Sunday, August 30, 2009

Preschool-Swine flu Prep: Germs and health care

I will post pics of what we do each day, but here is our plan for preschool this week.

  • Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but... invisible Germs by Judith Anne Rice
  • A trip to the Doctor by Margot Linn
  • Germs are not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick
  • Germs make me Sick by Melvin Berger (this was a Reading Rainbow book)
  • Achoo! All about colds by Patricia Brennan Demuth
  • Germs by Judy Oetting
  • Going to the Dentist by Fred Rodgers
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy's Great Big Book of Tiny Germs as a reference book
  • Sneeze Experiment: Grab a spray bottle, fill it with water and food coloring. Use the spray bottle and tissues to "fake sneeze" and to show how germs spread. Explain the right way to sneeze, to prevent germs spread.
  • Heart rate activity: Feel your heartbeat at rest, dance to fast paced music, then feel your heartbeat again afterward. Exercise is a very important part of staying healthy, explain why it is important to get exercise each and every day. What types of activities will get your heart rate up?
  • September is Yoga Awareness month. Discuss how stress affects your health. Practice Yoga and deep breathing.
  • Talk about how nutrition and vitamins affects our health.
  • Grow germs to study them in "petri dishes": In a saucepan mix 1 bullion cube, 2 tsp sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 envelope of gelatin. Divide the mixture between little sauce cups, or foil muffin tins and let cool in refrigerator. Once they are cool and solid, touch one with your unwashed finger (make sure to label and keep track), one to a light switch, leave one out for 15 minutes, wash your hands and touch one, and leave one covered as your control dish. Observe what happens. Germs that land on the nutrients in the cups grow and multiply, they will make colonies big enough to see without a microscope.
  • Does washing hands work experiment: Tear a paper towel in half, get each piece wet and put each of the two pieces in a plastic ziploc bag. The take your hands outside and rub them in dirt, touch your dirty hands to a slice of bread. Put that slice in one of the ziploc bags with a paper towel in it. Then wash your hands thoroughly. Touch your clean hands to another slice of bread, put that slice in the other bag with a paper towel. What happened? You should see mold growing on the dirty bread after a few days. Washing your hands takes off all the microscopic germs
  • Use syringes with the needles removed to paint a picture. This is an especially good activity for kids who are nervous around needles.
  • How germs are spread: Have the children all use lotion on their hands, then put superfine glitter on their hands. Go about your day. Where does the glitter end up? That is where germs would be also.
  • Why do we keep food in the refridgerator?: Take two soda bottles, fill them halfway with warm water. Put a packet of yeast into each bottle, and 1 TBL sugar in each. Fit a balloon over the neck of each bottle. Place on bottle in a warm place, and the other in the fridge. Which balloon blows up, and why?
  • Make a stethescope from pipe cleaners, tin foil, and cotton balls.
  • Make a doctor bag .
  • Use cornstarch to show how germs are spread.
  • Discuss brushing teeth the right way. Use an empty egg carton for "alligator teeth" give children an old tooth brush, and white paint to "brush/paint" the alligator teeth right. Explain how we have to get between the teeth. Practice flossing.
  • Discuss first aid, what to do in various situations.
  • create a stuffed animal first aid station. Any bears who neeed "stiches"?, Use Plaster of paris and white gauze to cast an animal.
  • Finger cast finger puppets: Use plaster of paris and gauze to create a finger cast. let dry, then decorate the cast.
  • Use a paper plate to create Mr Yuk. Then go through your home and talk about all the items that are poisonous using Mr Yuk. Go to your local poinson control center and grab some Mr Yuk stickers, lable everything in the house that is hazardous with the stickers.

Narnia wrap up: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap up @ Weird, unsocialized, homeschoolers.

The rest of the book went by in a blur. Once the action in the book really started moving, the kids didn't want to put the book down. I would never deny them books, so we made it through the last five chapters all in one sitting. Hence the "wrap up" title. So here are the discussion/narration questions for the last five chapters.

  • The petrification of the little party of animals having tea is really the first true tragedy we witness in the book? What does this make you think about the witch? Does this change how Edmund sees the witch?
  • Although Edmund has been feeling sorry for himself because of the change in how the witch was treating him, when the animals are petrified, it is the first time that Edmund has felt compassion for someone other than himself. Do you think that Edmund's ability to feel for others signals the beginning of his change and repentance? Discuss Compassion?
  • Why does Aslan have Peter fight the wolf? Couldn't Aslan have fought the wolf easily? Peter's fight with the wolf is his entrance from childhood to adulthood.
  • When Aslan sacrifices himself, the stone tablets break. Aslan's sacrifice of love breaks the witches unforgiving reign (remember she was the one to round up those who did wrong) and ushered in a new vibrant, forgiving era. Discuss how this mirrors what Jesus did.
  • The battle scenes after Aslan rises again show the struggle for good against evil.
  • In the battle scenes Edmund fights bravely. Why do you suppose that was important for Edmund? Do you think he had lingering guilt? In a sense, Edmund is redeeming himself in the same was Aslan redeemed him, but it is important that each person redeem themselves as well.
  • We watched two versions of the book. We watched the Disney version of the movie and the BBC version of the book. We all agreed that the BBC version was more accurate to the book, but the Disney movie was more fun to watch even though there were inaccuracies.

In closing, we were all sad to see the end of this unit. We LOVED it. It was fun and the kids really extended what we did in class, into their imaginative play and their discussions. That for me is the surest sign that what I am doing is sparking the kids imaginations. The kids lobbied to read Prince Caspian instead of our next choice "Ramona the Pest". I think that we will go ahead with Ramona, and then we can read Prince Caspian next semester.

These blogs show the past posts backwards, so just in case you are looking for the rest of the series here are the lessons in order....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Preschool Week 1: Handwashing Unit Study, Swine Flu Prep

I am a bit of a germ/pandemic freak. Somewhere in Sugarland my parents are laughing hysterically. I have the reputation in the family as the person most likely to open doors with her elbows.

So given the predicted surge in the swine flu epidemic, I thought it was the perfect time for us to have a "health and hygiene" unit for our preschooler. (and lets face it, the rest of us could use the reminder too).

So we learned how to wash our hands:
  • warmish water
  • generous soap
  • lather the palms, tops of hands and in between fingers and nails while singing "happy birthday" song twice.
  • rinse
  • grab ONE paper towel (we are still working on this)
  • turn of faucet with used towel
  • throw towel in trash (another sticking point)
Then we added bubbles to the sand and water table to wash off all our water toys and have some bubble playtime.

The older girls enjoyed making little books that explain handwashing. Tomorrow we are going to do bubble painting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lesson 6: TLTWTW Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9 summary:
  • The story shifts to Edmund, as he walks to the witch's castle he is debating with himself over the white witch.
  • He makes it to the White witch and tells her everything he knows. She is scared and orders her dwarf to bring her sledge
Chapter 10 summary:
  • Meanwhile, the kids are making their way to the stone table. It is a long and tough journey.
  • Mr beaver finds them a cave where they can rest
  • They here bells and assume it is the white witch's sleigh, but its really father christmas.
  • Santa gives them all very useful tools
  • Describe Edmund's argument with himself on his way to see the white witch. This shows his downward spiral, he isn't being surprised... and he is plotting to lord it over his siblings, wants to get even with them.
  • Santa comes when Aslan comes to Narnia. What could this mean? Why do we celebrate Christmas?
  • make a lion mask
  • look on line for how beavers make dams
  • will Loew's cut wood for a shield like Peter's for me?
  • get wooden daggers/swords for the kids?
  • let the kids act out the scenes we read today
  • make jingle bell necklaces to mimic the sleigh bells.
  • make a candy sleigh

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lesson 5: TLTWTW Chapters 7&8

Chapter 7 Summary:
  • The children come across Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who assure them they are friends.
  • The Beavers tell the Children about Aslan, but won't say anymore, warning that the woods are alive with dryad spies. So they invite the children back to their house for dinner.
  • Edmund wants to run away to the White Witch, but instead goes with the others to the Beaver's home.
  • They prepare a feast of fish and potatoes
Chapter 8 Summary:
  • Mr. Beaver tells the children that Mr. Tumnus has been taken away by the White Witch's secret police.
  • He tells the children about Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia and tells the children that they must go to Aslan.
  • Mr. Beaver explains that the children are to meet Aslan at the stone table to fulfill a prophecy.
  • He explains that the White witch is not human, but half Giant and half Jinn. Descended from Lilith on one side.
  • The children notice that Edmund is gone and want to mount a search party, but Mr. Beaver says not to waste the time, that Edmund had the look of a traitor and he ran off to join the White Witch. Everyone wonders how much of their plans Edmund heard.
Questions/Discussion points:
  • Why do the children demand that Mr. Beaver show them a sign that he is a friend? Is that a smart thing for the children to do? Is it possible to be wise and smart while still having faith?
  • What do you think of the children's reaction to Aslan's name? Aslan is supposed to be a representation of Jesus, Lewis was trying to portray the power that is in Aslan's name, much like Jesus.
  • The meal that the children eat with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver is the total opposite of Edmund's encounter with the white witch. Lewis goes into great detail about this meal, and how satisfying it was. The children had an honest hunger, and the meal was satisfying to the children.
  • In this chapter we get a description of Aslan, what did you think of him? Is he friendly? is he good?
  • Make a lion craft here.
  • Beaver Toilet paper craft here.
  • Have whitefish and potatoes for dinner
  • What do you think a Dryad would look like? try to draw one.
  • Draw a contour tree

Child originated learning

Yesterday, even though it was Sunday, we were all set to do a full day of school. We had taken off a day to hang out with Daddy during the week, and I was anxious to complete everything I had scheduled for us this first week.

But over the weekend I had cracked a tooth, and I had a headache, and a sore throat. Basically, I was a wreck.. I didn't have the patience I normally have and I just couldn't muster the will to get started. So I put school off a bit and got started on the kitchen. I felt so GUILTY for it. The whole time I was washing dishes I was beating myself up over it, I was so disappointed that we hadn't been able to put check marks next to everything I had planned.

So I walked into the school room and I found this scene. These girls of mine were writing a story of Narnia, their very own creations all their own idea. I heard them arguing different parts of the story back and forth, trying to pick the direction they wanted their stories to go, choosing a setting for their stories and remembering details from the book. They were so insanely creative with these stories.

I realized....I had been a fool standing at the sink beating myself up. Sure, I could have busted up all this natural learning they were doing to impose my ideas and my schedule on them. But frankly, I think they learned more all on their own inspiration then they would have with mine.

Pictures of the White Queen

These were our project with Narnia today. It was fun, but I had to draw the outlines for the queen. Yikes, thank goodness I wasn't interested in making her pretty. The kids had a blast making these. We still need to add the white fur trim, but I think they came out rather well.

PS, it is rather difficult to get gluey glitter off your kitchen table. Next time we will put down newspaper.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Snow and floods

Today we played with some fake snow I picked up at Mardel. It was the best we could do for our Narnia Winter here in Texas. This was a new brand, and I like it. It is dry like Styrofoam. The other kind I have is kinda wet and gelly, and makes a bigger mess.

After reading our portion of Story of the world we made a mock up of the River Nile. We took aluminum pans, filled them with potting soil, made a river, sprinkled grass seed, and then flooded it the way the river Nile flooding watered the farmers plants.

HUGE hit! The kids had a ball. I had to promise they could flood the river again soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Through the magic Wardrobe

Part of our Narnia Lessons includes Dramatic play. For us, this mostly means letting the kids act out the parts of the story we read each day.

So since we are only a few chapters into the book, and the wardrobe still plays a critical role, I devised a way to make it more "fun" for the kids. We took a tension rod, suspended it in the hallway with a few clothes on it.

This was such a hit, by their reaction you would think I just built an actual wardrobe by hand. They made me laugh. The best .99 I ever spent.

Oh and I had to include this one... I think John might be thawing towards school. Here is playing "Mr Tumnus" with his umbrella. He cracks me up. Of course, two minutes later he was trying to whack his sisters over the head with it. That is definitely not very Tumnus-y. But those fauns can be unpredictable...

Monday, August 10, 2009

A bumpy start, but a start none the less

This morning was bumpy. It was our first day back to school. We have been doing school all summer, but in shorter bursts. This morning it was hard to get back into that routine, very very hard. But we had fun none the less. We managed to do all our subjects, and we did our Mr. Tumnus from Narnia pictures. When it was all said and done, we did a nice long recess time to clear our minds.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Week ONE The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe Unit Study

This will cover Chapters 1-6 of the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I am gearing this roughly for third grade. Because of that, I am ignoring some of the more theological or philosophical ideas put forth in the text. However, I have tried to introduce the concepts when it would be appropriate. I think If I was doing this for my kids when they were older (and I totally hope we do it again), we would be much more involved in the study of skepticism vs belief, and the deeper character studies and theological issues. So here are the links to a weeks worth of lessons I have written) or you could just scroll down....

Lesson 1: Intro to Narnia
Lesson 2: Chapters 1 & 2
Lesson 3: Chapters 3 & 4
Lesson 4: Chapters 5 & 6
Vocabulary List

Lesson 4: Narnia (TLTWTW) Chapter 5 & 6

Chapter 5 Summary:
Lucy and Edmund come bursting out of the wardrobe. Lucy enthusiastically tells Peter and Susan about Narnia and wants Edmund to back up her story. When Lucy tells the story and looks to Edmund for verification, Edmund tells the others that he and Lucy were just playing a game. This gives him an opportunity to act superior to Lucy, but his plan backfires. Instead, Peter and Susan think he has been spitefully playing with Lucy's mind. Feeling that they are getting out of their league and fearing that Lucy is losing her mind, Peter and Susan decide to seek the advice of the Professor. When they speak to him, they are surprised to find that he appears to believe Lucy's story. He points out that they have never known her to lie, whereas Edmund has a history of lying. The Professor says that the rest of Lucy's behavior proves that she is not insane. He contends that Susan and Peter's views of the possible and impossible are narrow if they reject the possibility of "another world" such as Narnia. Furthermore, the Professor also concocts an ingenious theory to explain how Lucy was only gone for a second. He explains that a separate world would more likely have a separate time that would not correspond to our sense of time. Peter and Susan leave the Professor's room more confused than when they went entered, but with just enough doubt to become wary of the whole subject. They remain quiet about the issue and make sure that Edmund leaves Lucy alone, so the excitement seems to subside. One day, all four children are standing together in a hallway when they hear the housekeeper coming down the hall with a tour party. Fearful of being found in an awkward situation, they try to avoid the party, but the party seems to follow them everywhere, and they find themselves chased into the wardrobe room. Hearing people fumbling at the door, they all step into the wardrobe.

Chapter 6 Summary:
Once in the wardrobe, the Pevensie children notice almost immediately that they have entered the world of Narnia. Together they set out to explore the snowy wood. On the way, Edmund admits that he has been in Narnia before, and everyone is furious with him. Lucy leads the group to Tumnus's home, but when they get there, they find that it has been ransacked. A note on the floor informs all visitors that Tumnus has been taken away on charges of treason. Lucy understands immediately that this means the Witch has discovered that Tumnus spared her life. Lucy implores the others to help her rescue Tumnus, and everyone except Edmund agrees. Since Edmund is outvoted, they continue on to save the faun. They do not know where they are going, but a robin leads them to the middle of the wood. Peter, Susan, and Lucy believe that the robin is friendly, but Edmund whispers to Peter that the robin may be on the wrong side, and leading them into a trap. Edmund contends that they do not even know which is the wrong side and which is the right. He also points out that they now have no idea how to return home, which troubles Peter greatly.


  1. Edmund is shown as a malicious, flawed boy. Edmund seems particularly spiteful because he deliberately refuses to support his sister, Lucy. Edmund's actions suggest that it is not just a desire for the enchanted Turkish Delight that motivates his treachery. Edmund's greed for power and superiority also prompts him to treat others with cruelty. How do you feel about Edmund?
  2. Peter and Susan's response to Edmund's behavior reveals a great deal about their characters as well. Although Peter and Susan do not initially believe in the existence of another world, they immediately understand that Edmund is treating Lucy unkindly. Peter and Susan do not join Edmund when he taunts Lucy. Even though they don't necessarily believe her. What do you think about this choice? How do you feel about Peter and Susan? Have you ever not been believed, like Lucy? How did that feel?
  3. Using the professor, Lewis puts forth an important lesson, We should trust a person not based on the probability their beliefs are true, but on their character. Lucy is a good, honest person, while Edmund is frequently dishonest. Lewis shows children how important it is to judge someone's character first, before you believe what they say. Is this true, Can you judge how responsible someone is by looking at their past actions? How do the siblings know that Lucy is more responsible than Edmund? What is it that responsible people DO? Can someone who has been irresponsible change? How does that happen?
  4. How does this lesson apply to Edmund? Edmund does not properly evaluate the Witch's character. Instead, Edmund gets in trouble because he immediately trusts the Witch and believes her offers of power and luxury.
  5. Edmund doubts that the robin is really out for their good. How can we know for sure whether the Witch is really evil and Tumnus really good? We do not really have any more evidence than the children, but we feel that we know intuitively who is good and who is evil.
  6. If we have to follow our instincts, and if they lead us into trouble, we will be no worse off than if we had cowered on the sidelines. If the children had not followed the robin, they would still be standing in the wood, unable to commit to any plan of action. This applies to a person's faith in God. Blind faith is at the core of any fervent belief in God, even though there is no way to logically prove the existence of God.
  7. Define responsibility: Being dependable in carrying out duties and obligations. Showing reliability and consistency in words and conduct. Being accountable for your own actions. Which of the Characters in the story so far have shown responsibility? Which haven't?

  1. Draw a picture of all the kids in Narnia. Then create a wardrobe door overlay to glue around to frame the picture.
  2. Play the Narnia Game online
  3. Fold a paper into fourths, write the name of each sibling on the top, create a list of words that remind you of that character.

Lesson Three: Narnia (TLTWTW) Chapters 3 & 4

Chapter Three Summary:
Lucy runs out of Narnia through the wardrobe and is shocked when her siblings declare that she has only been gone for a few seconds. She brings them back to look in the wardrobe to show them the strange world of Narnia, but now it is just an ordinary wardrobe. Peter and Susan tolerantly assume that she is just making up stories, but Edmund spitefully torments her about her fantasy world. On the next rainy day, the children play a game of hide and seek. Edmund peers into the spare room and sees Lucy vanishing into the wardrobe. He follows her into the wardrobe, he finds himself in Narnia. Edmund sees no sign of Lucy and Edmund is unsure what to do. Suddenly, a deathly pale woman approaches on a sledge pulled by white reindeer. She is carrying a wand and wears a fur robe and a crown. The woman stops in front of Edmund, demanding to know what he is. Edmund introduces himself awkwardly. She sternly informs him that she is the Queen of Narnia and that he must address her appropriately. Edmund is puzzled, and stammers something incoherent.

Chapter Four Summary:
The Queen discovers that Edmund is a human child. Though she had looked stern and threatening to Edmund at first, when she hears that he is a human she suddenly becomes very attentive, and invites Edmund to sit in her sledge under her fur mantle and talk with her. Edmund does not dare disobey her orders. The Queen conjures up food and drink for him, which consists of a hot drink and a box of Turkish Delight (a type of chocolate). As he eats and drinks, the Queen asks him many questions. He is completely fixated on the sweet food. The narrator explains that the Turkish Delight is enchanted, causing whoever eats it to feel an insatiable greed for more. This chocolate compels the unfortunate eater to keep on eating it until he is prevented from doing so or until it kills him. Since Edmund is distracted by his desire, he does not notice the ominous signs when the Queen interrogates him sharply about his family, particularly his brothers and sisters. She seems intrigued to hear that there are four children in his family, two boys and two girls. Edmund also tells her that Lucy has been to Narnia and met a faun.

When Edmund finishes the Turkish Delight, he desperately hopes that the Queen will offer him more, but she does not. Instead, she asks him to bring his brother and sisters to Narnia to meet her. The Queen sends him back to the lamppost. There he meets Lucy, who tells him she has been with Tumnus, who is well and has not been punished by the White Witch for his treachery. Edmund asks her for details about the White Witch, and he realizes that the Queen of Narnia is the same person. Edmund, however, is still obsessed with Turkish Delight and rationalizes that the Witch and the Queen are not the same entity. Edmund and Lucy go back into the wardrobe to the Professor's house. Although Lucy is ecstatic that now Edmund can support her story, Edmund is not eager to look like a fool because of his original skepticism.

  1. define. greed: excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs. Gluttony: overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants. The Turkish delight represents greed.
  2. The witch is mean when she first talks to Edmund. But after she gives him the turkish delight, he doesn't seem to be able to see it.. why do you suppose that could be?
  3. The narrator was careful to say that the magical Turkish delight fed greed inside the eater, not that it blinds him. This means that Edmund is still responsible for his own actions, he has the choice whether to follow his gluttony or not.
  4. It is a flaw in Edmund's character that his greed is stronger than his concern for his siblings.
  5. Edmund allows his greed to get the better of him and it shuts his mind to the belief that the Queen is the white witch. This is an example of how making bad choices and choosing the wrong things can cloud your judgment and perceptions. It can inhibit your ability to make moral choices.
  6. What do you think of the White Witch?

    The White Witch is, perhaps, your typical witch. The Witch is evil to the core, without even a hint of goodness within her, which we can attribute to her not being human. Although the Witch claims she is human, she is actually part giant and part Jinn. The Witch is merciless, cruel, power-hungry, and sadistic. The Witch claims the throne of Narnia by brute force. She enchants the land so it is always winter and never Christmas and so that the poor Narnians have no hope. The Witch sways many Narnians to her side out of fear or lust for power, so that the Narnians are divided and are completely terrified. The Witch carries a golden wand that she uses to turn living things into stone—she does this rather frequently when she is annoyed. The Witch is hated and feared throughout the land, but no one except Aslan has the power to stop her.

  1. Make Turkish delight Here (or get peanut brittle or fudge and call it Turkish delight, cause the Turkish delight does not look gluttony inducing). Since its "enchanted" it can be whatever I like I suppose.
  2. Make hot chocolate with lunch, like Edmund drank in the Witch's sleigh.
  3. Edmund describes the White Witch as a great lady, taller than any woman he has ever seen. She is covered in white fur up to her throat, wears a golden crown, and holds a long golden wand in her right hand. Her face is white-like snow, or paper, or sugar icing-except for her very red mouth. Give the kids white yarn, white paper, and glitter to create the white witch. Then have them describe her appearance on a piece of paper with words. Here is our pics.
  4. Put the tension rod back up and let the kids act out the scenes again.
Read Chapters 5 and 6 for tomorrow.

Lesson Two: Narnia (TLTWTW) Chapters 1 & 2

1. Review what was read yesterday

Chapter One Summary:
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie are four siblings who have been sent to the country to escape the air raids of World War II. They stay with Professor Kirke, an eccentric but kind old man, who resides in a house filled with twists, turns, and surprises. On their first day in the country it rains, so the Pevensies decide to explore the house. As they explore, they discover a spare room that is completely empty except for a large wardrobe. Peter, Susan, and Edmund leave the room, but Lucy stays behind to look inside the wardrobe. Surprised when the wardrobe door opens, Lucy steps inside the enormous closet to find a snowy wood at the back of it. Intrigued, she explores the wood, knowing that the safe wardrobe is still behind her. Eventually she meets a faun, a creature that is half goat and half man. The faun is carrying an umbrella and several parcels. When it sees Lucy, it is so startled that it drops all of its packages.

Chapter Two Summary:
After the faun recovers from the scare, it asks Lucy if she is a Daughter of Eve. Lucy does not understand this question, but she later realizes that the faun is asking whether Lucy is a human girl. Lucy replies that she is a girl, of course. The faun introduces himself as Tumnus, and asks Lucy how she has arrived in Narnia. Narnia, it turns out, is the name of this strange land that Lucy has entered. Lucy is confused and replies that she has come in through the wardrobe in the spare room. Tumnus misunderstands this, and thinks that Lucy comes from a city called War Drobe and a country called Spare Oom. Tumnus invites Lucy to his home for tea. Lucy agrees, on the condition that she does not stay for a long time, and they travel the path to Tumnus's house. Lucy has a delightful tea with Tumnus. Tumnus serves wonderful food and then plays beautiful music for her on a little flute. Finally Lucy shakes herself out of her reverie, or dream, and announces that she must go home. The faun sorrowfully tells her that she cannot go home. When Lucy asks why, the faun bursts into tears. Lucy comforts him as best she can, and Tumnus tells her that he is crying from guilt. He is a servant of the White Witch, the horrible ruler of Narnia, who has cast a spell over the land so that it is always winter and never Christmas. He has been enlisted to catch any humans he can find and bring them to her. Tumnus does not say what the witch will do with the humans, but we can assume that they will be killed. Lucy begs Tumnus to release her, and he agrees, saying that he had never met a human before and did not know what they were like. Tumnus walks Lucy back to the lamppost at the border between Narnia and the wardrobe door, and they say farewell.

  1. Explain why the children were sent to live with the professor. Internet link about this. How would you feel if you were sent away to the country? Do you think this would make your sibling relationships more important?
  2. The older children especially have more responsibilities. What is it like to be the eldest child? the middle child? the youngest child? What responsibilities do you have?
  3. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe are about 4 siblings who laugh together, struggle together, fight with each other, have adventures together. Each of the children brings something different to their siblings, look at each of the children, and their actions/choices and describe what they each contribute to the family. (ex=susan is kind to her siblings).
  4. Describe Lucy's first adventure into the Wardrobe.
  5. Narnia is experiencing only Winter because of the Witch's spell. If you could only have one season forever, which would it be?
  6. The witch imposes an enchanted, eternal winter upon Narnia. Winter sounds pretty good to us here in Texas, and snow is fun to us, but that is only because we don't live with it every day. Remember how cold it was when it snowed last year? Winter is a dead, stagnant time of stasis. A time when things no longer grow, animals hibernate, people huddle up indoors. Normal humans tire of winter, and long for the break of Spring. An eternal winter would be oppressive. Lewis gives the overall impression of a barren empty land. The season of Winter represents that Narnia is under an evil regime.
  7. There is an exchange in the first chapter when the children are anticipating getting to the professor's home and Peter is excited by the animals that might be there. He says, "Did you see those mountains?....there might be eagles, hawks!"
    ..."Badgers" says Lucy. "foxes" says Edmund. "Rabbits" says Susan. Have you noticed that each of the animals the children chose are a bit like them? Hawks are noble, strong birds. Badgers are loyal and faithful. Rabbits are shy and sweet. Foxes are cunning, and not wholly trustworthy. What animal would represent you if you were in the story and why?
  8. The Faun Tumnus is ultimately good and kind. He may begin the story in the service of the white witch, but when he understand ultimately what his mission is, his decency and kindheartedness surface when he helps Lucy escape.
  1. Draw a picture of Narnia in Winter. Cut out paper snowflakes and paste them on the sides of the paper as a frame for the picture. Go HERE for snowflake patterns. Discuss how each snowflake is different and unique. Here are our pics
  2. Discuss seasons, especially winter.
  3. Hydrate some of the fake snow, and play with it at the kitchen table.
  4. Freeze containers full of ice in advance. Let the kids play with the ice (maybe color it too?) Talk about how cold it is. How long can you hold ice in your hand?
  5. Hang a tension rod in the hallway with jackets or shirts on it, let the kids act out the first two chapter of going through the wardrobe. Here is our wardrobe
  6. Make Ice Cream in a ziploc bag It will get VERY cold. Talk about how painfully cold it is.
  7. Discuss how things freeze in winter, and how icecream freezes.
  8. For Lunch, have a Mr. Tumnus Tea Party
Read Chapters 3 &4 for tomorrow!

Vocabulary List for Narnia


Intro to Narnia: Lesson 1

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Book Summary:

Four children are sent away to the countryside of England during the war to avoid the air raids. They go to the country to live with an old professor who has no wife, only a housekeeper in a large house. While there, the children find that walking through an old wardrobe in a forgotten room leads them to a magical place, the land of Narnia. A Magical Place where they have many adventures.

About the Author:

C.S. Lewis (Clive Staples) was a pseudonym used by Clive Hamilton when writing books. He was known as "Jack" to his friends. He was born November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He married, but had no children. He taught at English Universities where he was a novelist, a scholar and critic of Literature. He won the Lewis Carrol Shelf Award in 1962 for the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Lewis and his good friend J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings, were part of the Inklings, an informal writers’ club that met at a local pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis’s fascination with fairy tales, myths, and ancient legends, coupled with inspiration drawn from his childhood, led him to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the best-loved books of all times.

During the Second World War, when children from London were being evacuated to the country, four youngsters were billeted at Lewis' home, the Kilns. Surprised to find how few imaginative stories his young guests seemed to know, he decided to write one for them and scribbled down the opening sentences of a story about four children -- then named Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter -- who were sent away from London because of the air raids, and went to stay with a very old professor who lived by himself in the country.

That's all he wrote at the time, but, several years later, he returned to the story. The children (now named Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) found their way into another world -- a land he would eventually call Narnia.

Introduction to the Book:

The Title of the story is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. What could a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe have in common?

Read Chapters One and Two of the Text

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A year (well, a semester) in literature..

In an effort to make language arts more fun then the curriculum I ran across, I decided to do my own literature units. I finally think I have worked out what we are using for literature for the first semester. Here is what it will look like. As I write the units I will post them here.


  • 3-8th Pizza the size sun
  • 10th-14th The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CH 1-6)
  • 17th-21st The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (CH 7-12)
  • 24th-28th The Lion , the Witch and the Wardrobe (CH 8-17)


  • 1-4th Ramona the Pest
  • 7th-11th Ramona the Pest
  • 14th-18th Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (with field trip to the movie)
  • 21st – 25th The Secret Garden


  • 28th – 2nd The Secret Garden
  • 5th-9th Where the Wild Things are (with field trip to the movie)
  • 12th-16th Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
  • 19th-23rd Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
  • 26th – 30th The Hobbit


  • 2nd – 6th The Hobbit
  • 9th-13th The Story of Dr. Doolittle
  • 16th – 20th The Story of Dr. Doolittle
  • 23rd-27th The Wind in the Willows


  • 30-4th The Wind in the Willows
  • 7th-11th The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
  • 14th-18th The Best Christmas Pageant Ever