Thursday, February 03, 2011


The second book we "rowed" for Five in a Row homeschool was The Story About Ping. Unfortunately, I have no photos of our activities! We spent two weeks on this unit.

Some of the activities included:
  • a science experiment to find out how oily feathers keep a duck dry
  • exploration of colored pencils as an art medium, creating a picture using the overlay technique
  • duck classification
  • counting out the sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Ping's 78 member family
  • listening to the sounds of different types of duck quacks
  • learning the Six Little Ducks song and how to draw a duck. K illustrated a Six Little Ducks book with her duck drawings. I thought it was funny how huge K drew the feather on 'the one little duck's' back. Below is the first drawing of the one little duck. As the story goes on, that feather gets bigger and bigger with varying shapes and embellishments.

  • We also went to the park to observe the ducks. It was a very cold day with a layer of crusty snow on the ground. The ducks there must not be used to people--they swam away when we (noisily) arrived. They didn't even come when the kids threw bread into the water and shouted "La la la lei" like it's done in the book. And I tried to take some pictures, but my camera was too cold and wouldn't work. But it was still a fun time, kind of surreal as the park is rather abandoned this time of year. Despite the highway being visible behind the trees, the snow muffled the sound. It felt like we were alone in the wilderness with the emptiness and the frightened ducks.
We also spent some time learning about China. K was really interested in this and was especially intrigued with the Chinese flag. We read D is for Dragon which does a wonderful job of introducing China with beautiful illustrations and simple explanations. We also

  • looked at examples of Chinese calligraphy
  • learned some Chines phrases
  • learned about the Yangtze River
  • ate at a Chinese restaurant! We enjoyed looking at the big red lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

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