This was the first book that we did with Five in a Row and I couldn’t believe how much fun we had.
For Literature we discussed what a Classic story is. We made a timeline so that the kids could see how long ago the book was written (1933). We put up pictures of the family members on the year each was born. Now Hailey says hello to everyone on the way down the stairs! We also talked about the difference between Fiction and non-fiction books and reviewed a couple of unfamiliar vocabulary words.
We all learned a lot about China too. We went through several extra books from the library discussing Chinese culture and the differences of a lifestyle in China and that of America. We also learned that the Yangtze River that Ping lived on is the third longest river in the world! We even managed to cook a Chinese meal from scratch – Egg drop soup, Potstickers, veggie stirfry, and almond tea cakes for dessert. Yum! Of course, the table was lit with Chinese lanterns.
For Science we did a few experiments on bouyancy since the boy in the boat uses a barrel as a flotation device. The kids had a blast collecting all sorts of objects and guessing whether the would sink or float before chucking them into the sink. We also learned that some objects will either sink or float depending on their shape – solid ball vs. boat shape, whether they were filled with air, or saturated with water.
We discussed all of the different types of ducks (diving, dabbling, whistling, sea, stiff-tailed) and what made them different. Also reviewed how ducks swim, what they eat, their lifecycle, and parts of a duck. Then we went to feed the ducks and got to see everything up close. There were a couple of young ducklings old enough to be away from Mama duck and there were quite a few Canadian geese there too, so we got to see the differences between the birds.
In order for Hailey to visualize just how many ducks Ping had in his family we printed out a picture of the Yangtze River and Hailey used a small duck stamp to stamp all 67 members of Ping’s family.
Finally we did some story sequencing cards and Hailey dictated to me her own Story About Ping. Which really followed more along her own interests, but that of course did make it her very own!