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Category: Papa Piccolo

Nocturnal animal

Nocturnal animal

Today we learned about nocturnal animals, like Papa Piccolo the cat. (Click this link for effect.) The photo above is a tarsier, it sleeps during the day, and sleeps with its EYES OPEN! What a cute little guy, huh!

To kick off the lesson, we started with this book, I have a bunch of these Let’s Read and Find Out books, so this came in handy today!

Where Are the Night Animals?

Where Are the Night Animals?

We had fun with these websites to hear the sounds nocturnal animals make. Since we live in the middle of nowhere on a mountain, adjacent to a national forest, I often hear strange creature sounds screaming in the woods. I’m a night owl myself, so I am usually the only one awake to hear them. I think they’re coyotes.

While I was on the computer with Tori on my lap, I googled even more “nocturnal animal” sites. Here’s some good ones:

And here’s our little tarsier friend at night, with eyes open and pupils dilated to bring in more light (just like my camera):

Tarsier at night

Tarsier at night

Papa Piccolo Go-along Books

And finally, here’s the books we used as go-alongs for our rowing of Papa Piccolo, I probably overdid it this week, but I really wanted to learn more about Venice and Marco Polo myself! I am dying to visit Italy now.

Go-alongs for Papa Piccolo

Go-alongs for Papa Piccolo

To see links to each of these books, head to our Papa Piccolo rowing page.

Today we dined at the Cafe Gondolier on Pearl street in Boulder. Satori had spaghetti and ravioli, the perfect feast to celebrate our Papa Piccolo rowing. 🙂

Gondolier in Boulder

Gondolier in Boulder

Last night we also did our first shadow play. I made up 4 puppets and David and Satori acted out Papa Piccolo. I did get a video out of it, but won’t embed it here, it’s too amateurish, lol! We had problems with the lighting to say the least, but I had a great time watching them. 🙂 Here’s the link to the video if you’re interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V64LKdz9Lss

On this lazy Saturday, Papa David read Papa Piccolo today for Satori. It was her third time hearing it, so she interrupted a few times to gloat about knowing what happens on the next page, and told Daddy his “voices” for Sophia the cat were all wrong (I said them in a soft, high voice). But both David and I gave an Italian accent to the Venetian cat voices. 🙂

Papa reading to his little kitten

Papa reading to his little kitten

For art, we took this two page spread and tried to replicate its colors. I took our medium with the most colors, this Crayola crayon set, quickly sketched out the scene, and had Satori pick the matching colors.

Replicating this beautiful page

Replicating this beautiful page

It ended up being a family art project! We all pitched in and colored the page.

Family Art!

Family Art!

And the finished artwork now hangs up on our inspiration wire for all to see! (Check out the cute decorated miniature clothespins I found at Michaels the other day!)

Our finished artwork

Our finished artwork

There is *more* art lessons I want to show Satori from this book, but I probably won’t make a part 3 blog post out of it. Part 1 was the color wheel (primary and secondary colors). Part 2 was color matching and examining the artwork in the book (beautiful watercolors). Part 3 is complementary color, highlights in eyes, and windows on houses in the dark (yellow windows upon dark houses).

Papa Piccolo’s pages are filled with color, and there are examples in its pages of complementary color. I was looking forward to the many art lessons this book offers…

Today we made our own color wheel, starting with just 3 colors:

Primary Colors - Red, Yellow, and Green

Primary Colors - Red, Yellow, and Green

I explained that these 3 colors are the Primary colors and from these we can make others.

Primary Colors on color wheel

Primary Colors on color wheel

Satori chose 2 colors and combined them to see what they made. We ended up with 3 secondary colors – muddy violet, dark green, and vibrant orange!

Yellow and Blue make Green

Yellow and Blue make Green

It was a great introduction to colors, and although she doesn’t have her colors memorized on what red and orange make (she said purple right after we did this), every time in the future she is presented with this topic, or sees it while she’s painting, it will be an easier concept to understand. Same with almost everything we learn with our Five in a Row lessons. Some things she gets immediately, some take a few times.

Finished Color Wheel

Finished Color Wheel

After this, she was antsy to paint her own picture, so I let her at it, using only the three primary colors, and asked her to blend two of them in a few places. Here she is in red, with a purple swimsuit, swimming in the ocean, colorful beach balls on the beach, on a sunny day!

Satori at the Beach

Satori at the Beach

In Papa Piccolo, set in Venice, Italy, gondolas play a large part in the story. Satori and I learned a little more about gondolas – they are black, they have an ornate metal bow decoration, and they are long and flat. The person who propels a gondola is a gondolier. These days gondolas cater to the tourist industry.

Today we made a paper Gondola boat that stands on its own.

Gondola Boat Craft

Gondola Boat Craft

Paper Gondola Boat Craft

You will need:

  • Black construction paper
  • Gold fadeless or origama paper (we had to settle for gold cardstock)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Glitter glue or glitter
  • 2 x 8-inch strip of colored construction paper

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  1. Fold the black construction paper in quarters.

    Black construction paper folded in quarters, ready to cut

    Black construction paper folded in quarters, ready to cut

  2. With the open fold on left, cut the bow shape. Since I wanted my 4 year old to cut it herself, I made a white line for her to use as a guideline.

    Cutting our gondola

    Cutting our gondola

  3. Unfold the paper, fold along the long side, and glue ends together to create the bow and stern.

    Tape ends of gondola to create the boat shape

    Tape ends of gondola to create the boat shape

  4. For the bow, fold the gold paper in half, and cut out a design. Glue to one end of your gondola.
  5. Decorate with your glitter glue!

    Decorating gondola with glitter

    Decorating gondola with glitter

  6. To make the gondola stand, fold the 2×8-inch strip of construction paper in half. Cut a notch in the center half an inch wide at the top and 1 inch deep. Take the ends together. (We found a notch shorter than one inch in width to be best.)

    Gondola stand

    Gondola stand

  7. Set gondola in notch and sail away!

    Gondola boat in stand

    Gondola boat in stand

Here’s Satori’s finished gondola. It was her idea to put the pink hearts in, she wanted the “most beautiful gondola”!  Satori calls it her “love boat” and I don’t even think she’s heard of the show.

Gondola Boat craft

Gondola Boat craft

Since we made two, we can have a reggata (boat race)! She’s chanting “cheer for love boat!” after I told her we’d race them in a regatta. 🙂

Gondola regatta

Gondola regatta

One of my favorite parts in rowing FIAR is when Satori learns her geography. (And mama learns a lot too!) Today we learned about Venice, Italy, the way its streets are made of water, gondolas, and its flag.

First, we Google Earthed Italy, and then Venice. Eek, you can see how dusty my laptop is, but on the bright side, you get a little cutie’s face peering back at you!

Google Earth - Venice, Italy

Google Earth - Venice, Italy

And a better look. Hmmm, Venice looks like a boot itself!

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We really zoomed in and saw lots of boats, which I assume were gondolas.  Both Satori and I found it fascinating to explore the city this way! I’d never been to Italy, only the gondola ride in Las Vegas. Which of course, being the techies we are, we YouTubed a gondola ride at the Venetian, Las Vegas. (If you hit YouTube earlier on this particular day (April 1), you were in for a surprise.)  So we not only got to feel we were on a gondola ride, we got to hear the gondolier’s singing!

Okay… now I’m really ready for a vacation!

Then, we pulled out our interactive globe and I asked Satori to find Italy, and I had never shown it to her on a globe before. She zeroed right in! All I explained early was that Italy was in Europe, was near France, and looked like a boot sticking in the Mediterranean sea. It is pretty easy to spot, but I was pretty proud of my 4 year old to find it on the globe right away. 🙂

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Italy on globe

As always, when we study a new country, we love to make its flag. In our Papa Piccolo book, there was a handy flag illustrated, so we knew what the Italy flag looks like. After she drew it with crayons for her lapbook, I cut out some colored paper scraps and made a little puzzle for her to put together.

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Italy Flag "puzzle"

It was a no-brainer to finish.

Making Italy flag

Making Italy flag

As always, when we finish a flag and tape it on a stick to wave around, Satori complains that it doesn’t wave like a REAL FLAG and pouts. Oh well.

We got to enter Venice, Italy on our passport, and I stamped it with today’s stamp.

Satori's Passport - Venice, Italy entry (Apr 01, 2009)

Satori's Passport - Venice, Italy entry (Apr 01, 2009)

You may have noticed I mentioned “lapbook” up there when yesterday I specifically said we wouldn’t be doing a lapbook. 🙂 I forgot about the free homeschoolshare.com site and all its lapbook goodies, lots of great learning tools and go-alongs for FIAR books! It’s a wonderful way for Satori to look back and remember everything we learned when rowing a book. HomeschoolShare (HSS) just isn’t good at being listed in Google for some reason (I guess I only looked at the first page of google search returns for papa piccolo fiar). Anyway, we will be doing a simple yet informative Papa Piccolo lapbook this week. And here’s our start!

Papa Piccolo lapbook

Papa Piccolo lapbook

I’ve found it most exciting to be spontaneous about our next FIAR book to row, to see where the weather, current events, and local activities takes us. 🙂 Our last book was perfect timing for our blizzard-like conditions last week. For example, we’ll save Very Last First Time for the week we can visit tundra at the Rocky Mountain National Park… The Rag Coat for when we’re ready to try quilting… So up until today I hadn’t figured out our next book.

I asked Satori what she wanted to read about, and she said “a little girl who lost her parents and is an orphan”. The only orphan-related books we had on hand were Clown of God (which I want to save for the Colorado Renaissance Festival this summer) and Papa Piccolo. So Papa it is!

Papa Piccolo

Papa Piccolo

Satoris cat, Soma

We read it tonight for the first time. Satori has her own cat, Soma (a Bengal cat), so we’ll take this opportunity to learn more about cats. We’ll explore Italy and Venice, really get into color this week, and learn some common italian words!

I do not think we’ll be doing a lapbook this time around, but focusing more on being more interactive and making cool stuff. I just want to really have fun this week and the last few lapbooks we did were just me cutting and pasting for the most part. We’ll make lapbooks again for sure, but just not this week.

Tonight I spent about an hour and a half making our “gameplan” to row Papa, check it out here. Everything is tentative, but I hope the time I spent tonight will make things more organized and easier this week.

Rowing Papa Piccolo – planning page

The page above will be changing as we row throughout the week, and hopefully it will be helpful for those of you who have yet to row Papa Piccolo!