Monday, January 23, 2012

Row'ing "Another Celebrated Dancing Bear"

For the next two weeks we'll be reading and doing activities to go along with this wonderful book!  

Have you heard of "Five in a Row?"  I hadn't until we started looking into homeschooling Sophia a couple of years ago.  

FIAR is a "curriculum" for children based on amazing books.  The idea is simple, you read one book for five days in a row and then, throughout the days, you do activities that naturally come out of the reading.  The outcome is amazing and so much fun!  Sophia and I have loved every book!

Here is the main website for FIAR.  You can order the books and other materials at Rainbow Resources (they have lots of other great books and teaching aids, too).  We have ordered our FIAR books for the last couple of years, but this year, while we are in the USA we will be able to get most of what we need from our local library.  

There are many places to find ideas for "Row'ing a book":  
My favorite is Homeschool Share -a website with almost everything you need to help get started - great ideas, printables, and example lapbooks.
A FIAR forum with advice from real live Mom's!  
And, if you just Google "Five In a Row" blog or "Rowing" blog - you'll get a list of many blogging mom's using FIAR.  Their posts are filled with ideas, schedules, resources and photos of all they have done with the different books.

So, last week and this week we are reading "Another Celebrated Dancing Bear" by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk with beautiful etching illustrations by Barbara Garrison.

The book takes place in Russia, where we are from!  

Here is some of what we have done:

Served tea from our samovar and practiced our hospitality with family and friends.

Listened to Russian composers and watched some of their ballets.  Sophia received this book for Christmas and she loves it.  Today we read about the ballet Romeo and Juliet and watched some of the Dance of the Knights.

This music give me chills . .. 

In keeping with our culture study, we also looked at Russian artists last week.

Using this book, we learned a little about one of the first Impressionists, Kandinsky.

We looked at samples of his work in another art book I bought years ago.

We learned that Kandinsky had been a musician before he became a painter.  Music played a great role in his art - he said that a small painting is like a melody and a large one, like a symphony.

Sophia listened to some classical music from our local station and then, painted what she thought would "fit" the music.

The artist at work.

"Mom, I'm busy!"

Here is the finished painting!

She explained, "It is a tram, riding along on the tracks."

Russian book.
Russian artist.
Russian music.
Russian tram . . . 

This week we will:
  • Learn some about the Russian artist, Marc Chagall, and design our own ballet set! 
  • Experiment with water and the freezing and boiling points.
  • Talk about occupations.
  • Practice our hospitality skills and invite some friends over for tea and bear claws!  

 Should be great fun!

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