.

Until we spent some time there, I didn't realize this nursery had so much to look at.  I'm glad we took the time to visit.

Our last activity for this book was to examine seashells.  I had a box of shells I knew the kids would enjoy looking at, but I hadn't seen it since we lived in Idaho.  It was a task to find them. The more time I spent looking for them, the more I was afraid they had somehow been tossed, or at the very least, broken to bits.  In the searching I found some other long lost treasures before finally unearthing the box. Everything was intact!  Miracle.  K thought they were beautiful and enjoyed listening to the ocean in some of them.

I'd also like to mention that one of K's aunts who has traveled to foreign countries happened to visit while we were rowing this book, and it was fun to listen to some of her stories.  We also talked about the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  This is a really nice Youtube retelling of it--progressive drawings of a mustard seed growing into a tree.  To me this video also speaks to how wonderful things can come from small beginnings.

There was a lot packed into this unit.  It was a nice way to end the year.

1 comment:

Joelle said...

Looks like a great book! I've only heard good things about it. I have put the books in order for next years rows (sort of) and Mrs. Rumphius is our last book also! It will be hard to wait all year to row this! Glad it was such a fun one to do. I'm curious about what you'll row next year and when you'll start. Maybe we'll do some of the same books? We're hoping to do all of the ones in vol. 2. We'll see if that actually works.

Thanks for sharing!!