Michael and Mrs. Applebee skipped down the alphabet path, Michael holding tightly to his mother's flowers.They walked up to a very familiar place, it seemed to Michael. "Mrs. Applebee." said Michael "Have I been here before?"
"Why don't you ask her?" said Mrs. Applebee pointing to a fairy dressed in white. Sitting across from her was Kingcup, The K fairy! "Hello Kingcup!" said Michael.
"Hello!" he said in reply. "I suppose you're here to the see the queen!" Kingcup called cheerily.
"Well, I think so. "Q" is the next letter fairy we will meet, so a queen would be just perfect," said Michael.
"Perfect, indeed. There she is!" said Kingcup pointing to the same white fairy.
"Why, hello Michael!" said the white fairy in a sweet, tinkling voice, "My name is Queen of the Meadow, or just 'Queen' for short. Would you like to hear my song?" she said in a soft voice "Yes!" said Michael. And then the Queen sang:
Queen of the Meadow
Where small streams are flowing,
What is your kingdom
and whom do you rule?
"Mine are the places
Where wet grass is growing,
Mine are the people
Of marshland and pool.
"(...the rest is in the Flower Fairies Alphabet)"
"You see Michael. I am the Queen and Kingcup is the King. And soon enough you'll meet our son."
"That was a lovely song and I can't wait to meet your son! But, I thought Iris was the queen," wondered Michael with a puzzled face.
"Iris is the Queen of the Water.... and I am the Queen of the Marsh. We are good friends because we mostly share our kingdom," she said. "Now, I have a saint for you! This saint's name is Mary. And she is truly the Queen of the Universe."
"But Mary starts with M, not Q," ventured Michael with a puzzled face.
"Yes, But Mary has many titles and many of those are 'Queen' and 'Queen' starts with Q!" said the fairy queen. "Mary is the Queen of the Universe, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Queen of the Angels, and the Queen of All Saints!" Meadowsweet explained enthusiastically.
"Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Jesus is the King. Just like Kingcup and I are the King and Queen. But Mary and Jesus are much more important than Kingcup and I are. Mary and Jesus rule the whole earth and Kingcup and I just rule this Marshland. "
The gentle Queen Meadowsweet read from the red book and knelt to pray a Hail Mary with Michael and Mrs. Applebee. Then the queen handed Michael one of her flowers and sent them on their way.
Michael left the marsh, inhaling the sweet scent of his bouquet and feeling very peaceful.
Presentation: You can use the drawing of Mary, Queen of All Saints in the book (and pictured in a child's example) as a visual when telling this story. 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 Q in the Queen of All Saints picture as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the Q with his or her finger. Practice the Letter Q by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of Mary well and use the song of the Queen of the Marsh 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 "M" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter M. 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 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 Queen of the Marsh in the main lesson book. A younger child can color the The Queen of the Marsh 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.)
For this week's picture study, Museum ABC focuses on QUEEN for the "Q" 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. You can find the full version of Thomas Sulley's Queen Victoria here.
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 Mary. Use your imagination to come up with different titles of Mary. If several children are making saints, consider making several different versions of Mary for your collection, as well.
This week, why not make a quilt of all the saints you've learned about with Mary, their queen, in the center? Use a large sheet of paper or perhaps a posterboard for the background. Paste holy cards of each saint or children's drawings on a background of colored paper, then let the kids design lovely decorative borders for each picture. Place the completed "squares" on the larger sheet to form a quilt. Let Mary reign as the center square.
Find lots of ideas for encouraging devotion to the Queen of All Saints in this book: Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church.
Do take advantage of the wonderful ideas available at First Heralds for cultivating devotion to Our Queen in the littlet hearts.
Ideas for "Q Week:"
Follow the instructions here to make a paper quilt.
Pack a quiet bag for Mass. Place religious picture books, holy cards, and quiet activities in a bag that comes along only for Mass. Try to choose items that will keep your child's mind and heart focused on Jesus while keeping them busy.
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.)
Q is for Queen:
Q is for Quiet:
Q is for Quick:
Q is for Quilt:
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.)
For the next few weeks, children can dictate or write the stories told in the Mother Goose rhymes. That is, instead of reciting the rhyme, they can tell what happened in prose.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: