Mrs. Applebee and Michael were heading down the trail once more. "Mrs. Applebee?" asked Michael.
"Yes, dear?" answered Mrs. Applebee.
"Do you smell that sweet smell? The air smells like summertime! How long will we have to walk to get to our next fairy?"
"Not very far at all! In fact, here we are! " she answered.
"This is our fairy for the letter J, Michael!"
As the fairy approached, Michael noticed her shimmering, beautiful white dress and sweet smelling pretty white flowers. "Hello there!" said the fairy in a twinkling voice.
"Hello! Is it you who smells so sweet?" answered Michael cheerily, ready to find out what awaited him.
She giggled a bit and nodded at him. "I'm the Jasmine fairy," she told him.
"Oh! That's a beautiful name, Jasmine!" answered Michael. "Do you have a song for me?" he asked with excitement.
"Why of course I do!" twinkled the fairy merrily and she sang her song.
"Ooh.... I should come back here on a hot summer day to cool off!" said Michael.
"You're always welcome!"replied the Jasmine fairy.
"May I sit under your white flowers?" asked Michael shyly.
"Yes, of course you may," the sweet-smelling fairy replied, "and here is an invitation to the summer fairy ball! It happens every summer right here under my lovely smelling flowers!" The fairy gave Michael a cluster of the sweet white flowers and an invitation to the firefly-lit summer ball.
"I think that this is the most wonderful smelling flower!My mother is going to love these. Thank you very much!" said Michael, getting another sniff of her white glittering flowers.
"Indeed, they are lovely to look at and to sniff, aren't they?" agreed the Jasmine fairy.
Michael nodded and asked, "Do you have a saint for me?"
"Yes I do!" she answered. "I am going to tell you about Jesus' father here on earth. St. Joseph taught Jesus about God and carpentry and all sorts of things he needed to know about being a man. He was a very good father and he prays especially for your father and the father of all children even now ."
She took her red book from beneath the leaves and fragrant blossoms and read to Michael about St. Joseph. Michael thanked her and told her again how much he knew his mother would like the beautiful flowers. He and Mrs. Applebee waved good-bye to the Jasmine fairy and skipped off down the Alphabet Path.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Joseph in the book (and pictured in a child's example) as a visual when telling this story. ( Download sweet_smelling_jasmine.pdf ) You may want to print it on card stock and add it to your child's main lesson or sketch book. It can be added to your child's main lesson book as well.
Language: Use the Letter J in the St. Joseph picture as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the J with his or her finger. Practice the Letter J by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of of St. Joseph as well and use The Song of the Jasmine 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 "F" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter F. 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.
(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: Jungles
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the The Jasmine Fairy in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the The Jasmine 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 . The Museum ABC focuses on jewelry on the "J" page. 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. Do take some time to click on the link provided to see and print the whole picture.
We plan to make some jewelry this week. Adapting tutorials here, we'll make medal necklaces.
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. )
Download PDF of St. John here: Download alphabet_path_john.pdf
Listen to the Glory Stories story of St. Joseph. This CD also includes St. Katharine Drexel which will work nicely next week.
Listen to the Glory Stories story of St. Joan of Arc.
Make a Wee Felt Saint of St. Joseph. 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.
Read biographical information about St. Joseph here.
Read about these saints in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints:
St. Joan of Arc
St. John of the Cross
St. John Neumann
Read about these heroes in the Loyola Kids Book of Heroes:
St. Jane de Chantal
St. John the Baptist
Bl. Julia Rodzinska
St. Jean de Brebeuf
Ideas for "J 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.)
J is for Susan Jeffers
My Chincoteague Pony
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
The Snow Queen
The Wild Swans
The Midnight Farm
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
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. 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.
Serendipi-Tea Time (Breakfast and Dinner too!) Recipes
Toast and Jam
Homemade Jam and biscuits
Remember to check back throughout J Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!