Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rowing Miss Rumphius {FIAR}

Here's the last pre-holiday Five in a Row adventure to catch you up on! Miss Rumphius was a fun book to row as winter set in ~ it reminded us that spring is really not far away!


Here's what we did!

*Social Studies*
  • We are told Miss Rumphius lives by the sea, but we aren't told exactly where...however there are many clues in the story, such as an icy harbor scene and this illustration of Miss R with some young visitors...so we assume the story takes place in Maine, which just happens to be one of my very favorite states!


  • We discussed how Miss R does what she can. Instead of sitting around doing nothing when her back hurts, she takes small steps towards accomplishing her goals. A wonderful lesson!
  • In this story, we see Miss R grow from a little girl to an elderly woman. Along the way, a lot changes in her world! Using the FIAR manual prompts, we spotted things like horse-drawn carriages in the illustrations of her youth, and cars as she gets older. 
  • Miss R is called a "crazy old lady" at one point, so we talked about why it is hurtful to call names and why people do it....the story characters changed their minds when they saw what a wonderful thing she had done!
  • Miss R is quite the world traveler! In the story she visits a beautiful island, mountains, jungles, and deserts. We had a brief discussion about each of these environments and I reminded Rose that she has visited tropical places, mountains, and a desert herself. 
  • As suggested in the manual, we discussed what the "Land of the Lotus Eaters" means, and we looked for a photograph online of a camel kneeling down (since Miss R hurts her back getting off a camel).

*Language Arts*

  • We had a brief discussion of the Dewey Decimal System, since Miss R works in a library. I had planned to go to the library and show Rose how to find a book on a specific topic, but we never made it during this row ~ this is something we have done in the past though. 
  • We went over the vocabulary for this story ~ mostly fun sea-related words, like "chandlers".
*Art*

  • We discussed the medium used in the illustrations by Barbara Cooney ~ the manual tells us she used acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencils. 
  • The manual includes many fun details to look for in the illustrations ~ such as the same pictures, and even the same type of cat, in the living room when Alice is a little girl and when she is an elderly lady in her own living room. There are so many fun little details in this story, and I am not sure I would have picked up on even half of them without the notes in the manual. 
  • We talked a bit about Islamic influence in architecture, using the illustration with Miss R and the camel (which is above) as our jumping off point. 
  • In several of these paintings, the artist shows wind blowing...like in this picture, where the curtains are blowing back from the bed. We looked for more examples in the story and discussed how the artist showed that there was a breeze in each one. Then, Rose made her own picture of trees blowing in the wind. 

  • There are a few illustrations in this book that show the sun at high noon, with shadows puddled right underneath people and objects. We shone a flashlight directly down on this little porcelain owl to achieve a similar effect. 


*Math* 

  • Miss R. plants five bushels of lupine seeds. We happen to have a bushel basket in the house, so I showed her that. Five bushels is a lot of seeds!
  • She counted all the people in the story from beginning to end, and came up with 134. 

*Science*

  • Since this is a book that features gardening, Rose sprouted a bean seed in a glass jar. We watched it develop over a couple of weeks. 





Fun! She is hoping a bean will grow on it;). We also started a few amaryllis bulbs around this time, so we had lots of things growing. 


  • I took out some shells from past trips to the beach, and we listened to see if we could hear the ocean in them ~ we could!

  •  The manual called our attention to the stuffed birds in the illustration of the library where Miss R works. I asked her to identify the species shown, then she chose a bird coloring page to do.

  • Little Alice has a set routine for her life...we talked about Rose's routine and how it helps her stay healthy. Then, she set out to make  a collage of favorite foods.



Because we did this row right around Christmas time, we ended up cutting it a bit short and we never made the recipes in the FIAR cookbook ~ they looked good though, and I hope to get to them at a later point. Also, I have a note in my planner to purchase a  lupine plant this spring 💗.

Well, that's it for this row! We are currently completing our row of The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, and I should have that up soon. And in the meantime I am working on a mid-year update for each child...what we're using and a bit about how the year is going.

Thanks for stopping by!

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