Thursday, September 19, 2013

Grandfather's Journey

We visited Japan and spent time with several other topics when we rowed Grandfather's Journey, our next Five in a Row book.

  This story actually goes back and forth between the US and Japan as it follows the life of a Japanese American.

It was fun to learn about landforms.  I really liked this review of landforms, though I actually used it to teach the concept.  We affectionately called our creature "The Landformatops".  We watched a few Youtube videos which did a nice job of showing what the different forms look like through photos  here, here, and here.  We also enjoyed the lively presentation of the energetic Mrs. Rice hereThis was a good worksheet, and K liked having her own landform dictionary.
Now that we had gone over landforms rather thoroughly, I gave K the assignment to make as many landforms as possible using playdough.  She enjoyed this challenge and here's how it turned out:

I helped her by saying, "It looks like there is room for another one here, do you think you could make a ______?"  For the most part, she made most of the landforms by herself, but a few she asked for help or asked me to make them.  She was really proud of how it all turned out.
Then we spent a day in Japan.  We'd learned about this country when we rowed Red Clogs, so we looked back at the notebook pages for that unit to review.  We read some library books and learned more facts.  We tried making kimono dolls and ours turned out pretty cute!  K wanted to make two of them, and I was surprised that T wanted to make one too.  Of course, he had to add his own special touch and completed his with a "construction belt."

Ancestry is a topic that seems to come up regularly in FIAR, and this time we talked about the interests and hobbies of K's grandparents and great grandparents.  This was a good opportunity to share with her things like one great grandmother's hobby of collecting music boxes and how another grandfather likes woodworking.  I don't think this activity was something K appreciated greatly as we did it, but we made a page showing a simple family tree with interests/hobbies briefly noted (as far as B and I could think of them) and put it the notebook.  I hope the kids go back to it in later years and enjoy getting to know their ancestors a little more.
Another day we tried origami.  I checked out a couple "origami for kids" books and found directions for making origami hearts.  I was surprised how easily K caught on to making them.  In another FIAR serendipity, it happened to be close to Valentines Day, and K made origami heart valentines to send to the relatives. 
K folded the hearts:

Then I had both kids draw self-portraits and made tiny color copies to slide into the pocket of the hearts.

Finally, we spent a day learning about birds.  We looked at the parts of birds and talked about the sheer variety of birds.  This blog has a link to animal classification cards which were very helpful in talking about the different orders of birds.
Then of course, we had to go see some real birds!  We went to a local pet store and the kids enjoyed looking at the parakeets

and the cockatiel.

We also looked at the pet care supplies for sale and talked a little about what you might need for a pet bird.  A visit to the pet store wouldn't be complete without a look around at every single other animal in the store, so the rest of the time was spent studying all the other animals.  There was a large cage set down low at kid level with ferrets inside and one of them took a shine to T.  As T walked back and forth in front of the cage, this ferret watched him and followed his every step as far as his cage would allow.  T wanted to know if we could have a ferret for a pet.
Overall this book was a lot of fun to row with lots of interesting things to learn.

1 comment:

Joelle said...

Fun row!! Loved the landform model made of playdoh!! Also loved the tool belt wearing kimono doll and the origami hearts! I was in a slump when we rowed this book 2 years ago - it wasn't much fun. I would have loved to do these activities! I seriously wish we lived closer and could a school day together for each book - that would be so fun!!