Saturday, December 14, 2013

FIAR: A Cranberry Thanksgiving

With Gabe doing the Five In a Row program this fall, we jumped ahead a little and did A Cranberry Thanksgiving in time to coincide with the holiday. It's a fun story that involves a suspicious grandma, her sweet granddaughter, and a hairy fellow that exudes "an aura of clams and seaweed", which happens to be a favorite phrase of Ezra's now.

We studied all about New England and what it's known for: shipbuilding, lighthouses, beautiful fall colors, Colonial and Cape Cod architecture, maple syrup, and of course, clam chowder. We also got to learn about cranberries and how they are grown and harvested. The kids thought it was so cool how they flood the fields and float the cranberries to be harvested.   

 We also did a few activities related to the First Thanksgiving, which was also in New England. 

We all tried to guess how many cranberries were in a 12oz bag. We were all way off... There were lots more than we thought.
Then Gabe had to guess whether they would float or sink.
Turns out, they float! (of course, he knew this because we had talked about how they harvest them...:)
Then we cut one open to see why. There are four big seed chambers! Well, now that it's popped, it should sink right? Nope! Turns out, the berry itself is almost spongy and so it floats, even in pieces.

Lastly, we tried seeing how high one bounces. the highest one bounced up almost 9 inches!
Part of the story involves baking cranberry bread, so we showed Gabe how baking soda makes breads rise by mixing it with some vinegar in a bag and making a baking soda "bomb". You'd be surprised how fast that bag swells when you're trying to zip it. :)

For an art project, we made a silhouette of Gabriel, just like they have in a couple of pictures in the book. (I swear, I didn't pose him with an open mouth for the picture just to make him match the sihouette...)
And in the end, Gabe helped bake the cranberry bread recipe that's in the book. The kids loved it!

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