Michael and Mrs. Appplebee skipped along the path until Michael came up short--and crinkled his nose. "Something smells so wonderful! he exclaimed."
"Well, my dear boy, you certainly have an observant nose, but do you see the flowers you smell so well?"
Michael squinted into the distance. "No," he replied, shaking his head slowly. "I don't really see any flowers right now." They walked a bit further, Michael sniffing into the air and squinting to see ahead. Finally, he was rewarded. There were thick clusters of lavender, a soft, silvery green, with purple spikes a fragrant buds and behind the lavender were hedges upon hedges of lovely lilacs. The heady scent was nearly overwhelming. Michael breathed deeply and sighed contentedly.
Upon a lilac blossom, he saw a sweet, pale purple flower fairy looking merrily upon him and Mrs. Applebee. He smiled and waved and she grinned in return. "Hello, Michael-man!" she called cheerily. Welcome to the lovely lilacs and lavender and lilies-of the valley!" She broke into song, singing cheerily and just as she finished, the Lavender fairy began to sing her song. Before she finished, the two were singing together, each to their own tunes.
Mrs. Applebee raised her finger to her lips, " Shhh...Listen!"
Michael stopped and stood very still, listening intently to the sounds of the life around him. He heard birds chirping in the trees and bees buzzing in the air. He noticed the butterflies above the lavender blossoms. And then, he heard the bells. Clear and lovely, little bells rang merrily from behind the lilac bushes. He went to investigate. Just beyond the lilacs, he saw a delicate white fairy with gossamer wings. She held in her hands a stem of lilies-of- the- valley. And each tiny white bud was a sweetly ringing bell. She smiled shyly at Michael, and sang for him her song.
When she finished, Michael stood silently, mesmerized by the ringing bells. "Michael," said the sweet white fairy quietly, touching his sleeve to pull his attention away from the bells, "I have a stem for your bouquet and so do my friends, Lilac and Lavender. I have a story for you, too." She took her red book from between the lilies-of-the valley and the lovely lilacs and read to Michael about St. Lucy, the saint whose name meant "Light."
Michael thanked her and told her again how much he enjoyed being with the three lovely, "L" fairies. He breathed deeply again and smiled broadly at the fairy friends. He and Mrs. Applebee waved good-bye and wandered down the Alphabet Path to their next adventure.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Lucy in the book (and pictured in a child's example) as a visual when telling this story. ( Download lovely_lovely_lilac.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 L in the St. Lucy picture as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the L with his or her finger. Practice the Letter L by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of Lucy well and use any or all of this week's three fairy songs as copywork. Sing the lily-of-the-valley song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "H" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter H. 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:
Art: Using the illustration in The Flower Fairy Alphabet Book, ask the child to sketch the The Lily-of-the-Valley Fairy in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the The Lily-of-the-Valley Fairy 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 Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" by Grant Wood. The Museum ABC focuses on light on the "L" 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. You'll also want to see which other famous painting is Grant Wood's.
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. )
Make a Wee Felt Saint of St. Lucy. Use your imagination to come up with symbols that tell the story of her life. If several children are making saints, consider adding saints from the liturgical calendar or other "L" saints to your collection, as well. Here is a darling example of St. Lucy.
Download PDF of Lamb of God here:Download alpahbet_path_lamb.pdf
Read aloud ideas:
More Catholic Tales by Caryll Houselander there is a story called "Loaves and Little Fishes" about the Living Bread.
Read about these saints in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints:
St. Louis de Montfort
St. Leo the Great
Ideas for "L 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.):
"L" is for Lego! Read the Ultimate Lego 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. 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
Remember to check back throughout L Week for main lesson book samples in the sidebar albums!