It’s Spring and we were ready for some blueberry fun! I was really looking forward to studying this book with Parker, because he loves bears AND blueberries!
We found quite a few blueberry, berry, and bear printables that we incorporated into this unit, but I still wanted to make a few of my own. You can find them here at my TPT Store.
We started our morning off with blueberry bear scones and a reading of Blueberries for Sal.
We chose to memorize Ruth 1:16 since the story emphasizes the importance of little ones staying close to their mommies.
Parker worked on his Bible verse printable all throughout this unit and was eventually able to recite it on his own!
Parker also worked on prepositional phrases with the cards and bears in the printable pack. He understood most of the phrases, with very little help from me, and he was able to place them correctly.
Parker has been really focused on reading and spelling his CVC words. I tried to include many CVC activities to go along with our berries and bear theme. You can find them on my Blueberries for Sal Pinterest board.
Learning Through Literature
While most of our learning was geared towards our BFIAR book, we took several days to explore other thematic books.
The Blueberry Mouse
Our morning started with breakfast and a book. I found Blueberry Mouse at the library and fell in love with the illustrations! This was a really cute book!
After breakfast, we sat around the table for a game of roll and pick the blueberries using the blueberry bush mat from Pencils, Proverbs, Pandemoniums & Pins. The kids loved this activity!
Parker had plenty of blueberry activities in learning lane and I made blueberry math worksheets for the older kids.
I made felt blueberry fraction pies for the kids to work on. The older kids could match up the fractions on their own, but I had to work one-on-one with Parkie. They were a great addition to our math segment that morning.
Part of our lapbook included a paper blueberry pie activity. I put all the unusable blueberries in a ziplock bag and let Parker crush them with his fingerprints. I thought this would be the perfect medium for making our blueberry fingerprints.
So clever, right? Wrong! They wouldn’t even touch the “rotten blueberry juice”…LOL. So we pulled out our Melissa and Doug blue stamp pad and made cute little blueberry fingerprints in our pie!
The lattice work was a bit challenging. Haley was able to do it alone, but the boys needed help. When they were finished, they looked adorable!
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear
Our Blueberries for Sal quickly became a berries and bear themed adventure. We took a couple of detours from our little round, blue berry. Today’s detour led us to The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood.
We started our morning with a few little mouse themed activities during breakfast. I usually read the book at that time, but I wanted to save it for later.
Afterwards, Parker found many strawberry themed activities in his learning lane.
I brought out our sith-berry dough we made on May 4th (another post for another day). The kids LOVED this activity and it smelled SO good! Their strawberries were really cute!
Using an idea from Teacher Vision, I introduced the book with fresh strawberries in a closed paper bag. The bag was presented on the table and the kids had to predict what’s in it. The kids LOVED this activity.
Next, we opened the bag to see what was inside…red, ripe strawberries! Next, we made predictions about the book BEFORE reading it and at several stopping points during the story. This was a fun and engaging way to introduce the topic of prediction.
The older kids added some strawberry activities & strawberry-scented stickers to their lapbooks! We continued to read several strawberry-themed books while studying this delectable berry!
While on our strawberry excursion, we read Cook-a-Doodle-Doo by Janet Stevens. The kids really enjoyed this book and we just HAD to make the shortcake that evening.
We collected some fresh strawberries from the garden and added them on top. Everybody loved the yummy treat at the end of the day!
Our next detour led us to the land of Jamberry! This was a sweet and whimsical book that the kids just adored! We read it over and over again. I added many berry themed activities to learning lane.
I hid little laminated berries around the house and the kids went on a berry hunt! This is ALWAYS a fan favorite. Sometimes just getting the blood pumping helps us think better! After the hunt, the kids fed their berries to the big hungry bear!
The kids also worked on stamping letters and making words with our berry playdough.
The older kids added berry-themed material to their lapbooks.
While on our mixed berry adventure, we found some other cute berry themed books!
We rinsed and cut blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries to make our own special Jamberry preserves!
Another day we gathered in the kitchen, measuring our baking ingredients, chopping up our berries, and making what we called “Jamberry scones”, yummy!
This was a really fun book to study. Later that night we met the folks for dinner and brought “Jamberry scones” for dessert!
Back to Blueberry Hill
Mountains and Hills
After our mixed berry detours, we returned to “Blueberry Hill”, and continued our study of Blueberries for Sal. We started our morning with hootenanies, bananas, and blueberries (of course)!
We read through the book and Jordan insisted we grab our little pails and make our own “ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk” sounds. So I grabbed some fresh blueberries and let them drop them into their tin pails….they squealed with glee…oh, the simple things 🙂
Next, we talked about landforms, specifically mountains and hills. We read About Habitats: Mountains by Cathryn Sil. This was a great book, because it provided just enough information without being too much for little attention spans. I also added a build-your-own Duplo mountain in our learning lane that day! That was a HUGE hit!
Afterwards, we made a blueberry hill and mountain scene by layering construction paper cut-outs. This was a great way to reinforce their lesson as they visually saw the difference between the two landforms. They even added blueberry dots to the hill and we spelled out “hill” and “mountain” with our colorful foam letter stickers.
The Maine Truth
With a sprinkle of imagination, we transported ourselves to the North East, specifically Maine. We read about our author and his inspiration behind Blueberries for Sal.
Later that morning, we read several books about Maine. L is for Lobster was one of the most comprehensive. Whether you’re thumbing through the illustrations with younger kids or reading it from A to Z, it truly has everything young readers will want to know about the state.
I laid out Travels with Charlie: Travelin’ the Northeast with a Maine discovery box, full of figures representing the state of Maine. As with every state study, Jordan had to find Maine on our VTech USA Explore & Learn Map. Love it!
We also studied the various types of trees we would find in Maine and located them in our Tell Me Tree: All About Trees by Gail Gibbons. The kids added this information as well as other state-specific material to their lapbooks.
For more tree learning, I laid out a fun tree match activity from The Natural Homeschooler. While on our walk, we counted rings on a tree stump we found.
Counting & Number Recognition
Parker worked on counting and number recognition on most days. There were so many wonderful printables to use. You can find them on my Pinterest boards below.
He also worked on many pattern activities too.
He also worked on this pattern activity I made him. Click here to download your free copy from my TPT store.
He also worked on sorting by size and sorting by even and odd numbers.
I created my own sorting by size activity that I included in his learning lane. You can download a free copy here from my TPT store.
We continued our work on fractions by reading Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds. We had a liquid measuring match up in our Blueberries for Sal lapbook pack, so we headed to the kitchen.
I found this cool tinted water measuring idea from dailythoughtsonmytots. Tinting the water blue made it much easier to see in our mason jar PLUS it was more blueberryish ;). Once they saw the fraction in action, they matched the label to the correct picture. When they finished, they added their measuring fraction insert to their lapbooks.
We decided to do a “what’s your favorite blueberry treat?” survey. I grabbed the large notepad and started drawing some of our favorite blueberry flavored goodies. The kids jumped right in and started helping finish the chart.
Next, the kids choreographed a hilarious message to send to friends and family. They each played a part. We sent out the message and waited for replies. The kids were so excited every time my phone dinged with a message. They graphed each response and inserted the survey results into their lapbooks.
Math Fun & Games
There were SO many fun math activities available for this unit. Parker worked on some math puzzles and other fun activities I made. You can download the Shadow Match for free, but the “Which One is Different?” is from the printable pack for purchase at my TPT store.
The kids also worked on the bear puzzle from the homeschool creations printable pack.
We read several bear themed books while rowing Blueberries for Sal. We had a great little mix of fun stories and non-fictional books.
We brought out our Melissa and Doug Bear Family Dress Up Puzzle which Parker loves. While playing with that, we went over the names of the father, mother, and baby bears using our bear family cards.
I created a special bear bin for Parker with a variety of bear species. Parker worked on matching the bear figures with the science bear cards.
We studied bears, their habitat, their diet, and more. We even measured a bear’s foot against the kids. Then they pretended to be bears and hibernated in their caves. Later, they added all their bear facts to their lapbooks.
I gathered quite a few blueberry items and placed them in a basket. I presented it at breakfast the next day with a blueberry worksheet from the blueberry council. The kids worked on their papers while we went through the blueberry flavored items.
We read so many wonderful blueberry books during this row. We even found a couple of non-fictional blueberry books which were great for our science discussions.
Our local nursery had blueberry bushes in their add, so we purchased one and planted it in our yard. The kids were so excited to see blueberries on it. They checked on it almost daily.
I couldn’t find many science printables for blueberries, so I created some myself. First, I created parts of the blueberry flower nomenclature (vocabulary) cards and booklet. Click here to download your free copy!
Next, I created parts of the blueberry fruit nomenclature cards, definition cards, and a coloring science booklet. Click here to grab your free copy.
I set out trays, plastic knives, and a few blueberries. The kids got right to work dissecting their blueberries.
The kids identified and color-coded the parts of the blueberry and added the booklets in their lapbooks.
While studying strawberries, I created some science materials for both the strawberry plant and fruit. You can download your copy of my parts of the strawberry nomenclature cards and booklets here.
We read a great strawberry lifecycle book and color coded the various parts of the strawberry plant. The kids added the booklets to their lapbooks. I also found a great set of strawberry lifecycle cards and added them to Parker’s learning lane.
After studying the strawberry plant, we turned our attention to the strawberry fruit. We read several strawberry books, but one of our favorites was The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons. I created a set of parts of the strawberry fruit nomenclature cards and a booklet. You can grab your free copy here!
After reading about the fruit, we headed outside to pick some fresh strawberries. We’ve had strawberry plants in our garden for years, but this was our best strawberry season ever! The kids picked some berries and brought them to the kitchen for some hands-on strawberry science.
I laid out trays, paper towels, plastic knives, and magnifying glasses. The kids dissected their strawberries and began to identify the various parts of the berry.
Arts, Crafts, & Other Fun Stuff
Taste and See – Berry & Bear Craft
Since we were studying both berries and bears, I created a construction paper craft to incorporate both. I added “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” They turned out really cute!
This was a really fun row. We took our time and juiced every morsel of learning we could. I’m so glad we had this opportunity to learn and make memories to last a lifetime.