Saturday, September 7, 2013

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

So, for our fourth FIAR read, I chose Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.  I did this for a few reasons.  For one, it is a short FIAR read, which I thought would be helpful for this first week back.  Secondly, we started learning about seasons this week in Science (Winter, of course, being one of those), so it was a good fit.  And thirdly, next week, we start studying weather, so I thought a snowy read would be good for that as well.  (I always try to stick to themes so she can make more application to what she's learning.)  As with the other posts, this study was over several days (four to be exact), so you will see Maggie wearing different things, but it made more sense to make one posting about this book study than expect you to chase around after four separate postings.  Enjoy.

For those of you who don't know, this is actually a famous Robert Frost poem, put in book form and illustrated by Susan Jeffers.  The illustrations are beautiful, and we enjoyed them very much.
(This is an edit to the original post, but Maggie's sweet, sweet piano teacher offered this video clip to supplement this study, and I HAD to share ... Robert Frost, himself, reading this poem!  Enjoy!  And thank you, Sandy!  This is such a great addition!)

Day 1 - Language Arts
 First, like with every FIAR book we start, we read our book, then colored our story disk ...
 ... and placed it on our map.
 Then, we talked about alliteration, rhyming and rhyme scheme, and repetition throughout the poem.  Because we were working with poetry and today was our day to study Language Arts, I was hoping to find an activity to help her understand poetry a little better.  I found a few great ideas at  For our first activity, I borrowed their idea to make an animal poem, using their template, but instead of letting her pick any animal, I had her pick an animal from the book's illustrations.  She picked the fox.
 We then proceeded to fill out the template, with the fox in mind, to make a poem.  She then illustrated her poem.
 Here is her poem about the fox!
 Her fox!  SO cute!  :)
 I took our next poem idea from that same website and decided to help Mags make a list poem about snow.  (A list poem is basically a list of all things that come to mind when you think about a particular subject.)  After we came up with our list, I had her decorate a piece of light blue paper with snowflake stamps, stamped in silver and white ink.  This would serve as the background for our poem.
 Looks great!
 Then, I typed up her list poem, and we adhered it onto our decorated sheet!
 (Here is that poem.)
 To wrap up our first day of this book, we made the recipes for this story out of the FIAR Cookbook (Chicken Pie and Peach Crisp).
 Our pot pie turned out sooooo pretty!
 And soooooo good!!!
Here is Maggie, starting the Peach Crisp.
 Another winner!
Day 2 - Art
After we read our book again, we discussed the art and illustrations in the book at length (medium, viewpoint, mood, detail, etc.), then set out to make our own little piece -- a crystallized snowflake, as seen at  For the same, you need a pipe cleaner, a piece of string, a pencil, a jar, and borax.   
To start, boil some water on the stove.  While you're waiting, bend your pipe cleaner into the shape of a snowflake. 
Pour 1/3 cup of the borax into your jar and tie your string onto your flake and your pencil, like this, so it will be able to be suspended in the jar when ready.
Once the water is boiling, pour 2 cups of the boiling water into your jar with your borax and mix with a spoon.  Once mixed, carefully place your snowflake into the jar to hang in the mixture.
Let hang for twelve hours.  Once twelve hours have passed, remove from the jar and let dry on a paper towel.  (Scroll down to see what ours looked like!)
For a fun snack for this day, I made the Tortilla Snowflakes as seen at, using flour tortillas, kitchen shears, vegetable oil, confectioner's sugar, and clear decorating sugar.  First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and microwave your tortilla for 10 seconds in the microwave to soften.  Then, fold over and over until you have a tight triangle, like this one.
Using your shears, cut out notches and shapes so that when opened, your tortillas resemble snowflakes.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes until they are browned slightly and crisp to the touch.
Once baked, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and clear decorating sugar, if desired.
The decorating sugar will make it sparkly!
A happy snacker!  (These were so good!)
Day 3 - Math
Before we did today's work, we read our book again, then observed our dried borax snowflake from the day before ... looks great!  Good and crystallized! 
 For Math, I prepared these little addition flash cards using animal tracks stamps.  Here is the front of one card ...
... and here is the back!
Day 4 - Science
For the science of this book, we delved deeper into animal tracks, first noting the tracks we saw in the illustrations of the book as we read it one last time for the week.  Then, we completed this great activity, found at, which requires you to match the footprints to its correct owner/animal.
 I cut them out beforehand, and we got to work!
 Once they were matched correctly, we glued them onto index cards, each animal next to its tracks.
 When they were all on cards, we punched a hole into each one and bound them with a small binder clip!  Now, she can take them on adventures with Daddy without losing one!  :)
 After that, we got out our animal track rubbing plates (one of my best ever purchases from Oriental Trading Company), and set to work to make some tracks of our own! 
 Then, it was time to go find some real tracks!  Here, we found a dog track!
 Then, what do you suppose made these?
 Guilty as charged!
 (We also found some of these same tracks in the gravel.)
So that wraps up our fourth FIAR book study!  Next week, we will be reading Mrs. Katz and Tush, so check back soon!


  1. Hi there,
    I want to thank you for posting your experiences with FIAR. We are using the program with our two little boys, but I am pregnant and not feeling super able to come up with ideas beyond what is in the book. I really appreciate seeing what you've done and plan to use some of the ideas for our home school. Your daughter is very sweet and your ideas and links are extremely helpful and realistic. God bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth! We love FIAR, too! I haven't posted in a while but you've inspired me to start again soon! So thank you! :)

  2. This site is my favorite to get ideas for our upcoming rows. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us!

    1. Oh, how wonderful to hear! Thank you! We have been in a bit of a blogging lull lately. It's comments like these that motivate me to blog again! Thanks again!