Sunday, February 27, 2011

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Last week, we studied the book Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter, a story about the underground railroad. "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was a song that told of the "map" north to freedom. The drinking gourd was the big dipper, an important part of the "map" used by the runaway slaves. We found a nice CD at the library that had a great version of the song as well as some other awesome songs, poems and stories about civil rights.

On Monday, for social studies, we talked about slavery and the underground railroad. We looked at a map tracing traditional routes slaves used to reach Canada through Ohio and Michigan. For language arts on Tuesday, we discussed the underground railroad as an "analogy".

We studied the paintings of Paul Gauguin on Wednesday for art. The author's illustrations are very similar to Gauguin's work. I found a great (incomplete) set of art books on the library book sale rack last week, Ernest Raboff's Art for Children series. I was really happy to find them to add to our home library. I'm sure they will come in handy in years to come and I'm going to keep my eye out for the missing volumes.

For math, we continued studying units of time, reviewing what we learned earlier and adding in some new concepts. This weekend, the guys studied constellations using H.A. Rey's Find the Constellations (another great library book sale find). They had to wait until this evening, though, for a clear sky to see some stars.

We are VERY ready for spring around here. The days in the house are getting longer and longer. We've done lots of basement bounce-housing this week and are trying to find activities to fill the hours. We will all be very happy when we can start spending more time outside.

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