Down Down the Mountain (FIAR)

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In September, I rowed Down Down the Mountain with the boys for Five in a Row for Homeschool. This book was great and we had so much fun with it!




(Please note: this post contains lessons from the FIAR manual AND activities that were added by me.)


Down Down the Mountain by Ellis Credle is an old fashioned mountain story of a boy and girl (Hank and Hetty) who live in the Appalachian mountains in a log cabin. They want to own a pair of shoes very badly and their Granny tells them that they should grow turnips and sell them for money to buy shoes with. The rest of the book is all about Hank and Hetty’s adventures with growing the turnips, harvesting them and getting them down the mountain to sell at the general store.

We spent two weeks of school on this book. We began with reading the story and talking about where it takes place, in the Blue Ridge/Appalachian Mountains. We placed our story disk on West Virginia because that is an area where those mountains are and also their Daddy grew up there!




We used a few library books to learn a little about the Appalachians and the culture there. We had studied this area a good bit with a few other FIAR books, When I Was Young in the Mountains and Daniel’s Duck last school year.




For Language, we learned some new vocabulary words and talked about Onomatopoeia (using words to create sounds) and looked for examples in the book. We also made a list of all the foods mentioned in the book. List-making is one of their favorite things to do!




For Art, we talked about Perspective and Two-Color Ink (the artwork in this book is done in only brown and blue). We added these to our list of Choices an Artist can make.  We also got out our Draw Write Now books and they each chose something pertaining to the book to draw. Hulk drew a turkey and Flash drew a covered wagon. (It’s a little hard to see their drawings in this picture, but they turned out good!)








For Bible, we talked about having Patience and an Industrious Spirit, which Hank and Hetty needed and showed in order to be successful. We also talked about Generosity, which is what Hank and Hetty showed when they gave away almost all of their turnips on the way down the mountain.

We went over the Math lesson on working with money. We basically went over the suggested math problem in the manual, taking an example of what the shoes may have cost them and the gifts they bought to take home to their family and did a little math.

For Science, we learned a little about the nighttime birds that were mentioned in the book (whippoorwills & owls) using these books:




For Science we also learned about Turnips and how they grow. I bought a few from the grocery store so that we could explore them. We cut them open to see what they looked like on the inside and decided that they smelled like a mix between potatoes and cauliflower! We looked up turnips and learned as much as we could online about them. It was most interesting that they are an ideal crop for growing in the mountains, because their roots will wrap around rocks & soil to hang on when planted on an incline whereas other plants couldn’t do that and so wouldn’t survive in that environment. The boys had no interest whatsoever in eating the turnips!






So that ended our time with Down Down the Mountain. The boys are moving onto Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar next!





Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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