Monday, September 23, 2013

Wee Gillis

Wee Gillis is the story of a Scottish boy who must make a big decision, and it was our next Five in a Row book.  This was our last book to row before our new baby was born!

Wee Gillis' full name is very long, with a combination of family names.  We talked about what K's name would be if it included all eight names from the previous three generations.  She thought that would be pretty funny.

I wanted K to get a feel for what a Scottish accent sounds like, so we watched some selections from a video that showed scenes of beautiful Scotland while Robert Burns poems are read aloud.  Then together we read his poem reprinted in the manual:

My heart's in the highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the highlands a-chasing the deer,
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go.

Then I had K rewrite the poem to show where she would like to be.  Very Last First Time must have made quite an impression because this was the poem she came up with:

My heart's in Canada, my heart is not here,
My heart's in Canada, looking for mussels,
looking for mussels, and building an igloo,
My heart's in Canada wherever I go.

It was fun to learn about Scotland.  I checked out a book of Scottish tartans from the library and K looked through it to find her favorite.  It was interesting for her to see the name of a family from church in the book.  This family is good friends of ours and they were the ones to introduce us to homeschooling!  We watched a video of how to make a kilt.  We also looked up Google images of Scottish animals for K's notebook (Shetland Pony, Collie Dog, Long-Haired Cow, Clydesdale, Scottish Terrier, Blackface Sheep).  K also made a Scottish flag.  I thought it was neat that as we were driving somewhere shortly after this unit, the kids noticed a Scottish flag hanging from someone's house and got excited when they recognized it.

The highlight of this unit was going to a Celtic concert!  On the day of the concert B had already had a long day at work and didn't think he could take a room full of bagpipes; and T, who is really sensitive to loud sounds, thought he'd rather stay home with Daddy.  So K and I went and had a really nice time.  And was it LOUD.  24 bagpipes and 17 drummers in a not so big auditorium.  Kind of deafening, actually.  But there was a nice variety to the program and K wanted to stay for the whole thing.  There were also Scottish and Irish dancers who did a few numbers.  K really enjoyed that.  In fact, our homeschool co-op this year is offering an Irish Step class, and K is excited to try that.  Here is a picture of some of the drummers playing a fanfare:

They did a great job.

We also learned about lungs and did an experiment from Janice vanCleave's Play and Find Out about the Human Body to see how much air our lungs could hold.  Each member of the family got to try, and not surprisingly, we found that B's lungs could hold the most air.

Since there is so much fog in Scotland, we also learned about fog-- what it is and what causes it, and did an experiment to make our own fog.

Overall, this was a fun row.  I didn't know much about Scotland before, but it is a beautiful country.  I would love to visit it and go hiking.


1 comment:

Joelle said...

How fun that you were able to go to a concert with bagpipes! I wanted to do that, but unfortunately rowed this after St. Patrick's Day. On St. Patrick's Day (and a few days before and after), the local bagpipe group holds mini concerts all over and we could have listened to them then. Oh well - I'll hopefully remember that when I get around to rowing this book with Timmy. Has Katya taken the Irish dance class at your co-op? That would be fun!