Daniel’s Duck

This week, the local county fair is coming to our town, so I thought it would be the perfect time to row Daniel’s Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla. This is a FIAR selection about a little boy named Daniel whose feelings get hurt when he hears people laughing at the duck he carved for the county fair.

This book takes place in our very own state, Tennessee! So, we will spend a little time learning a little bit more about our own state. We will color the flag, the state bird – mockingbird and the state flower – iris.

We are also going to spend a day learning about someone famous who came from Tennessee – Davy Crockett. We will be reading A Picture Book of Davy Crockett and watching the Disney movie made about him.

A Picture Book of Davy Crockett (Picture Book Biography)

Davy Crockett -Two Movie Set

Finally, we will also be reading several books about the county fair and taking a field trip there one day!

County Fair: Adapted from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (My First Little House Books)

A few other things we will be doing this week along with Daniel’s Duck:

*For language arts we will be learning about quotation marks. Our copywork will contain part of a conversation containing quotation marks.

*I will pull out the lincoln logs (which have been rotated up to the closet) for us to build our own log cabin – Daniel in the story lived in a cabin, as did Davy Crockett.

*HERE is a printable page that your kids can color and glue onto a shoe box to make a log cabin.

*HERE is a log cabin coloring page.

*HERE is another log cabin coloring page, which also has the word in Engligh and Spanish – perfect, since we are still working on learning a few new spanish words each week!

*A project suggested in the FIAR manual is to let your child practice carving, since Daniel carved a duck for the county fair. Well, ours are definitey too little for carving with wood, but the suggestion is given for smaller children to use a butter knife on a bar of soap. I may get this out and try it…but am not sure if they are still too small for this or not.

*Being that we are in TN, and actually east TN where Davy Crockett was from, there is a Davy Crockett museum in our area. I’m going to look at the directions and see how far it would be from our house and ask around to get an idea of if this is good for small children or not. I would love it if this worked out to be something good for us to do this week!

* To tie in with Davy Crockett, here are some lessons/unit studies on tall tales from HSS.

Roxaboxen – Desert Crafts

Today we had Will over to make two messy crafts that will remind us of the desert. We used SAND, of course! :) We reviewed where the story of Roxaboxen takes place…what is that type of land called? The desert! What kind of weather does the desert have? What type of land do they have? We discussed how hot and sandy it is there.

The first craft we did was to make a sand art decorative bottle. (How do you like that name? I’m not really sure what to call them!) We poured colored sand into our little bottles with a funnel. The kids liked doing this.

Here are what the pretty bottles looked like when we were finished.

The next craft we did was sand art. I put glue on the kids pages with a wide paint brush and we made a desert scene with the different colors of sand.

And here is the finished product of the sand art.

A Wildflower Walk

I got this wonderful idea from Melissa, who loves to go on wildflower walks with her kids! I was inspired by reading her posts, so I decided to try this today with our kids. We got a bucket and headed out to find some wildflowers!
While we were headed down the road, we also remembered to bring a trash bag this time and pick up trash we saw on the side of the road. We see trash everytime we go walking and kept forgetting a trash bag, so today we remembered! I was proud of the kids for working so hard and nearly filling 2 trash bags full of trash!
We found about 15 wildflowers on our walk today. We have not identified them all yet, but here are a few that we have identified. I bought a book that has pictures of wildflowers from our area in it. I also look on this site, which has wildflowers from East TN on it. This site was very helpful! If you click on “galleries” then you can scroll through pictures of wildflowers according to color and find the ones you are looking for! (If you see a flower we have labeled incorrectly, please tell me…these things are hard to identify and I’m sure I will mess a few of them up!)
Chicory – Blue Sailor’s


Rattlesnake Hawkweed



Queen Anne’s Lace


We came home and are working on drawing some of the wildflowers in our nature journals and labeling them with their correct names.

Also, here are some other neat critters we saw on our walk. These are 2 very unique insects that we have never seen before! Do you happen to know what either of these are? I haven’t searched yet, but will look soon.
This first one looked like a very large ant, but it was BRIGHT red and about an inch long! This little guy was also VERY fast. UPDATE: I found it, this little (or big) thing is called a Velvet Ant! While they resemble ants, they are actually in the solitary wasp family! They have a very painful sting. Ouch, glad we didn’t get much closer.


And this next one looked like a butterfly with zebra stripes! Very pretty! I think this might be a Zebra Swallowtail!

Our Cactus

The setting for our book this week, Roxaboxen, is in a desert. So, I thought it might be fun to get a small cactus for us to observe. Here is our cute little cactus! And yes, this little thing is very prickly! We have taken turns just barely touching it, but if you bumped up against this thing it would definitely hurt!

I also have a book or two from the library that we will be reading next week to learn a little more about these curious plants. The one I got from walmart was only .97, so not too expensive for a little nature study! We spent some time yesterday afternoon drawing the cactus in our nature journal. Here are the drawings:

Hannah’s cactus drawing

Emily’s cactus drawing

My cactus drawing

And then Hannah wanted to draw one like she saw in the books we were reading.