Tag Archives: Five in a Row

Nuts and Bolts

This week, our Five in a Row story for the K-5/First Graders at co-op was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. It was a little harder coming up with a craft to go along with the story, but with the help of my oldest son, John, we came up with one that was a big hit.

The story is about Mike Mulligan and his out-dated steam shovel, Mary Ann. In the story, they take on one last job, digging the cellar of the new town hall in Popperville. As we read the book, we talked about the different machines depicted, and how Mike Mulligan used his machine Mary Ann to dig faster and better.

The project? The children had to think up and sketch their own time-saving machines.

Supplies:

  • 1/2 sheet of posterboard (one per student)
  • Pencils
  • Markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue
  • Collection of misc. nails, screws, nuts, washers, bolts, etc.

Each student was given 1/2 sheet of posterboard and a pencil and instructed to spend a few minutes thinking about the kind of machine they would design. What would their machine do? How would it be helpful? What would it need to do the job?

Next, the children drew their machines on the posterboard. After they were satisfied with it, they colored them in with crayons, colored pencils, or markers.
While they were working, we plugged in a couple of low-temp mini-glue guns.  When the students had finished their drawings, they were given a handful of various nuts, nails, screws, bolts, etc. to choose from. They would then place them on their pictures where they thought they should go. We then used hot glue (a lot for the heavier items) to affix them to the “machine.”

The children really enjoyed it — and they enjoyed telling about their machines, too! Later that day, they stood up one by one with the drawings of their machines and explained just what their machines were supposed to do. They were all so proud of their ideas — and I was too!

Hanging Japanese Koi Craft

fishThis week, our Five in a Row class read the book A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno. The story follows a little girl in Japan who receives a new pair of wooden clogs covered in beautiful red lacquer. After only a few days of wearing her new shoes, she decides to play a game with them with her friends, and one of her clogs cracks. Since her shoes are no longer pretty, she has to figure out a way to get her mother to buy her a new pair.

To go along with the story, we slightly improvised a craft found on EnchantedLearning.com. Though it took some preparation on my part, it was fun for the kids and easy to put together.

Hanging Japanese Koi Craft

On May 5, the people of Japan celebrate Children’s Day with the koinobori, or fish kites. These are actually windsocks shaped like a koi or carp. When the wind catches them, they appear to be swimming. For this craft, the children made their own fish kites.

What you’ll need:

  • Construction paper or colored cardstock
  • Glue sticks
  • Stapler
  • Circles cut from magazines or decorative scrapbook paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Foil
  • Crepe paper or streamers
  • String or yarn
  • Hole Punch

For our class of five and six year olds, I did the following before class:

Draw the shape of a fish on one piece of construction paper and cut it out. Use this shape as a template and draw and cut out two fish per child.  Older children could do this step by themselves.

Cut smaller circles from another type of paper — at least 10 per child. Enchanted Learning recommended using old magazines, but we had a lot of extra scrapbooking paper on hand, so I used that instead. I also cut a few from aluminum foil for a shiny addition. If you’re working with older children, they could do this by themselves as well.

Provide the students with two fish each. Have them glue the two pieces together. Staple the edges to hold it together.  Draw an eye on each side and color in the fins and tail with crayons or makers.

Next, choose some circles to use as scales. Glue the circles to both sides of the fish.

Punch a hole at the fish’s mouth and string the yarn though it. Tie it off at the fish’s mouth.

Finally, add the streamers to the tail by stapling them in place.

Enjoy your Japanese Koi Kite!

The Glorious Flight Art Activity

Jake80035

My son Luke is in a K-5/First Grade class in our home school co-op. The curriculum the class is using is Five in a Row by Jane Lambert; this curriculum centers math, science, social studies, and art lessons around classic picture books. Recently, we read The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen, which describes the early attempts of Louis Bleriot to build and fly an airplane. Though our art activity wasn’t listed in Five in a Row, it worked well with the class. Here’s what we did:

Supplies:

  • Watercolor Paper (inexpensive watercolor paper is fine)
  • Cardboard (a little larger than the watercolor paper; one piece per student)
  • Masking tape
  • Pencils
  • Watercolor paints – blue and green (in tubes or pan sets)
  • Styrofoam plates (if using paints in tubes)
  • One brush per child
  • Napkins or paper towel (to clean the brushes)
  • Cotton balls or poly fiberfill
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • White school glue
  • Glue sticks
  • Coloring page of a small airplane

Before you begin, tape a piece of watercolor paper to each piece of cardboard. This way, if you’re student enjoys applying water or watery paint to the paper, the edges will stay down even though the paper might buckle.

Have each student draw a horizon line, marking where the sky will end and the ground begin. Put this line low on your paper — you’ll want a lot of sky showing for this picture.

Give each student a small amount of blue paint. If you’re using watercolors in tubes, give each child a Styrofoam plate for a palette. Place the blue paint on the plate. If you’re using a regular pan set of paints, instruct the children to co

Next, give each student a small amount of green paint. Instruct them to paint the land green.

While the paint is drying, provide the children with a picture of a plane from a coloring page. You can find images to use on the Internet. You might even print off several different planes and let the children choose their favorite. Have the children color their planes with crayons and then cut them out.

By the time the students are finished coloring, the paint on their papers should be dry.  Use the white school glue to attach cotton balls or poly fiberfill on the sky. These are the clouds.

Now everything is ready for the plane!  Have the children glue their planes to the sky they just created.

Place the finished artwork where everyone can see — and enjoy!

Gumdrops and the Renaissance

candyIn my son Luke’s K-5/First Grade co-op class, we’ve been using the Five In A Row curriculum. Because our co-op meets once a week, we choose a book for the week and center the class activities around it. This week, our book was The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola.

The story takes place in Renaissance Italy, so we talked about the Renaissance and the types of clothing people wore. We discussed Renaissance architecture, such as the buildings and bridges, as recommended in Five In a Row. Children this age really enjoy hands-on activities, though, so I wanted to find a craft they could all work at and have fun with. So we decided on building our own “Renaissance” structures — using just gumdrops and toothpicks!

Here’s how we did it:

Supplies (for 10 children):

  • Gumdrops (we used three small bags from the grocery store)
  • Toothpicks (we used two boxes with 250 toothpicks in each)
  • Sturdy paper plates

To start, we gave each child a paper plate on which to build his or her structure. We then placed the gumdrops on plates and set them in the middle of the table where everyone could reach them. We gave each child a handful of toothpicks to start with. I then showed them how to push a toothpick into a gumdrop and then connect it to another gumdrop by pushing in the other end.

The children caught on quickly, and were soon designing their own structures by forming squares and triangles. One even resembled a pyramid. Some of the children built their structures two- and three-“stories” high; when the buildings began to tip over (still held together with toothpicks), they turned into even more interesting shapes. It was fun to see how many different designs they came up with.

All in all, it was a good day for the Renaissance. I’m sure most (if not all) of the students will forget the word “Renaissance” before the end of the day (it’s a big one, after all), but they won’t soon forget building their gumdrop structures. Especially since they took them home to display. 🙂