(6/4 – 6/15) We rowed Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha over the last two weeks. This was one of our most fun rows yet. We loved the book, the lessons we covered, our hands on learning and we made special memories too. Night of the Moonjellies is based on a summer the author spent helping out at his Grandma’s seaside diner, Mar-Gra’s, in the New England area of the US when he was seven years old. After reading the book and reading on the last page that it was all based on real life experiences from the author’s life it made the book even more special to me. I could tell it fascinated Joe to know that it was a true story.
We learned about:
- different kinds of jellyfish
- ocean creatures of all sorts
- biome—what it is and we talked about ocean biomes
- small family business (reviewed this concept from our row of Little Nino’s Pizzeria)
- details in a story through pictures
- warm/cool palette (reviewed this lesson from our row of Little Nino’s Pizzeria), pastel chalks
Jack and Jesse enjoyed lots of free play with learning manipulatives from our shelves these two weeks. They learned about the ocean from our read alouds, and up close and personal as we visited the beach and aquarium.
Jack did have fun with a few specific learning activities I printed for him. His very favorite was creating spiky sea urchins using play doh, colored toothpicks and number cards. I pulled out a barnacle pop up I made last summer when we rowed Gramma’s Walk and we revisited barnacles.
We went on our first beach trip of the summer to see the ocean and hopefully some ocean life in person. We didn’t see any ocean creatures this time around except some tiny crabs that Hanna caught and made a habitat for in a bucket. We also walked down to the pier to look at all of the barnacles covering it. We read the lesson from Apologia Swimming Creatures about jellyfish. Joe made a couple notebooking pages about different kinds of jellyfish from our reading.
Joe and I made our own jellyfish using watercolors, watercolor paper and pastel chalks from a lesson at Deep Sparkle Art. This was one of my favorite things we did together. It was a super fun and creative art project and the finished pictures turned out beautifully. Joe loves it when I participate with him and I do too. I put glowstick bracelets in the bathtub one night and told the boys to come in, that moonjellies were in their bath! They thought it was the coolest, most fun thing ever! We’ve done it more than once since this first time. We visited our state aquarium and saw moonjellies and sea urchins up close and personal.
We discussed the meaning of contrast when it comes to words in a story and how you can see this contrast both in the text and in the illustrations. (We also discussed details in a story through the use of the illustrations). Joe concluded that he thinks contrast is a lot like opposites. He wrote a paragraph contrasting calm vs. loud. He told me he likes calm better than loud. We read A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle and then Joe and Jack made their own house for a hermit crab. They painted a piece of watercolor paper blue, colored a hermit crab picture, used a paper plate for the shell and stickers to decorate it. They could have done this all day. They loved it, and I mean really loved it!
Just to prove that Jesse was in on our learning and fun, here’s a picture of him at the fountain having a blast! This was on the same day we visited the state aquarium.I love it when I can tie a row into family activities that will make special memories forever. This was definitely one of those rows. I was excited about it from planning it all the way to the very end of the two weeks we spent rowing.
Currently we are learning about lighthouses, bridges and boats as we row The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.
Ideas, inspiration and printables for this row can be found at:
- Five in a Row Volume 1 manual
- Apologia Swimming Creatures textbook and free notebooking pages
- 2 Teaching Mommies Ocean Preschool Pack – play doh sea urchins and number card printable
- Deep Sparkle Art – jellyfish art lesson
- Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop – Barnacle pop up book
- Delightful Learning and School Time Snippet’s – Glow Stick bath inspiration
- Naturally Educational – House for Hermit Crab craft
- Kinder Days – Ocean Biome picture
- Preschool Corner and 5K Too!
- Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up