Friday, September 9, 2011

School Time: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

We have just finished rowing our first book with Five in a Row last week. I have just had a hard time finding time to get this posted.  Here is what we did. We read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel [MIKE MULLIGAN & HIS STEAM-BOAR]
Until I can get my poster made and hung up to my satisfaction (I have some great ideas just no time to work on them) I am using the right hand side of our poster from last year. Last year this space had our letter of the week. This year it is going to have our story we are rowing.

I made a matching game with steam powered equipment. They had to match the word with the picture.

I printed out a copy of the poem "Steam Shovel" that was shared over in the Five in a Row message board archives.

The girls worked on one of the mini books for their notebook page.  This was for the Social Studies lesson.

Then I showed the girls what I bought for them.

They love digging in the rice tub!

Of course we had our muffin tin. This is the first one based on Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

And daddy made a surprise dessert. Even surprised me.

It's a dirt dessert made of pudding and crushed Oreos.

The second day I read the story to the girls I allowed them to work on different activities as long as they were listening. This idea came from some suggestions given when I asked on the Five in a Row boards what to do with Amelia because she definitely didn't have the attention span Tabitha did. I decided to have them play on "mats" because of my experience at the Montessori.  At the Montessori the children work on mats. I substituted mats for pillow cases.

I chose to talk about personification for our Language Arts lessons. We had talked about it a couple of weeks earlier with one of our books for W-Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets, in which the wind is shown to have different human characteristics. 

We talked about how Mary Anne, the steam shovel was given different human characteristics by the words used in the story and the illustrations.  Then I took a balloon and asked the girls if they wanted to give it a name.

I printed out a personification paper from Homeschool Share which we filled out as we decorated the balloon.

Then Amelia wanted a balloon of her own. So we started all over again.

We gave them shoes so they could go out and play.

But they had to go inside while we dug in the dirt. I decided it would be fun to dig in the dirt as we were reading about the steam shovel digging.  And it worked well with our Interlock lesson as we were talking about day 2 of creation, God created the land.

It is very important to mention that new friends should not be made out of balloons. Tabitha tried to take the shoes off her Suzy and she popped. Tabitha was devastated. Amelia's ended up deflating slowly, a little more each day.

We also put the characters' names on the board

Our third day of rowing brought us to our art lessons. We talked about the difference between drawing things far away/distance and drawing them close up with more details.

Then they drew there own tree art which we added to their notebook page.
I did make the dots for them to trace for the words.


On our second week of rowing Mike Mulligan we focused on squares, because of the square corners Mike and Mary Anne had to dig. We started with a muffin tin.

We read a book called Perfect Square by Michael Hall. 
Perfect Square
In this book, the square has different things happen to it each day of the week. It is cut or ripped or shredded. Then it makes itself into something. The cut pieces are made into a fountain. the torn pieces are made into a garden. At the end of the week the square is left alone and he feels so confined that he makes himself into a window and looks out on all the other creations that all are interconnected.
We actually took this book out during the Summer Reading Program and I thought it would go great with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

We made square collages to go in their notebooks.



We are also working on making our own Perfect Square books. It's a lot of work cutting and shredding and gluing, so we've been doing a little at a time.

We are working on finishing our notebook pages with construction vehicle books, but they have been taking extra time. I was also going to do some fraction work with the squares, but as I have mentioned before last week was not a great week for me. 

And we also watched some videos on YouTube of actual steam shovels. I really love the message boards at FIAR. Someone had shared a link to these videos.

We also read The Diggers by Margaret Wise Brown. There are actually a couple of different editions. Here is the newer edition
The Diggers
I read to the girls from both editions. The story is the same, but I think I like the illustrations of the original best. The book starts out with animals digging, moves to a man digging and then the need for big machines to finish the work. We get to see a tunnel being dug for a train.

I am linking up to

Tot School

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Classified: Mom
Also linking to:

No Ordinary Blog Hop


  1. Looks like you guys had a blast rowing this book!!! :-)

  2. I totally want to be in your class and eat dessert at our house.

  3. I love all your fun ideas. We love this book (and the other books by the author). We will have to row this book soon :)

  4. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing your homeschool year with NOBH.

  5. Looks like such a fun week! We are rowing Mike Mulligan right now as well - I'm hoping to get some pics on my blog by the end of next week. We're going into our 3rd week with it due to needing to stretch things out longer than I expected. At least the kids love it! :)

  6. We really enjoyed Mike Mulligan book - I have to bring it back from the library one of these days. Perfect Square sounds very intriguing! Thanks for joining WMCIR!

  7. I think my boys would have loved to join you in all those steam shovel activities!

  8. wow, what great activities for this book! I have never read it.

    Thank you for linking to the Sunday Showcase - always look forward to seeing what you and the girls have been up to.



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