With spring in full bloom, I thought it might be fun to row Higgins Bend Song & Dance.
READY TO ROW:
Jordan colored the story disk and added it on Mississippi.
The boys LOVED this story! It was an instant favorite! They created their cover art after reading the story aloud.
I created a Bible verse printable for this book. My daughter, Haley, created the artwork a couple years back!
You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store. There’s a bonus FREEbie in the Preview!
Parker used the tracer page while Jordan did the copywork worksheet.
Many of our social studies topics began as Bible units. It’s always nice when things flow together that way. It gives us practical Biblical lessons.
We imagined our story raking place somewhere on the great Mississippi river.
We read The Mississippi River together.
Jordan and Parker color-coded some of the major U.S. rivers using a worksheet from our Story Review pack.
Parker and I also read Little Mississippi together on our Epic app.
I started off our lesson on community reading the story of the early christians in Acts 2:42-47.
I reminded the boys about the sacrifices many Christians made to follow Christ. Some people were cut-off from their Jewish families, because they placed their faith in Christ. For them, the cost was great, but it was worth it.
The early Christians shared everything they had to meet each other’s needs. They ate together, worshipped the Lord together, and were greatly respected by all. Oh that the global church would return to loving God, loving each other, and sharing the gospel in word AND deed.
Being a Good Citizen:
It’s important to be a good citizen in our community. It’s love in action that matters most.
We read Be an Active Citizen in Your Community on our Epic app.
We read The Berenstain Bears Love Their Neighbors from the Caring and Sharing Treasury. The kids noticed right away that this story embodied the morale of “The Good Samaritan”.
We read a couple of poems about being a good neighbor from our A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood poetry book.
Afterwards, we read Thank You, Omu!, a story about a generous older woman who shared her delicious stew with members of her community. When we show kindness to others, that kindness will be returned to us.
We read about Martha and Mary and talked about why it was important for Martha to not be worried and hurried. Then we discussed the importance of having a spirit of hospitality.
We read Stone Soup, a wonderful story about how a town learned to share, be hospital and cooperate to make a feast everyone could enjoy.
Stone Soup gave us a beautiful illustration of cooperation. We read Working Together, a part of our Character Education books.
We discussed how everyone brings something different “to the table” and how we have to learn to listen to other people’s input and find ways of cooperating as a team.
I created a Higgins Bend Story Review for the boys to use while rowing this book.
You can purchase your copy here.
Parker and I read a few garden variety tall tales to start off this unit.
I printed the Tall Tall worksheet for him to complete. We also created a “cut-away“ art project to go with it.
I printed the Venn Diagram worksheet from our Story Review.
After reading The Night of the Moonjellies, Jordan jotted down the similarities and differences between Potato Kelly’s and Margra’s.
I set out the elements for our “More Nouns” page layout.
First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.
Next, he added the page elements, fishing pole terms and river water.
Next, he matched the catfish definitions with the correct “in a nutshell” fishing pole terms. He also added some birds in the sky! We also wrote some examples on our river water.
The fish were really biting on this week’s page layout!
Restrictive & Nonrestrictive Clauses & Phrases:
I set out the elements for our “Restrictive & Nonrestrictive Clauses & Phrases” page layout.
First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.
Next, he added the page elements, honeybee and flower.
Next, he matched the honeycomb definitions with the correct “in a nutshell” terms. I also wrote some examples at the bottom of the page.
This week’s page layout was buzzing!
I set out the elements for our “Planting Pronouns” page layout.
First, Parker added the title with our alphabet stickers.
Next, he matched the potato definitions with the correct “in a nutshell” terms. I also wrote some examples at the bottom of the page.
This week’s page layout was SPUDtacular!
We read our May poem during our calendar math unit.
Parker marked his calendar with dates, holidays, and birthdays.
Parker and I used Mad Matter to create a river with meanders.
First, I asked him to measure the length. He measured the river from top to bottom on a straight edge. It was around 9 inches.
Together, we measured each bend with the straight edge of his ruler and it was about 12 inches. He saw that this method was more accurate.
Finally, I showed him how to use a string to closely measure curved shapes. We traced the winding river with our string. Then we stretched it out against our ruler and it was 12 1/2 inches. He realized that this was the most accurate method of all.
Jordan and I looked up the length, width, and depth (mostly averages) of some of the major rivers in the U.S..
Using the menu the kids made while rowing Night of the Moonjellies, Parker sent out a video to our homeschool thread asking for orders.
Parker used our Store Keeping printables to write down the orders, calculate the totals, and send out invoices.
He sent out the invoices to his customers. This was a fun way to review store keeping skills and reinforce his Singapore math lessons on decimals (we applied state tax, for good measure)!
Parker and I read We’re Going Freshwater Fishing. This was a great book to introduce kids to freshwater fishing.
We also read Gone Fishing, a cute story geared towards younger kids. It’s about a young boy fishing with his daddy.
Parker read a couple of catfish books on our Epic app.
He used the Fun Fishy Facts worksheet from our story review to record all the information he found.
He typed up his catfish report on his computer. We attached his watercolor catfish art project at the bottom of his report.
Parts of a Fish:
I printed copies of the Label the Catfish worksheets from our Story Review.
The boys color-coded and labeled their worksheet as I read aloud the Parts of a Fish definition cards (Montessori print Shop).
Every good gardener knows that good soil is essential when growing great produce.
First, we read Dirt. Then I gave Parker a copy of our Parts of the Soil worksheet from our Story Review.
He completed his worksheet and we colored the parts of the soil together.
A lesson on worms seems to go hand-in-hand with a unit on soil.
I brought out an old anatomy poster and reviewed the parts of a worm with Parker.
We read Wiggling Worms at Work and talked about the benefits of earthworms in our soil. The casting and aerating make for happy garden vegetables!
We reviewed the parts of an insect poster we made while studying The Bee Tree.
Parker colored, cut, and pasted the animals from the story in our Higgins Bend Story Review.
Jordan and I read Cool Potatoes and learned about hilling and other helpful tips.
Parker and I read Two Old Potatoes and Me.
Bub and I went outside and planted fingerling, purple, and Russet potatoes in special potato growing bags I bought from Amazon. I hope they make it!
After a week, we had sprouts poking through on all varieties!
The potatoes were really taking off! I hope we are able to harvest potatoes at the end of our 1growing season.
After learning about dirt, worms, and growing things, we HAD to go outside and dig in the dirt!
We went to the nursery to buy some plants. Bub picked up some hot peppers and I found some pumpkins.
Parks and I added the pumpkins to his garden box. I left the flowers to keep it colorful and attract our pollinators.
Jordan and I bought vegetables and planted them in our garden boxes.
I also refreshed our pollinator boxes with bright flowers to attract bees and butterflies.
I started working on our Secret Garden, which I hope will one day look like an English cottage garden.
Parker and I read Follow the Brook From Brook to Ocean.
River Flora & Fauna:
We thumbed through some pond and river life books.
I printed a copy of the Flora and Fauna worksheet from our Story Review.
Parker and I colored the river life pictures. Later, he sorted them and glued them on the worksheet.
Jordan has been reading through Rivers and Streams during this row. Each chapter has a bunch of experiments you can choose from.
Parts of the River:
After reading the introduction to the book, I had Jordan complete the Parts of a River worksheet from our Story Review.
Though he recently studied rivers while rowing The Raft, he used the worksheet to test how much he remembered.
Jordan and I made a paper water closet to show how rainwater moves across a terrain. First we followed the book’s suggested approach, then he created his own version.
Make a Cloud:
Jordan created a cloud after reading the second chapter. This particular experiment was underwhelming. Perhaps, a larger bottle would have been better.
This next experiment was meant yo show us how fish use the oxygen molecules from water via their gills.
Following the manual, Jordan mixed the coffee ground, representing oxygen molecules, in water. He fitted our “fish” mason jar, with “gills” using a coffee filter and a rubber band. He slowly poured the water mixture in batches.
He poured the coffee water on our fish “gills” (filter) and watched as the “water molecules” (coffee grounds) separated from the water below.
Bub and I created wire water striders to test in and on water. God created them with a unique flat design that allows them to skate on top of the water.
First, we set our strider in the water sideways. He simply sank to the bottom.
We placed our water strider on top and watched it stay afloat.
It seems we were on a coffee grounds kick! We decided to reuse our coffee grounds rather than ise soil for this experiment.
Jordan created a coast of coffee grounds and used his cup to mimic rain eroding the earth. You could see the valley it created.
Then he added a layer of sponges on top to show how plants help reduce soil erosion. He poured the water and watched as it trickled down the sponges, greatly reducing the erosion process. When he lifted up the sponges, you could visually see how the hill remained in tact. This was an excellent visual representation!
Jordan was learning about climate change. This experiment shows how water molecules move faster in warmer conditions.￼
Jordan prepared three mason jars with cold water, room temperature water, and boiling water. He added food coloring so we could see the relationship between the water and climate changes.
As predicted, the food coloring dissolved quickest in the boiling water and slowest in the coldest water. The room temperature water (center jar) was a tad warm, so I added an ice cube to cool it down. You can see the food coloring come to a halting stop in the center where the coldest point was.
Parker and I read Things That Float and Things That Don’t.
We experimented our way through the book.
ARTS, CRAFTS, & FUN:
This activity was actually another experiment listed in Jordan’s science book, but it quickly became a fun family art project.
We sat around the table folding origami boats. Parker and I read My Blue Boat, a sweet story from our BFIAR days.
After everyone successfully folded at least one paper boat, Jordan and his dad checked if they were sea-worthy.
All boats floated, but only the foil boats were water-resistant. I feel another science experiment on the way.
The boys used Jim Arnosky’s 25 Fish Every Child Should Know to paint their freshwater fish.
We started this art lesson talking about the cut-away illustration on the cover of Higgins Bend. We started noticing the cut-away pictures in other books we were reading.
We watched the mole burrow through the layers of soil.
We saw worms wiggling through the dirt below our feet.
We merged our cut-away art lesson with our potato stamping. I mixed various shades of brown tempura paint to use for our hill.
We cut apart our potato to make our stamps. Big brother surprised him with a smily faced potato. He loved the happy potato print so much, he made a group of potatoes. This became the inspiration for his tall tale ending.
Using the remaining tempura paint, Parker painted around the potato family to make it a large dirt hill. We cut-out a grass stamp to line the top of our hill.
Our potato family was looking cute. We set them aside to dry.
Next, we switched to watercolors and Parker painted his sky background. He painted the sky on another blank page, because we need a bigger background for his tall tale characters.
Parker created a cloud stamp for our background. He added a bunch of fluffy clouds and we set it aside to dry.
We used oil pastels to create faces on our potatoes.
We added a potato plant and his story characters.
It was the perfect illustration for Parker’s tall tale.
Catfish & Potato Pancakes:
In honor of Potato Kelly, I decided to make potato pancakes and catfish.
I found a recipe for potato pancakes and whipped up a batch to pair with our catfish. The pancakes were delicious, but they were a tad too salty. I’ll reduce the salt next time I make them.
I baked the catfish with creole seasoning. It was delicious , but it was too salty.
You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our Higgins Bend Song and Dance Pinterest board.
As with our other rows, we created a Higgins Bend Song and Dance playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.