Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Story About Ping

I have not yet received my FIAR (Five in a Row) guide but I just got some of the books. Since I know the basic premise of FIAR we are starting without the guide (but I can't wait to get it. I have a couple bids going on EBAY.) The reason I wanted to do this curriculum is that I knew I could easily include my 3 year old on some of the activities. So we are starting with The Story about Ping. I remember reading this when I was kid. Both kids seem to like it on the first read through. Katie wanted to know why the last duck would get spanked.

Later, after reading it I was excited to have Katie get started on her first Draw Right Now book. I asked her if she wanted to draw Ping. She did a great job! and was motivated to write one of the sentences. The first duck on the left is Ping in a boat with a flag on top.  The other ducks in the water are Ping's sisters.

Tonight we read the book again and this time I asked questions as I read. I also emphasized how the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and I had both kids do hand motions going from "east" to "west".

Since Katie learned how to draw a duck she enjoyed being able to illustrate "Behold the Duck," by Ogden Nash.  This is such a cute little poem. First I read it to her.  I asked her what animal clucks and made sure she understood the word lacks, dines and sups.  I also asked her why the duck was bottoms up when it ate.  Then I had her repeat it line by line.  Then we read it together.  Finally I asked her if she would like to draw Ping again.  She was happy to do so.  Isn't it cute?

In the above Picture Katie is showing off Ping's family.  This is where we incorporated some math.  She had to color Ping's mother, father, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.  After coloring the mother and father Katie asked, "how do I count 42?"  Ah.  She realized that when we got to the cousins she'd have to count to 42!  Great memory.  At first I wondered why the sheet did not already say the number of ducks to color but after that I was glad. It forced Katie to recall the number of cousins, aunts, uncles and other family members that Ping had.  She very patiently colored 68 ducks!  She enjoyed doing it too!

Jane Clair, FIAR creator, has used Ping as an example of how to use FIAR. She says, "Ask your student if he knows where China is. If he does, then let him show you on a world map. If he doesn't, then help him find China and the Yangtze River on a world map."
(So a world map will be on my next list of items to order from my charter school.)

Clair says, "Now continue by asking your student if he has ever heard of people living on boats like the one in the story?...Some of the people of China live on their boats and fish for their dinner and eat whatever they catch. Ask your student if he would like to live on a boat and never know what he was going to have for dinner till he went fishing each day."

"Share how the author used a special sentence several times in the story. Read the sentence and ask your student if he can remember where else that sentence was used in the book? If he can't, just find the places in the story where the sentence is repeated and show your student how the author uses the same words in the middle of the story and again at the end. Explain that authors sometimes use an interesting sentence several times in a story to make it fun...we call that repetition (like repeating), etc. An author wouldn't want to use repetition too much, but a little repetition can make a story interesting...

Ask your student if he would like to write a short story (or you can work on it together) using an interesting sentence at the beginning of the paragraph and again at the end? This story can be very simple. The idea is to give your student a chance to try using repetition as the author in The Story About Ping did.

If you are keeping a running chart of "Choices A Writer Can Make," list repetition as one of those choices. You can add to this list each time you have a lesson on "Techniques Used by Writers" and your list also gives you an easy point for review! Later, when your student wants to write a story of his own, he can go over the list and be reminded of the special ways that great authors have created stories that are interesting and enjoyable. You will see him begin to use some of these techniques in his writings, too."

Can you see why I'm loving FIAR and I don''t even have the guide yet!

Printable Activity Guide for The Story About Ping
Resources from the home school mom
Home school share resources
Learn all about Ducks 
Sink or Float Chart

Before we're done with Ping Katie will:
Learn about bouyancy
"Buoyancy is the ability to float in liquid (or air). A ball full of air is extremely buoyant, where a lead ball is not buoyant at all. It's because the ball of air is less dense than the water."(ask kids definition)
Learn that "Yangtze" means "yellow".
Vocabulary : beggar, barrel, scurry, paddle
Learn about obedience and consequences.
Sing "Trust and Obey".
Color a map & flag of China.
Learn about customs of China.
Learn more about ducks.
Learn about repetition as a story element.

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