Swashby and the Sea

We decided to start our school year altogether rowing Swashby and the Sea.

We kicked off our row with fun ocean creature pancakes.

I filled up our basket with fun ocean-themed treats.


Bible Verse:

I created a Bible verse pack for this book.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store. There’s a bonus FREEbie tracer in the Preview.

The kids copied their Bible verse and we practiced it together.

Neighborly Kindness:

Since we were learning about being kind to our neighbors, Fred Rogers came to mind. After all, he was a kind neighbor to anyone who tuned in.

We cuddled up and read Henrietta Meets Someone New.

Jordan told us some facts about Fred Rogers since he just finished reading his biography, The Story of Fred Rogers.


Cookie History:

We read History of Fun Stuff The Way the Cookie Crumbled.

After reading about cookies, we sampled several of them during a cookie break.

Cookies in the Kitchen:

We brought out some cook books and everyone chose a cookie recipe to make. We headed into the kitchen to make our cookies.


Jordan chose shortbread from Mrs. Field’s Cookie Book. We read the recipe, he measured the ingredients (calculating fractions as we went), and mixed a buttery dough that would have made Mrs. Fields proud.

Toffee Bars:

Haley chose Toffee Bars from The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Chewy Chocolate Chip:

Parker chose Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.

Swashby’s Background & Career:

We talked about his career and everyone commented that he was a sailor. We also discussed pirates and decided to have a “Pirate Day”.

Pirate Day:

I decorated the kitchen table with pirate memorabilia.

We read Pajama Pirates and Pirates of the Caribbean.

We read several other fun pirate books too!


Since the story was about a little girl and her granny, we decided to read about grandmas.

We sat on the couch and read How to Babysit a Grandma.

Parker’s weekly creative writing assignment was to create a card for his Teta, or grandma. He wrote an acrostic poem and decorated the card and envelope.



After picking out their cookie recipes, the kids copied down their ingredients.

Story Review:

I created a Swashby and the Sea Story Review.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

Complete the Message:

I handed out the Sea Fiddled – Complete the Message worksheet.

This was a great story retention activity. Everyone tried to remember Swashby’s messages before the sea fiddled with them.

Then they created their own message, leaving some letters out (written in non-washable crayon), and had everyone try to guess. Afterwards, they used dot paints to reveal their secret message.

Describing Character:

I decided to pair If You Were an Adjective read-aloud with the Character worksheet from our Swashby and the Sea Story Review.

After reading If You Were an Adjective, we talked about Swashby’s character. I asked the kids to give me adjectives that best describe him.

We wrote down our adjectives on our whiteboard. Afterwards, I asked the kids to draw themselves and write down words that describe them.

The kids really had fun with this activity. In fact, they asked for another sheet to describe another character.

To conclude, I asked the kids to create an acrostic poem using their name.


Using letter tiles, the kids tried to form new words from the messages Squashby wrote in the sand.

We used this “build-a-word” activity in our 1st and 2nd grade Sonlight Language Arts curriculum.

Story Retention:

Keeping with our seashore theme, we read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell.

I set out s basket with items to help retell the story.

The kids worked together to put the items in order.


Build-a-Word Calculations:

I wrote the alphabet on our whiteboard snd assigned each letter a value (e.g. A=1, B=2…Z=26).

After completing their Build-a-Word worksheet, the kids cracked the cypher and calculated their word values.

Mr. Cookie Calculations:

We read Mr. Cookie Baker and I made up several word problems that challenged the kids to multiply baking ingredients, including fractions!

This math activity was really fun since fresh-baked cookies were on the horizon.


Ocean Biome:

Since we recently studied the ocean while rowing Hello Lighthouse, we reviewed the ocean biome reading Life in an Ocean.

We also read Hello Ocean, a wonderfully descriptive book about the seashore. This was a perfect book to reinforce our lesson on adjectives.

We also read A Day in the Salt Marsh, which is a great book about estuaries.


We read excerpts from Explore Water on our Epic app.

Bub used his Periodic Table placemat to help find each element and its atomic number on our All About Saltwater worksheet.

Aquafier Experiment:

We reviewed aquafiers and groundwater. I brought out supplies for our experiment.

Jordan followed the instructions, wrote his predictions, and sketched the results.


We read Gulls…Gulls…Gulls…together on the couch.

The kids sketched and painted pictures of seagulls.

I read Grayboy, a sweet story about two children who help an injured seagull one summer. The kids painted their pictures while I read aloud.

Their paintings turned out beautifully!



We read Spiky, Slimy, Smooth What is Texture? together on the couch.

We brought out our Melissa and Doug cleaning toys, felt and described the, and talked about “tactile textures”, ones that we actually touch and feel. We discussed how sculptures and oil painting would be good examples of tactile texture in art.

I handed everyone a Texture worksheet (The Kitchen Table classroom) and they explored inside and outside looking for interesting textures. They used a flat crayon to rub the “actual texture” and brought their papers back inside.

Using our charcoal pencils, the kids tried to replicate the texture as “implied texture”. We talked about how the illustrator used implied texture in the ocean spray and Swashby’s wooly fabric.

Lastly, we brought out our sand dough and sea shells do the kids could make tactile imprints of the various shell designs.

Ocean Paintings:

Haley showed the boys how to mix their color palette. Everyone had such a fun time painting together.

They looked so pretty! What a great way to

Pirate Tea Party:

I put together a sampling of our cookies and brewed spice tea.

I read How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea on our Epic app while the kids nibbled on their cookies and sipped their tea.

We also read Pirate Boy, a sweet story about a mother and her son and the wonderful magic of make-believe. This book reminded me of the Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny.


I brought out My Blue Boat, the last book we rowed during our BFIAR days.

We sat together on the couch and read it together.

We also read Big Bear’s Big Boat.

Afterward, Bub followed the FIAR tutorial to sketch a row boat.

Sushi Night:

Once again, Daddy treated us to a sushi night since we were learning about the sea.


Pinterest Board:

You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our Swashby and the Sea Pinterest board.

Youtube Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created a Swashby and the Sea Playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

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