Mighty Mike Mulligan

25 09 2011

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel was our Five in A Row book of the week. Amazing how timeless this story is! In addition to some of the FIAR lessons, we also incorporated an author study by reading more of Virginia Lee Burton’s works. My clever kids could pick out characters from different books illustrated in other ones.

We happened upon the Mike Mulligan sound recording performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Our library only had MM book with the CD, so that’s what we got! It was a nice surprise to hear the music inspired by the story and to enjoy the narration. I also learned a lot of new things about the book and the author.

The publisher has a little page dedicated to Mike and Mary Anne here: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/features/mike_mulligan/mmpage.shtml There are some activities to go along with the story too, like anthropomorphizing an every day object.

We finished off our week by making “dirt desserts” that were a cross between this and this. We thought Mary Anne would have liked that! We mixed 1 small package of vanilla instant pudding with milk (a little less than making the pie filling) and whipped cream. Mighty Man smashed a handful of chocolate sandwich cookies into dirt, then he and Bean layered the dessert in little cups. I would have loved to put the dessert into an angular serving dish, to make the corners “neat and square,” but everyone enjoyed it as it was.

Mad for Madeline

15 09 2011

Another week in our Five in A Row Series has us reading all about Madeline. Given the love of Madeline in our house, we might have been tempted to skip this book, but both Bean and I are glad we didn’t. Remarkably, Madeline holds many math lessons… Since “the smallest one was Madeline,” Bean sorted her figurines into different size groups. Here’s Madeline and the Mr. Men, with a rogue kinder-egg rabbit sans ears, showing friends that are smaller. We also measured our own heights to figure out who is the smallest in our family. We’ll put our measurements aside and revisit them every month to see how we change. Maybe Mighty Man will outgrow Bean soon!

Another math topic we covered is symmetry. Our hunt for all things symmetrical started with a close examination of the book’s illustrations. We finished up by share-drawing symmetrical butterflies, something Madeline would certainly love!

In addition to the lessons suggested by FIAR, we’ve added our tribute with watching all of our Madeline videos, including Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline in London, and the even more far-fetched, Madeline in New York. We also had a fun time playing our Madeline game; helping Genevieve find her lost puppies is harder than it sounds! Did you know that Madeline also has her own official site? Not much for the kids there, but a great place for parents to learn more about the author and the history of Madeline.

Ping goes to school

29 08 2011

No, Bean isn’t reading about computers or submarines…It’s a duck! With much enthusiasm, we’ve started part of our home school for the year with the Five in A Row Series. The first story we’ve read together is A Story about Ping, a little duck living on the Yangtze River. Some of our projects included drawing motion lines with colored glue, talking to relatives about ducks, and discussing Chinese culture. We finished off our week with a homemade Chinese food dinner. Bean’s favorite takeout dish is “beef on a stick.”  Wasn’t sure we could replicate it at home, but this recipe got her seal of approval as “the best dinner ever.” Meanwhile, Mighty Man ate 3+ of the shrimp egg rolls they made together. Looking forward to next week’s adventures!