We rowed Angus Lost in January, which went perfectly with our winter theme. The older kids were reading about snow, winter, and Parker’s BFIAR book tied in nicely. We were even able to find some books with dogs and winter combined!
This is a cute little story about how a little bump in the road turned into a great big blessing.
I created a story sensory box for this book, but the little dog figure I ordered hadn’t arrived yet. I was a bit disappointed, but it actually worked out for the best. All day we talked about Angus being lost and by the end of the day Angus was found. The figure arrived in the mail and I set it on the doormat. I told the kids someone was at the door and they ran and opened to find Angus back home. They squealed with delight! Haha, my little problem ended up being a blessing in disguise. This was one of those magical homeschooling moments.
Since this story is about a little dog who gets lost, we decided to study the parable of the lost sheep, fear, and how God is with us. We memorized Psalm 23:4 for this unit. I created a Bible verse printable for this book. You can download it here.
The second week rowing Angus Lost, Parker started reading his CVC words all by himself…I was SO proud of him! He wanted reading activities every day, so learning lane now includes at least one reading activity!
We also continued to work on phonics, letter recognition, vocabulary words, listening skills, and letter formation. Jordan continued to work on his Sonlight handwriting without tears while Parker started some pre-writing worksheets.
Sensory Story Box
I presented our new sensory story box to the kids with items to match the vocabulary words from our story. Instead of setting up the box, I simply provided all the elements and presented it as an invitation to create the scene. I made a popsicle stick fence, a paper bag cave, cotton balls for snow and plastic icicles. The kids absolutely loved the new box and played with it daily.
We continued to work on our usual math repertoire…counting, shapes, sorting, graphing, and the like. We kept things fun and exciting with both dog and winter themed printables. Learning lane was bustling with old and new activities like Sudoku, even and odd sorting, fractions, and addition and subtraction.
This picture book was brimming with science topics like dairy farming, caves, winter, snow, wind, and more.
Angus followed the milkman home, we followed the milkman to the dairy farms. We brought out our cow cards, watched a few dairy clips from our Angus Lost youtube playlist, and read Milk and Cheese (healthy eating series). This was just the right amount of information to engage all the kids. We even found a milk the cow app for the ipad….a little weird, but the kids loved it!
We went for a walk and came back to the garage for a little messy art project….what we called our “udderly fantastic art”. The kids squeezed tempura paint from a latex glove as if they were milking a cow. Afterwards, we used some straws to blow the paint around which mixed up the colors and gave it a nice effect.
I organized a “cave day” for the kids to go spelunking (cave exploring – read all about it in Caves and Caverns by Gail Gibbons…awesome book!). I created 3 “caves” (tents) in the classroom, put caution signs on the doors, equipped each kid with a paper spelunking hat and a glow stick.
While cave exploring, we watched several videos about caves from our Angus Lost youtube playlist, and Parker did many of his activities in the caves…he liked to switch caves to keep things exciting :).
I hid little clue cards in each cave so the kids could go hunting for their hidden cave activity/craft. They love hunts!
Cave Clue #1 – Cave Painting
The first clue card led them to the kitchen to create cave paintings. I printed some papers with cave hyroglyphs, taped up wrinkled paper bags, and laid out chalk pastels and crayons for an invitation to create! While they created, I read The First Dog by Jan Brett which complimented this activity perfectly!
Cave Clue #2 – Geodes
Breaking geodes seemed like the perfect activity to do while studying caves. We grabbed a wood board, a hammer, and our kit and headed outdoors. This was SUPER loud and fun, but you really need some muscle to break them!
Cave Clue #3 – Growing Crystals
We had a crystal growing kit, but growing sugar crystals seemed a little safer. This was actually one of our Sonlight experiments….love when BFIAR and Sonlight cross paths :). The kids chose a color for their crystals and waited several days for the solution to evaporate. Once dry, the kids inspected their crystals and ate them on their breakfast.
Doggies in the Snow
We studied the winter season and read many books about snow and even found a few with doggies and snow! I wished we had snow, but all the wishing didn’t make it happen. What I did have was quite a bit of frost building up in our extra freezer. This gave me an idea….scrape, scrape, scrape and voila, snow! The kids played with the snow until it was melty. We also used our snow to do a snow line experiment! SNOW much fun!
One day I set up a dramatic play “Pet Vet” day. The classroom was set up with check-up sheets, clip boards, pencils, vet & doctor toys, and MANY stuffed pets! The kids were SUPER excited and got right to work! I read The Day of a Country Veterinarian by Gail Gibbons. The kids practiced on their pets as we read through the duties of a country vet.
We came up with a list of vet services, assigned prices, and the kids wrote up bills for their pet owners. The kids played Vet and accountant all in one day. Bills were tallied and Haley checked her math work on the cash register. Do you think they know they were doing math and science while playing? Hee Hee…love days like this 🙂
Arts, Crafts, & Other Fun Stuff
We read May I Pet Your Dog? and learned all about pet etiquette and safety. The kids drew a picture of their perfect pet and wrote about it. We splurged and bought the Playmobile Pet Store which the kids set up several times during this row. We even played with our neighbor’s dog…PETtastic fun!
We read Clifford the Big Red Dog and made Clifford puppets with brown paper bags, red tempura paint, and construction paper pieces. They turned out really cute!
We made several doggie-inspired treats including dog scones with sausage tags, puppy pancakes, and paw print cookies.
Harry the Dirty Dog
We read Harry the Dirty Dog, whipped up a batch of “mud” (chocolate pudding), added “dirt” (cookie crumbs), worms, and I gave them each a dog figure. They went to town! They mixed, played, and licked to their hearts content. When they were done, they washed their dirty dogs clean. This was a HUGE hit!
Dog Obedience School
We spent our morning making doggie ears, eating breakfast, and going to doggy obedience school. We used our educational cubes to “read and do”…this was probably one of the best ways to get the kids reading without thinking about reading. They had so much fun and burnt off some energy too!
Pet Store Field Trip
We took a field trip to a local pet store. The owner explained how taking care of pets is a big responsibility. She showed them how to clean out a cage. She even talked about animal abandonment and let the kids hold a rescue rabbit. This was a great way to end our Angus Lost row.