This past week, we "rowed" our next FIAR book, Climbing Kansas Mountains by George Shannon. Amazon's synopsis of this book reads, "Simmering illustrations full of visual surprises record the journey of a father and his son, trading wordplay and affection as they go, to the towering grain elevators that dot the Kansas landscape in the mid-day heat." This book was full of metaphor and we enjoyed it.
After reading it the first time, we placed our story disk for this book on Kansas on our US map.
We read more about Kansas in The United States of America: A State-by-State Guide by Millie Miller
and Cyndi Nelson, page 21.
On that page, we noted the Kansas state bird, the meadowlark. It's such a beautiful bird! We then recalled ...
... that on the dedication page of Climbing Kansas Mountains there is an illustration of a meadowlark.United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds by Hudson Talbott. (This book is so cute!)
(The illustrations in this book are adorable!)
We also observed and listened to a Western Meadowlark on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk4S2spFdcs (below). Love their song!
I then challenged Mags to accurately color the Western Meadowlark using the free download at https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/color-state-bird-kansas/ (below).
We did our best to make a map that "barely had a bump."
First, we talked about what the height of some of these grain elevators ("Kansas mountains") might be. The book described them "as tall as eight houses stacked." One-story houses are typically 10-12 feet high, and two-story houses are typically 20-24 feet high. So, using the description from the book and multiplication, we determined the grain elevators are between 80 and 192 feet high!
Next, we did some grain measurements. Grain is measured in bushels.
After an image search on Google, we found this image, which shows the wheat crop for all of Kansas for one year. No wonder it's called "The Wheat State"!
From that resource, we were able to download activity pages to identify the parts of a wheat kernel, label a wheat plant, unscramble words associated with the wheat industry, and complete a crossword puzzle with words of wheat foods.
Kansas is part of the "Breadbasket of the United States," that is, the area of our country that produces the most wheat. For one last activity, I thought it would be fun to make our own bread basket using the instructions we found at http://www.recipebyphoto.com/bread-basket/. Here is a picture of our bread dough, rolled out and cut into strips for our basket weaving. (A plastic pizza cutter worked like a charm for this!)
Here are our strips, weaved over our heavily-buttered bowl.
We added a thick braid to the bottom.
I was so worried this would crack before we got the bowl out, but it turned out perfectly! Maggie was thrilled!
Our bread basket!
It was a fun end to another great row!