Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rowing :: Blueberries for Sal

Blueberries for Sal (Viking Kestrel picture books) [Hardcover]

We rowed Blueberries for Sal this week. What a great book! I had never read it before and LOVED it! (Now I understand Soulemama's title for blueberry picking last summer.) Little Sal goes blueberry picking with her mother which is something my kids are very familiar with and gets all mixed up with another mother and child who are also at Blueberry Hill. Both boys told me when we did their narration about everybody being all mixed up - so that part must have stuck.

Scrapbooking ::

Since we couldn't go blueberry picking right now I thought it would be fun to make scrapbook pages of pictures from last year's trip. I printed some of the general photos for each boy and printed ones of themselves so their pages would be just them and would be a little different. I got out my personal trimmer, and though it drove me crazy, let them trim their own photos. I put adhesive on the back of each picture and let them place them where ever they wanted to on a 12x12 piece of paper. They had a great time with this and felt proud of their pages.




Math :: 

I printed off the Math Mat activity from homeschool share. We didn't "pick" the berries but the boys both liked this. #2 helped #4 as this was a little over his ability and #3 had it a little easy but they enjoyed the activity.



Playdough ::

I made blue play dough. Using this recipe. I used berry kool-aid for the coloring...gave it a GREAT smell as well!



The *best* thing about play dough? They were busy for over an hour! I took this photo while #1 and #2 got their math and grammar done...still playing, getting along and happy. (Don't mind the kitchen...)


Food ::

One thing I found for this book was bringing in some food to tie in. And that was fun. Of course we had frozen blueberries with lunch on Monday. Freezing is my preferred method for saving our blueberries each year though I am thinking a batch of blueberry jam is necessary this year. 

On Wednesday we had some blueberry jell-o. A huge hit!


And on Friday while we read our book we tried dried blueberries. Only the baby liked those. I'm not too heart broken...I don't have a good way to dehydrate berries and they are over $9/pound at the store! 


The dried berries did provide us a great way to talk about all the different ways of preserving food to last for winter. Our method of freezing, Little Sal's mom who cans her berries and Little Bear's mom who eats the berries to store for winter and the store's way of drying the berries. A little bit of real life learning and a little bit of hibernation discussion.

Art ::

Of course, no unit on Blueberries for Sal would be complete without some blueberry painting. I drew a quick bush shape on the papers and invited them to color the bush while I got out the paint. I gave them each a little bit of blue paint and a unsharpened pencil. Showed them how by using the ereaser the blue paint would look like a berry. I think the different method was fun but a little frustrating. They had to be more controlled and couldn't just smear paint around. #4 lost interest more quickly since he didn't have enough paint nor a brush that would allow him to just spread paint over they entire page. #3 was very systematic about his blueberry placement and was very proud of his finished work.

I had gotten this book as an audio book as well from the library so they listened to it while they painted.



Links ::

delightful learning - I got SO many ideas from her!
counting coconuts - play dough recipe
homeschool share - math mat

Linking to:


Jenny said...

Really fun unit. My kids love eating blueberries straight out of the freezer.

Funny, before I read what you wrote, I thought, "What a relief, her counter is messy like mine." ha! :)

Great ideas - we have read this book, but we haven't rowed it yet. Thanks for sharing.

Bending Birches said...

blueberries for sal remains my most favorite and cherished childhood book! I love the illustrations!