Friday, January 26, 2018


Let me back it up a bit to when we rowed Angelo by David Macaulay (Five in a Row, Volume 4).  I delayed in writing this post because I have been backed up in writing our World Geography posts.  Since we studied Angelo the same week we studied Italy, I was hoping to make a combined post.  But I didn't want to wait any longer to write about Angelo.  However, unlike my usual FIAR posts, this one will be short.

Angelo is such a sweet read.  Maggie and I both loved it.  Amazon's synopsis of it reads, "High above the rooftops of Rome, Angelo begins his work restoring the façade of a once glorious church.  As with every project, he starts his final masterpiece by clearing away the years of debris left behind by the many pigeons who nest in the nooks and crannies of Rome's great architecture.  There, among the sticks and feathers, he discovers a wounded bird.  Finding no safe place to leave her, Angelo becomes the bird's reluctant savior.  

"As the church nears completion, Angelo begins to worry about the future of his aviary friend.  'What will become of you?  Where will you go ... where will you ... live?' he asks her.  Realizing what he must do, Angelo returns to the church to add one final, finishing touch.  Through his artistry as a master craftsman, he answers the questions about his humble friend and assures that he will not be forgotten."  

It is a wonderful book.
Not only with our recent World Geography study of Italy, but also with FIAR reads past, we are pretty well familiar with Rome.  

Below, are two pictures of our Italy lapbook from when we read rowed Little Nino's Pizzeria by Karen Barbour (Volume 3).  (That post can be found at
We also studied Italy with The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola (Volume 1) (post at, seen in the two pictures below ...
... and with Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley (also Volume 1) (at, seen in the following two pictures.  
So with our past rows, our study of historical Rome in our history course, and our recent study of Italy in Geography (I will update this post with that link once it is up), we feel we know it well.

We then placed our story disk for Angelo over Rome on our world map.
With this row, we had the opportunity to discuss Roman numerals, centuries, and the concept of ratio.  We read more about these in Usborne's Illustrated Elementary Math Dictionary ...
... before completing a fun "M&Ms Ratios" worksheet that I made up on my computer to put some of our leftover Halloween candy to good use.  (I told you this post was long overdue!)  (To see the worksheet image more clearly, simply click on it.)
She got right to work!
Of course, working with edible manipulatives always comes with a reward at the end!  😉
The bird that Angelo nurses back to health is named Sylvia.  The illustrations indicate possible broken bones, which gave us the opportunity to delve into this subject further.  We read about broken bones in Usborne's See Inside Your Body flap book ...
... and in The Human Body by Dr. Marie Rose.
We then watched a fun video ("3 Odd Facts About Pigeons") at, below ...
... as well as a few live pigeon cams at  (The image below is theirs.)
Of course, this is a great time to reread those beloved pigeon books by Mo Willems!
During our discussion on pigeons, we reviewed what we knew of birds.  (Having studied Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Jeannie Fulbright, we know quite a lot about birds.  This science series is phenomenal!) 
The following four pictures show different things we have done with this curriculum in our study of birds, things that would be great for your study of Angelo.  (All my posts for that text can be found at
We have also studied birds with other FIAR books, like Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say (Volume 1) (at (picture below) ...
... and Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (Volume 2) (at  We have really learned to love birds.

In the book, Angelo is inventive and constructs a very workable "recovery room" for Sylvia, complete with a system of traction to brace the bird's leg, as well as a device which will allow her to drink while laying down.  Interestingly, the author of our book (David Macaulay) also authored the book we looked through after our discussion of inventions, The Way Things Work.  We could definitely see his style in his illustrations.
To wrap up this book study, we made and ate the "Linguine with Clam Sauce" recipe found on page 15-17 of the FIAR manual (Volume 4), just like Angelo enjoyed in the story.
It was delicious!
Next up?  We will row Hanna's Cold Winter by Trish Marx.  Check back with us!

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