Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car

With all of our artist studies, it's been a while since we rowed, but last week, we picked it up again with a study of Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham.  Amazon's synopsis of it reads, "When Mr. Gumpy decides to go for a ride in his bright-red car, everyone wants to come along -- a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a sheep, chickens, a calf, a goat, and a boy and girl.  'All right,' says Mr. Gumpy.  'But it will be a squash.'  So they all squash in and, for a while, chug along happily.  Then it starts to rain, and the car becomes stuck in the mud.  Who will help Mr. Gumpy push the car out?  'Not me,' says each passenger.  In the end, however, they all have to help, and a wonderful time is had by all."
This story takes place in England, so we placed our story disk on our world map in the general vicinity of England, since it has long since been covered up by other story disks!  How we love FIAR!
We learned more about "The British Isles" in our DK Children's World Atlas (pages 50-51).
 We then read A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, which spotlights everything London.
To see actual images of what we read about, we watched a quick video of a London tour at

What better way to celebrate a study of London than to have a tea time?  We decided to make a cake for our tea time, which Maggie is preparing here.
Once our cake was baked and cooled, we frosted it.  Mags insisted on sprinkles.
There were twelve characters in Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car, so we cut our cake into twelve slices.
"Just a spot of tea (in her favorite mug, of course)!"
As we perused Burningham's artwork in the book, we noticed the concentric circles he made to illustrate the rays of the sun.  This is not typically how the sun's rays are depicted so I challenged Maggie to illustrate this, too.
Maggie's rays.
We also noticed how Burningham illustrated the action of the stuck tires in the mud with this splatter effect.  I then challenged Mags to illustrate the same effect, with a different picture.
She chose to illustrate it with a dog, digging in the dirt.  (Isn't it cute?)
For our mathematics focus of this book, we used a word problem to figure out how many legs were in Mr. Gumpy's motor car.  There were twelve characters, but some of them had a different number of legs each than the others.  We used the printable found at to answer the question.
The answer is 38!  There were 38 legs in Mr. Gumpy's motor car!
It was time for our focus to shift to the science concepts in this book.  Mr. Gumpy and his passengers were caught in a storm, which gave us the opportunity to do a study on the water cycle and clouds.  
We used our Usborne See Inside: Weather and Climate flap book to help us.
After our reading, we watched the "Sid's Rainy Play Date" episode of our Sid the Science Kid: Weather Kid Sid DVD.
(The same can be found on YouTube at

We followed that with another video, "The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm," also on YouTube (
Once we had our reading and the videos under our belts, we headed outside to spot and identify some clouds!
There were several different kinds to identify!
The next morning, we took this picture of fog (a low-lying cloud) in our backyard.
We found a fun weather window to print at, to help us with our cloud identification.
Here, Mags is using her weather window to name the clouds.
Classifying clouds is fun stuff!
Next, we set out to complete a really neat activity we found at, using cotton balls and paint to create the different cloud shapes on paper.  I labeled the paper and challenged her to create the shapes with the cotton.
Great job, Mags!  It looks fantastic!
Our next row?  The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen!  Check back with us!

1 comment:

  1. That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.