Saturday, August 27, 2016

FIAR: Henry the Castaway

FIAR:  Henry the Castaway and Explorers

I know I said that the boys were switching curriculum and that I would return to Five in a Row when the girls were ready.  But then I realized how I could tie this row in so neatly with the beginning of our Early American history lessons on explorers.  I do still think we need the continuity of the curriculum we've chosen for history and science, but my FIAR heart is happy that I might still occasionally add a row in whenever it fits in a supplementary way.  Our favorite subjects from FIAR have always been history, science and language arts; those were the focus of this row, and will likely continue to be the focus of any future rows that are used in this way.

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So here we are, with Henry the Castaway.  It's about exploring and the adventure and bravery that goes along with being a great explorer.  I decided to plug the row of Henry in between Leif the Lucky and Christopher Columbus.  This worked well for us as part of our history study, but these two books would also work well as go-along books for Henry.  {I'll share more about the beginnings of our Beautiful Feet Books journey soon.}

Social Studies
We used the lesson in the book (discussion) and talked about the traits of explorers and the things they need, like good map-reading skills.  We tied this into the science lesson on survival skills.  We talked about places nearby that we would like to explore--the wetlands and nature refuge were at the top of the list.

We read Maps and Globes and talked about different elements in the book.  We used their small compasses to refresh on N-E-S-W (Never Eat Soggy Waffles), direction of the sunrise/sunset and other things in relation to our new home, and how to use it in relation to survival skills.  We found the equator on the globe, and as we've continued to use the globe for history and looking at routes of explorers, we've continued to discuss things like the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, distance between continents, the size of the Earth, the differences in maps and globes, and all that fun stuff.

Instead of going in-depth with explorers, we just read Great Explorations by David Neufeld. It covers Leif and Columbus, which we're also specifically learning about in Beautiful Feet Books, but it also touches on a couple of other famous explorers.

Language Arts
This was something we actually hadn't formally covered, but Elliott recognized some of the allusions.  He also understood the concept, because it was kind of discussed in Who is George Lucas?, with how he did this in his films, so he made that connection quickly.

Additional Literature
Henry Explores the Jungle by Mark Taylor
Down to the Sea in Ships by Philemon Sturges {Excellent poetry go-along for anything related to ships or explorers}
Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton {Fun Preschool tie-in for Eleanor}

Elliott actually said he enjoyed the Henry books and asked me to get the others.  So Henry the Explorer and Henry Explores the Mountains are now on my list.

We didn't really do the lessons from the manual, but when we read Henry Explores the Jungle, Emory immediately noticed that the page spread when Henry leaves on his adventure is the "same" in both books.  It's always fun to find little connections like that and find the actual similarities and differences!

Survival Skills
This was tied into the lesson on explorers, and we discussed different skills you need for exploring, what to do when you get lost, and supplies you should take.

When we moved, we moved really close to the river--like walking distance close.  There are a lot of nice walking paths around here that we've enjoyed.  We're actually very close to the confluence of two rivers, so we talked about these rivers, We used the book Geography From A-Z to look up the vocabulary words from the science section of the manual and other relevant terms.  We also related it to the ocean and the explorers we've learned about.

We also looked at major US rivers.  Emory had to color the outside of his map to make it look more like a treasure map.  Of course.

 Map from National Geographic 

Belted Kingfisher
Honestly, I initially thought this was a tiny bit of a stretch as far as including it as a lesson--it really played no significant role in the actual story.  However, Emory had just asked if we could learn about more animals.  Since this bird lives on the river and is common to our area, we can look for them on our river walks.  So we looked it up in our Birds Of . . . Guide, which Emory likes just flipping through on his own.  We colored a picture, and listened to its call on All About Birds - Belted Kingfisher.  That website still fascinates my kids.

Interesting Discussion
Completely unrelated to anything in the manual, Elliott and I had an interesting discussion.  He pointed out how the parents just let their young son wander off all day, down the river no less, where he got stranded, and asked if they were considered "bad parents" to not know where their kid was all day.  I pointed out the [somewhat dated] illustrations and we checked out the copyright.  We then talked about how children were given more freedom at an earlier age then, and that now society often views children playing alone as dangerous.

So it was a light, casual row, but filled with great discussions, and it was an excellent tie-in to our history studies!

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  1. What a fun row! I would love to do more FIAR!

    1. It really is fun. I decided to work in in as a supplement so we can still enjoy it! :)