Thursday, November 15, 2012

FI♥AR: The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

Another great story and activities from Five in a row!  We had so much fun "rowing" this book.  I am just loving FIAR these days.  My boys do too.  They seem to learn best this way.  We have been learning a lot about lighthouses, but with this book we learned a little bit more about: New York and the real little red lighthouse, personification, how important a little lighthouse can be, and a little about bridge building.

Visit to a lighthouse:

Our visit to the lighthouse actually came before we even thought about rowing this book, and was our inspiration for starting a lighthouse study!  Here is a picture from our visit to the Yaquina head lighthouse in Newport, Oregon.  So thankful that we had the opportunity to visit a real lighthouse.  You can see more pictures from that trip here (on my family blog). 

We located NY on our big map.  We finally have a map!  Last time we used our globe, but I decided to just find a place to put our big world map since we need it so much.  It is now covering the fireplace that we never use :-)

Then we had fun looking at a fun state map of New York made by Highlights Which way USA?  I spent forever looking for a map to print like this online only to remember that I had this sitting right on our shelf from a long time ago.  It's a subscription that I got to try out once, but cancelled after 4 states.  I was so happy to find that I had gotten NY!   
I like this kind of map because it has fun pictures, and lots of facts!  Just right for my little boys.  They liked finding all the fun things about NY, and now they want to go visit!
My map boy!  He loved this
                                                                                                                                                                                           On the back is pictures and information about some major highlights of the state.  Niagara Falls:
The Bronx Zoo:
We looked to see how far we were from NY.  Love these cute fingers pointing all over the map!
We also found the Hudson river, and talked about what rivers look like on the map.  We talked about other features of a map as well, like the compass rose.
Big and small:

One of the art things we did was contrast in size.  We looked at a picture in the book (there were a few to choose from) that showed the huge contrast between the little red lighthouse and the big bridge.  We talked about it a little bit, and then the two older kids drew their own big and small pictures.

April drew a picture of a horse and a mouse (surprise!).  I love how she joins in on some of this FIAR stuff.
This was all I could get out of Aaron.  Silly kid.

In the book there are several things personified.  Right away, the first time we opened the book Aric noticed that the lighthouse had a face!  I loved that the kids learned about the word personification, and we emphasized it a lot.  The boats and fog are also personified in the book as well.

So, we had some fun with personification.  First we used our Pick and Draw game on some red lighthouse printables to make faces on the lighthouses.  Thanks to Our Homeschool Fun for that idea!  It had been a while since we brought out that game, so the kids were excited.
Basicically you pick features of the face to copy and make a silly face.  It makes for some laughs.
April loved this activity the most.  For some reason the boys didn't really get into it like I thought they would.  Here's April's faces.  And, her face...
This activity however was a definite hit for the boys.  I told them to go personify something in the living room.  I can't remember which blog I got this idea from.  If it's you please let me know!  They just loved this.

The chair personified...
The coffee table personified...
The robot dog personified...


We constructed lighthouses from the boys' own design.  I let them decide which materials to use (with suggestions from me), and they went from there.  Aaron chose to use cups, a red one for the body, and a clear one for the light.  I gave him the idea to just stack the cup on top of the red cup, but said I didn't know how he would finish the top.  He came up with the idea all on his own to just cut the bottom of a red cup and put that on top!  I was impressed.  He constructed it all by himself, no help from me except to gather the materials.

Aric had some awesome ideas as well.  First of all, see the top of his lighthouse?  That's a coffee filter thing.  We were walking through Target one day, and somehow he spotted this coffee filter.  He brought it to me and said Mom, this looks just like a lighthouse!  At first I didn't see it, and told him to go put it back on the shelf.  Then it hit me!  If we just flip it upside down it looks like the top of a lighthouse.  He was exactly right.  He then went on to say that he wanted to make his lighthouse out of that.  Note:  we weren't even looking for materials at the time to make lighthouses, it was all his idea!
This little lighthouse was made out of posterboard for the bottom, and a reusable coffee filter for the top with some red duct tape around it.  The only problem was we never did figure out a good way to attach the filter to the top.  It still needs to be secured.  I just haven't had time to figure it out.  Then we put flashlights in both of them.
They asked why their lighthouses didn't match.  I said because they both had their own ideas about how to make a lighthouse.  This led to a great discussion about how there are so many different kinds of lighthouse designs and structures all over the world.
Then the boys decided that they wanted to recreate the story.  This led to bridge building, and all kinds of imaginative play.  Aric used canned food and books to make his bridge.
Aaron came up with this design with the cups on his own.  This guy is my little engineer!
They got to thinking...
...we could add boats just like in the story.
Aaron added his boats too.  Later he also added a train (which wasn't in the story, but he thought it would be fun).
They even added a few cars to the bridges.
 I just love this video of Aaron telling about the bridge and lighthouse.  I love how much he remembered from the story, and I love how he feels like he speaking publicly.  I am kind of wishing I didn't correct him, I think that made him stop sooner than he wanted to.  Oh well, it's still a cute clip.  I also love that you can see how his lighthouse blinks.

I am linking this up with Delightful Learning's  Delightful Learning  


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