Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Story About Ping

We have returned to the fabulous Five in a Row curriculum this year.  Yes, Alex is 9 years old.. and Volume One can be used as early as Kindergarten.. but when I re-visited the curriculum, I realized that it is easily adapted for older students.  My dear friend told me about Homeschool Share and all the wonderful free printables they have for Five in a Row lap books. 

We primarily chose The Story About Ping lapbooking activities that related to Geography, Literature and Nature Studies.  We learned (I say we, because I always learn right along with my children!) the difference between ducks and geese. We learned about the very long Yangtze river, and looked at beautiful pictures on-line... and saw some boats that looked very much like Ping's wise eyed home.... and wondering if we would ever like to take one of the cruise tours offered.  (Alex decided no, after reading about the pollution.)  We found out that we would have to travel to Wilmington, an almost two hour drive for us, 222 times to have traveled the length of the Yangtze!  We learned about the Gorges, and the big dam that was built.  We learned about repetition in books and poetry.  We learned to look at the illustrations in our children's books with eyes wide open!  We learned what it means if we call a story a "classic"... and much more!  
*Here are two places to find fun information for two of the suggested lapbook additions:  Water Safety   Duck Facts

After searching the Homeschool Share site, I found they have free lapbooking plans for not ONE, not TWO, but THREE books that are on our Middle Ages reading list for Alex!  So, after reading Lentil (the next Five in a Row book we chose), we are going to have history lapbooks to make.  I am so excited.  In fact, we have decided to make a simple lapbook all on our own about our current read aloud, Adam of the Road.  The thought occurred to us when we came across a portion of the book that just needed to be remembered, this quote:
"For the first time in his life he had played the part of an oyster.  He had taken the bit of grit that was scratching him and made something of it that was comfortable to him and pleasing to someone outside. He had made a valuable discovery..."
Then we continued reading until Adam's Road led him to Westminster Abbey... and then we knew.. we could remember enlightening quotes and expand our learning by making a fun, simple lapbook while we read along!

Back to The Story About Ping....

We learned a little about Chinese food and have a couple more recipes waiting to be tried.  When we try new recipes from our various studies, Daniel is our on-site chef.  We are building a Culinary Arts course for a highschool credit for him this year since he is officially in 9th grade... actually, he enjoys cooking so much, it will most likely be a four year adventure! This simple recipe is not an 'authentic', just one we borrowed from another homeschool blogger(A blog that has been often visited, I might add!) We used the steel wok our dear friend and neighbor had given us years ago.  We failed to research how to season it properly before hand.. but now that we know, that task will be done!  Daniel loved cooking in the wok so much, that we kept it out instead of tucking it away underneath the kitchen stairway.  We have plans to use it again and more often!

Alex still has two items to add to his lapbook, the recipes and his sketching of geese and ducks.  We have to wait until the geese arrive in this area before we can sketch them... but it will not be long!  We have really enjoyed lapbooking so far.  We have wanted to attempt it for quite some time.. however, God knows when is best.. and for us it is now and not way back then!

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