Monday, October 27, 2014

Babar: To Duet or Not to Duet

This week, we ended our "tour of Paris" by rowing Babar: To Duet or Not to Duet, based on the characters created by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, story by Elaine Waisglass.  This was a great book study for Maggie, as she has been learning to play the piano for the last year and a half.
After we read the book, we watched the animated film at  (Sorry, I was unable to imbed the video.)
Then, we placed our story disk for this book on our world map, another visit to Paris!  (Some say there is no true setting for this book, but the names are all French and in the animated film (the link is just above), there is a framed picture in the house of the Eiffel Tower.  We're calling it Paris!)
For a fun snack, we made the Peanut Butter Bars out of The Five in a Row Cookbook for this read (page 62).  Here, Maggie is crushing up graham crackers.
And here, she is spooning the melted chocolate over our bar mixture!
Looks good, Mags!
Once they hardened and were cut, our bars looked so yummy!
 Later, we talked about the formality of some of the words in the book (since Babar is a king and is treated as such).  We talked about formal speech and manners and then read another Parisian-based book, Madeline Says Merci: The-Always-Be-Polite Book by John Bemelmans Marciano.
 Then it was time for some art, particularly music.  At the suggestion of our FIAR manual, I decided to let her make some "potato print notes," using paint on potato stamps (music notes cut from potatoes).  First, I made some staff lines on 12"x18" white paper.
While I set up the paper, my husband cut some musical notes out of a baking potato.  They looked great, but we realized afterwards that he should have cut them backwards, so they wouldn't stamp backwards.  Oh well.
 We painted over them with tempera paints ...
 ... and stamped them onto our staff lines.  Again, they were backwards, but it was still fun.
 Yay, Mags!  Now, we should try to play it on her piano!
 When we read Mirette on the High Wire, we talked extensively about promotional posters.  We noticed one in this book, announcing the Great Leopold's duet with Babar, and decided to make one of our own.
 Here it is!  I gave her some musical notes I had cut out of cardstock and it turned out so great!
We also read M is for Melody: A Music Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin (a GREAT addition to this FIAR read) ...
 ... Orchestranimals by Vlasta van Kampen (a PERFECT addition to this book study) ...
... and Those Amazing Musical Instruments! by Genevieve Helsby.
 It was then time to learn more about Franz Joseph Haydn, the composer of the piece that Babar played with the Great Leopold, Surprise Symphony.  We started by reading Famous Children: Haydn by Ann Rachlin ...
... and Franz Joseph Haydn: Great Man of Music by Carol Greene.
We then listened to his Surprise Symphony on YouTube (video below).
 The neat thing is that Maggie actually learned to play a part of this already in her lessons!  Here is her piece from Surprise Symphony that she learned last year!
 And here she is, playing it for you!
Later, we listened to more of Haydn's music on YouTube (video below).
This developed into a study of our ears.  For the same, we read My Ears by Lloyd G. Douglas ...
... Hearing by Helen Frost ...
... and Hearing by Rebecca Olien.  (We also looked at the parts of the ear and how our brains interpret sound.)
Then, it was time to read more about elephants.  We read Usborne's Elephants by Kate Davies ...
... Elephants by Amelie von Zumbusch ...

... and Big, Rough, and Wrinkly: What Am I? by Moira Butterfield.
The last thing we did in our study of elephants and this FIAR book was this "Measure the Elephant!" worksheet we found at
 That wraps up our study of Babar: To Duet or Not to Duet!  Tomorrow, we leave for vacation to SC and NC, so we won't be adding another FIAR read for a couple of weeks!  Until then, happy rowing!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Joshua, Jericho, and Rahab

For our last lesson this week in our history curriculum (The Mystery of History, Volume I, Lesson 21), we learned about Joshua, Jericho, and Rahab.
After we read our lesson, and she narrated back to me what she had learned, we watched this VeggieTales YouTube video ( on that same story.
Then, we watched and listened to the "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" song on this YouTube video
 For a craft project, we used the great idea we found at to make a picture of Rahab with her scarlet cord hanging from her window, as instructed by the Hebrew spies, to keep her and her family safe from the battle of Jericho.  First, we crafted the scarlet cord by braiding three pieces of scarlet DMC floss together.
 Then, using cardstock and colored pencils, tape, scissors, and glue, we crafted a little window cut out of a stone building.  We added our cord to look like it was hanging down from the window.
 We placed our "stone building" onto some blue cardstock and added a "stone wall" with photo scrapbooking paper that already looked like a stone wall.  Maggie added her drawing of Rahab to the window.
 She also added the two spies and labeled the artwork with "Battle of Jericho" and a Bible verse from Joshua.
 For our next activity, Maggie constructed a model of the walls of Jericho with LEGOs.
We placed this on the floor ...
 ... and marched around it six times (to represent six days), blowing a shofar, just as the Hebrews did as instructed by Joshua.
 (We picked up this little, plastic shofar at the Explorations in Antiquity Center that we visited this week on our field trip.)
On our seventh march around Jericho (representing the seventh day), Maggie gave a shout and the walls fell down!
 For our final activity with this lesson, we started our own Joshua Basket.  (I purchased this one at Amazon, but you can make one just as easily with stones, a basket, and a small notebook.)
The purpose of a Joshua basket is to recognize and remember the times in our lives when God is faithful to us. 
In Joshua 4:4-7 (NIV), it reads, "So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, 'Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, "What do these stones mean?" tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.' "
A Joshua basket allows us to do exactly what those Israelites did, use stones to remember God's faithfulness.  We started by adding her name and start date to the journal.
 Then, she said she wanted to remember a time that she made a bad choice (putting some of my coins into her own drawer without asking) and God faithfully forgave her.
 We wrote "forgiveness" on a memory stone.
This was placed in our Joshua basket.
(We hope to update our journal regularly.)
So, that wraps up our history lessons for this week.  Next week is our break week, so we will be posting more about history on the following week, at the start of November!  Happy learning!