A neat thing about Night of the Moonjellies is the way it evokes, on the one hand, the deep mysteries of the sea, and on the other hand, the bright noisy activities of humans along the shore. Yesterday was a deep-mysteries day. Today, in contrast, we spent our time focused on the scenes of Mark’s family’s seafood stand.
After reading the book, we paged through it again making a list of all the things you need to do or take care of when you own a restaurant. With a little prompting, Alex handled this well. Here is the list she came up with:
Running a Restaurant
Buy supplies: straws, umbrellas, plates, things like that
Prepare and cook food
Prepare customers’ plates
Make sure there’s enough of everything
Take customers’ money
Get the restaurant set up every day
Hire workers and pay them money
Choose good workers
Decide what’s going to be on the menu
Decide what time of year to run the restaurant (the restaurant in the book is seasonal)
Decide how long the restaurant should be open
Decide where the restaurant should be
Figure out how to make the food
Figure out how much the food should cost
Go to the store and buy ingredients or have them delivered
Follow safety rules
Treat the customers nicely
This is not an entirely theoretical activity, because we are planning to turn our house into a pretend restaurant at dinnertime tomorrow. We went over the list and discussed which of the items would affect our pretend restaurant as well as a real one. We also talked about which of us will be responsible for which jobs.
She was excited to work on the menu for our pretend restaurant, so we did. I spelled and provided guidance, and she wrote things down. So far she’s put in the names of the entrees offered (BBQ shrimp, cheeseburger, hamburger) and listed prices for each. While she was making the menu and again at dinner, we talked about how a merchant sets prices. Alex’s are pretty arbitrary. (For example, she initially wanted to charge $5.52 for a cheeseburger and $10 for a hamburger.)
I really like that Five in a Row’s social studies lessons include “how things work in the world” lessons like this one, as well as more traditional geography and history.
We finished up the day by reading a couple of picture books about seaside activities. I particularly recommend Beach, by Elisha Cooper, for its fabulously detailed observations of a day at the shore.