Science was definitely the highlight of our Five in a Row study of Lentil, but we packed lots of other great things into the week as well.
- Colin was a story detective, looking and listening for clues that would answer the question, “Does Lentil happen in now times or in old-fashioned times?” He was able to pull together details from people’s clothes, the interiors of the school and the store, and the vehicles in the story to conclude that the book takes place in old-fashioned times.
- We spent a lot of time studying Robert McCloskey’s illustrations, which (as in all his books) are excellent. We figured out how people felt by their facial expressions, and how bad Lentil’s early harmonica experiments were by the reactions of the animals in the illustration.
- Because Lentil takes place in Ohio, Colin learned, with great relish, to tell the joke about “what’s round at both ends and high in the middle.”
- We did some charcoal drawing just like Robert McCloskey.
- We discussed a number of miscellaneous social studies issues: what it means that Colonel Carter “gave” a library or a hospital to the town of Alto, Ohio; philanthropy; how practicing at something makes you better; why a town like Alto might have a monument to Soldiers and Sailors.
- Colin learned to identify the musical instruments featured in the pictures of the Alto, Ohio town band.
- I introduced the idea of the climax of a story. I say “I introduced” because I think this lesson went over Colin’s head. That’s okay; it’ll come up again.
- We sang “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain When She Comes” every day, because that song is featured in the story.
It seems like so much, doesn’t it? But all of this stuff (except the charcoal drawing, obviously) was just casual cuddling-on-the-couch conversation. He was just that into Lentil.