Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cranberry Thanksgiving

For the past week or so surrounding Thanksgiving, we've been doing a unit study of Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. The story is set in New England on a cranberry farm and the plot includes a famous cranberry bread recipe and someone who wants to steal it. It's a cute story about Thanksgiving Day and what unfolds when a grandmother and her granddaughter invites some guests to dinner. We rowed this when R7 was in kindergarten and I thought it would be fun for I-5 to do it this year.

Here a some activities we enjoyed together:

*We learned about cranberries and filled out a layer book about them using this template from Homeschool Share.

*We talked about how to write about the setting of a story concisely. The first page of the book says: "She and her grandmother lived at the edge of a lonely cranberrry bog in New England, and the winds were cold at the edge of the sea."

Each of the kids made their own.

I-5: I and his sister lived at the edge of small, grassy fields in Pennsylvania where the sky was gray.

R7: TBA (temporarily missing!)

E9: Brandon lived with his father on the edge of a field surrounded by trees on the side of a mountain in Virginia, where the sky was beautifully sunny.

*We reviewed a map of New England and talked about the difference between bogs and swamps and what animals and plants we might find in each.

*We reviewed similes and the kids each wrote some of their own and/or filled in some blanks to make some examples their own.

*We read some Thanksgiving stories together. Stay tuned for the booklist which is a little bit long(I'm just feeling like I need to blog this stuff now or it'll be a while!)

*We sipped cran-raspberry juice while reading the story together this week.

*We made cranberry wreathes while away for Thanksgiving (pictures soon). I got the idea from the Ocean Spray site. Just click on ocean spray kids for more crafts including the cranberry wreath. That site also has a live cranberry bog cam! Too bad we'd missed this year's harvest already.

*We discussed the layout of the manuscript and how the author can make choices about how a book is laid out. This will be important over the next few weeks as the kids write their own books from start to finish.

*Today we'll be doing an art lesson on Partial View. There's a page in the story where the girl is peeking into a room and she's partially hidden by the door. We'll be creating our own picture like this using the track ball mouse hidden behind a piece of cardboard. I'll be sure to post pictures when they are done.

*Finally, today we'll be talking about Elements of a Good Story (setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement). I wanted to end with this as we begin the unit on making books with children. More on the new unit in a bit!!

I'll post some pictures to go along with these activities later today. So, stay tuned!

1 comment:

Alana said...

I think that is going to be a nice intro for your bookmaking unit! Good Job!