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Category: Lentil

Our final Five in a Row day for rowing Lentil is Science day. We learned about the 5 senses, particularly taste, and then about sound.


For taste, we setup a taste station. I placed 4 tiny bowls and each had an individual “taste”. Sugar water for Sweet, salt water for Salty, lemon juice for Sour and unsweetened melted chocolate for Bitter.


Using 4 cotton swabs I had Satori guess which taste they were. She knew the tastes Sweet (what kid doesn’t love sweet stuff) and Sour (from our lemon day earlier with Lentil), but learned what Salty and Bitter tasted like. We also used the swabs on different parts of the tongue so she could experience that her taste buds registered certain tastes on certain areas of her tongue!



Next up was sound, we really went over sound acoustics, sound waves, echos, and sonar by reading our book Sounds All Around. Then we experienced sound waves for ourselves by making a telephone with 2 cups and 10 foot string to show how much better sound travels along a tight string than plain air. I told her this is similar to how real telephones work, except sound runs along an electric current rather than string, and with that, sound can travel all the way to Wisconsin where her grandma/grandpa live!


Then we saw how sound vibrates by taking a toilet paper roll (empty) with a piece of wax paper with rubber band around its end. She used this as a microphone and could feel the paper BUZZ.


Other ways we experimented with sound was to take a rubber ball and bounce it. This shows how sound waves travel and bounce back from things, like bats can find their food in the dark. We tried bouncing the ball on our tile floor, as well as carpet, to see how sound waves can bounce off certain things better. Then, just like Lentil did in the book, we used our harmonica in the bathtub to see how “the tone improved 100 percent”.


Finally, to say farewell to Lentil, we made Lentil soup! This was a bit of a coincidence as I bought bags of lentils for our upcoming “Lentil Science”, and to show Satori what a lentil legume looked like. “They’re cute little things!” Of course I had her measure everything out.


I’m no cook, but here’s my attempt at Lentil Soup.


We did build a Lentil Lapbook, but it is not as big as our previous lapbooks. I will show the Lentil lapbook tomorrow.

We didn’t get to make our lemonade yesterday, so we made it today. Lemons play a big part in Lentil, so once Satori got a “taste” of straight up lemon juice, we then proceeded to make lemonade. I had her count and measure all the ingredients, as this is our “Math Day” for Five in a Row. One cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar (actually we did half sugar and that was pretty sweet enough), and 1 cup water. We boiled the sugar and water so the sugar dissolves thoroughly (no more sugar sinking to bottom). Then cool the water, add more to taste.


Mama gave Satori her first lesson on fractions – whole, half, and quarter. I had her stack two lemon halves so we could count how many lemons we used. It took the juice of 5 lemons to make us a cup.


And we enjoyed our fresh lemonade outdoors on our sunny, 70? degree day!


Once we rested, we gathered a cup of pinto beans (I would’ve used lentils, but we only had a mix of very small lentil/beans). Using an eggshell carton, I labeled 1-12. We counted in Spanish (and sometimes in English) to fill the container.


For our last 4 numbers (9-12), I had Satori grab a handful she guessed would be the amount, and then we’d see how close she was. She was one off on all except our last number. Instead of 12, she purposely grabbed as much as her little hand could grab! It happened to be 27 pinto beans!

And here is our container almost full:


Learning math does not have to be boring! No mindless worksheets for us.

Using items hands-on for learning math is called “manipulatives”. You can use whatever you have around the house (food, paperclips, pebbles, etc…) or there are lots of fun sets like our wild animal counting manipulatives. At our Spanish class on Tuesdays,  Miss Alma uses Gold Fish snacks or Cheerios. Kids gobble them up and ask for Mas Por Favor!

I finally got video up on the blog, mostly just to see it work. David looks pissed off, but he is just trying to read in the bright sunlight. 🙂

… means it is Art day for Lentil!! Daddy was the teacher today for our Lentil Art day. We even got to do our class outside, as it was very sunny and quite warm. Of course mama had everything all ready to go. I thought we’d incorporate many elements of art today – music, sculpture and a drama.


Like every FIAR rowing, we start with reading the book, in this case it is Lentil. Here Satori is trying to whistle like poor Lentil, who couldn’t sing or whistle, all because he couldn’t pucker (which this inability ends up saving the day).


Then comes the fun part – hand’s on learning! We started with showing Satori her new harmonica. We made a guitar out of a kleenex box and rubber bands, and added a drum and made some music.


After enjoying our beautiful band playing  Jingle Bells and Old McDonald, we started to whittle and make soap sculptures.


Satori wanted to make a snowman, daddy thought of a fish. With daddy’s help, here are our little sculptures!


Finally, we acted out the story. Satori was the harmonica-playing Lentil, daddy was Old Sneep, and mama was Colonel Carter and narrator. Daddy played such a good old grump, whittling and sucking his lemons. Satori actually liked the taste of lemons. After this post, we will make LEMONADE, and we’ll take up a bit of Applied Math as we measure ingredients.

Satori has been playing her new harmonica non-stop! We also watched YouTube videos on different musicians playing their harmonica.


after her very own name, is…


Yesterday after reading Lentil for the very first time, I quickly showed her that Ohio is spelled with 2 O’s and a HI in the middle. I was stunned when she wrote it out on our basement floor today!!! But first of all, let’s get to why she was writing on our basement floor. 🙂


It was Saturday night, and I wanted to catch up on Idol with David, but Satori was begging me to work on her new Lentil lapbook. How could a mama say no? I thought it would be a great time to build our first “map”.


It was time for Language Arts rowing day, but I wanted to go over a bit of Social Studies review on small towns. So we took a piece of chalk, a bunch of wooden blocks, and sat down on our basement floor. It is a rubbery workout floor type, perfect for chalk. (Or so I hope, it better wash out easily, lol!) I drew the first example road and labeled it Main Street. I had Satori draw all the rest of the roads – Vine Street and the alley street. We didn’t know the name of the alley street, but all of a sudden she wrote out OHIO! Needless to say, I was somewhat stunned. So I guess we’ll call it Ohio Alley. The wooden blocks represent the buildings of Alto, Ohio, such as Colonel Carter’s house, the Alto library, the church, the park, etc… And of course we had Thomas the train engine represent the steam engine that Colonel Carter arrived to town with.

As you can see quite clearly the word OHIO, she was very proud of writing one of her very first words, that she wrote it again a few times. 🙂


Satori, we’re so proud of you, life is so much fun with you! Surprises everyday!


We also did go over our Language Arts day. I wanted to give her a glimpse into literature by explaining the concept of a story’s climax. So I had her draw a big grassy hill with a definite peak at the top. I attempted to demonstrate the Lentil story events on the hill by talking about them and marking them with an X, until the event where everyone is holding their breath at the climax.


After I explained what the climax of a story was, she wanted to draw pictures of a bear and bear footprints. We looked up on the Internet what bear footprints looked like, then we started to build the story.

Once upon a time a girl and her dog were walking in the woods. It was spring and she was picking flowers. Then she saw bear footprints on the trail… and half-eaten berry bushes… Then the CLIMAX – the BEAR appeared on the path!!! Satori was very scared and her heart was racing. Luckily, Maddie her dog saved her by growling at the bear, scaring him away, whew! She took her flowers home, put them in a vase, and called grandma and grandpa about her day. 🙂

She understood that the only part in the story where she might want to scream was not when she was picking flowers, not when she was calling grandparents, but when she saw the bear! And that is her story’s climax. I hope she doesn’t associate all climaxes with screaming now.

Here is the illustrations of the bear footprint, “the climax”, and the bear itself of Satori’s story. (I almost wrote stori, lol.)


And what’s Satori doing now? She got a huge kick that we were able to draw on our floor, so I just had to take the chalk away. Now she’s playing with her new “town”. Tomorrow our whole family will re-enact Lentil’s story, as part of our Arts day – a good drama, I just know she’ll love this!

Playdate today! First up was Cranium’s game – Hullaboo. This is a great game for energetic kids, and easy to play! At an easy level, the game calls out for kids to crawl, spin, hop to a certain color, shape, food, animal. We haven’t played the harder level yet, but I think it gets a bit like Twister, with everyone putting certain body parts on certain pieces. 🙂



We also played fishing to practice our numbers, but our visitor was a bit younger and I had to name her numbers for her. I am still new to homeschooling Satori, so I am learning everyday what she knows and doesn’t know. She recognized all the numbers that her fishing rod caught (numbers were 1-10). This fun game, called Fishing for Numbers, I bought from Lakeshore Learning and the mats can be turned around and show quantities, not the actual numbers for an added challenge. I also plan to use this game with the magnetic alphabet (both upper and lowercase that we already have here).

* On a whim, I quizzed her on numbers 0-10, and she knew every number by looking at it except 6, 9, and 10. She is getting confused with the letter P for some of these, which is understandable when first learning these. I have the Math U See Primer (for pre-K/K) on the way and we’ll start that next week so she can know her numbers.


Lentil – Social Studies day

On to Social Studies day to kick off Lentil! This is our third FIAR book, and our very first one that is set in the United States. After learning a bit about Ohio, where Lentil lives, we colored in the Ohio flag. The Ohio flag is shaped like a pendant, the only American flag not shaped as the typical rectangle!  We really study geography in a few different ways, so by the end of the lesson, she’s fairly good at picking out Ohio on a map.


And because I don’t have a good picture of our laminated maps up yet, here they are!


Satori was playing with her friends all day, so no pictures of the little girl today.

Instead, I prepared our lessons for the week for rowing Lentil, by Robert McCloskey. Lentil is a little boy in 1940s Ohio who saves the day with his unique talent. We’ll be learning about Ohio, small towns, life many years ago, the climax of a story, harmonicas, taste buds and sound! I’ve got lots of fun experiments and ideas lined up, I think we’ll be having some fun.


Also, when researching the Lentil lapbook materials, I came across this site that offered “Lentil Science”, which helps kids learn with lentils! They have hands-on blend of science, math, social studies, language and art. It sounds like a super fun way to learn, and I’ll have to try it out.


We started reading aloud to Satori long chapter books with no pictures. I wasn’t sure how she’d do just listening, especially with a book with scarce pictures in it. But tonight we read for about 15 minutes and I think it’s going to work out! I’ll know for sure after we do this a few more times. ;)  But she has the patience and the interest, so I’m thinking it will be a cherished time for daughter and mother, and hopefully we can continue this tradition for quite a long time.


UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2009: This area looks nothing like it did back in February. 🙂 We’ve converted this to our “Learning Loft” which holds Satori’s “office”. 🙂 We now do most of our read-alouds in the Reading Room or in bed at bedtime.