FIAR – Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car

It’s amazing how such a simple story can be chock full of interesting concepts from which to learn.  Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car tells the story of  a man named Mr. Gumpy who decides to go for a drive and ends up bringing a whole bunch of friends with him.  It rains along the way, they get stuck in the mud and have to work together to get the car unstuck, then they continue on their way and go swimming when the sun comes out.  At the end of the day they all go home!

Geography/History/Social Studies
Finally, a story set in another country!  There weren’t a lot of details to tie this story with a different cultural setting, except for the fact that Mr. Gumpy drives on the right side of the car (and perhaps the fact that the car is called a “motor car”?) – which I pointed out to the kiddos.

The kiddos located the continent of Europe on a map, zeroed in on England, then colored a flag of England.  We talked about cooperation, working together to make a job easier.  The Little Red Hen was the perfect go-along story, as it demonstrates some unhelpful characters and how they don’t benefit as a result of their attitudes.

One day we had tea and scones – an English tradition – which was a huge hit.  Afterwards, Gwen said “maybe we can do this again for lunch one day.”  I made a simple scone recipe and filled them with fresh whipped cream and strawberry jam – yum!  The kids kept asking for refills on their tea. 

Language Arts 
Gwen is becoming a pro at onomatopoeia!  We talked all about sound words, listed some of the ones from the story, then read Duck in the Truck and Sheep in a Jeep.  We used the onomatopoeia song from last week, which has been a big hit.   

Since some of the sound words happen to do with the weather, we made a weather sounds craft using scrapbook paper to make umbrella shapes and blue construction paper to make rain drops.  The kiddos chose which words to write on the raindrops.

Fine Arts
The story is illustrated with lots of different colors and utilizes cross-hatching, which is very distinctive.  The kiddos each pointed out different colors from the story and took turns putting them in a color minibook and practiced using different kinds of lines to make texture (straight lines, round lines, criss-crossing lines, etc.).  Gwen copied a picture of the sun using concentric circles (don’t ask me why she chose black). 

Since it rains in the story, I took advantage of the topic and chose Noah and the flood as a corresponding Bible story.  We used our Noah’s Ark lapbook, which they loved, and used many of the resources from our R is for Rainbow week – many of which involve counting.  We also practiced counting by twos, a concept from the lapbook and using a minibook, figuring out how many people would fit in motor cars. 

Why do the kids enjoy messy crafts the most?  We talked about the different types of clouds and they loved making cloud pictures with fluffy “snow paint” while I read some cloud stories.  We talked about weather and seasons, utilizing  a weather unit and our seasons lapbook, watched The Magic Schoolbus Kicks Up a Storm and did a simple “make it rain” science experiment.


In addition to our weekly workbooks I like to take advantage of other resources for variety.  Gwen really enjoys these sound stamp sheets – anything where she doesn’t have to trace and write all the time! – although I do wish there were more than two versions. 

Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car Resources from Homeschool Share’s
scone recipe from Usborne’s Children’s World Cookbook
Onomatopoeia song printable from Welcome to Room 36
Onomatopeia weather sounds craft from The First Grade Parade
40 Page Weather Unit from Living Life Intentionally
Sound Stamp Sheets from Mrs. Ricca’s Kindergarten

Go-Along Books
The Little Red Hen
Duck in the Truck
Sheep in a Jeep
Achoo! Bang! Crash! The Noisy Alphabet
If You Were Onomatopoeia
The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm (book & video)
The Cloud Book
Once Upon a Cloud

*See my FIAR and Homeschool Pinterest boards for more inspiration.