October 17-21 Daniel’s Duck, by Clyde Robert Bulla is a sweet story that teaches a lot about emotion and self worth in a way that is easily understood by young children. It is set in the mountains of Tennessee and is about a country family who are all making things through the long, cold winter to either sell or display at the Spring County Fair. Daniel’s brother, Jeff, carves things from wood and is making something for the fair. Daniel decides to do the same and learns much about self confidence in the process.
Social Studies: Country Life (Mountain Cabin, Small Town) vs. City Life
After a reading of the book Joe and I looked through it together and he pointed out lots of things that make it obvious Daniel lives a country life in a rural setting. I copied/pasted and printed out lots of clip art pictures of both country life and city life and had Joe sort and glue them onto pages for his lapjournal. Social Studies: The County Fair
We did not make a trip to our State Fair as I’d thought we might originally, but we’d just been to Tweetsie Railroad a few days previous to this row and they have a huge part that is called County Fair with rides, foods and booths just like at the fair. When we were there I made sure to talk lots about the fair so it could tie into this row in case we didn’t go to our local fair.
We discussed what the fair meant to Daniel and his family and all of the preparations they made for months to attend this important and memorable event.
When Daniel thinks the people at the fair are making fun of the duck he carved he goes through many emotions all at once—embarrassment, anger, hurt. Joe and I talked about how he would feel in this sort of situation. We talked about the best ways to react to these feelings and how reacting differently can affect you in ways that last much longer than just the ‘heat of the moment’.
We talked quite a bit about our self worth. It is so important to me to try and help my children develop self worth. I lack in this area and in self esteem and struggle with feelings of self doubt pretty much daily. I want so much more for my children.
Joe completed a fun activity focusing on adjectives that I tied to self worth. He drew a picture of himself and then had to come up with five ‘awesome adjectives’ that he thought described himself. Language Arts: Quotation Marks, Adjectives
In addition to completing the activity on adjectives above, Joe learned a little about quotation marks—I explained to him that they are used to show that someone in a story is speaking and the words they say are set apart using the quotation marks at the beginning and ending of their words. We looked through the book together finding sets of quotation marks and he completed a lapjournal piece from Homeschool Share.
Since this book is about carving and artists I thought it would be fun to have the kids try an idea from the manual on carving using Ivory soap. It was pretty challenging, but they hung in there and didn’t complain. They actually seemed to enjoy it. Jack didn’t carve, but Joe and Hanna did.
Right now in Singapore Math Joe is learning about measurement, so the measurement activity in the FIAR manual came along at a great time. I found a fun printable for measuring items around the house, gathered them all and put them in a bag and Joe measured them. He had fun with this. Science: Seasons
We focused on the four seasons for Science. First, Joe sorted clip art into each of the four seasons and glued it down for lapjournal pages.He also completed a favorite season page, Fall Words and a sentence starter page for ‘Fall Is’. I had Jack make a seasons book—Joe made this same book in preschool and it was fun. Jack and I enjoyed making it together and it turned out really cute. The boys made Fall leaf lanterns with coffee filter watercolor painted leaves, mod podge, Mason jars and LED tealights. They have both liked having them in their rooms at night, just as they enjoyed the lighthouses from the Summer. I made a Fall themed treat, acorn cookies, using vanilla wafers, Hershey Kisses, pnut butter chips and pnut butter as the ‘glue’. Jack had a theme of the four seasons and Fall for this week in addition to the things he and Joe worked on together. He completed leaf shadow matching, several puzzles, pre-writer pages and a few other matching activities all from different preschool packs that I printed. Here are the boys’ finished lapjournal pages—Jack’s…
In the beginning when I chose this book to row I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but I really wanted to focus on emotions and self worth so I went with it anyway. When I got it home from the library and read it myself for the first time, I realized it had a wonderful theme, but I still wasn’t sure if it would keep the boys’ attention. It ended up being a meaningful story for Joe and kept Jack’s attention much longer than I’d thought. This is such a sweet book with important life lessons and I really enjoyed all that we did with it together.
All of the ideas, activities and printables I used for Daniel’s Duck can be found on my Pinterest board *here*.