Wednesday, 30 April 2014

"The Story About Ping" Unit Tub

I've started to work on some unit tubs that go along with the wonderful, rich Five In A Row curriculum.

This idea originated with Michelle Miller's library in Traverse City, Michigan and it is a great way of exploring living books for all of your schooling.

Eventually there will be bins for all the stories in the Five In A Row program - this one is based on the Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack.

Those of you who are familiar with this program will know that each unit is based on an exceptional picture book and usually the five major subject areas (history, geography, science, math, art) are subsequently explored.

The idea of these tubs is to complement this great program, as they contain many wonderful living books that are connected to the central book in the Five In A Row guide and to the main ideas extracted from it. All of the books fit into a handy bin and can be read over a couple of weeks. They will allow children to make connections naturally, as they do, resulting in an enjoyable and delightful learning experience.

The bins are quite flexible and can be used with preschoolers and elementary school children. My older children still enjoy many of these and I can't wait to use them again with my toddler!

Let's have a quick look at the books that can be found in the tub about Ping~

There are books about China, books about occupations, like Boats on the River, also by Marjorie Flack (beautifully illustrated), books about ducks, water safety, drawing water (Water - Through the Eyes of Artists), books on children in China (like Mei Li, by Thomas Handforth, a 1939 Caldecott Medal winner), books on Pandas; math lessons - Every Buddy Counts; books on science - floating and sinking, reflections and mirrors (like the engaging Mirror on the Wall, by Philip Carona), rivers; books on character lessons - Watch Where You Go (discernment) and of course, the poem "The Mirror", by A.A. Milne, which is mentioned in the guide, is included here.

I'm planning to work on some more tubs over the summer - the next one up is based on Lentil, by Robert McCloskey!

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Heart and Senses of Childhood

"I know well that only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young. I know too that in later life it is just (if only just) possible now and again to recover fleetingly the intense delight, the untellable joy and happiness and fear and grief and pain of our early years, of an all but forgotten childhood. I have, in a flash, in a momentary glimpse, seen again a horse, an oak, a daisy, just as I saw them in those early years, as if with that heart, with those senses."

~ Walter de la Mare, in his introduction to Bells and Grass, his delightful collection of poems for children.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A New Beginning

Spring and Easter are just full of new and wonderful beginnings: trees are springing to life again, birds have returned, baby animals are being born... and we remember that 2,000 years ago a tomb had been found empty and the fulfillment of the promise of a new life had risen!

All About Eggs and How They Change Into Animals, by Millicent Selsam  A delightful little book.

Baby Birds and How They Grow, by Jane McCauley Gorgeous pictures show nests and baby birds!

How Chicks Are Born, by Bruce Grant Lovely, quaint illustrations tell younger kids about hens and their eggs (and their chicks growing inside them).

What's Hatching Out of That Egg? Patricia Lauber "What's hatching out of that egg? An ostrich? An alligator? Look at the photographs and read the text for clues."

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller Colourful illustrations highlight the many creatures that lay eggs.

The Most Wonderful Egg in the World, by Helme Heine We've enjoyed the German version of this book (the original publication) for years  - chickens compete in a contest  - to lay the most unique egg for the king. Equally delightful in English.

Rechenka's Eggs, by Patricia Polacco  An elderly, Russian woman finds "miracle", when all over her lovingly crafted eggs seem lost. A story of friendship and caring.

The Egg Tree, by Katherine Milhous Kids enjoy an Easter hunt on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm. This book is sure to inspire little readers to make an egg tree of their very own. It was a special Easter tradition for me when I was growing up, and I still have some of the eggs that I painted as a little Kindergartener!

Scrambled Eggs, Super! By Dr. Seuss The search for eggs is on! Wildly funny story for kids in grades 1 - 3.

Legend of the Easter Egg, by Lori Walburg Christian-based legend of the Easter egg.

Now You Can Read Bible Stories... Wonderful Easter, by Leonard Matthews For kids in grades 1 - 3, nice, larger lettering.

The First Easter, by Rachel Billington Compelling retelling for kids in grades 2 - 6.

Tale of Three Trees, retold by Angela Elwell Hunt Classic tale of how three trees became involved in important events in the life of Jesus.

Easter, by Aileen Fisher About the history of Easter traditions, very well written, in the typical engaging style of this good author.