Michael and Mrs. Appplebee snacked on strawberries as they walked a good distance from the Strawberry Fairy's home. Michael stuck his face up to greet the sun as woods cleared behind him and a fresh, salty breeze blew gently around them. Sea oats grew all around and Michael could hear the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs.
"Mrs. Applebee?" asked Michael, "Where is the T fairy?"
"Right there!" said Mrs. Applebee, pointing to an approaching seagull who carried a fairy on its back and a light pink flower in its beak.
When they landed, the fairy introduced herself. "I'm the Thrift fairy," she said "I live up there on that cliff. Can you see my flowers?" she asked shielding her eyes as she squinted up at the high cliffs. "See? Way up there! They grow out of the cliff."
"Oh my!" exclaimed Michael following her gaze, " They're beautiful!'
"Thrift can only grow on high walls or cliffs, so I was worried that I would not get to meet the wonderful Michael about whom all the fairies are talking these days. I asked one of my seagull friends to help me," she said, patting the seagull who had carried her.
" I think that the flowers are splendid and I'm glad that you could meet me or I would not have a "T" flower to bring to my mother," said Michael smiling at her.
"I have song for you." the Thrift fairy offered, shyly.
Now will we tell of splendid things:
Seagulls, that sail on fearless wings
Where great cliffs tower, grand and high
Against the blue, blue summer sky.
(...the rest is in the Flower Fairies Alphabet)
When she finished, she told Michael that she loved have visitors but that people could not climb high cliffs where her flowers grow.
"My mother is going to love your flower because I'll tell her how very special it is to have a flower that grows so high in the cliffs. And I'll tell her all about how it was brought to me by a fairy on a seagull, who wished to send birthday greetings."
"I wonder," said Michael "if your saint isn't one I know very well. One of my mother's favorite saints is St. Therese. Is St. Therese in the red book?" The fairy pulled her red book from behind the seagull's back and read to Michael a short poem about St. Therese, the Little Flower who loved Jesus well by doing small things with her whole heart.
"The fairies love Therese, too, Michael. She is the Little Flower and we are always so happy to see the graces of her prayers fall like flowers upon the earth." The Thrift Fairy handed Michael one of her precious pink flowers to add to his bouquet, gave him a quick peck on the cheek, and scurried back aboard her feathered friend. "Good-bye, dear one! Wish your mother the happiest of birthdays for me!"
Presentation: You can use the drawing of St. Therese 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.
Language: Use the Letter T in the St. Therese picture as an introduction to letter formation. Have the child trace the T with his or her finger. Practice the Letter T by copying the model drawing. Older children can draw the picture of St. Therese as well and use the song of the Thrift fairy as copywork. Sing the song as well and soon it will be memorized.
Read the story Meeting "T" Down by the Sea to your child and use it for reading practice. Download a PDF copy of the story and add it to your personal Alphabet Path Storybook [ Download t_is_for_thrift.pdf ]
Continue reviewing what we've learned. This week we will add the letter "P" to our alphabet main lesson book. Ask your child to consider the things in the world that begin with the Letter P. 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. 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:
Storybook Science: Trees see suggestions here
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 TREE on the T 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. The full image of Frank Mathews' Afternoon Among the Cypress is 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 St. Therese. Use your imagination to come up with different symbols of St. Therese. Remember St. Therese is called the "Little Flower", so be sure to include some beeswax flowers with your saint. Remember too that St. Therese's parents are close to being beatified by the Church. Perhaps some children might want to make a set of wee felt parents to go along with St. Therese.
Just like this week's saint is one of our most beloved, so is Tomie de Paola one of our most beloved authors and illustrators. Spend this week pouring over the treasure of stories he has given us to enrich our faith and learning a little bit about the man who has used his talent so well.
Stories to Enjoy "T" is for Tomie de Paola:
Books about St. Therese:
Therese (DVD, Used with discretion)
Ideas for "T Week:"
This week, give one another the gift of TIME. Here are some ideas for spending TIME TOGETHER during "T Week".
T is for team: Attend a baseball game together, or pop some popcorn and watch one on TV.
T is for tree: Find one you can help your child climb, or plant a new one.
T is for teepee: Build one out of sheets and have lunch in it!
T is for "Twist": So turn up the oldies and dance the night away.
T is for Take-Out: Treat yourself to some to some this week and spend the time you earn back playing board games.
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.)
T is for Trickster Tales (by Gerald McDermott):
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:
T is for TEA: Have a tea tasting one day, provide the water and a variety of flavored teas and taste away. Make a list of your favorite teas and add them to your Alphabet Path recipe book.