Albert

I chose to row Albert in the springtime, since there were so many fun spring-related activities we could tie in. We rowed this book for a good 4-5 weeks. We read the story every day the first week, several times the second week, and just referred to it when needed.

READY TO ROW:

We kicked off our morning with New York bagels and berries.

Story Disk:

Jordan colored our story disc and placed it in Canada because New York was pretty heavily congested.

Cover Art:

The boys created their cover art page. Parks chose to draw a bird while Bub chose to draw a nest with a clutch of eggs.

BIBLE:

Memory Verse:

I created a Bible verse printable pack for Albert.

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

We read several devotions about fear and how to handle our fears the Lord’s way (The Wonder of Creation). The first step is always a change in focus. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He is able to calm our fears and fill us with His peace.

Facing our Fears:

In addition to devotions about fear, we read Brave Enough for Two.

SOCIAL STUDIES:

City Life:

I brought out our Living in….books as well as an urban, suburban, and rural sorting activity (Honey Bee and Little School on the Range).

Parker and I read Living in Urban Communities.

Afterwards, Parker sorted through the stack of community cards.

Since we chose New York as our story location, I asked Parker to read Celebrating New York.

Parker and I read Nana in the City. There were many simplified similarities between this book and Albert. This would be a great book to row alongside a BFIAR student.

Baseball:

We wrapped up our King of the Mound read-aloud, which was a great baseball book. Everyone loved it!

We read several fun baseball books while rowing Albert.

The boys colored the Parts of the Baseball Field worksheet from our Story Review.

Baseball Poetry:

I created a Casey at the Bat poetry booklet for Jordan and a Casey’s Revenge poetry booklet for Parker.

The boys started tracing and memorizing their baseball poetry.

LANGUAGE ARTS:

Story Review:

I created an Albert Story Review printable for this row.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

The boys completed some of the Story Review worksheets from the printable pack.

Making Lists:

To cover the topic of making lists, we turned to “Mr. Ball”. Jordan read this book the last time we reviewed lists. This time around, I had Parker read Mr. Ball Makes a To-Do List on our Epic app.

Creative Writing:

Short Story: – Progressive Details:

I commandeered Parker’s creative writing assignment for the week. I asked him to write a short story with illustrations that showed progressive details. This is just one way we try to merge both curriculums into one wonderful learning adventure.

John James Audubon:

Parker and I read the story of John James Audubon in our Heroes and Happenings, Volume 1 book. I planned to have Parker write a summary of Audubon’s life for his creative writing assignment, but we all caught a bug.

Grammar Ace:

We were able to cover five Grammar Ace lessons while rowing this book.

Commas:

I set out the elements for our “Commas” page layout.

First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.

Next, he matched the cloud with its “in a nutshell” definition.

Lastly, he added the raindrop reasons for using commas.

It turned out really cute when we finished it.

Analogy:

The page layout was “spring weather” themed to match our FIAR book, Albert.

I set out the elements for our “Analogy” page layout.

First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.

Next, he glued the pieces of the umbrella, including the “in a nutshell” definition.

Then, he matched the umbrella and raindrops with the correct “in a nutshell” definitions.

It turned out really cute when we finished it.

Quotations:

The page layout was “cardinal bird” themed to match our FIAR book, Albert.

I set out the elements for our “Quotations” page layout.

First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.

Next, he glued the cardinal birds to their “in a nutshell” definitions.

Then, he glued the leaf quotation examples to the maple tree.

It looked beautiful with the green leaves and the bright red cardinals.

Compounds:

The page layout was “nest” themed to match our FIAR book, Albert.

I set out the elements for our “Compounds” page layout.

First, we added the nest, then Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.

Next, he glued the eggs to their “in a nutshell” definitions.

Then, he thought of compound words, wrote them on maple leaf cut-outs, and glued them on the tree.

It looked bright and beautiful with all things spring!

Contractions:

The page layout was inspired by Jordan’s Grammar Ace notebook layout from Make Way for Ducklings. Instead of a duckling, I made a cardinal to match Albert, the book we’re currently studying.

I set out the elements for our “Contractions” page layout.

First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.

Then he wrote the two words that make each contraction and matched the colored car.

Next, he added the contraction cardinal and wrote the two words that create the contraction.

Lastly, Parker added the signal light terms to their matching “in a nutshell” definitions.

Our contraction page transformed into a bustling city street scene!

MATH:

Calendar:

I paired our April Fool’s Day “gag breakfast” with our April calendar activity and a fun Poisson d’Aril coloring activity.

I’ve always loved this French tradition – color a fish and stick it on an unsuspecting person. The kids learned about this tradition in their preschool years. The kids tried to pull this trick, but only Bub was able to pull it off.

We read our April poem in A Child’s Calendar.

The kids completed their April worksheets after breakfast.

Time Intervals:

I printed copies of our It’s About Time printable to cover this math unit.

Parker and I read both text boxes on the “Sunrise, Sunset, & the Seasons” and the “Daytime” worksheets. After discussing the informative text, Parker completed both worksheets.

SCIENCE:

Spring:

First, we read Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring. I absolutely LOVE Kenard Pak’s artwork. The text is perfect, just enough information to cover the topic without overcrowding the page. As you read each page, you’re transported into a child’s wonderland as each illustration shows the young boy exploring the ending of one season and the beginning of another. God’s creation is truly marvelous and always fills me with a sense of wonder!

Weather:

The Water Cycle:

We’ve studied the water cycle many times, but I still love to cover it whenever we discuss the weather. First, we read The Water Cycle together. I love the Pebble books, because they’re not too text-heavy. My kids are very familiar with the water cycle, but It’s nice to do a quick review with a simple text picture book like this one.

The boys colored a beautiful water wheel (Stephanie Hathaway), from a Nature Bundle I purchased from The Hidden Way. Once dry, I cut out the pieces and let the boys assemble their wheels. They looked so pretty!

Weather:

Parker and I read Weather Wise Rain while Jordan read The Magic School Bus – Wet all Over.

I also gave them a weather tree to track our local weather, at least while rowing this book. The weather tree has a branch for each month and a leaf for each day. It’s such a creative way to track the weather.

Parker read Rainbows and Jordan read The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow.

Noise:

We started our unit with another great devotion from Louis Giglio (Indescribable Kid’s Devotional). We talked about being doers and not just hearers of God’s word.

We read several books about hearing and noise. This particular unit reminded me of our time rowing The Quiet Way Home. We explored hearing, music, and listening during the springtime too! I love the layers of learning we’ve experienced from BFIAR to FIAR. This is really a beautiful curriculum that all my children benefit from.

I brought out our Parts of the Ear cards and presented them with our Parts of the Ear worksheet from our Story Review.

We also read The Listening Walk. We especially liked to listen to the sounds of birds on our morning walks.

We had so much fun walking together, looking for signs of spring and what birds were out. The weather has been a slice of summer during our early spring season!

Radio:

Jordan read What’s Inside a Radio? on our Epic app.

We brought out Bub’s circuit kits, hoping to find one that allowed us to build a working radio.

He tried, on two separate attempts, to successfully wire the AM Radio, but he just couldn’t get it to work. This often happens with science experiments or DIY projects. Even if the project itself isn’t successful, students learn so much from the process of trying, modifying, and coming back to an idea. Thomas Edison said it well, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Observing Birds:

We’ve taken so many walks, enjoying the spring weather, and snapping pictures of the birds we’ve seen.

Birds:

We read a great bird-themed devotion from Our Daily Bread Kids. God cares about the birds and He watches over us!

We read about cardinals in our National Geographic Bird Guide of North America.

I had Parker complete the Bird Science worksheet from our Story Review.

We read Fine Feathered Friends and Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds.

Bird Beaks:

I set out a fun bird beak activity to pair with A Peek at Beaks.

First, Jordan read the book then he explored the various tools I collected. We discussed the bird beaks similar to the tools he was using.

Afterwards, I had him complete a bird beak and tool matching activity (Montessori Print Shop).

Bird Nests:

Parker read A Nest Full of Eggs on his own.

I set out an invitation to create a nest activity.

We cuddled on the couch and read A Nest is Noisy. This series is really beautiful and informative. The author covers all sorts of nests, not just bird nests.

Afterwards, Parker and I constructed a nest with twigs, strings, moss, and more. This is always a fun activity to do when studying birds.

I brought out our bird nest matching cards. Parker and I read through each type of nest and the birds that make them. Parker found the matching birds to complete each row.

I set out the bird nest activity for Jordan alongside Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy Book marked on the bird nests sections.

Botany:

Tomatoes:

I decided to serve tomato juice and toast while we started our lesson on tomatoes.

Both boys were excited to try the tomato juice, but neither of them liked it. I thought it would be delicious served warm with grilled cheese.

Jordan sliced a tomato open so we could explore the parts of this delicious fruit! I used our tomato definition cards (Montessori Print Shop) to explain each part of the tomato.

We skimmed through the tomato pages in Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy book.

The boys split the tomato and decided to eat their “love apples” with sugar like Thomas Jefferson. I love tomatoes, just on the savory side.

Tomato Soup:

That’s just what we did. I found another Pioneer Woman recipe for quick tomato soup, lightened it up, and served it with old fashioned grilled cheese.

Spaghetti & Meatballs:

Later that evening, Bub and I made homemade tomato sauce and meatballs, using the recipe from Lee Drummond’s Charlie Plays Ball.

We couldn’t make meatballs without reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which of course is suggested in our teaching manual too!

Planting Tomatoes:

First, Parks and I read about planting tomato seeds. The Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes book was a great story about laziness, hard work, and sharing. I could easily see that becoming a Bible character unit to pair with “consider the ant”. There are so many rabbit trails to explore, but there isn’t enough time to explore all of them.

Afterwards, we created sprout bags and hung them on the classroom sliding glass door. I would normally make cute sprout houses and even thought of making a construction paper apartment building with a window for each bag. Perhaps, I’ll create a printable for that one day.

We also planted seeds in little newspaper seedling pots and placed them near the kitchen window. We’ll see how well they grow.

Planting Vegetables:

We celebrated Jordan’s 12th birthday while rowing this book. His aunt and uncle sent him special vegetable seeds for his garden this year.

I brought out a vegetable garden project he picked out at Hobby Lobby. I thought it would be perfect for this row, especially since he needed to start sprouting his vegetable seeds.

Bub painted his garden container and created seed markers for each variety.

Vines & Tropism:

I printed Tropism worksheets from our story review, gathered books, and morning glory seeds. I was ready to begin our next botany unit.

We sat together and read The Trellis and the Seed. This book was perfect for this unit! When the manual mentioned moonflowers, I immediately thought of this book! It’s a heart-warming story about a woman who is given a moonflower seed for her garden. The story has many biblical lessons and could easily double as a Bible unit.

Morning Glory Lifecycle:

Parker colored, cut, and pasted the stages of the morning glory on his worksheet.

Sprouting Seeds:

Jordan and I read The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds. It’s always helpful to review the basics before diving deeper.

We scraped the morning glory seeds and soaked them overnight.

Parker and I added the soaked seeds to a wet napkin and stuffed them into ziplock bags. I taped them on our sliding glass door, hoping to sprout them quickly.

They sprouted beautifully! I transplanted the sprouts into newspaper seedling pots.

Blackberries:

We skimmed through The Fruit We Eat , looking at the berry pages.

Parker and I read The Berry Book together.

We also read “Berry Basics“ from Julia Rothman’s Nature Book.

I had Parker cut his blackberry length-wise to identify its various parts.

Later, the boys completed their “Parts of the Blackberry” worksheet from our Story Review.

Strawberries:

Just for fun, Parker read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear.

Of course, we went outside to explore our strawberry plants.

Blueberries:

Parker and I explored blueberries using our Blueberry Definition Cards.

We went outside and explored our blueberry bushes. We planted our first bush when Parker rowed Blueberries for Sal during preschool. We bought another bush a year or so later. Last year, we planted two more bushes. It was exciting to see flowers and berries on all four bushes!

Jamberry Scones:

Since we read Jamberry, Parker and I headed to the kitchen to make Jamberry scones.

Parker cut up the berries and we measured and mixed the ingredients.

We popped them in the oven and baked them golden brown.

They were sweet and delicious! They didn’t last long around the house. Baked goods always seem to disappear quickly!

Maple Trees:

First, we read A Tree For All Seasons then we went outside to collect maple leaves.

We collected leaves from our large Japanese maple as well as the smaller ones. We actually planted a few seedlings that our maple dropped last year.

Bub’s aunt and uncle also sent him a honeycrisp apple tree for his birthday. We planted it near our other apple trees we planted while rowing The Runaway Bunny. We’ll always remember the story of Albert as we watch this new tree grow.

ART, CRAFTS, & FUN:

Mixed Media Art:

After reading about and exploring maple trees, I thought a leaf rubbing and watercolor mixed-media art project would be an excellent way to end our maple tree unit.

Parker and I read Maple, a sweet story in a series about two sisters, Maple and Willow, named after trees.

First, I helped them sketch a complete and partial view of a deciduous tree using the “V technique”. Afterwards, the boys used a non-washable black crayon to sketch a tree outline and make leaf rubbings with the maple leaves we collected.

I brought out their watercolor sets so the boys could paint their trees using the same medium as Jim LaMarche.

We set them aside so they could dry. They looked really beautiful around the classroom windows.

Golden Bean Cakes:

We ordered Thai food, so I thought I would make Thai golden bean cakes for dessert.

First, I soaked the mung beans overnight. The next day, I rinsed them so many times until all the green casings were gone.

I can’t tell you how long it took to cook the beans.

What seemed like a couple hours later, it was barely cooked. Finally, I took it off the heat to cool down and pureed it with my hand blender.

I shaped them into balls, coated them in syrup and rolled them in sugar.

They were pretty, all clothed in sugar crystals. I’ll give them that; however, no one actually liked them. The flavor was okay, but the texture was mushy, like playdough. Perhaps, a savory bean cake would have been a better choice.

Bird House:

I originally planned to have Parker paint this bird house while rowing Bird Count, but we ran out of time. I was happy to include it in this row.

Comics:

Since we were already studying the story of Moses in Parker’s Bible unit, I had Jordan read the “comic” version in his Action Bible Devotional. Both boys love comic books, but Jordan is probably the bigger fan.

I bought the boys a blank comic book so they could write and illustrate their own stories.

Pinterest Board:

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

Youtube Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created an Albert Playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

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