December’s FIAR selections were A Pair of Red Clogs and Grandfather’s Journey. Both of them included the geography and culture of Japan so they went together nicely. As usual, we read the book through each day. We tend to do this over lunch. We had table discussions of the character qualities of honesty, kindness, and friendliness. To begin, we placed a picture of A Pair of Red Clogs on the map in our school room over Japan and then we placed a picture of Grandfather’s Journey on a ship crossing the Pacific Ocean. We identified the continents and oceans on our map. We looked at Japan’s flag and some interesting facts about the country. For Japanese culture we ate Sushi, talked about kimonos and made a Japanese paper doll.
A Pair of Red Clogs is about a little girl in Japan who gets a new pair of clogs for school, but cracks them playing the Weather Telling Game and so she tries to fool her mother into buying her a new pair.
We did several activities, one of which was to have a Japanese-style meal.
We picked up some sushi and put out our chopsticks for the kids to try.
They didn't do too badly with them. :)
Gabe managed to actually get some food in his mouth.
Ezra couldn't handle them so we got out the kid chopsticks that someone had given us a while back.
Since Mako broke her clogs playing the Weather Telling Game, I made some clogs for Gabe and let him try it out, too.
"Ashita Tenkini Nare! May it be fine tomorrow!"
We actually did this every day for 5 days and the results were surprisingly accurate. However, when Olivia predicted snow the next week 3 days in a row, she was disappointed when it got up to almost 70 each of those days. :)
Our main science topic was that of weather. We talked some about actual weather prediction. Olivia had to read several library books on actual weather predicting. She likes to join in with our FIAR lessons with the boys and so if there is a way to give her a bit more information on a subject, we do that. We talked about the basic types of clouds and have spent many days identifying those in the sky. We made a rain storm in a pot and discussed the water cycle.
Gabe watched a pot boil and the steam condense on the lid, running down like rain back into the pot.
We talked about appropriate clothing for different seasons and types of weather. We made carp kites and flew them outside in the wind.
In Grandfather’s Journey, Grandfather travels to the US and sees many different types of land and climate. He ends up in California. We located California on the map and then talked about different modes of transportation and different land forms. Grandfather was on the ship to California for 21 days, so we counted off the days on a calendar. We built a simple model of a volcano and watched it erupt because Japan is near many underwater volcanoes.
Grandfather’s Journey is about 3 generations and so we put together a family tree and looked at pictures of 4 generations on both sides of our family starting with Gabe.
Our science topic once we moved to Grandfather’s Journey was birds. We observed some birds and talked about their behavior, label the parts of a bird, and put together a cut and paste bird picture.
For art we looked at Cherry Trees and made them from the kid’s hands and using a bottle for a paint stamp. We also looked at and made paper fans, origami, and talked about contrasting colors.
Gabe had a sentence from each book as copy work. A Pair of Red Clogs included words of sound or Onomatopoeia as have a few of our previous FIAR selections. The kids love these parts of the books. The boys were gifted a couple of books from their Aunts and Uncles that included Onomatopoeia so we are having lots of fun reading those.