Saturday, May 6, 2017

FIAR: They Were Strong and Good

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The timing of this book couldn't have been more perfect.  It's actually been several weeks since we rowed They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson, but I'm just getting around to sharing it.

We were finishing up our row of Who Owns the Sun? and I had already decided to follow it up with They Were Strong and Good, because we were also studying Abraham Lincoln through Beautiful Feet Books, so the Civil War tie-in of this book fit the general time period of our history study.

Then, because I had pushed these rows back a few weeks, it happened to line up that the weekend before we rowed this book, we celebrated Granny's 90th birthday.  Granny is husband's grandmother, the kids' great-grandmother.  She is a retired nurse and quite the artist.  She paints, quilts, makes jewelry and has written three books.  The books are autobiography/memoir style, and very much have a "local" feel to them, she grew up nearby, so I plan to utilize them when we study state history!  At her party, there were tons of photographs from throughout her life, quilts she'd made for grandkids, and of course friends and family.  Her Legacy.

{cell phone picture, so not the best quality}

She's such a sweet soul, and it just seemed so right that we'd be able to celebrate the life of someone so "strong and good" in our life at the same time we were rowing this book.

Social Studies
This book is full of social studies lessons, and there are so many topics mentioned that could easily rabbit trail into various history studies.

We had a lot of discussions about family history and relatives, and we made a simple family tree.  The kids love hearing family names and stories and looking up the family on Ancestry.

Caribbean Sea
We learned about the Caribbean Sea and islands, and mapped from New York to Puerto Rico to Cuba and the Isthmus of Panama on a map of North America.

The story disk was placed on the Caribbean Sea islands.

We continued our history study of Abraham Lincoln with Beautiful Feet Books.  I'll have more on that coming soon!

How Cities Change
Semi-relavent to this topic, seeing how things change over time.  This was at Granny's party.

So neat to compare prices and see what the major accomplishments of the time were.

Other Notable Topics of Discussion 
Civil War, Slavery, Stereotypes, minorities, land grants, and so many other topics were touched on or talked about in detail, based on their comments, questions or observations.

This book is an older book, and the illustrations (especially of the Mammy) brought up a lot of discussion with my kids.  I know some people find these types of books controversial or concerning, but I'm not generally one for censoring.  I feel like if we don't show our kids these things and let them recognize on their own the inaccuracies and offensiveness of them, then we are doing them a disservice.  You can't take a picture of the many beautiful, even if difficult, conversations we have about human nature, but believe me . . . this row was full of real learning!

Language Arts

Comparing Themes
We read the book Ox-Cart Man by Barbara Cooney as recommended and discussed the lesson.

Black and White/Contrast 
Symbolism in Art
I kind of combined two lessons in the manual into one.  We had a discussion about the lessons, and they created black and white symbols for each person in the family.  There were symbols for dad's love of cooking, my love of books and learning, they're enjoyment of video games, sister's singing, etc.

Haitian Gecko
This wasn't part of the manual's lessons, but I saw when we started reviewing ArtAchieve and it fit in here.  Since we were studying some of the Caribbean Islands, we completed the Haitian Gecko project.  Though Haiti wasn't specifically mentioned in the book, the geographical location tied in.

Ecology/Pollution - discussion
Bees - We reviewed bees by watching More than Honey documentary on Netflix

Food Fun
The last thing we did was end with the recipes from the cookbook.  It included caribbean jerk chicken (good), black beans (okay) and the Jamaican Rice. We, well half of us, loved the Jamaican rice.  My husband, who rarely *loves* anything, raved over the rice!

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