Sunday, October 17, 2010

First Weeks of Fables

Our fables are going well. I chose to do wolf & dog fables first, as my twin girls are really into wolves at the moment. We did The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf (the boy who cried wolf). This was important as one of them is going through this phase right now.
During writing our sentences, I highlighted the nouns in "orange" but without explanation, as recommended by Eric Fairman in his Grade 3 Path of Discovery.
Then we did The Wolf and The House Dog. I decided to mix things up a bit and create a moving picture in our main lesson books.  See the picture, it was so easy and the girls loved it!  They re-created the story several times while "acting it out"

I also introduced punctuation, as Lily is reading so well, she needed to have this so her reading out loud would be easier. I created a fun punctuation game!  First, I wrote a sentence on the blackboard 4 times.

I am hungry.
I am hungry!
I am hungry?
I am hungry, thirsty, and tired.

I explained each ending punctuation and comma. Then they had to walk across the room and when I siad the punctuation, they had to act it out.  Example- they walked while I said "I am hungry" period. (stop) then they had to stop.

When I used the exclamation mark they jumped!  Question mark was a shoulder shrug and holding arms up like "I don't know"  and a comma meant a -pause- and then continue walking.. What fun! And it really was exciting to bring movement into the lesson. They got it!

We also made these orange bird feeders from Rhythm of the Home summer edition. The girls hng them in their nature house (a thicket of bushes they play in)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tall Tales Block

We began our 2nd grade school year with an alphabet & number review. The girls wrote all the letters in their main lesson books and this let me know what still needed more work.

Tall Tales was a fun way to begin this quirky 2nd grade curriculum. I wasn't sure how the stories would be received, but they really seemed to enjoy them!

Our first tale was not a popular one, but it is a "girl legend" called Dona Flor. Set in New Mexico, this giant woman helps the village with their "big mountain lion" by discovering he is only a baby roaring into a hollow log from atop a mountain.

 Next, we did John Henry and Paul Bunyon.

 We were also reviewing vowel sounds by bouncing a ball, bean bag tossing and just reading some basic readers. Brooke was needing a bit more practice and someone recommended "Reading--literature: the primer" by Harriet Treadwell. It has been amazing!
 Here was a fun blackboard drawing of Johnny Appleseed sleeping under the stars with his fire smoking. I really like using the chalk!
 A Painting day gave us a chance to paint covers to our main lesson books. This helps us know our own (yes, I include myself as I have one that I work in). I ended up buying thick drawing pads from the craft store with a odd picture on the cover, so these wet-on-wet's are lovely to hide that.
 The girls write the sentences and decorate around the page with form drawings.
 We spent time learning "camp fire" songs like "I've been working on the railroad", "Dinah won't you blow your horn" and the girls favorite, "Clementine".
I think at this point they have a good foundation of reading. Lily is reading almost any book she finds around the house and Brooke has grasped the basics enough to move forward.
Next up, Fables.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Our festival this year was extended due to 5 days of rain.  We spent a rainy day telling a lovely story by Christine Natale from her "Fairy Tales" book called "The Strong Boy".

 While I told the story, we warmed our beeswax.  Then we each made part of the dragon and fastened him to the candle (by using a hair dryer on low). He came out amazing and honestly,they did most of it.

See the fire coming out of his mouth?  We did add his 4th leg before he went on the candle.

The next day, I told the story of St.George and the Dragon and we made the dragon bread.
Here he is before we baked...

The girls enjoyed decorating his body using raisins for scales and sunflower seeds for teeth and spines.  Last night we had a bonfire, lit our candle and slayed our dragon. He was tasty!

I found a Form Drawing that looked like an eye and we drew our "Dragon Eye" in our main lesson books. What fun!