Friday, July 1, 2011

Blueberries for Sal

This week we rowed Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.  This is another book that was read to me as a child and I remember loving it then...and reading it with my kids now just brings back great memories.  The illustrations are simple but beautiful and the story line quaint. 

The story is about a mother who takes her little girl Sal blueberry picking so she can can them for winter.  In the midst of picking berries her little girl and a little bear get lost and end up following the wrong mother!

Here are some of the highlights of the week...

Our Bible verse was from Ruth 1 - "Where you go I will go."  

I love dot letters.  Abby is nowhere near learning to write, but I'm surprised at how well she's learning to recognize the letters simply by participating in various letter-making activities. Notice how well she does at keeping the dots inside the lines.

William's "blueberry B" stamped with Do-A-Dot paint.  Have I mentioned how much I love these paints? 

Little Sal in the story picked blueberries and dropped them into her tin pail - kerplink! kerplank! kerplunk!  I printed off a pail and used blue pom-poms for berries.  He had to count the correct number of "berries" in his pail that matched the number I put in the corner.

We did a "Are you my mother?" activity.  In the story there is a mother bear and her cub, a mother crow and her babies, and a mother partridge and her babies.  This activity was quite easy for William, but he loves to paste so...we did the activity.  Our animal classification cards introduced the crow and partridge, along with a fact about each.

Here the kids are "blueberry picking".  I dumped all the pom-poms out on the table and they had to pick out only the blue ones.  Abby is a hit or miss when it comes to colors, but she eventually was able to pick out only the blueberries and put them in her pail.  (William likes to use tongs when picking out the berries.)

I think the highlight of the week was the blueberry scavenger hunt (that we did almost every day)!  I hid blueberries around the living and they had to hunt for them.  I would tell them how many I hid and they had to determine if they had found them all by combining their berries and counting them.

We also made blueberry jam, which turned out quite soupy that we called it syrup.  Although by the time came to put it on our blueberry pancakes it had stiffened up...into jam.  I have to say it was pretty delicious!

Yeah, yeah...we didn't get much from one small pack of frozen blueberries, but it was worth the effort to get one pint container.

Our garden is on a spinach kick, producing more than we ever thought possible, so yet again I set out to make a smoothie involving spinach.  I had to include our "food of the week", of course, so I made a blueberry-spinach-banana smoothie.  Don't judge!  It was quite good if I may say so myself.  The kids loved it.  I'm really surprised they haven't started sprouting little buds from the tops of their heads, considering we eat so much spinach and other garden greens every. single. day!

I found teddy bear counters at a garage sale not too long ago so I pulled them out for a math activity.  In Blueberries for Sal there are bears that eat blueberries, so I thought that having the bears as counters was a good tie-in. 

We made a basket flip-up book.  When you lift the flaps there are various food items that contain blueberries. On the right side of our binder are various ways that fruit grows -either on a bush, plant, or tree.  We talked about blueberries grow on bushes, cherries grow on trees (we recently went cherry picking) and William excitedly told me about all the fruit that we have growing in our garden that is growing on plants.

I also used the teddy bear counters to play Alphabet Bingo.  Thank you Target Dollar Bin for supplying me with this very fun game!  Every "bingo" earned him a gummy bear to eat.  Abby earned a gummy bear for...just being cute!  She'd shout out "BINGO" when William did and pretty much demand a treat as well.

I still haven't decided which book we will focus on next week, since it's a holiday and all, but I had better think fast as William is already wondering what we are going to be doing!


Gina said...

VERY cute ideas!! You've done BLUE this week... now you need RED and WHITE to round out your July 4th week activity =)

Good Job!

Kim H said...

Wow, you're so creative! What fun activities all week long! At the library we rented a DVD that had that book (with many others including Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom) read on it and I really thought the story was cute. You did a great job bringing it to life.