Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cranberry Thanksgiving

I wanted to do Cranberry Thanksgiving last year.  It is an out of print book and when I started researching it last fall, all the copies on Amazon and Ebay were so expensive.  But the following spring I was able to find a copy at a great price, so I was excited to row the book this year.  Another great Five in a Row story that teaches how appearances can be deceiving. 

We started with a discussion on settings.  After K understood that there are many different settings where a story can happen, she brainstormed some of her own.  We didn't make up stories, just thought of various places they could happen.

We did an experiment to understand what liquid spray starch does to fabric after reading the part of the story where "all the starch seemed to leave Mr. Horace."

Then we learned about cranberry bogs.  We watched some videos that explained how cranberries are grown.  Then K saw for herself that cranberries float.

We used cranberries, water and a pan to make our own cranberry bog.  K and T poured water into the pan to make them float and "harvested" them.  Thanks to Almost Unschoolers for this idea.

I love the dark red of cranberries and bought a plenteous amount.  So with some of those cranberries we made a cranberry wreath for a Thanksgiving decoration.  I poked straight pins into the berries and K stuck them to a styrofoam wreath.  She needed some reminding to keep the cranberries as close together as possible but with help the wreath turned out really cute.  It actually kept for a long time and made a nice Christmas decoration, too.

Since Cranberry Thanksgiving is all about Grandma's famous cranberry bread, we followed the recipe in the book (minus the raisins) and made our own.  It was good! 

Finally, I saw the idea for using cranberries to make a fun pink play dough here, and had to try that too.  The kids loved this and played with the dough a lot.

Since it was nearly Thanksgiving, we finished this unit with a study on the first Thanksgiving.  This year I focused most on the trip on the Mayflower.  K made a list of things she would bring with her if she moved to a new land (Books!  Toys!).  Then we looked at pictures of some of the items the Pilgrims brought with them and K tried to guess what they were/what they were used for.  Some of them, I'm sure, took too much space and were useless (body armor).  We talked about that difficult first year and K and T made pictures of Pilgrim houses with popsicle sticks and shredded wheat for the roofs.  K also added garden vegetables to her picture by choosing squares of tissue paper to crumple up and glue to the paper.  She added details to the picture with markers.
I'm glad we got to row this book!

1 comment:

joelle said...

Audrey will want me to make this playdoh when I show her these pictures - it is such a dark pink! I thought about making a wreath like that, I was too lazy - maybe next year. Yours turned out great! Cute pic of the kids together too - so sweet! Audrey really enjoyed reading this story - one of her favs, I think!