FIAR – A New Coat for Anna

I have been putting off… er, taking a “vacation” from… homeschooling.  Since I expected Adeline to make her appearance mid-February (or earlier!), I didn’t bother planning anything after the first week.  Since she arrived, however, I’ve felt the need to start up again and be consistent with something.  I haven’t really wanted to, mind you – I could sit all day and stare at her tiny features! – but the longer I wait the harder it will be.  This week we’re doing Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, an easy little poem to get us back into the swing of things, but we ended February with A New Coat for Anna.

credit: Amazon

Geography/History/Social Studies
The story takes place post-WWII .  We looked through some children’s books about the war and did a few simple activities, like looking up Germany (and other countries) on the globe, making a little booklet with soldiers and types of military transportation, matching up allied and enemy countries.  I tried not to make it too technical for the kiddos but explained why – in the beginning of the story – the shops were empty and the economy was poor.

Since we capitalized on Germany, the kiddos colored the German flag, a traditional dress coloring page and a paper doll worksheet.  Gwen goes goo-goo ga-ga over the paper dolls, taking a while to color them with colorful patterns,  and I’ve been laminating them for her.

Language Arts
Since Anna’s mother doesn’t have any money, she barters for materials for a new coat – sheeps’ wool, getting it spun into yarn, having it woven into fabric, then having it tailored into a coat.  We talked about bartering/trading and read a bunch of go-along books.  Since it takes a whole year for the process, we discussed having patience; easier said than done!

We did a little activity to see if Gwen could remember the story from the day before, deciding which items Anna’s mother bartered at different stages.  She guessed ’em all!

Fine Arts
I often have glorious plans for learning the elements from a story – like creating a sewing basket or learning how to finger knit – but thankfully there are times when I know my limits.  Still I was able to find some fun, simple activities for the week.

I found a neat idea for construction paper weaving, and while Gwen got a little impatient with it, she seemed to get excited once she saw it coming together.  She used the finished piece as a placemat for a while, until it got too dirty. :)

We all got in on the act for yarn block prints.  I have a whole bunch of scrap wood blocks Phil cut for me; we randomly wrapped them in yarn, painted the yarn then stamped it onto construction paper.  Gwen noted that my pattern looked like horses.  This was so much fun!  We ended up using a couple finished pieces as colorful wrapping paper.

The kiddos also enjoyed making their own coats by gluing red yarn to a picture.

I bought some beets for the science part of the week and decided to make a beet bundt cake, since Anna and her mother celebrate over the holidays with a bundt cake.  The kiddos helped me each step of the way, measuring and mixing.  They got excited when they saw the bright pink of the beet puree!

I was really excited about our experiment with yarn dyeing, but since we didn’t use  wool yarn the color washed right out.  Oh well – the process was fun and the kiddos enjoyed it!  We used the beet peels and stems, which turned the water a rich burgundy and elicited oohs and aahs from Gwen and Josiah.

We read some stories on sheep and harvesting their wool and the kiddos made their own little sheep craft.

We had a little Valentine’s craft party with some nearby friends to end the week – what fun!  We gave away our suncatchers and made peanut butter pretzels as Valentine gifts.

On Valentine’s Day I gave the kiddos their gifts, dropped them off at Meme and Pepe’s then spent the day with my honey.  We had dinner at Our Place – Arturo Joe’s.  I kept pointing out that Valentine’s Day would make a nice birthday for Adeline, but she didn’t make her appearance till the following week.

Go-Along Books
World War II
America in World War II
World War II for Kids
The Carrot Seed
Arthur Loses His Patience
When Will It Be Spring?
The Great Tulip Trade
Market Day
Noodle’s Knitting
The Weaver
Weaving the Rainbow
Extra Yarn
Charlie Needs a Cloak
Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep: a yarn about wool
Hooray for Sheep Farming!
Red Berry Wool
Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints: finding and making colors from nature

Resources’s German Traditional Clothing Coloring Page Worksheet’s German Paper Doll Worksheet
Whip Up’s yarn printing
construction paper weaving inspiration
The Healthy Foodie’s  Truly Healthy Beet Chocolate Bundt Cake
Pioneer Thinking’s making  natural dyes from plants
Homeschool Share (they have since removed their FIAR resources)

*See my FIAR Pinterest board for more ideas & inspiration.


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