Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Three Names

Have I mentioned how much we love Five in a Row (FIAR)?!  Maggie keeps raving about it to her Daddy when he's home and wears a big smile when we finish up one subject to start our FIAR work each day.  This is our seventh read, Three Names by Patricia MacLachlan, about a great-grandfather's colorful memories of his childhood on the prairie, with his beloved and faithful dog, and their fondness of their one-room schoolhouse and all that happens there.  It is a sweet read, and full of new things for Maggie to ponder.
Day 1 - Social Studies
Like every first day of a new FIAR study, we started by reading the book, followed by coloring our story disk for that book.  (This week's disk featured Three Names, the dog who is one of the story's leading characters.)
 Then, we placed it on our map, on the Great Plains, in the upper left corner of Kansas, "Tornado Country."  (There is a tornado featured in the story.)
 After we talked a bit about prairie life, we read this great book, Pioneer Farm: Living on a Farm in the 1880s by Megan O'Hara.
There were a few things we noted in the book, which would be pertinent later in our studies.  For one, we noticed the washboard the mother is using in this picture, instead of a present-day washing machine to launder the clothes.
We also noticed the men threshing wheat.  (This was pertinent to mention for today's craft.)
(Here is a picture from Three Names, showing the children riding through the wheat fields.)
I picked up a bundle of wheat at our grocery store to use for this study.  (I don't know who was more excited to see it, Maggie or our cat!)
To start our craft, we first made a simple picture on cream-colored construction paper of a large, harvest sun, and dry prairie grasses, using crayons.  (We are very familiar with grasslands since that was our last landform study in Geography.)
(Here was the base for our picture.)
Then, we cut some of our wheat stalks close to the end, like you see Mags doing here ...
... and glued them onto our picture, going in the same direction, like the wind would move through it on the prairie.
Here is our picture, drying.
Looks great!
After we finished up today's art project, we talked about the one-room school houses in history, using our Usborne Then and Now book by Heather Amery.
Once our reading was done, we went on a field trip, to our local museum, to see a replica home from that time period (note the washboard hung on the wall) ...
... and a one-room school house!  (Maggie was tickled to be allowed to sit at a desk!)
She chose to sit next to the wood stove, also featured in our Three Names book, saying she would "be warmer" there.  I was really glad to have this resource available for this study.
Later, we made the "Roasted Potatoes" recipe from the FIAR cookbook, for a snack just like the one Great-grandfather and Three Names would eat at school in the Winter.
Day 2 - Language Arts
Today, we talked about the book's title, words from the book that we had not heard before, similes throughout the story, and writing descriptively.  I then challenged her to help me write about a place she knows well, that maybe someone else has not been to, with lots of descriptive words, like the way Great-grandfather describes the barn in the book.  She chose to describe her favorite restaurant, Atlanta Bread Company.  Here is the paragraph we came up with:
'At Atlanta Bread Company, I hear people talking and dishes banging.  I see things through that large, glass windows.  I smell grilled cheese and taste my chocolaty cookie."
And mentioning cookies, for a snack today, we had the sugar cookies and lemonade like those shared at the end-of-the-school-year celebration in the story.
Day 3 - Art
Today, we discussed the artwork in Three Names, as well as the music mentioned in the same.  But, first, we talked about the games played in the book.  One of the games mentioned was marbles, all wrapped up in a woolen sock for safekeeping.  I gave Maggie some marbles, also in a woolen sock, to try her own hand at the game.
First, she made a large circle in the dirt, just like the book suggested.
 Then, we played! 
It wasn't long, though, before dumping all the colors and making a dirt mosaic seemed like more fun!  :)
In our art study of this book, we discussed vanishing point, like this picture of the same from the book.  We then used the suggestions of the blogger at http://kidsartists.blogspot.com/2009/11/and-this-is-holland-too.html to make our own drawing with a vanishing point.
 Mags, getting to work!
Maggie's vanishing point picture!  (I didn't have the heart to point out that she made her trees and flowers LAYING aside the road, rather than standing alongside it.  She was very proud!)  :)
We also observed the child with the fiddle, Martha, in the book, and set out to hear some fiddling for ourselves.
We found this great video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_0T2ZIjWnw&noredirect=1, of a girl nearly the same age as Martha, on her own fiddle.  She is amazing!
Day 4 - Math
In our study of Math in this story, we discussed ordinal numbers, like the use of the word "first" in this book when referring to the first day of school.  I found a site with some great printable sheets to practice using ordinal numbers at http://www.kidslearningstation.com/numbers/ordinal-numbers-worksheets.asp.  (Here are the two we completed.)
All done!
Day 5 - Science
And for our Science study of the book, we learned more about wells, well water, and root cellars.  We enjoyed these two videos online about the same.  This first video shows how a well pump worked ...
... and this second one shows a root cellar and how the vegetables were able to stay cool and unspoiled.
It was another great read!  This week, we delve into Down Down the Mountain!  Stay tuned!

UPDATE: We followed up our read of Three Names with another of Patricia MacLachlan's famous reads about the prairie, Sarah, Plain and Tall.  A great read!  Add it to your Three Names' study!


  1. I was just searching for ideas for this book and came across your blog. What a fun week you planned! You had so many unique ideas. It looks like a wonderful week with an incredibly sweet book.

  2. Yes, we loved this row! Thanks for checking in with us! :)