I started our BFIAR (Before Five in a Row) book study inadvertently while learning about the zoo, then reading Caps for Sale, one of the BFIAR books. I subsequently dusted off my Before Five in a Row manual and decided to finally use it with “Dee”. I found out a couple of weeks ago that her very best friend in the world was also starting Before Five in a Row, so her mother (Paula) and I have agreed to start meeting once a week for a BFIAR play date for the girls!
We started with The ABC Bunny.
“A for Apple, big and red”
And an apple snack! Apple slices spread with softened cream cheese, and coated with chopped peanuts. Mmmm! (Note – the 10 year old made these, so in this case the peanuts weren’t exactly “chopped” as finely as they should have been, but they were delicious nonetheless.)
“B is for Bunny snug a-bed”
We took a trip to the pet store to pet the bunnies! So soft! (The girls also saw kittens, a fat frog, and a lazy lizard while at the pet store).
“C for Crash!”
During several days of heavy rains, flooding, and tornado warnings, thanks to a tropical storm (welcome to Florida ;)) we spent lots of time indoors during the week playing games, including “Kerplunk” – a game in which the marbles eventually come “crashing” down!
“D for Dash! E for Elsewhere in a flash”
Using this printout from homeschoolcreations, the girls practiced their pre-writing skills by making their bunnies “dash” to their meals of lettuce “greens”.
“F for Frog – he’s fat and funny
“Looks like rain,” says he to Bunny”
“G for Gale! H for Hail!”
Gale — it just so happened that our study of The ABC Bunny coincided with the arrival of Tropical Storm Debby, so we have had plenty of experience with strong “gale” winds this week!
Hail – Using a blank bunny print out from homeschoolcreations, the girls took turns rolling a die and gluing the corresponding number of “hail” pieces onto the page. (The hail stones were small clear or blue transparent beads).
“I for Insects here and there”
Using another print out from homeschoolcreations, the girls practiced animal classification by sorting insects from non-insects, gluing each in the appropriate column on the page.
“J for Jay with jaunty air”
One app that I LOVE on my iPad and iPhone (also available for Android phones) is iBird Pro. I think every homeschooling family should purchase it!
This app makes bird identification quick and easy, contains drawings and photos of each bird, call sounds, “birdipedia” information, habitat maps, and even the ability to add your own photos and notes.
So I entered “Jay” into the search bar, which yielded 10 results. We looked at (photos, drawings, and maps), read about the behavior of, and listened to the bird calls of the most common “jay”, the Blue Jay, as well as the most common jay to us (Floridians), the Florida Scrub Jay. Dee was excited as she realized she has definitely “heard that sound” (call) before.
*Note: I thought I got a great deal for this app – I paid $15, half off the regular price, but now, at the time of this writing, it’s on sale at iTunes for $2.99! They do make an HD version for the iPad now, but I bought the universal version so I could use it on both my iPad and my phone – more convenient for when we’re out and about and want to make an on-the-spot bird ID.
K for Kitten, catnip-crazy”
Dee was curious about the “catnip crazy” part, so I tried explaining to her about what catnip is, and about its effect on cats — but then I thought it would be easier just to show her, so I bought our cat, Scout, a catnip “treat”.
Scout instantly perked up! He started sniffing, then grabbed his new toy, flipped over on his back and starting rubbing the toy all over his face! He was acting so silly! Dee giggled and said, “Scout’s catnip crazy!”
“L for Lizard – look how lazy”
We live in Florida, so lizard observation (and lizard rescue — from Scout) is a daily occurrence for us. Dee did enjoy seeing the HUGE lizards in the pet store though. Especially compared to some of the teeny tiny ones we find on our pool deck. Like this one:
M – “M-m-m! these greens are good for lunch”
The girls had the opportunity to sample and smell several different types of greens: lettuces, spinach, cilantro, mint…They definitely preferred the smelling to the tasting. (Dee loved that the mint leaves “smelled like chewing gum”.)
Dee would much rather eat this cute “carrot” snack, make from cheesy bunny crackers poured into a plastic bag and tied with a green pipe cleaner:
“N for Napping in a Nook. O for Owl with bookish look”
“P for prickly Porcupine”
“Q for Quail. R for Rail. S for Squirrel Swishy-tail“
Dee has never seen quail before, so again iBird Pro on the iPad came in handy. :) We also watched the two quail videos on this website (please be aware – if you show these to your child, you may want to stop the first video early. The second part shows the hunting of quail, which is a little upsetting to my 3-year-old).
“T for Tripping back to Town. U for Up and Up-side-down”
“V for View, Valley too. W – ‘We welcome you!'”
“X for eXit – off, away!”
“Y for You”
“Z for Zero”