Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar (FIAR)

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In October I spent a week rowing Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar with the boys. It was a great week and we all had so much fun with Mr. Gumpy!



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


Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar   by John Burningham is a fun book about a nice man who wants to go for a ride in the country. He ends up taking along some children and a bunch of animals. It starts to rain and they get stuck in the mud. At first no one wants to help, but then they all jump out and help push the car out of the mud together.

First we read the book and then placed our story disk on England after going over the Geography lesson. The text never says anything about England, but we find clues in the book that it does take place there.




We talked about how Mr. Gumpy and the children & animals all had a great time together and ways that we can be Sociable and get along with others. Then we talked about how they all had to work together in order to get the car out of the mud and how that sometimes we need to do the same thing in our life.

For Language, we went over the Details lesson and talked about some of the little details in the book that make it great. Like how Mr. Gumpy prepared for his outing and things like that. We also talked about Time in stories and how some stories span over days, weeks, months or years but Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar takes place in only a few hours. We added this to our list of choices a writer can make.

For Bible, we talked about showing Hospitality, Sharing and Taking time for children like Jesus did in the Bible. Mr. Gumpy shows all of these Godly character traits and we should strive for that as well.

For Art, we talked about the colors used in the book and made a list of them. Then we practiced drawing Sun Rays and practiced Shading and Cross Hatching.




We had the most fun with the Science lesson on Friction & Traction. I actually got this idea from the Archives on the Five in a Row website Forum. We talked about how the wheels got stuck in the mud and tried to learn about how all of that works. I’m not an expert on the subject, so I wasn’t sure how to explain it but this activity was really helpful and the kids LOVED it! We put a piece of wax paper on the floor and rolled some hotwheel cars over it. Then we started adding different substances to the wax paper to see how they affected the car wheels. We used oil, syrup, flour and a few other items. This was a lot of fun!








We also enjoyed the companion book, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing this week. This one is about Mr. Gumpy and the kids & animals going on a boat ride!




That finished up our week with Mr. Gumpy’s Motorcar. The boys are moving onto their next Five in a Row book, Three Names after this.





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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