The Duchess Bakes a Cake

The Duchess Bakes a Cake seemed like the perfect row to start in the new year.


The boys created their cover pages in their FIAR notebooks.

img_7258We started with our Christmas Around the World sensory bin.


Memory Verse:

I created a Bible Verse Printable Pack for this row.

The Duchess Bakes a Cake Bible Verse Printable (Galatians 6:7)
The Duchess Bakes a Cake Bible Verse Pack

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

Jordan traced his verse the first day and added it to his FIAR Notebook the next.

He used the Bible verse puzzle to practice it until he recited it by heart.


Since our Bible verse was so short, I decided to have Jordan memorize a poem.  He chose Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I created a Block City Poetry Book.

Block City Tracer Booklet
Block City Poetry Book 

You can download your free copy HERE at our TPT Store.

He traced and illustrated a page each day.


Christmas in England:

I set out a Christmas in England breakfast with Christmas crackers.

I printed a Christmas in England craft (Tweet Resources) for the kids to work on.

While the kids ate their breakfast, I read Christmas%20in England (Christmas around the World)Christmas in England.

After breakfast, the kids colored their Christmas crackers, wrote jokes inside, and even added a chocolate coin.

We also added the English flag and an empty Christmas cracker to our Christmas Around the World sensory bin.

Jordan also drew the Union Jack and United Kingdom flags on our board.  This was a really special way to cover our geography lessons while holding on to the magic of the holidays!


We read The Seven Silly Eaters while eating dinner one night.  This was a great picture book about cooperation.  The children worked together to make one very special cake for their mom.

Needs vs. Wants:

This topic wasn’t actually on our “to-do” list, but I couldn’t resist the castle theme.  It was a great follow up after talking about contentment.

We started out by reading Lily%20Learns about Wants and Needs (Cloverleaf Books ™ ― Money Basics)""Lily Learns about Wants and Needs.  This was a great way for the kids to see the difference between what they WANT and what they actually NEED to “live and thrive”.

I gave the boys a Needs and Wants castle booklet (The Mailbox) to color.  They used their dot paints to color while I read the book aloud.

I divided a set of “wants” and “needs” picture cards (This Reading Mama) between the two boys.

They sorted through the stack of cards, and we reviewed how a “need” is something we can’t live or thrive without.  That helped put things in perspective.

Though more impromptu, this was an excellent lesson and helped us cultivate a spirit of contentment.

Afterwards, the boys completed the rest of the pages of their castle book.

Medieval Times:

We spent most of our time

This was an excellent edition to our Sonlight Level C Social Studies lessons, because we learned about medieval times.  I love how picture books help bring things to life as they give more illustrations to hands-on learners.

Jordan and I read If%20You Lived In The Days Of The Knights""…If You Lived in the Days of the Knights together over a several days.  It was a fabulous book that gave a wonderful amount of information about the feudal system, knights, castles, and more.

Stained Glass Windows:

I love to reuse or recycle things, but there comes a time when you just have to purge your inventory.  But this was NOT one of those times.  I kept our recent Creative QT SlideAway Toy Storage Basket and Play Mat – Available in Multiple Patterns and Sizes – 12" Tall by 15" Diameter – Solid Grey Toy Basket""Creative QT SlideAway container packages, which I HIGHLY recommend if you have an abundant supply of lego pieces.   They have a play-mat attached to the fabric container and easy pour out and back in with little to no mess!


Sorry, I got a little side-tracked.  Using the manufacturer’s packaging, I cut out the top and bottom clear circles for this project.  We bought two Slide-Away containers, so I was able to cut out four clean circles for this project.


I printed a bunch of medieval window templates I found online and let each kid choose his/her design.  I then traced the template with a Sharpie Extreme Permanent Markers, Black, 4-Count""black sharpie pen.  I taped the plastic circles to the table and set out our Crayola Window Markers & Stencil Set, Over 30 Pieces""Crayola Window Markers.

This was a really fun craft and the markers worked really well, but we did bring out our stash of Sharpie Electro Pop Permanent Markers, Ultra Fine Point, Assorted Colors, 24 Count""colored Sharpies to make some of the colors really pop!

Jordan chose a really complicated design, so he needed another day to finish.  We took the time to read more from our …If You Lived in the Days of the Knights book.


We were learning about the reformation of the church in Parker’s Sonlight Level C lessons.  It was great that we could combine both for this row.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 8.57.55 PMWe talked about Martin Luther and I found a great Torchlighter clip that I added to our playlist.

We also read about St. Francis in Brother%20Francis and the Friendly Beasts""Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts.   The kids thought St. Francis seemed strange, because he preached to wild animals instead of people.  Though I agreed with the kids, we talked about how the Christian church was off during that time, thus the reformation.  I concluded by saying, St. Francis probably felt preaching to animals was more reasonable than preaching to people at that time.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 9.15.14 PMLater, I realized that I was thinking about about Saint Augustine.  I couldn’t find a children’s book about him, but I added an animated movie about him on our playlist.  Saint Augustine is often credited with being a pivotal part of the Protestant Reformation because of his teachings on salvation and divine grace.

Living in a Castle:

In addition to our …If You lived in the Days of the Knights, we read If%20You Were a Kid In a Medieval Castle (If You Were a Kid)""If You Were a Kid in a Medieval Castle and In%20the Castle""In the Castle.  They were all great books and a wonderful addition to our unit on castles.

I found Castle Nomenclature Cards (Suzy Homeschooler) and a Label the Castle worksheet for the boys to work on.

There were a few discrepancies between the cards and the worksheet, but we muddled through them.

We brought out our 1001%20Things to Spot Long Ago""Usborne 1001 Things to Spot Long Ago.  The boys took turns finding the items while eating lunch.

Next, Jordan brought out the blocks to create a great and wonderful castle.


First, they worked together to create a solid foundation.

This was a lesson in teamwork, but clearly we can see the older brother taking the lead.

The castle looked amazing!

We also brought out our Melissa & Doug Medieval Castle 3-D Puzzle and Play Set – Dragon and Knights (100 pcs)""Melissa and Doug 3D Castle Puzzle while reading about castles from our …If You Lived in the Days of the Knights book.

We brought out our Usborne Sticker Book and completed our In a Medieval Castle page.


Jordan completed the knights and castle page from the Sticker%20Dressing Soldiers (Usborne Activities)""Usborne Soldiers Sticker Book .

I also set out a book pairing on Learning Lane.  I brought out Knight%20Fight (Usborne Very First Reading)""Knight Fight and our Melissa & Doug Billy Magnetic Dress-Up""Melissa and Doug Magnetic Dress Up (knight outfit).  The boys each read the book and dressed up our knight.  It was a “fun break” while still inserting some extra reading practice!



I created a vocabulary worksheet for The Duchess Bakes a Cake.

The Duchess Bakes a Cake - Vocabulary Words
The Duchess Bakes a Cake Vocabulary Worksheet

You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.

Jordan matched the labels to the correct definitions on the worksheet.


To begin our lesson on alliteration, we read If%20You Were Alliteration (Word Fun)""If you were Alliteration by Trisha Speed Shaskan.  I happen to love the “If You were…” series.

I made a quick printout of the Duchess artwork so we could use it to create an acrostic poem using alliteration for each letter.  Parker used the letters of his name to create his poem.

Jordan also used the letters of his name to create his acrostic poem.

We cut it out and pasted it in his FIAR notebook.  You could glue it to a piece of blue construction paper as a nice craft.  I created The Duchess Bakes a Cake Alliteration CRAFTivity.

The Duchess Bakes a Cake - Alliteration Craftivity
The Duchess Bakes a Cake Alliteration CRAFTivity

You can purchase it here at our TPT Store.

Cast of Characters:

I gave Jordan a blank piece of lined paper and he wrote the cast of characters from memory.


I created bakery themed inserts for our Grammar Ace lessons during this row.

The first week, I created a Phrases cupcake page in his Grammar Ace notebook.

The next week I created a three-layer cake page with clause descriptions and frosting labels that Jordan matched to each layer.

The last week, I created a Types of Sentences page with cupcake liner words and cupcake definition inserts that Jordan placed in each liner.

My Cake Plot:

I drew a four-layer cake outline on a large piece of drawing paper.  I then wrote in the descriptions with white crayon.

As we talked about each part of the story plot, he painted the layer and the definition magically appeared.

My writing was a bit messy, but it was a fun and magical way to cover story plot!


A Baker’s Dozen:

Jordan and I read The Baker’s Dozen on our Epic app.  This was the PERFECT story to compliment this mini math lesson.

I sketched up a quick “baker’s dozen” math worksheet for Jordan to complete after reading the book.  Later, I created A Baker’s Dozen math worksheet.

A Baker's Dozen - Learn and Practice
A Baker’s Dozen Math Worksheet

You can download your FREE copy here at our TPT Store.


Though we did wet and dry measurements earlier in the year while rowing Little Nino’s Pizzeria , I thought it would fun to weigh our lunch for extra math practice.

We learned how to use the tare button to discount the weight of our bowl.

Then we used our measuring cup to measure how much cut fruit we were eating.

Parker and I read from our new Lift-The-Flap%20Measuring Things""Usborne Lift-the-Flap Measuring Things book.


Counting Calories:

Jordan and I read Oh,%20The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)""Oh the Things You Can do that Are Good for You.

Later, I gave Jordan a series of Calorie Counting worksheets (Nourish Interactive) for him to complete.  It was great math practice, but it also make him aware of considering better food choices.

Baking a Cake:

We couldn’t row this book without baking a cake or two or three!

Jordan and I read The%20Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake: A Book About Kitchen Chemistry""The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake.

This was a great opportunity to measure wet ingredients.  We decided to make a small colorful and very tall cake.

Haley helped me mix the food coloring into the batter.  We made primary and secondary colored batters.

I combined each color with it’s complimentary color.  Each cake was bright and beautiful going into the oven and just as wonderful coming out!

The cakes were still too hot to serve that night, but I trimmed them and made little cake parfaits.

The kids LOVED their cake parfaits!

The next day, we turned our colorful complimentary cakes into a “lovely, light, luscious delectable cake”!

They were miniature cakes, but we split them apart and put whipped topping between each of the six layers!

It was structurally unstable, but the kids loved it anyway!  Before it collapsed, we cut it apart  Each slice was colorful and smelled delicious!  What a fun way to incorporate science, math, and art into a tall, tasty treat!


Chemical Reaction:

The%20Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake: A Book About Kitchen Chemistry""The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake had a chemical reaction experiment at the end of the book.  I set out the supplies and Bub took the lead.

He filled the container with vinegar (our acid) and filled the balloon with baking soda (base) and placed them in the sink to watch the chemical reaction….

He is my hands-on learner and never tires of a great chemical reaction!

Mug Cakes:

The kids did the Mug Cake experiment a few years back, but I thought it would be a great time to do it again.  This experiment (ExpeRimental) shows kids what each key ingredient does when baking a cake.

I set out the ingredients, supplies, and marked each mug for the experiments.

Jordan had more practice measuring wet and dry ingredients with this experiment.

We had to use an index card to keep track of what was needed/omitted in each mug.

As he measured the ingredients, we talked about the why each was needed in baking a cake.

A friend of ours owns chickens and gave us farm-fresh eggs.  Jordan couldn’t wait to add them!

After adding our dry ingredients, he added the wet ones.

He had his recipe card close by and we kept track of the mugs using his index card.

Lastly, he mixed the cakes in each mug and we microwaved them one at a time.

The first specimen was exciting to see rising in the microwave.  I must say that the recipe is bland and I had the kids make their own mug cake afterwards.  We added salt, vanilla, and other fun things.

Once all the cakes were cool, we set them out along with his index card to mark the look, feel, and taste of each one.

He enjoyed this experiment greatly, because he conducted and reviewed each cake himself.

Some were still tasty with a key ingredient, but you could still see “why” that ingredient is needed.

We even tried a lowfat version using part oil and part applesauce and it was yummy!


Color Theory:

I handed everyone a color theory worksheet (The ABCs of Art) a friend of mine pinned.  It was perfect for this activity.  I set out watercolors, brushes, and little cups for everyone.

First, they worked on painting the color wheel.  This worksheet was perfect for our art lesson.

They painted primary and secondary colors and continued from there.

It was so beautiful when they were done.

Afterwards, Haley painted a beautiful picture of a castle since we were learning about Medieval times.


The Duchess Bakes a Cake Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created The Duchess Bakes a Cake with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

Pinterest Board:

You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our The Duchess Bakes a Cake Pinterest Board.

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