Last week Jack and I rowed Yellow Ball, by Molly Bang, and this week we set sail with My Blue Boat, by Chris L. Demarest. After reading in the B4FIAR manual how closely these two books compliment one another, I knew My Blue Boat would be a perfect follow-up.
Now, on to our row! Day 1
After reading My Blue Boat and doing an activity from the B4FIAR manual—tracking from left to right—I introduced the animal classification cards—whales and dolphins—and he put them on our display board. We read about whales and dolphins in our Usborne First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans. We looked at a few videos on YouTube of whales spouting, dolphins swimming, and listened to the sounds of each of these sea creatures. Jack was pretty surprised at some of the noises the different types of whales make.
I thought it would be fun to learn the song Baby Belluga, by Raffi. I remembered I also had the book. We read it, and watched a YouTube video of Baby Belluga. We’ve been singing the song all week, per Jack’s request :-).
I made blue ice boats with blue foam sails for Jack.I filled up a large rubbermaid container with water and let Captain Jack set sail with his ice boats. Jack LOVED this! After his ice boats melted, he got into the rubbermaid container and told me he was in an ocean. He played in his ‘ocean’ for quite some time. He was genuinely happy-so sweet to see. Next, I asked Jack if he wanted to ‘dance like whales and play tag with dolphins’, just like the blue boat in the book. He was SO excited, and we jumped in the pool.
“I dance with whales,…play tag with dolphins,…and steer through storms.” ~excerpt from My Blue Boat~ Jack wanted us to keep making storms over and over and over again. He also decided he would become a ‘killer’ whale during the storms, and in the last picture below, you will see his ‘killer whale face’ :-). Day 2
After reading the book, we completed another Tracking Activity—this time B4FIAR had Jack tracking the blue boat on each page of the book as I turned the pages very quickly. He enjoyed this.
Hanna made a blue sailboat for Jack (thank you, thank you, sweet Hanna) using a mini foil loaf pan, wooden skewer, blue plastic school folder and a ball of modeling clay to secure the sail. It turned out great! Jack had fun again setting his blue boat out to sea. I also had more ice boats for him. I have to say, the ice boats won hands down as far as Jack’s favorite boat. I gave him small plastic whales and dolphins from an Ocean Toob. He had fun making an ocean for them in a small container that one of the ice boats had been in. He was even making sounds like whales and dolphins—he remembered them from the YouTube videos :-). But, the most fun was had with the whales and dolphins in the pool—While counting them, Jack would throw them randomly around the pool and then Hanna and Joe would swim for them and bring them back. They did this for the longest time. In the afternoon, Jack and I made some blue Jell-O to be finished on Day 3. Day 3
After reading the book, we completed a comparison activity from the B4FIAR manual. I got out Yellow Ball and we looked for similar scenes in My Blue Boat.
Watercolors are used throughout the book. Hanna drew a sailboat with black oil pastels on watercolor paper. I very briefly looked at a few pages of the book with Jack pointing out that the pictures were painted with his favorite kind of paint. (He loves watercolors, and asks to paint with them often.) I told him he was going to be able to paint his own sailboat with watercolors just like in the book. He was very happy to do so, and did a great job! I love how this turned out. I plan to include Jack’s narrations on his artwork when I can, and did above.
“The boat says hello to fishers. The blue boat was going down and up on the waves. It played tag with the dolphins and danced with the whales. The girl sailed home asleep on the boat and saw the light.” ~Jack, 3 years and five months old~
I made another bag book for Jack. We finished our Jell-O treat, which is supposed to be an ocean (blue Jell-O) filled with fish (Swedish Gummy Fish). His favorite part of making it was poking the gummy fish into the Jell-O with a wooden skewer. Day 4
We spent our last day rowing My Blue Boat visiting the aquarium and harbor in Charleston. I was happy to be able to have somewhere ‘real’ to finish off this row and cement it in Jack’s mind.
We saw real sailboats docked and one out at sea. Jack was so excited when he saw the sailboat in the ocean. We also saw a big ship loaded with containers that semi trucks carry. We looked for dolphins ‘playing tag’. Often when we’ve visited the harbor we’ve seen dolphins leaping out of the water. Today we did not, but Jack still had fun looking for them. He was calling them as loudly as he could :-). I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this row with Jack. I know he enjoyed it just as much. He is so excited about his school time each day. He didn’t even know today’s trip was school related. But, tonight at dinner he told me, “I had fun at ‘cool’ today.” So, see, he is already tying our school and what we read to our daily experiences together. Just what FIAR is supposed to do. It is learning and loving, making memories together at it’s best.
Inspiration, ideas and printables I used for My Blue Boat can be found at:
- Before Five in a Row Manual
- Delightful Learning
- All of a Kind Family
- Homeschool Share
- Me and Marie Learning
- Family Fun
- Walking By the Way
- Martha Stewart
I am linking this post to Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations.