Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Andy and the Circus

It's been a while since we posted one of our FIAR readings, so here you go!  Our latest read was Andy and the Circus by Ellis Credle.  (She also authored Down, Down the Mountain, another FIAR book.  It was one of our favorite rows!)  Andy and the Circus is hard to come by (I would hate to tell you how much we paid for our used copy), but for those of you who are fortunate enough to get your hands on one, here is what we did for this row ...

Andy and the Circus was a cute read.  It's about a kind-hearted boy who yearns to see the circus but can't afford a ticket.  His grandfather suggests he get a job at the circus to ensure a spot in the audience, but all his goodness in helping others gets him to the circus grounds late on opening day.  I won't tell you the rest, but Maggie enjoyed it.  It's surprisingly long for a picture book, but we are happy to have it in our library.
 There is no true setting for this book, but we decided that Idaho would be a great place for our story disk since the story mentions potato plants in the field of one of Andy's neighbors.  Here is our colored story disk on our U.S. map.  (We love mapping these books!)
(Here is our U.S. map with all of its story disks!)
 (And here is our world map.)
After reading, we talked about the relationships in the book, as well as what it means to serve others and make sacrifices (all themes of Andy and the Circus).  For lunch that day, we had many of the foods mentioned in the book -- ham, cornbread ...
... and watermelon, which Andy toted in the basket of his bicycle.
Lunch was Maggie-approved!
In the story, there is an idiom on the wall of this illustration, a picture of Andy's kitchen.
We talked about idioms then played this Cat & Mouse: The Idiom Game (something I picked up at our local teacher store).
The goal is to match idioms to their meanings.
Maggie is quite good at it!
Later, it was time for a slice of pie for snack!  (In the book, Andy is given a pie to deliver from his aunt.  We're not told the flavor.  Maggie picked strawberry cream for our pie.)
Next, we talked about the art of the book.  We noted that Credle used all one color in her illustrations, blue, like some other authors of books we've read.  
I challenged her to make a drawing using just blue.
We also noticed how Credle drew clouds in her illustrations.
Mags tried to copy her style.
For fun, I asked her if she wanted to dress up like a clown.  Of course, she was thrilled at this idea!  I had bought a cheap, simple clown makeup kit at Party City and picked up these other clown accessories (clown hair with hat and the clown tie) at Hobby Lobby.
She was so proud of the end result!
My little clown!
After we clowned around for a while, we watched two great YouTube videos of old footage of a circus in town!  This first one is just over eight minutes long and she really liked it!
This second video is much shorter, but has no sound and shows the effort it took to set up the circus.  She enjoyed it, too!
Once we watched those, we put together our own little paper circus using the printables at http://madebyjoel.com/2013/05/paper-city-circus.html and at http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/printables/circustent.html.  (You can also find some really cute ones at http://papertoys.com/circus.htm#.V0xtlfkrKM9.)
 With her top hat in place, she was ready to put on the show!
But first, we needed popcorn!  I had these treat bags leftover from when I hosted a book study with our old homeschool group (see http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2014/03/circus-mcgurkus.html), so we used them for popcorn for the show!
And what's a show without tickets?!  (I keep these on hand for all sorts of things (another Party City item).  Maggie loves to ask for a few every now and then before she performs something for us around the house.)
These little paper pieces are adorable ...
... and Mags loved playing with them!
 Next, we read If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss ...
... and completed the writing prompt, "If I ran the circus ..." using this circus tent printable at http://www.abcteach.com/circus/primary.htm.
For math, we talked about balance, as Andy so carefully used when he rode his bike to the circus grounds, loaded up with objects.  We read Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh ...
... then completed the balancing sheets (which required her to find the missing addend in equations to balance the scales) at http://mrstsfirstgradeclass-jill.blogspot.com/2012/04/balance-scale-missing-addends.html.  (There are several you can print.)  Maggie thought this was entirely too easy.  Oh, well.
    Next, we balanced items with our bucket balance scale.  She discovered this cork equals the weight of three pennies.
 And these buttons are equal to the weight of two pennies.  Therefore, we know that the cork is heavier than three of our buttons.
In the story, Andy picks up horehound candies for his grandfather.  We got some to nibble on while we studied this book.
They are quite good.  They taste like root beer.
Then, it was time for the science of this book.  In the book, Andy carries a bullfrog and a jar of tadpoles for a friend on his bike ride to the circus grounds.  We decided to review what we knew of frogs with a few activities.  (For a list of other things we have done with frogs, just follow this link: http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/search/label/Frogs.)  First, we read Frogs and Toads and Tadpoles, Too by Allan Fowler.
Next, we read Fantastic Frogs by Penelope Arlon.  (We loved this one!)
After our reading, we watched this quick (and VERY cute!) video about the life cycle of frogs.
Then, using our frog life cycle manipulatives and the worksheet we found at 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/FreeDownload/Freebie-Frog-Life-Cycle-Writing-Prompt, I challenged her to detail the stages of a frog's life.
 Great job, Mags!
And what is a circus book study without animal crackers for a snack?  This was a fun reward for another completed book study!
All in all, it was another great row!  I am so glad I afforded this book!  Next?  We will continue with a circus theme with a reading of Andy and the Lion, which starts tomorrow!  Check back!


  1. Adorable and creative! I'm currently on the hunt for this title. It looks like a good one! (somewhere between teasing and hoping...) Can we borrow your copy and FedEx it back in 5 days? *sigh*

    1. Thank you! I know how you feel! I hated spending what I did on our copy, but I justified it by saying Maggie wouldn't have to go through the search I did if she rowed with her babies. I have appealed to Purple House Press often to reprint this book. (They put vintage books back through printing if they can get the permission of the authors' families.) Maybe you could appeal to them, too? They print based on requests. (I put the web address of their FB page below.) Best of luck!