Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sparking a fire of learning ...

The Underground Railroad has sparked a fire of interest for 7.5 yo C and 6 yo J this week.  I love it when this happens.

I asked them last Friday what they wanted to study for Five In A Row this week.  (Last week we didn't do Five In A Row, but we read a different Sir Cumference math storybook each day.  They really enjoyed these books by Cindy Neuschwander).   They both skipped out to the kitchen to look at the shelf we keep our Five In  A Row books on, but J quickly ran back to say he wanted to do the "Drinking Gourd book". 

I told them Follow the Drinking Gourd was perfect since February is black history month.  I should have thought of it myself.  Yesterday J was out of town with his Daddy, so he didn't join in on the story.  C and I studied the language arts portion of the lessons while J was gone.  But today they were both here, and we studied the social studies lessons together. 

They are fascinated with the idea of the underground railroad, following clues in a song and trail markings from safe house to safe house, hiding in secret rooms, escaping danger to freedom.  C reminded me that we own a Nest video about Harriet Tubman and asked if they could watch it.  So, they sat down to watch the cartoon about Harriet Tubman after their Five In A Row lesson. 

The best part was when they just came up to me and showed me the Underground Railroad they built out of legos.  There is the forest, and two safe houses.  One safe house has a tunnel in the roof, and the other one has a hidden room inside, they say.    They're currently adding streams and other things to their Underground Railroad.  I'll get a picture of it as soon as they are done. 

I've also been commissioned to find them a recording of Follow The Drinking Gourd for them to listen to.  We've heard it sung on Reading Rainbow before, and I think I've found it online before, too. 

You can see they have houses, streams, rivers, bushes, and trees.  The little "pillars" are people.  The black-clothed person with the yellow head by the forest is the slave hunter with two little brown dogs looking for the hiding runaway slaves.  There are 3 adult slaves and one child slave hiding from the slave hunter.  They have brown heads and are wearing tan, black, and blue clothes.   They have informed me that the house on the left with the gray chimney has a flip up chimney with a secret passageway into the attic, and the house in the middle just has a hidden room inside. 

And that's been school at our house today.  I love it when they get excited about our lessons and incorporate it into their play!

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Sometimes I wish I had gotten the hang of FIAR... that all sounds really neat! I love it when our learning shows up in their play too. We've been reading about the middle ages and just finished Robin Hood. So the boys have been talking about weapons lately, especially bows and arrows. :)


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