Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening {FIAR}

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It's been so long since I've posted, but moving halfway across the country, at the holidays nonetheless, can really throw you for a loop!  We're starting to settle in, we're getting into a routine, and my first grader is back with Five in a Row.

We tried something else this school year, and while it wasn't a bad fit, it just wasn't as free-flowing and natural as I prefer, and when I needed to shake things up after the move, I realized I wanted to be using FIAR for her.

So our first row after the break was Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.  I started with this book because it's winter and the snow just hangs out around here, and it's also a shorter/lighter row, so it was a good one to ease back into things.  Some of these lessons are from the manual, and some are additional activities. You really need the guide to do FIAR as designed.

I focus on my first grader for rowing, but my PreK kiddo (who is doing Before Five in a Row) does join in on occasion.

Language Arts
Poet-Robert Frost; Poetry
We started the week off by reading the book of course, and talking about how it's actually a poem.  We then talked about poetry and what makes a poem.  After that, I introduced her to Robert Frost.  We didn't go into much detail, just read through a few of his poems--we came back to this book a few times throughout the week.

The guide gives a few different suggestions for children's poetry, and we read a few random poems from Now We are Six and When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne.

We printed a copy of the poem for our notebook, and she also wrote her own animal poem.

 (Cat Stickers, which we also used when rowing Papa Piccolo.)

Animal Tracks/Animals in Winter
We expanded on the lesson in the manual by reading some Let's Read and Find out Science books and doing an animal footprints matching activity.

           Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft        Big Tracks, Little Tracks by Millicent E. Selsam

As we've had quite a bit of snow sitting around, we also looked for animal tracks.  Dog tracks are the easiest to identify of course!

We didn't follow the lessons in the manual, but this still fit well.  As we looked through the pages, we saw many animals, especially birds, and particularly a cardinal.  

We found this winter cardinal that was great for the girls (5 and 7) to do on their own.  They didn't quite get enough white crayon on the page for the "snowflakes" to resist the watercolor, but overall they were happy with the project.  

Another afternoon, she was just flipping through the book and asked if she could draw the fox.  I found Draw Write Now Book 7: Forest Animals and she drew the fox, complete with grass and flowers!

I'm hoping to work more handicrafts and/or cooking into our rows, and homemade bird feeder ornaments just went well.  Since the illustrations show the man feeding the animals, the Bible supplement mentions Proverbs 12:10 and being good to animals.  We discussed this, and since birds are featured throughout the book, we went with that . . .

The girls loved this project.  Most recipes call for gelatin, but I looked for a few without, and this is what we did.  I melted about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, and while that cooled they measured out 4 cups of birdseed.  I used a smaller cup and asked Eleanor to convert first, which was great because she was doing fractions in math anyway.  Eloise counted out the number of scoops. Then I poured the coconut oil in and they used spoons to mix it up.  Finally, I added a couple tablespoons of peanut butter.

We only have two of the really large cookie cutters, but we used some single serve ice cream bowls for the rest of our seed since they're fairly deep.  We poked a hole through each and popped them into the freezer on the cookie sheet.

The ones in the plastic cups were the easiest to remove, while the flower was the most difficult, but it did look nice.

They lasted at least through the next day--we watched birds at one, but it wasn't long before a resident squirrel found them and was probably the one who decimated them so quickly.  At least he came back to clean up his mess.

There weren't really any social studies lessons, but we found Vermont (for Frost's hometown) for our story disk and reviewed the locations of the previous books we'd rowed.

I previously rowed Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening about four years ago with the boys, or you can see all of my documented Five in a Row posts here.  I will continue to update as I can.

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  1. I've been wondering where you went! I took a 2 year break from blogging, but I started again in January! I love everything in this post. I can't wait to start Before Five in a Row with my 14 month old, Zeke!

    1. Sometimes we just need a little break! I'm also using Before Five in a Row for PreK this year. Such a sweet curriculum!