The Story About Ping (FIAR)

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We took a week off after Memorial day so I could plan for our next curriculum, and give the kids a mini break before we started something completely new for the summer. For those of you following along on Instagram, you might have noticed that we are using Five In A Row for the first time.

So far, I have been able to taylor the depthness of a subject based on my child’s age/learning capabilities while still teaching the same core subject to all the children at once. This works especially well with lessons like nature study, literature, science, social studies, history, and art.

Math and phonics/reading lessons are done separately, although we do sometimes include them in our unit studies as an expansion or review.

Back to FIAR!

You can find links to all of the books that we read this week at the end of this post. ? (I should note that we are still doing our morning basket along with this curriculum!)

Our first book for the summer was The Story About Ping. “A duck learns there are worse things than taking the consequences for one’s mistakes.”

Monday: We read The Story About Ping, and then found China on our wall map. We talked about the Yangtze River and that it is the longest river in Asia. We briefly discussed the importance of this river in China’s history, culture and economy. I didn’t read any extra books for this, we just eased into the week by having some open ended discussions and I answered any questions that came up. We also talked about better ways we can handle certain situations other than running away from our mistakes. We noted that this book is a Classic and talked about why. We also learned the difference between fiction and nonfiction stories.

Tuesday: We read The Story About Ping and pointed out how the boy was floating in the water with a barrel attached to his back. I explained the principles of Buoyancy. After reading The book Let’s Try it out in the Water, we went outside to conduct our own experiments using various objects around the house. This was a huge hit, especially on such a hot Texas day! I think it was hovering somewhere around 100 degrees. We charted our findings and the kids continued to experiment and play long after I left to feed a very hungry 10 month old! Later that afternoon, we talked about the anatomy of a duck and discovered that they have tiny barbs on their feathers that act like velcro, creating a balloon like effect. These tiny air bubbles add to their buoyancy in water! I’m learning right along with them!

Wednesday: We talked about reflection, what it is/how it happens. We then looked at the pictures in The Story About Ping, noting all of the reflections the artist drew in water. We then found some reflections in our own home. We learned more about the Chinese culture by reading the two books, China a travel adventure, and China. We baked cherry eggrolls for our poetry teatime (I know, it’s definitely NOT something you would find in China, but they were so good!) We read A.A. Milne’s poem, The Mirror from the book When We Were Very Young, which was the perfect accompaniment to our talk about reflection earlier.

Thursday: We read Page 2 in The Story About Ping, and noticed just how many family members Ping has! So, we talked about our family members and used tally marks to keep track of how many parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins the kids have. Then we used a graph to chart Pings Huge family. We read the book Ducks! I also included a “Parts of a Duck” printable, which I let the oldest complete.

Friday: In the morning, we listened to the Audiobook of The Story About Ping. Later, my oldest who is almost 6 years old worked on his notebooking and copywork while we all listened to traditional Chinese music. Then, I asked my oldest to narrate the Story About Ping, while I typed it out for him, (it ended up being much longer than I anticipated) and he also wanted to draw a quick picture to go along with that! In retrospect, I should have done these two art projects on different days.

Next week we will be “rowing” Madeline, and I am so excited about this one. We have read the book so many times, but have never gone into depth with it. If you want to see what we will be doing all week, you can follow our journey on instagram!

Books: (I found them at my local library)

The Story About Ping

When We Were Very Young


Let’s Try it out in The Water

A Visit to China

China a travel adventure


Royal Baloo

Art Supplies:


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