"Ooh.." replied Michael. Mrs. Applebee and Michael walked up to a pond with large water lilies floating above the surface. Michael looked puzzled. "Mrs. Applebee," he asked "where is our next fairy?"
"She's up there ,Michael," she answered pointing to a beautiful little fairy dressed in yellow looking down upon him. She seemed to be standing on a long golden stem with flowers that matched her dress.
"Hello!" the sparkling yellow fairy said with a smile.
"What fairy is that, Mrs. Applebee?" asked Michael.
"That, dear Michael, is the Iris fairy!"
The Iris fairy looked down at Michael with a big smile, then she asked him, "Would you like to hear my song, Michael?" "Yes! Please!" he answered.
"I am Iris: I'm the daughter
Of the marshland and the water.
Looking down, I see the gleam
Of the clear and peaceful stream;
(...the rest is in the Flower Fairies Alphabet)
She finished with another beautiful smile.
"So, are you the Queen of the Water?" queried Michael.
"I suppose you could say I am!" replied the Iris Fairy with a glittering smile.
"But, Queen Iris?" asked Michael.
"Yes?" answered the Iris fairy.
"Who's the King?" asked Michael.
"The King?" queried the Iris fairy, with a wink. "You'll meet the king soon, dear Michael!"
"Oh good! Do you have a saint story for me, also?" asked Michael.
"Of course!" said the Iris fairy. "I'm going to introduce you to St. Ignatius. He was a wounded knight who spent much time recovering and while he was resting, he read lots of stories of saints. Those saints inspired him. When he grew stronger, he found the Society of Jesus, priests who preach and teach throughout the world today. Remember, Michael to get to know and grow to love the saints and their stories in your youth."
Michael nodded solemnly and assured the Iris Fairy that he would do just that.
" Is it time for us to go see a new fairy Mrs. Applebee? Because I really like this fairy!" said Michael.
"Indeed, my boy; it's just about time for us to go!" replied Mrs. Applebee.
"Lovely, then," said the Iris fairy. "Here is one of my flowers." She handed him a yellow flower with a golden stem. "Oh, Michael, you will notice that this flower has a golden stem. That means you've come to your third vowel!" she told him. "And just so you will remember me very well, you may take one of the white flowers from the water-lilies that I look upon everyday!"
"Oh thank you so much!!!" answered Michael "When I get back to my house and show my mother her bouquet, I will tell her all about how you are the queen of the water and about all of the splendor of your pond!" Michael thanked her again and headed down the trail.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Ignatius in An Alphabet of Catholic Saints as a visual when telling this story. ( Download iris_queen_of_the_pond.pdf )You may want to copy it to card stock and add it to your child's main lesson or sketch book.
Use the Letter I of St. Ignatius as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the I with his or her finger. Practice the Letter I by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of Ignatius as well. Use the short poem in An Alphabet of Catholic Saints as copywork and place it with the picture in your child's saints notebook. Use The Song of Iris Fairy as copywork as well. Sing the song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "E" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter E. 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.
Nature Study: The Iris Fairy isn't at the Flower Fairy site, so we've chosen to use enature.com. There is more gardening information here as well.
(Don't try to do it all--these are options for science and nature study)
- After the story has been told, you can research the botanical information 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:
- Science Study
I is for Insects
- Insect (DK Eyewitness)
The Life and Times of the Ant
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the The Herb Twopence Fairy in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the The Iris Fairy 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 taken from the "I" page of Museum ABC. I wasn't able to find any of the full prints or pieces online this week:-(. I still think this will make an interesting picture study.
Alternatively, ditch the book and study Monet's Water Lilies.
Really look at the picture. Soak in the details. Ask your child to choose one to narrate. 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 Jesus in Letters from Heaven and explain how this works for "I." Katherine provides a note on the use of "I" : The Greek name Jesus Christ is Ιησούς Χριστός, or transliterated, Iesús Christós. The first and last letters of each word makes the abbreviation IC and XC. You find this inscription on the earliest Christian objects and writings and most especially, iconography (most often with the word NIKA after IC XC, which means Jesus Christ Conquers (i.e. Nike-Victory). The shape of Jesus' hand in iconography is always in the position of the priestly blessing. When giving a blessing, an Orthodox priest or bishop holds his hand so that his fingers spell IC XC. The index finger straight for the I, the middle finger curved for the first C, the ring and thumb crossed for the X and the smallest finger curved for the second C.
Read about St. Ignatius in The Loyola Kids Book of Saints.
Make a Wee Felt Saint of St. Ignatius. Use your imagination to come up with symbols that tell the story of his life. If several children are making saints, consider adding saints from the liturgical calendar to your collection, as well.
Ideas for "I 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.) This week is "Ingalls Week." "I" is for Ingalls, the pioneer family we love so much. We'll re-read all of the My First Little House Books this week, in honor of the Ingallses.
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. We are still using our Fairy Tale Christmas Book and plan to use it until Candlemas. 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. Older children also explore the imagery and symbolism of the genre.
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.
This week, Lively Language is moving along to study verbs.
Serendipi-Tea Time (Breakfast and Dinner too!) Recipes
Remember to check back throughout I Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!