Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Amber on the Mountain

It's been a while since we "rowed" a Five in a Row (FIAR) book, but with only five books left to study in Volume 3, we will be doing them back-to-back this summer so we can start Volume 4 come fall.

This week, we rowed Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston.  It was a sweet book.  Amazon's synopsis of it reads, "Amber's mountain is beautiful, but it is a lonely place until the day Anna arrives, bringing both her friendship and the will to teach Amber how to read.  Suddenly, Amber's world is filled with a new magic and new challenges.  But when Anna returns to the city, will Amber be able to keep reading on her own?"  Maggie liked the story very much. 
We didn't do a lot with this book, but we still enjoyed the few things we touched on.

Though no specific setting is named, we do know from the story that it took place in the mountains.  Maggie and I decided to place it in the Rocky Mountains, since we had not explored it too much with our other FIAR reads.  (We hit on Appalachia plenty!)  Maggie chose the part of the Rockies that runs through Wyoming.
Amber's mule is named Rockhead.  He's referred to often in the book, so he is also on the story disk for this read.
In the story, the girls read the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin.  We read it, too, out of our copy of Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales (page 237).
We read another fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson out of this Classic Fairy Tales book (by Barnes and Noble) called "The Bond of Friendship" (pages 289-295).  I thought it was a good pick because of the bond of friendship between Amber and Anna.
In the story, Amber gave Anna a little, clay mule when they parted.  I challenged Maggie to fashion one out of clay, too.
All done!
I think she did a great job on the back, but I'm not too sure what happened to the front of the poor fella'!  LOL!
In the story, Anna's father is building a new road for the mountain.  The process of making a new road is extensive.  We read about it in New Road! by Gail Gibbons.  (Her books are the best!)
Lately, we've been doing a lot of work to study mountains.  (We've done this with our recent metamorphic rocks lesson (at http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2017/05/metamorphic-rocks.html) and as we've started our year-long World Geography study with Asia, focusing on the Himalayas and Mount Everest.)  With Amber on the Mountain, we were able to reiterate what we had already learned.  First, we read How Mountains Are Made by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
Then, we read more about "Mountains" on pages 30-31 of Usborne's First Encyclopedia of Our World.
In our metamorphic rocks lesson (aforementioned), we learned how tectonic plates are responsible for the formation of mountains.  We demonstrated this using small towels.  On the top layer (the paper towel), I wrote "Tectonic Plate A" and "Tectonic Plate B," with a clear line separating the two (to help the children in our co-op better understand).
When the plates push against each other, the layers come together to form mountains!
We did the same demonstration with graham crackers and water, too.
Once wet and a little soggy, the graham crackers were ready to manipulate!
Pushing those "plates" together ... 
... gave us folding!  Cool!
We also read about animals of the Rocky Mountains in this Usborne World of Animals book by Susanna Davidson and Mike Unwin (pages 46-47).
We wanted to do some art depicting mountains, and we came across the beautiful piece at http://kidsartists.blogspot.com/2009/09/you-need-blotting-paper-in-several.html, using tissue paper (the picture is hers), but we never got around to it.  Still, I wanted to share because I thought it would be a great addition to this book!
Only four more books left to go until we start Volume 4!  Check back with us!

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