Blueberries for Sal

Again with a late update. This week was a little busy because my husband and soon were participating in a summer wrestling camp at MACA until lunchtime. We had to save school for after naps which didn’t leave us too much time for much.

I moved our schedule around a bit so that we could go blueberry picking during this week and do the book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCoskey. We love this book for its clever story about a girl and get mother who encounter a bear cub and his mother while picking blueberries.

Our first day was a little minimal so that we could run out to have dinner with family. We talked about the letter B and worked on some pre-writing exercises with Maggie. Last week I said she wasn’t interested in doing these or trying to stay on the lines but this week was a completely different story. She has really been working hard at it. Practiced writing B’s on the board and Bo practiced his lowercase b’s as well. We talked about the sound that B makes and listed a bunch of words that start with B. “Bo!” “Bear!” “Bed!”

Then the edition of the book we own came with a CD of songs and activities which we did. The changed some popular songs to feature bears and blueberries like “Here we Go Round the Blueberry Bush” and “Ten Little Blueberries.” Maggie, just having gotten up from her nap was a little reluctant to participate, but Bo was all over it. I took lots of pictures but then switched phones and can’t find them.

We took a break on Tuesday so that could go out to eat with my mother.

On Wednesday, we concentrated on the parables from Luke 19 – the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son. Patrick told them the parables and we talked about what parables are for. We reviewed a bit about symbolism that we discussed last week.

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Patrick explaining to them the parables.

We hid a coin and had them search for it. We did this a few times and then they were pretty bored with it. 

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Bo proudly displaying his coin. And his mohawk.

We then acted out the Prodigal Son, which was pretty interesting with a four year old and a two year old. It was more like readers theatre or probably more accurately repeat-after-me theatre. But they liked it and they really liked running throughout the house to find props.

We talked about being lost or found. Then we made paper “hugs” Because they really liked the part of the story where the father greets the Lost Son with a hug. Maggie decorated hers and Bo wrote “found” on the inside of his because he wanted to be sure that everyone knew he was found and not lost.

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Bo took this picture himself.

On Thursday we talked about differences.  We started with bigger than/smaller than. In the story, there is a small girl with her bigger mom and a small bear with his bigger mom. The story also compares the size of Sal and her mom’s buckets and compares the amounts of blueberries they picked. So we moved from size to number – greater than/less than.

I made them little Pac-man style monsters that they could use to practice figuring out which was greater than the other. There were a few different worksheets I made them. One with dots they had to count, one with numbers and one with shapes of different sizes. They were very excited to put googly eyes on their monsters too.

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Then we saw that the mouths of their monsters were very much like the greater than/less than sign (does that sign have a proper name?) and we practiced that on the board. We only did this briefly because I honestly don’t think the sign is the important part.

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The last thing discussed this day was how some things can weigh more than something else and that is different from overall size. We constructed a scale out of a dowel rod and two baggies. Then predicted which object would be heavier and then we tested. A little intro to the scientific method, of course. Maggie is ornery and would always pick opposite of Bo even if Bo presented a good case. But they liked it.

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Friday morning was a beautiful, breezy, warm day and was perfect to go blueberry picking. We went with my mom (Nana) and it just so happened to be her birthday, so practiced our B sounds and made her birthday cards. I found a little tin pail like the one in the book and we let Maggie carry that to put berries in.

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There is a lot of onomatopoeia in the story, so we dropped blueberri
es in the pail to see if it sounded like it does in the book: kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk. And we talked about other words like that. Drip drop. Flip flop.

I had every intention of making a bean bag toss but had a busy week and with the fourth of July we had a good time with family instead. We baked some blueberry buckle together and that was enough for us!

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Next week is Fireboat by Maira Kalman.  Looking forward to a normal(ish) week.

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