Mrs. Katz and Tush (FIAR)

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Back in April, I spent a week rowing the Five in a Row book, Mrs. Katz and Tush with the boys. I normally spend two weeks on each FIAR book, but the timing just didn’t work out that way for this one. It was still really great though and we got a lot out of it.


(Please note: This post contains lessons from the Five in a Row Volume 2 manual as well as activities added by me.)

Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco is a story about a young boy who learns from his parents how to love your neighbor. He develops a close relationship with an older lady who lives alone with her cat. The book focuses a lot on immigration and Jewish people.

We started with reading the book and then we went over the Social Studies lesson on Geography. We don’t know exactly where they live in the story, but we know that Mrs. Katz had immigrated to the United States from Poland. The boys chose to place our story disk on New York State, since that’s where most immigrants came into the US at back in those days.



For Social Studies, we also talked about how to love your neighbor and how the story showed the family doing that.

We also went over the lesson on Immigration. We talked about what that means and how we would feel if we moved to a brand new country. We decided to focus our week on this subject because we’ve never really looked into it before. So we started reading the book If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine.



We read several pages out of this book each day through the week. The kids love reading these kinds of books and we all enjoyed it. I even learned some things that I didn’t know.

For Language, we went over the lesson on Reading Comprehension, where we looked at some details in the story. We also learned a few new words in the Yiddish language, which was used in the story.

For Art, we looked at the action in the story and the expressions on people’s faces and then went over the Details lesson, which was just looking through the pictures and noticing things.

For Math, we looked at the lesson Cats Multiply. The cat in the story (Tush) has 4 kittens and we figured up if each of her kittens had 4 kittens, how many grandchildren she would have.

We didn’t do any of the Science lessons in the manual, the timing just didn’t work out and one of them was learning about Cats, which we just did with Papa Piccolo.

Last, for Bible we used the Five in a Row Christian Character & Bible Study Supplement and talked about being a good neighbor and caring for those around us.

So that was about all that we did for Mrs. Katz and Tush. It did feel a little bit rushed for me, just because we normally spend 2 weeks on each book but I do feel like we got a lot out of it. The boys loved the artwork and Patricia Polacco is one of our favorite authors.

We took a week off of school after finishing this book and then they started on Babar, To Duet or Not To Duet after that. I’ll be posting about that one soon!

Take care,








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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