The Raft

Though this book is set during the summertime, I thought it would be fun exploring it in the fall, around trees and our creek.


We celebrated this row over many tasty treats and meals. Like Grandma, I made sandwiches and served lemonade on the side.

Cover Art:

Each row, I ask the kids to create a cover page based on the illustrations of the book.

The boys created a cover page, in their FIAR notebooks, for this row.

Story Disk:

Jordan colored our story disk.

He placed the disk on Wisconsin on our World map.


Memory Verse:

I created a Bible verse pack for The Raft.

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


After breakfast, we sat around the table to talk about character. First, we talked about “why” Nicky was upset. Once we identified disappointment, we talked about being flexible when plans change. This was appropriate after the COVID pandemic changed our daily lives and routine.

Next, we tackled frustration, and our approach to it. Frustration can lead to anger or it can be a springboard for determination and creativity. This always brings up Bub’s windmill experiment. It took MANY tries before he was able to get it working correctly. He chose determination in the face of frustration and it paid off!

I challenged the kids to think of one Bible story that included disappointment, frustration, flexibility, and being teachable. They came up with some great stories then Jordan guessed “fishing all night”. We read The Great Catch of All together.

Helping Out:

Honestly, I’ve tried to be more mindful asking the kids to pitch in. I tend to work quickly on my own, but that does us both a disservice.

The kids put away their own laundry and clean their rooms. At mealtime, they help set the table, fill glasses, and clear dirty dishes. Also, everyone helps put away groceries.

We turned to the Berenstain Bears for a lesson on chores. Jordan read The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble With Chores.



We read the Rookie-Read About Wisconsin book. Then we thumbed through the Wisconsin page of The 50 States book.

History of the T.V.:

We read the “Televisions” from Tremendous Technology Inventions book on our Epic app.

This was a great history lesson. It tied in nicely with the boys science lesson about the LCD technology used in modern television screens.


Story Review:

I created The Raft Story Review while towing this wonderful story.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

Parker completed story review pages from our story review pack.

Grammar Notebook:

This year, Parker has been using the Grammar Ace program. Each week, we add an entry. We tackled three lessons (6-8) while rowing The Raft.

Lesson 6 – Adverbs:

Lesson five and six were about adverbs. I created a fall tree layout to cover Parker’s lesson.

Lesson 7 – Pronouns:

Lesson seven was about pronouns and antecedents. I created a layered redwood tree to highlight our “in a nutshell” terms.

Lesson 8 – Direct Objects:

Lesson seven was about direct objects and object complements. I created another forest theme with mushrooms to highlight our “in a nutshell” terms.



Since we rowed this book in October, the kids completed their October calendar worksheets.

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

The boys added dates, holidays. And special events on their calendars.

Counting Creatures:

Parker and went through the illustrations, counting the various animals and recording them on the Count and Tally the Animals worksheet from our Story Review.


The Forest Habitat:

Jordan and I started our science unit by reading some books about the forest.

Flora of the Forest:

We looked at various trees and fungi in The Usborne Woodland Book.

We saw several fairy rings on one of our walks outside.

We looked at trees and leaves in our Nature Anatomy book.

Parker and I went outside exploring some of our trees, collecting leaves and cones, and seeing the difference between conifers and deciduous trees.

We came inside and he completed our Sorting by Trees from The Raft Story Review pack.

Parker made leaf rubbings while I read aloud from our chapter book.

Parker and I read many seasonal picture books that centered around deciduous trees. Have I mentioned how much I love Autumn? It’s simply breathtaking to see God amazing creation during this season.

Conifers & Deciduous Trees:

We started our conifer and deciduous tree discussion over Saturday morning breakfast. I made conifer trees with pinecones (chocolate chips) and deciduous trees with colored sprinkles.

I asked the kids to tell me the difference. We talked about conifers having needles and pinecones. We also talked about deciduous trees producing flowers and fruits and losing their leaves.

Apple Trees:

This year, we were excited to pick the very first apple from our Fuji apple tree!

We planted two apple trees four years ago after rowing The Runaway Bunny in our BFIAR preschool.

We went outside with our clippers and cut our first apple. It was VERY exciting!

It was crunchy, juicy, and sweet! Everyone tasted a slice then I used the rest for a rustic apple tart.

I was inspired to make a “rough-puff pastry” after watching many episodes of The Great English Baking Show. I figured you never will have another first apple, so I went big!

I made a very rustic, that’s code for “not elegant”, tart. What it lacked in beauty, it made up for it in flavor! Yum, yum, yummy!

Fauna of the Forest:

We looked at signs of creatures in our Usborne Woodland Book.

Jordan colored and sorted his flora and fauna worksheet from our Story Review.

Jordan and I read Jim Arnosky’s Otters Under Water and Come Out Muskrats. We also talked about Grandma’s nick-name, “water rat”, which is a muskrat.

Parker and I read Every Autumn Comes the Bear.

Jordan and I read Badger’s Burrow on our Epic app.

Bub labeled the parts of the badger using the worksheet from our Story Review.

I kept a log of all the animals we saw around our area.

Animal Classification:

I printed our Animal Classification booklet and the Cut & Paste Animal Pack to go along with The Raft.

You can purchase the booklet here and download your free animal pack here at our TPT Store.

The boys colored their animals and sorted them in their classification booklet.

Forest Critter Craft:

I brought out little forest critter craft packs we got from Chick-fil-A years ago.

The boys each made a raccoon and a deer.

The River:

Jordan and I read Rivers and Streams and Rivers together.

We looked through Jim Arnosky’s The Brook Book, reading various portions of the book.

I read through our Parts of the River cards (Montessori Print Shop) while Bub color-coded the river worksheet from our Story Review.

I love reviewing anatomies and diagrams using a color-coding technique, because the kids can choose their own colors while listening to the definition.


We didn’t cover the science of fishing, but we did read about trout in Trout Are Made of Trees.



I brought out our Montessori color box for a color matching activity.

We talked about cool colors and warm colors and everyone gathered on the floor to begin matching the color palette.

This was a really relaxed activity to compliment our lesson on color palettes.

Woodland Art:

Parker wanted to draw a fox on the white paper background.

He followed an art tutorial (artprojectsforkids). He has always loved following arts tutorials when drawing animals.

Oil Pastel Art:

The kids chose a woodland creature to color on black construction paper using oil pastels.

Food Fun:

Raft Cookies:

I made a gingerbread cookie dough and shaped three to be the base of their raft.

I iced them the night before so that the icing would harden overnight.

I brought out our Wilton decorating pens. The kids colored various animals and creatures on their raft.

Cornbread & Chili:

Bub helped me measure and mix the cornbread from our trusty Better Homes & Garden Cookbook.

I sautéed onions and tomatoes from our garden before adding our store-bought chili.

This was a quick and yummy dinner inspired by our book!


Pinterest Board:

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

Youtube Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created a The Raft Playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

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