FIAR Out of Print Titles

If you use the Five in a Row Curriculum you know that there are some books that are no longer being published and can be difficult to come by. For those of you that are interested in obtaining these books at garage sales, thrift stores, and library book sales here is a consolidated list of some of the most prized FIAR titles. If you are looking for complete FIAR book lists please check out the lists compiled at HomeSchoolShare. They also have other lists grouped by geography, science, unit studies, lapbooks, and more.

Want to print this list? No problem. Just click here for a PDF version.

Note: Some formerly out-of-print books are now being republished as indicated.

Before FIAR

Yellow Ball ~ Bang, Molly

My Blue Boat ~Chris L. Demarest

The Quiet Way Home ~Bonnie Becker

The Red Carpet  ~Rex Parkin

Jenny’s Surprise Summer  ~Eugenie

FIAR Vol 1

Cranberry Thanksgiving  ~Devlin, Wende & Harry

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear  ~Scheffrin-Falk, Gladys  ~ (Now available at Purple House Press)

FIAR Vol 2

Giraffe That Walked to Paris   ~Milton, Nancy

Babar, To Duet or Not To Duet ~De Brunhoff

Down, Down the Mountain ~Credle, Ellis

All Those Secrets of the World ~Yolen, Jane

Gramma’s Walk ~Hines, Anna Grossnickle

FIAR Vol 3

Andy and the Circus ~Credle, Ellis

The Wild Horses of Sweet Briar  ~Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie

Henry the Castaway ~Taylor, Mark

Warm as Wool ~Sanders, Scott Russell   ~(Now available at Wooster Book Company )

FIAR Vol 4

Arabella ~Orr, Wendy

Cowboy Charlie ~Winter, Jeanette

Hanna’s Cold Winter ~Marx, Trish

Higgins Bend Song and Dance   ~Martin, Jacqueline Briggs

The Hatmaker’s Sign   ~Fleming, Candace


Plans for Inauguration Day


Honestly, I didn’t intend to do much for Inauguration Day. I planned maybe, and that’s a big maybe, watching it on TV with the kids. But then FIAR came out with an Inauguration Day Fold and Learn. Perfect!

It has a short biography of Barack Obama, the inaugural schedule from January 18th through Inauguration Day, some fun facts about the history of inauguration, and Barack Obama’s favorite dessert!

We are going to have a fun time re-reading If I Ran For President, which I purchased during the election. At the same time I also bought the other book by Catherine Stier,  If I Were President. These two books are really perfect at explaining the topic of the Presidency for a child. With eye-catching illustrations and wording that not only accurately explains a difficult topic, but makes it fun and exciting, these books are perfect for early elementary ages.

If you are looking for more ideas, Shauna over at Treasure Seekers has put together a wonderful list of resources to make your Inauguration Day educational and fun!

The Rag Coat

We had  a wonderful time rowing The Rag Coat. Although we read this book several times over the course of two weeks I could not manage to get through it once without tearing up a bit. It was beautifully written and the illustrations are vibrant.


We made butter during the course of our study which has nearly replaced the purchase of butter at the store. My dear husband has decided that it is the perfect compliment to his homemade bread. So now we are not only blessed with the wonderful wafting aroma of bread baking, we are also privy to the “butter dance” as he excitedly shakes the cream past it’s frothy prime and into a nice yellow clump of butter.

While we did have lofty ideas of putting together a quilt we decided to settle for making rag dolls as Minna does in the story. We made our dolls out of knit gloves by cutting off all but the middle two fingers for legs and then sewing it together.

I was quite impressed with Hailey’s manual dexterity with a needle and thread. Just a couple of months ago I recall trying to explain cross stitch with one of those plastic needle kits that you purchase at the craft store. We both ended up getting frustrated and decided to put it away. So when she managed to sew the arms together and then attached them to the body I was quite proud of how well she did.



I did purchase the Hands of a Child project pack to go with this book, however the majority of the items within the pack require answers to be filled in. While perfectly suitable for children a bit older it did not suit our needs at this time.

As Minna’s father was a coal miner in Appalachia I took the opportunity to discuss the formation of coal. We decided to place our story disk on West Virginia after discussing where the Appalachian Mountains were as well as our top coal producing states.

We also covered three of the basic formations of rocks – igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Hailey had a difficult time understanding the word “sedimentary” so I filled a glass with water and sprinkled in some sand, dirt, and leaves. We watched it settle on the bottom and discussed how it could eventually turn to rock.

We also made igneous rocks by watching our chocolate “lava” cool off. Although we did speed up the cooling process by popping it in the freezer!

In order to solidify her understanding of the variations of rocks how the earth is constantly changing, I explained the rock cycle. I tried to find a basic illustration, but all of the pictures seemed to be too complex for the early elementary level. I ended up making my own illustration for her to color and labels to place . Please feel free to download it for your own personal use.


Owl Moon and Unit Study

This turned mostly into a Unit Study on Owls, but we did use the Five in a Row title Owl Moon as well as HomeschoolShare title Owl Babies to implement our owl study. HSS also has Owl Moon lapbook graphics here. Owls weren’t actually on the schedule to study at all, but the local park was having a ranger talk with a rescued non-releasable barred owl named Merlin. Of course I decided to work it in to the schedule!

Since I don’t actually have the FIAR volume that Owl Moon is covered in I ended up just doing things my own way. Owl Moon is really a beautiful book. We also got the huge library storytelling book for Owl Babies. Charlie loved the life-size pictures! I thought about dissecting owl pellets for a minute, but decided that we would push that somewhat icky discovery off until another year. We used this online owl pellet dissection instead.

The cover page shows a graphic from HSS on the Owl Babies lesson plan page. Hailey wanted it to be a screech owl so she changed the coloration a bit and wrote the sound that a screech owl makes. You can hear owl sounds here.


The inside shows a nocturnal animals flap book on the left with the different animals that the owl babies might have heard during the night. The right flap has a book where Hailey illustrated the materials needed to make a nest using construction paper and crayons. The middle shows a food chain chart the we used from Teacher Created Resources. This was a terrific purchase! While it is geared toward a classroom setting it was chock full of ideas and resources that we easy to work with and put together. It has ideas for interactive plays, story telling, dissecting owl pellets, and more.  The right middle is a flap book that opens to show three of the animals that make up an owl’s diet.


The second side of the folder shows a matchbook with the definition of nocturnal and cursive handwriting copywork on the left flap. The right flap has a layer book with several owl poems and songs from HSS. The middle shows a printout on the preservation of owls from Teacher Created Resources.


The middle flap opens to show a graph with the different heights of several owls, also from Teacher Created Resources. Hailey is the first column.


Inside the flap there is a book with three different types of owls and the sounds that they make as well as a flap book about owls and their habits.


Making Homemade Butter

We are rowing The Rag Coat this week and since I have been wanting to make butter for a while now I snagged the chance to introduce it to the kids.

We started with 32 oz of heavy whipping cream and a large glass jar. I had heard that putting a marble in might help with agitating the cream, but I was afraid it might hit the jar wrong and we would end up with a huge mess! Instead, I just put a heavy plastic kids spoon.

Next came the shaking……. lots and lots of shaking. To brake up the monotony we alternated between jogging around the room with it, rolling it back and forth on the floor, and practicing counting by ones, twos, tens, and hundreds while vigorously shaking. After about ten minutes it didn’t feel like the cream was moving much anymore. Our view through the glass was a solid white jar. When I unscrewed the top it looked like super smooth whipping cream.

After another 5 minutes the cream began to break up a bit.

2 minutes later it began breaking up even more and we could see through the jar again. Then we suddenly had butter! The buttermilk began to separate out and we had a huge lump of nice yellow butter in our jar.

We used a strainer to pour the buttermilk off. The buttermilk is actually sweet, rather than the sour stuff you buy from the store, since the cream wasn’t soured beforehand. The kids each had a small taste and we are left with 1 1/2 cups for cooking.

After separating the butter we rinsed it by covering it with clean cold water and kneading until the water was discolored. Then we poured off the water and repeated for a total of 4 rinses. This helps to remove the remaining buttermilk and prevents the butter from becoming rancid.

We were left with a little over a cup of yummy butter! I did find that this butter was a little bland and I think that might have something to do with the ultra-pasteurized cream we used. I would love to try this using cream from raw milk, but that would be a little cost-prohibitive and difficult to find. Next time I might look for low pasteurized cream or try making cultured butter with yogurt. For now I think I will add some fresh herbs and enjoy our freshly homemade butter!

Storm in the Night Lapbook

So here is our completed lapbook for our the Storm in the Night. We used some materials from Homeschool Share, but for the most part I made my own graphics for this one. Feel free to click on the links and download them for your own personal not-for-profit use.

The left flap involved a discussion on how our bodies change as well as how our roles change as we get older. I used a cute picture that I found here. The right flap has a Venn diagram depicting the characteristics of Grandfather and Thomas and a Vocabulary flap book with pictures for the vocabulary words errands, bough, and mandarin. We added in the word babbling and wrote “blah, blah, blah” under the flap. In the middle you can see our introduction to onomatopoeia. Hailey now shouts out “Onomatopoeia” every time she recognizes one in a book. You can get those graphics here. We made a facial expressions booklet. And the book about our listening walk.

The second side of the folder shows a large diagram of the Water cycle in the middle. The cloud booklet opens up and shows the water droplets that a cloud is made of. Then the raindrops were drawn directly on the folder. The left flap has a pocket with pictures of 4 different cloud types.  I got the cloud pictures here.The pocket on the right flap is holding cloud charts that we used each day to see if we could predict the weather by observing the clouds.

On the back cover is the painting that Hailey did with a dark background.

To find out more in depth about what we did during the week check out the previous post! Next week we will be doing BATS!

A Storm in the Night

This past week we rowed Five in a Row (FIAR) title A Storm in the Night. I decided to go ahead and row this book since we had been inundated with thunderstorms the previous several weeks. Of course, as soon as we started we had nothing but sunny skies!

A Storm in the Night proved to be a bit more difficult at first than our first FIAR book The Story About Ping. The book was mostly dialogue and in order to help the kids follow the book a bit easier I used different voices for the characters.

We discussed the use of onomatopoeia for the first time. I realized that we had a wonderful supplemental book for this discussion called The Listening Walk by Paul Showers. Every single page has a new sound that the young girl hears as she goes on her listening walk with her father. We decided to go on our own listening walk and talk about the different sounds that we could hear. Then we figured out how we could make those sounds into words and made our own book .

We discussed how we know people are feeling by the expressions they have on their face. We made a mini booklet drawing the characteristics of different facial expressions.  I also dug out some old pictures so that Hailey could note the changes as people get older.

For science we focused in on the Water Cycle. We made our model of earth and its atmosphere by taking a plate of water and placing it in one side of a large tupperware container. We closed the top and placed a heat lamp above the side of the tupperware with the water to represent the sun. On the opposite side we placed a bag of ice cubes to represent the cold air in the upper atmosphere. As the lamp (sun) heated the water the water evaporated (turned to water vapor) and condensed  (formed a cloud) as it rose and hit the bag of ice (cold air) on the opposite side. Once the water droplets became large enough they fell (rained) back to the plate (ground).

We also decided to learn more about clouds. We learned four of the basic types of clouds – Stratus, Cumulus, Cirrus, and Nimbus. I found some great pictures of clouds here, Royalty free! We charted what clouds we saw in the morning and guessed what type of weather we would see that afternoon. In the afternoon we would check the weather again to see if we were right. I also had Hailey make a rain gauge out of an old peanut butter jar and a ruler. I took the top off of the jar, turned it upside-down and filled it with spare change to weight it down. Then I taped it with packing tape to the bottom of the jar to keep it from blowing away.

These are some of the graphics that I created while doing the lapbook for A Storm in the Night. Please feel free to download and use for your own personal, not-for-profit, use.


Facial Expressions Booklet

Cloud Charting

Water Cycle

Cloud Types – Thanks to Carl Wozniak for the great cloud pics on this graphic. You can get more here free for educational purposes.

I will be posting pictures of our completed lapbook in the next couple of days.