Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Five in a Row: Madeline

We have been having lots of fun with our "Five in a Row" curriculum this summer.  It uses classic children's book to teach all sorts of subjects, from art, history, social studies, geography, reading, phonics and even math and science.  Although, we also have a supplemental math and reading/writing/phonics curriculum we use.  Five in a Row is great because it is so easy to use it to teach both kids.  Basically, you read the classic book for five days in a row, each day expanding beyond the book into fun lessons on all sorts of subjects.  We recently read "Madeline" each day and did a ton of fun activities that correlate with the book.  We learned all about Paris, France (which is where the story takes place), from it's geographic location, to its architecture, food and language.  There are actually so many things that one can pull from this awesome book.  We discussed manners, the Human Body anatomy, the artwork that is used in the book and so much more.  There are so many fun lessons that can be pulled from this book, that we actually spanned the lessons over 2 full weeks!

For those who are interested in the "Five in a Row" curriculum, I thought it would be fun to show you what a week or so in the curriculum looks like. You can make it as in-depth as you want.  There are so many free curriculum resources to go along with the "Five in a Row" books.   One of my favorite sites for free curriculum to go along with the books is http://www.homeschoolshare.com/.  Of course, the "Before Five in a Row" curriculum book itself has enough ideas for your full week, but it is always fun to peruse the web to find more fun ideas.  Here is what some of the activities looked like over our 2 week visit to France and Madeline.

First, perhaps it would be a good idea to give you a synopsis of the book, Madeline, so you can understand why we chose some of the activities that we did. Here is the synopsis from the scholastic website:

In an old, vine-covered house in Paris live 12 little girls. They wear wide-brimmed hats and matching yellow outfits, and walk in two perfect rows. Madeline is the smallest girl, and the most daring. She's not afraid to touch a mouse or go near a tiger in the zoo.

But one night she wakes up in pain and Madame Clavel, the mistress of the house, can hear Madeline crying all the way from her own bedroom. Madame Clavel calls the doctor, and in no time, Madeline is rushed to the hospital to have her appendix removed. Everyone at the house misses Madeline, and Madame Clavel decides to take the 11 girls to visit their little friend in the hospital. They take her flowers and find Madeline in her hospital bed happily surrounded by the gifts of toys and candies she has received from well-wishers. Madeline even has a scar to show to them, which the other girls look at with awe, and a little envy. That night, back at the house, Madame Clavel again hears the crying of a little girl. She hurries to the bedroom where the girls sleep in two rows of beds and discovers every single one of the remaining girls crying in pain, all of them wanting to go to the hospital and get gifts, and a scar, just like Madeline!

The book was full of so many art lessons. The watercolor illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans are gorgeous.   So, one day I taught the kids about monochromatic art.  The author used a lot of monochromatic pictures in the book.  So, I let each of the kids pick one color and use various shades of the color to color a picture of the Eiffel tower.

Luke selected green.

And Abbey selected her current favorite color:  blue.  You can see we are still working on the proper way to hold the crayon.

Their masterpieces.
Abbey did some sorting of some little girls from smallest to largest ("and the smallest one was "Madeline"), while Luke did some copywork ("They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine-- the smallest one was "Madeline".)

Since the book touches on manners, we talked about manners as well.  I gave the kids various scenarios and asked them individually for the correct response.  For example, "What should you say when you are mean to someone or when you hurt someone?"   They both responded with "you should say you are sorry."

We had fun taking a tour around Paris, France.   We first looked at it on the globe and saw how far away it was from us.  We also got on the internet and looked at some photos of architecture around Paris.  We decided that they had some beautiful buildings that we would love to visit someday.

We did several fun math activities.  One of the activities we did involved first coloring and cutting out some of the "girls" in the madeline book.

Then, since the book discusses there being "twelve little girls in two straight rows", Luke figured out how many girls would be in each row if there were two rows and 12 girls total.  We did the same with three rows and four rows.

But, we probably had the most fun with the anatomy portion of the study!  You see, in the book, Madeline becomes ill and must have surgery to remove her appendix.  Early in our study we spent a good amount of time one day (ok, maybe we did this on several days) playing with an iPad application by Tinybot called, "The Human Body".  It is so much fun!  When you are within the app, there is a panel on the left that looks like a menu showing different body parts.  Here you can display or hide layers, such as the nervous system, circulation system, skeleton, etc. Within the individual systems, you can see the organs, parts of organs and so on. The kids' favorite thing to do on the app is to show the digestive system and then drop food or drink into the mouth and watch it pass through the body.   You can zoom in on specific parts of the digestive system (such as the stomach, large intestine or rectum) and see the food progress through the system.  I bet you can guess where the kids spent the most time--ha!  Zoom into the mouth and you can chew food and brush the teeth. If you show the skeleton, all the major bones are labelled and you can actually pull out the bones and then try to place them back in the right places in the body for extra learning value.  Anyway, it is so much fun and the kids and I had so much fun with it.  I am not sure if there is a cost for the app, as we got it for free some time ago.  Towards the end of our study, we made a couple of interactive, wearable sets of organs.  This one requires some explanation with photos.  These are hilarious to me!

The kids colored their intestines and we cut out other body parts as well.  We also added to plastic baggies to the end of straws to show how our lungs inflate when we breath air in.  There is one more baggie at the end of our esophagus that is supposed to be the stomach.

It looks like Luke is testing the limits of his lungs!

Abbey was more gentle on her set of lungs.

We also had fun dropping rocks down our "esophagus" to see it land in the stomach.

you can see the rock Luke just dropped into his esophagus.
But, he very quickly went back to trying to collapse his lung. 
Abbey on the other hand, decided dropping rocks into the esophagus and watching it land in the stomach was fun and went searching for more rocks.  Her poor stomach!

And we couldn't end the tour of Paris without trying out some french food.    One day, when the kids and I were at Whole Foods, I let them try a chocolate crescent.

Do you see the looks of satisfaction on their faces?  We don't do sweets very often--so when they do have them they really appreciate them. 
But, I decided that if we were going to do some french food, we also needed to have a french meal at home.  So, we decided on some escargot.  We have a ton of snails around our home, so the ingredients were right there and free.   Just Kidding!!!!  We decided on crepes.  So we finished our tour of Paris with some savory and then sweet crepes.  For the savory crepes, I cooked some potatoes and sweet onions in butter with some of our rosemary until they were a little caramelized.  Then, I made a bechamel sauce (which is a french sauce used in a variety of dishes).  Lastly, I cooked some organic, uncured bacon and used the bacon grease to scramble some pastured chicken eggs.  So, once I flipped the crepe over to cook the other side, I layered a little gruyere cheese, potato/onion mixture, bacon and eggs and once finished cooking, rolled them up.  A topped them with the bechamel sauce.  Oh my goodness!  These crepes were the bomb!  Then, for desert, the kids and at a dessert crepe with some dark chocolate, peanut butter and bananas, while Drew had one with dark chocolate and strawberries.  Our bellies were very happy.  What a great way to end our Madeline study!

Abbey thought they were finger licking good!
And we read, "Madeline" one last time while we finished dessert.
We are excited about our next study in Five in a Row!

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