Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel {FIAR}

I've been putting off completing this post because it's a long one and I have a lot to say!
Our first week back to school was a good one and we accomplished most of what we set out to do!
It felt so good to be back into the routine of things!

I wasn't so sure how much the girls would enjoy a book about a machine considering they have never showed much interest in such things.
To my surprise, they really enjoyed this book!
It was a really sweet story and provided us with many different topics to talk about!

This week I attempted to put many of Piper's lessons related to the story in a lap book.
I'm hoping this will provide her with a way to show others what she is doing in school and give her a sense of accomplishment in all she does throughout the week.

Day 1:

We talked about steam engines - how they work, why they were such a useful invention and what has since replace them.
Piper was extremely interested in the youtube videos I had to show her.
This one was our favorite:

We also talked about stewardship.
Mike Mulligan took such good care of Mary Anne, his steam shovel, that she could still dig extremely well.
I explained to Piper what good stewardship meant and asked her to think of ways she could be a good steward of her things.
I was going to record her answers for her but she asked me to write them out so she could print them on the paper I had printed for her lapbook.
I wasn't sure she was capable of so much copywork but she surprised me with how well she did!

Day 2:

We talked about personification.
As a visual representation of this literary device I gathered some toys - some with eyes and/or faces painted on them and some without.
I had Piper sort the objects that had been given human qualities from those that had not.

Next, she personified an object herself by giving a flower eyes and a smile.
This was a very basic understanding of the literary device but we eventually moved on to talk about how this also involved giving objects or animals feelings or making them talk.
Throughout the week, Piper began to point out different objects around our home and characters in stories we were reading that had been personified!
Her greatest challenge was pronouncing 'personification'! Haha!

We've also begun to fill out a story map for each of the books that we row.

Day 3:

We did a little art lesson involving trees.
First, we practiced drawing a tree that was seen from further away.
Then we drew one close up that included more detail.
On her own Piper also attempted a pine tree as is found in the mountain scenes of the book!

Day 4: 

Piper learned that squares have 4 equal sides and 4 equal angles.
She went hunting for squares to cut out of a magazine and glued them in her lapbook.

Then both girls worked together to make squares with elastics on their geoboard.
This was a first and they were fascinated with this activity!

Piper was so intrigued by steam engines and how they worked.
I decided to print her off a picture of a train showing a diagram of a steam engine.
I made her a copy of her own to fill in.
I left it with her after a snack as something to work on if she wanted to while a I took a quick shower.
When I came back to the kitchen later on I found this:

Not only had she correctly filled in the train, she had also added a track and trees (like the ones she had learned to draw during our art lesson a few days earlier)!
Needless to say I was very impressed!
This girl just keeps amazing me!!

The girls also had their first experience with Lego!
I had picked up a box of construction vehicle Lego for them knowing that our next two rows were about construction vehicles.
When I opened it, I realized the instructions were far too complicated for my girls.
I figured I could at least put it together and then let them play with the constructed vehicles.
I began to build and wasn't surprised that Tait quickly lost interest and went off to play with something else.
However, Piper stuck right by my side and worked hard to help me piece together aspects of the trucks.
She was so interested and eager to be a part of the constructing process!
I definitely plan to invest in more Lego sets.
It ended up being a really fun thing for her and I to do together and both girls enjoyed playing together with the finished product!

That was our first week of 2013!
It was very full but very rewarding!
And it has been a delight to watch Piper experience new things and tackle new challenges!
Next, we moved on to row Katy and the Big Snow but I'll share that another time!

Delightful Learning

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