Gorse Fairy Tag
Michael awoke to the sound of the fairies laughing and clapping. He rubbed his eyes and watched for a moment. It looked like they were playing tag, but every time the yellow fairies tagged each other, they did it with a kiss. Kissing tag? What was this? Soon, two giggling, kissing fairies came over to introduce themselves.
"Hello, there," said the wee girl, "I'm the Gorse Fairy."
"And so am I," said the wee boy.
In perfect harmony, they sung the Song of the Gorse Fairy. When they finished, Michael asked, "When is the gorse out of bloom? Why would kissing be out of fashion?"
"Oh, silly you," the girl giggled (this kissing girl giggled quite a bit), "kissing is never out of fashion because Gorse flowers are never out bloom."
"Ah..." said Michael, "now I get it. Well then, will you tell me why there are two of you to talk with me? Do you both have a story for me?"
"No, we have only one story to tell, " the giggling girl began," but there are two of us to remind you that the letter "G" makes two sounds. It makes the hard G sound, as in giggle..."
"...and it makes the soft "G" sound as in George," the boy finished for her, as he presented the beautiful book with a flourish. He read to Michael the poem of St. George and the Dragon.
The giggling girl gave Michael a gold-yellow flower to add to his gift. And then, the fairies invited Michael to play a game of tag. He thought it very silly--all these kissing fairies--but to run and hide and leap and play amidst all the fairies and flowers was great fun. Every once in awhile, he was sure that he saw a tuft of green troll hair above the gorse flower hedges, and he looked back towards Mrs. Applebee, who carried his bouquet for him while he played. Before too long, the kind lady reminded Michael that there were many, many more fairies to meet. Michael kissed the Gorse fairies goodbye and skipped down the Alphabet Path towards his next adventure.
Presentation: You can download the Lyra Pencil drawing of St. George and the Dragon (pictured below) here (Download george_and_dragon.pdf ) and use it as a visual when telling this story. ( Download gorse_fairy_tag.pdf ) You may want to print it on card stock and add it to your child's main lesson or sketch book. A coloring page is also available here ( Download george_coloring_page.pdf ) for download. It can be added to your child's main lesson book as well.
Language: Use the Letter G of the G-shaped dragon as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the G with his or her finger. Practice the Letter G by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of of St. George as well and use The Song of Gorse Fairy as copywork. Sing the song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "C" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter C. Ask her to illustrate them in her main lesson book and label the pictures. You can write the word for your child to copy if necessary. In Stephen's example shown here, he included words that are signed in the Signing Time Alphabet Song, which is the alphabet song he hears at home. The lyrics are here on page 6. If you have not yet made salt dough letters, now is the time to catch up. We are going to use those letters later along the alphabet path. If you are just beginning, you might consider letting your child paint the consonants green and the vowels gold (or yellow) to match the stems of the flowers in the story. All the flowers for the vowels will have golden stems.
This week, when you are out and about, try to find letters in the environment. For inspiration, take a look at what Heather and her boys saw on their neighborhood walks.
(Don't try to do it all--these are options for science and nature study)
- After the story has been told, spend some time on the Flower Fairy site. You can research the botanical information and plant indications and record them in a sketchbook or main lesson book. Or perhaps you would prefer flower storybook paper for letter writing practice and copywork. (An older child can do this independently, but a younger child can give an oral narration which you write or keyboard for him or her.)
- With your older child, you might choose to work through Apologia's Discovering Creation with Botany. Read a section and then ask your child to narrate the information in his main lesson book. Always encourage your child to illustrate his narrations. Work on the experiments that you feel would be most beneficial for your child. Take a picture of the finished project and add it to his main lesson book. The pace at which you move through this book is not as important as the child having an opportunity to really understand the material. Go at your child's pace.
- We've had great success encouraging older children to take their flower narrations well beyond what is provided at the Flower Fairy site. These children are able to truly appreciate the vast varieties of flowers and to to see God's creativity when they consider the lilies of the field.
- For some children, a living books/picture book approach seems to resonate and be more meaningful than any other approach. Consider choosing meaty picture books to teach the same concepts. If you choose to pursue this course of study, here is a science-themed picture book study for this letter: G is for Gardens
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the Gorse Fairies in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the Gorse Fairies in the Flower Fairy Alphabet Coloring Book . Perhaps on another day the child could model the fairy or flower with modeling beeswax. (Sources of excellent quality modeling beeswax can be found on the right sidebar.)
This week's picture study is Boy with a House of Cards. The detail of the painting in Museum ABC by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a close-up of the child and his "game.". It's interesting to look carefully at just one segment of the painting in the book. The children can discuss what they think the rest of the painting might look like before you show them the print. The print is provided here (Download boy_with_a_house_of_cards.pdf) for further study (for your refrigerator) so that the art can soak in over the course of the week.
Really look at the picture. Soak in the details. Ask your child to narrate with a prompt such as, "Pretend that I am going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time and want to find this painting. What details could you give me so that I could more easily find it?" Keyboard the narration and ask your child to sketch the work of art. A younger child can copy the painting while an older child can narrate from memory and discover how much detail he remembers by attempting to sketch it from memory. Over the course of this unit, consider collecting the narrations and sketches in a single album and create your own family art history book.
(The goal of Picture Study is to train the eye toward the beautiful. Biographical information about the artist is secondary. Set the work of art as your family computer's wallpaper or screen saver or print the painting on card stock and display it on the refrigerator. After spending time with a picture and really taking the time to look at it, your child will make a connection. There is no need to explain a great deal, especially to a young child. Allow the child to make his own connection with the art. )
Faith: Read the poem about St. George in Letters from Heaven. A 'don't miss" book this week is St. George and the Dragon. This one is a keeper. (You'll want to read it again for St. George's feast on April 23.)
Read about these saints in the Loyola Kids Book of Heroes:
Ideas for "G Week:"
Suggested Books for Read-Alouds and Narrations (These are to be narrated both verbally and artistically. For the younger children it is often fun to keyboard an oral narration for them and then ask the child to illustrate the printed page.)
Author Study: G is for Paul Galdone
The Three Bears
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Little Red Hen
Three Little Kittens
The Gingerbread Boy
The Three Little Pigs
The Magic Porridge Pot
Over in the Meadow
The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Teeny Tiny Woman
The Monkey and the Crocodile
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Aunt Green, Aunt Brown, and Aunt Lavender
The Grouchy Ladybug
"G" is for Googol: A Math Alphabet book
G is for Galaxy: An out of the World Alphabet book
Suggested Books for Independent Reading (These are for older children to read and narrate over consecutive weeks. Allow your older child to illustrate his or her narrations. Expressing oneself both verbally and visually is a peak of communication.)
If you would prefer not to use a writing program, simply have your
children narrate to you. Select a story from the picture books (the
Elsa Beskow ones work particularly well) and ask the children to
re-tell it as completely as possible. Alternatively, use a story from
the fairy tale anthologies. For younger children, mom keyboards as the
children tell the story. Older children are encouraged to write or
keyboard for themselves. An older child's story is a great place for
proofreading and editing practice. Younger children love to see their
stories printed. All children should illustrate their stories. Stories
written by younger children can be used for reading practice. The
written narrations are used by all the children in our families for Lively Language Lessons.
Serendipi-Tea Time (Breakfast and Dinner too!) Recipes
Remember to check back throughout G Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!