I recently finished our first Before Five in a Row book of the new school year with Princess. It was Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. The timing was great for this book, as we are in blueberry season right now in South Carolina!
(Please note: this post contains lessons from the FIAR manual AND activities that were added by me.)
Blueberries For Sal is a really cute book about a little girl who goes blueberry picking with her mother. It has a parallel story where a mama bear and her cub are also picking blueberries and they somehow get all mixed up with each other, then find their mamas again. It is such a dear story and I love the “old-time” feeling it has.
Here are some of the books we read to go along with it:
Our main focus was on the letter B, berries, bears and the color blue. I drew a big blue circle and let Princess use the “B” rubber stamps with blue ink and she made some B’s inside the circle. She loves rubber stamping, so that was fun.
We did our animal classification for all the different animals in the book and learned a lot about bears. We used the Animal Homes book in the picture above and learned about where bears live. We also added a little book to our lapbook from the FIAR Fold ‘N Learn about bears. You can access these on the Five in a Row website. We used most of the printables from that to make our lapbook. We also used resources from Homeschool Creations website. For the cover, I printed out this coloring page at Super Coloring website and Princess colored it.
We also had a lot of fun doing the little book “Where is Little Bear?” from Homeschool Creations for the lapbook.
We used the FIAR Fold ‘N Learn for a counting game and used blue pompoms as blueberries.
Also for counting practice, we used a game I had printed out several years ago on Homeschoolshare.com, but I don’t think that game is on their website anymore. Princess is all about counting right now, so this was a lot of fun too.
We used our bear counters and sorted colors for awhile.
For Art, we used blue paint and a q-tip to make blueberry bushes.
For Health & Safety, we talked about what to do if we get lost (since Little Sal gets lost from her mama). We watched one of my old favorite Sesame Street videos, Big Bird Gets Lost.
For music, we used a purple bucket and got some marbles and dropped them in like Little Sal and sang “Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk.”
We went over the Science lesson on blueberry bushes and went to check on our two little blueberry bushes that we planted in our backyard a few months ago. We talked about what all plants need and gave them some water.
We are so fortunate that we live on the same street (only 6 houses down from us) as an organic blueberry farm! There is a sweet old man who lives there and he lets you pick your own for $5 a pint. So we were able to walk down the road and pick some one day! It was a little hot, but we went pretty early in the morning so it wasn’t too bad out yet. Princess had so much fun. She took her little purple bucket and every time she put in a blueberry, she said “Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk.” It was so sweet.
After we got home, we washed them and Princess was stuffing her face with blueberries, just like Little Sal!
We used some of the berries and made some blueberry muffins. We actually just used a Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix to make them. We used the normal directions and added blueberries and a little sugar. They turned out really good!
The last thing we did was paint with blueberries. I used the suggestion in the FIAR Fold ‘N Learn and just added water to blueberries and microwaved them. Then we mashed them up and strained out the pulp & peel. We used what was left to paint pictures. It was really neat!
I have loved doing this book with Princess. I hope she always remembers this. I know back when I did it the first time with my oldest two, they loved it so much and still remember all the fun we had. That is just why I LOVE Five in a Row so much! By the way, just an FYI these activities were spread out over 2 1/2 weeks of time. We just do a little at a time when Princess is excited about doing school. We’re very slow paced in our homeschooling!
We’re moving on to do a study from homeschoolshare.com on the book series Mouse Paint next. It should be a lot of fun too!
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