Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Our first Five in a Row book this year was Harold and the Purple Crayon.  It's a classic story that is both simple and rich. 
For Language Arts, we discussed the humor in the story, specifically puns.  We read Amelia Bedelia, one K's already familiar with and enjoys.  Once she understood that Harold has some funny moments, she enjoyed appreciating that humor each time we read those parts of the story.
For Art, we looked at some Google images of cities, then K created her own city scene.  To show her how to draw the buildings, I began drawing one myself, then kept working while K drew her picture.  She seemed willing to put in more effort as I was joining her in drawing the same thing.  T, never one to be left out, then began drawing his own city as well, and it actually vaguagley resembled one.  Here is K with her city:

She said the little house on the right was to make sure the skyscrapers were ok,  and she also added her "two favorite hanging trees.  One's a weeping willow and one's a birch."  I thought it was curious that she also chose to add an airplane to her picture, not something she usually draws.  We did this unit in the week following 9/11; even though we didn't talk about that day directly with her, she's often had the ability to somehow pick concepts out of the atmosphere. 
Then we hung all three pictures together for one big city:

Then for Science we spent a couple days on transportation.  I had K make boats from a variety of materials including cork, walnut shells, aluminum foil, wood blocks, milk caps, a milk carton and a cantalope peel.  The source I used for this idea suggested an orange peel, but no oranges were in the house.  The cantalope peel actually worked surprisingly well.  When all the boats had been constructed K and T couldn't wait to try them out.  They also wanted to add bathtub boats to compare.

We had made little sails for the milk cap and walnut shell boats out of toothpicks, clay and paper, but by the time I took this picture, they'd been dismantled by hands eager to make stories about the "trim little boats."

K wrote a 5 line transportation poem using this pattern:
Title:  Name of Vehicle
Line 1: size and shape of vehicle
Line 2: color of vehicle
Line 3: purpose of vehicle
Line 4: where you'd like to be in the vehicle
Line 5: name of worker who drives the vehicle

An example would be--
Long like a train.
Silver and red.
Carries people.
Subway conductor.

The transportation K chose:  Floating Log.  Hmm.  I wondered whether I ought to encourage her to choose a *real* form of transportation and make a conventional poem to go with her idea.  But I had to admit the idea of riding a log down a river on a lazy afternoon sounded appealing in the frenetically busy month that September turned out to be.  So why not.  We went with the log.

Floating Log
Big and long.
For taking rides.
On rivers.
Indian rower.

We also had a crayon day where we watched how crayons are made and pulled out all our Crayola shades of purple crayons to see which ones we had from the Crayola website.  K made a purple picture and dictated a story about it.

In the story Harold climbs a hill to try to see where he is.  The manual suggests finding a book to see pictures of earth taken from space.  Looking Down by Steve Jenkins is a good go-along for this idea.  Collage pictures illustrate scenes from earth as viewed from space, then closer and closer until you see a ladybug in the grass.  We looked at the book backwards so the view went from the bug to space, as if we were climbing higher and higher like Harold did.

For our final activity for this book we took a walk up a very tall hill close by.  We went on a weekend so B could come, too.  It was a great walk.  We'd meant to try this climb since we first moved to this house.  The kids did great.  We didn't make it to the top of the hill, but it wasn't long before we could look out and see very far away.

We got some nice family photos:

And every time we stopped for a break the kids quickly found a place to start playing.

I thought it was funny how even though there were grand views on every side, as soon as we stopped to look around the kids immediately began looking for things on the ground or set to work digging holes with their walking sticks:

It was a great way to complete our Harold and the Purple Crayon study and wonderful way to get the year off to a good start.


1 comment:

Joelle said...

Yea! Great post! Looks like you had a lot of fun! Love the pics during your hike! Is that enough !!!s ???
I LAUGHED! when I read that Katya chose a 'floating log' for her form of transportation - too funny! Love the city pictures and all the boats. So fun! Looking forward to your next FIAR post!