Last week we read Go To Sleep Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray. Here’s what the Amazon description of the book says: “In the tradition of Margaret Wise Brown, with classically styled picture book illustrations and fresh, childlike imagery, this poetic bedtime book, as peaceful as it is warm, will wrap young ones in the comforts of routine. All is well, it reminds them. Now is the time for dreams.”
I used the preschool book guide from More Before Five in a Row for my 4 and 5 yr olds, and even my 7 yr old enjoyed the short lessons and discussions. There were a ton of topics to choose from.
Here’s what we ended up doing:
(scroll to the bottom for book links)
Read: Go to Sleep Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Good Night, Firefly by Gabriel Alborozo
Lang Arts and Early Literacy Skills: We played a search and find game with the illustrations. Can you find the letter A? Which is the cow silhouette? Where is the fawn? Etc. We actually do this with several of our picture books. The kids love it and according to MBFIAR it “Encourages early literacy in a way for children to read before they can actually read.”
Science: We pointed out the fireflies in the book. I’ve seen fireflies in our backyard but not all of my kids have. We read a The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle and then watched two short YouTube videos about fireflies. This was just a short intro to them. We didn’t learn much about their anatomy or life cycle. I just wanted my preschoolers to know what they look like, why they produce light from their abdomen (to find a mate) and how to gently catch one if we get to see them this summer. This would have been a good opportunity for my 7 yr old to learn more about them, but he didn’t seem terribly interested so we moved on.
Science and Art: We pointed out all the shadows in the illustrations and since it was a sunny day, we took the opportunity to head outside to check out our own. We also grabbed some paper, pencils, and some toys for shadow tracing. They were able to make some silhouette art from some of them. My kids were first introduced to silhouette art when we rowed Cranberry Thanksgiving, so this was a great time to revisit. My 7 yr old already learned about shadow length and time of day during geography this school year, and he was able to take note of the time, length, and location of his toys’ shadow as the day went on.
DAY THREE and FOUR:
The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner
The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall
Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton
Science: Honeybees. We love learning about bees. In fact, all this week and last we’ve been reading about them from our living science book during morning basket time, so this was really great timing to add in a few picture books for the little ones. Our yard is covered in clover and the honeybees are already here, working away. We’ve been observing them close up and revisiting all of our past bee lessons. This was all discussion, reading and observing, we didn’t nature journal or do any worksheet type activities. The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner is my favorite. It covers so much info, and if I could only choose one informational picture book about bees (honeybees in particular) this would be it.
Lang Arts: Rhyming words, Onomatopoeia and Personification. We also pulled out their shadow art from earlier and read the poem “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you don’t have the book A Child’s Garden of Verses, I highly recommend adding it to your collection. We have one illustrated by Tasha Tudor and it’s lovely.
DAY SIX (Weekend):
Read: The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco (Love her books)
Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More (A Poetry Book)
Poetry Teatime: The Kids and I made a small batch of homemade soda biscuits and served them with honey and tea, inspired by Patricia Polaccco’s The Bee Tree. We read a few select poems from Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More.
At the end of the week, l asked my preschoolers to “narrate” the MBFIAR book back to me just for fun. I simply hand them the book and ask if they would like to “read” the story to ME using the pictures as their guide. I record what they say on my phone to write down later, and they’ll also draw a picture from the story. I do ask the youngest to narrate first so she won’t be tempted to copy what her older sister says.
It’s the cutest thing ever and good practice for the real deal narration with they start formal lessons. This is purely voluntary and if they don’t want to narrate, I wouldn’t push it. They do love it when I write down their words, and get to make their own “books”.
I read the girls’ narrations aloud for us all at the end of teatime. We all applauded their work and they were so proud.
We officially ended the unit with Psalm 4:8. a verse suggested from MBFIAR.
EXTRAS: From this unit, we decided to read more about farms in general, so we will take some time to read all the farm themed picture books I could get my hands on. I wish we could visit one right now, hopefully after the quarantine we will be able to…or better yet, just move to one. 😉
If you want to see how we use FIAR for Kindergarten, click HERE.
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Here’s a list with links to all of the extra books from this unit that we read this week: