Saturday, November 6, 2010

Peter Rabbit Suggestion and General

I've created plans for the 13 colonies which will begin very soon I hope.

I've been sick and then had laryngitis for well over a week. Thankfully my boys love audio books and stories and so we had an extremely literature rich couple of weeks despite my lack of voice!

It's worth noting for those with a weak library system that for almost all the core knowledge literature selections I've been able to find online versions of the stories. Almost always I can find text and often illustrations as well. Often I can find nicely done audio or video versions. We did the core knowledge objectives for many fairy tales while I've been sick and I was able to find audio versions at sites like for nearly all for example. If a search was particularly hard I'll try to post what I found as we do the lessons. I used this link for Issun-boshi as it was all I found but most had multiple choices.

When I finally got my voice back we covered Beatrix Potter stories as specified in the Core Knowledge curriculum. However, I wanted to post because I have a book The True Story of Peter Rabbit that worked so nicely with these lessons. It recounts the story of Beatrix Potter's letter to Noel Moore which later became the Peter Rabbit story. This was neat because Noel realizes Miss Potter modeled Peter after him. This further emphasized that she gave human characteristics to animals (a core knowledge objective) and, even better, why and who she might have had in mind for the character! The afterward told more about the resulting books and Noel Moore and the book includes picture reproductions of the original letters as well.

We talked about the Salk vaccine (Noel Moore had polio) for polio and vaccines generally. This allowed us to talk about the smallpox vaccine and eradication as well which ties it to some of our current history in terms of diseases of the time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plymouth Colony Unit

I've been adjusting my lesson plans for this unit as we go through them. We've had lots of illness and life interruptions and so this unit is taking longer than I had expected to work through. So we're still in process and the plans aren't what they might have been but I wanted to post them anyway. Some of these were typed in future tense and then modified in past tense so the tenses may switch around mid lesson unintentionally.

In our history sequence this unit followed the Wampanoag Unit but the two could have easily been combined into one unit.

Lesson 1--The Journey

I began with a general "why and how it started" history of the journey the pilgrims made.

The websites I’m linking in the following lessons do a very nice job with all except the motivation for the journey.

A friend loaned me the book If You Sailed on the Mayflower which I used for the background and information parts of this unit. I suspect many library systems have it. This book would be great for this particular lesson I suspect. However, I found this wonderful colonial unit which has a “main points” section for each lesson that provide you with all the information you would need if books aren't available. Lesson 2 for example gives what you might want to use to introduce why the pilgrims left just like the book linked above.

After that brief introduction we’re going to explore the Mayflower and how it felt to make this long journey.

We'll explore the ship using the tour the ship portion of this site. As we view particular areas we will "experience" the Mayflower using activities from Lesson 2 of these plans. My kids like the back and forth but another child might be better served going through all the site and then experiencing it with the activities. Examples:

1. After the section covering food we discussed the food and why it was either salted or dried. We talked about spoilage and shortages as the journey went on. Then I planned to sample jerky, dried fruit (prunes), and cheese. Hardtack would work well here. This website contains a hardtack recipe. I did not use hardtack in this unit as it "shows up" in many units we'll be covering beyond this such as the Revolutionary and even Civil wars. I actually did this section last even though, I believe, it is number two on the diagram.

Note: The cook fed the crew but did not make food for the passengers based on my research. So I believe this site is incorrect in that area. They cooked when possible and otherwise ate food that didn't need to be cooked. I used these interviews for my own research as they were by people from and I know they are knowledgeable. They might be nice for an older child to use directly in some way.

2. As the site talked about the living conditions we first recreated the waves using the activity described in the link with a water bottle and plastic to represent the ship rocking among the waves inside. We talked about how it would feel to be tossed about on the ship and the seasickness.

3. We "experienced" the crowding as described on the link. I adjusted the dimensions provided (8 x 8 feet for 11 people) for our family size.

4. We talked about the fact that there was no room for kids to run. We talked about lots of sitting, little fresh air with the smells, and what they did do to pass time (riddles, singing, maybe marbles or cat's cradle). We sat in our little "ship" portion and tried some of that as we talked. It would be nice to have wave sounds in the background. After we did the unit someone who used these plans told me she cleared out a small closet to use! I really like that idea.

5. This site for Columbus activities has a make a quadrant idea though I didn't do that for this lesson.

6. At the end we talked about the length of the journey and counted 66 days off on the calendar.

Then we made a model of the ship. Options I found for this portion are here:
a black and white three dimensional model
a colorful cut out and paste picture (note: because of the masts this one is more challenging to cut out)
another option is here

Then we watched this link following the journey. A friend told me the intended destination and specifics about how and why they ended up in Massachusetts is unclear and there are many theories. This link says Virgina was the intended destination. Other links that also seem trustworthy will mention the New York (Hudson) area. Lies My Teacher Told Me lays out many possibilities including a hijacking. It's certainly worth reading. Basically, I don't think it's clear though it's presented that way in the link.

We did watch this but only the first half today. I thought it did a nice job of dramatizing the danger and conditions experienced. My boys enjoyed it a lot.

Then we created postcards as if they were passengers on the Mayflower. This is a printable postcard template.

Here is a link to a game. I didn't try it. It did give me an idea just now though. As an alternative to the postcard a child could make their own Mayflower game using this one as a guide but putting events they remember in the spaces. So they could have the beam crack--move back three spaces, get seasick--move back one space, storms stop and sails are opened--move ahead two spaces, etc.

Lesson 2--Arrival and Housing

We talked about the journey from yesterday and then I told the boys we were going to begin to learn about their lives off the ship. First, we listened to talk like a pilgrim here.

Then we watched this video. Note that it covers Plymouth Rock (a Core Knowledge Objective; I presented it as legend as described below) and the Mayflower Compact and leads nicely into talking about their day to day life. That said, it is so fast paced that I didn't find it terribly helpful. That's too bad because it is filmed as a field trip to Plimoth Plantation and so more time and detail would have been neat. If I found something better that would have covered Plymouth Rock in some measure I would have likely used it instead. Here is another video of Plymouth Rock. We didn't use it.

If I were planning this again I might just skip the above video. Too late for this lesson I found this site which I would have likely used in planning if I had found it. This shows pictures of and talks about Plymouth Rock. That would have been all I needed I think. It looks like there is a lot of helpful material on the site.

I explained that Plymouth Rock is a legend which allowed us to review what a legend was and purposes (for lack of a better term) of legends. This purpose was a little different than legends we've explored previously so that was nice. For parent information this radio program on Plymouth Rock is interesting. The link for Plymouth Rock is toward the bottom. Here is an article with a little less specific information and talking more about it’s symbolism.

Then we moved to actual life material. I emphasized that, while the pilgrims likely did not step on Plymouth Rock, we do know they took corn from a Native American storage pit. There is a bit about that here I played along with the perspectives presented to that point. We talked about the viewpoints of Wampanoag vs. Plymouth Colonists for each point and it was a good discussion. If I were planning it again I might have fleshed this out a little maybe be acting out the action and then discussing how it was viewed by both sides. That and interesting information on a variety of topics including housing is from via this site. They talk about the bulrush/cattails/thatch swelling with water and so being waterproof for Wampanoag homes and Pilgrim roofs for example. That site I found too late has housing pictures and information as well.

I read American Pioneers and Patriots, Story of Pioneers in Plymouth because I have that book on hand. Many library books on the topics would do fine here as would just using information and pictures from the internet. I placed Samuel Eaton’s Day and Sarah Morton’s Day on interlibrary loan for example but I got them a little late for our unit.

We’re focusing on housing today which is the theme in the book I’ve got.

Here is a link on housing we viewed and this alone is fine I think especially combined with some discussion.

We made sample Plymouth homes. I really debated on how to approach this. I thought about using those foam mat type pieces to form the frame and then use pipe cleaner "poles" to "raise the walls" as they would have done but ultimately I didn't. I also thought about using actual sticks or rolled paper logs and clay to make a mock chimney as they would have done. That would have been fun I think. I saw an idea to use toothpicks for the thatched roof.

We're extremely busy this week though so instead I just used this pattern adding our windows and doors. The boys enjoyed it even though it wasn't as neat as it could have been.

In most cases they used oiled paper for windows instead of glass. So we made oiled paper for windows. After they dried we held them up to our own windows to compare the sunlight coming through the oiled vs. not oiled paper.

Here is a coloring page of the village.

Lesson 3--Clothing

We viewed the clothing portion of this site.

I planned to use plant based dyes (blueberry, beets, strong tea, and onions) to dye cotton. Well, in our case "painting" on paper towels. There are dye recipes all over the internet but this link contains some. Here are instructions for onion dye.

I found a video of the process involved in getting dressed (at least in the 1770's--so not exactly "right" but close) here. We viewed it because I felt it really cemented the time consuming nature of dressing in those days as well as contrasts well with the Wampanoag dressing process. This site is "colonial" rather than specific to this specific time period and place. I used ideas in this pdf (toward end) to approximate a costume and this seems to have lots of links to possible instructions as well.

My kids like to make and wear hats and I knew the typical “pilgrim hat” was not commonly worn. I found this site about proper clothing that included male hat information. A girl would be easy I think but the making of a male cap which would have been the most commonly worn was beyond what I was willing to tackle. For someone who can sew well it’s probably easy and would be good for kids to help with perhaps! Here is a site that shows how to make the common cap and then another hat that I felt resembled one of the pictures in the previous site. We made one that resembled that hat with construction paper and I felt it worked well.

The boys dressed up and spontaneously named themselves Pilgrims Samuel and Applegate (I have no clue on the Applegate). It occurred to me that to invite a child to come up with a Pilgrim name from the start of this unit might be fun.

I found but didn't use these paper dolls. They aren't exactly "right" in all ways but might be fun to use anyway.

Lesson 4--Chores and Education

We'll view links on chores and school.

Note: Bathing is mentioned on this site in the pot on the chair "clickable" and is worth listening to at some point my opinion. You can also watch the chores (pot on floor) and look at the home interior. The other “clickable” links seemed better suited for a Thanksgiving type discussion. We will talk about the chore that hauling water for a bath would be and why water was precious. This can work in this section. I read that Squanto encouraged the Pilgrims to bathe more often. I imagine they smelled! So this discussion could work in the lesson on Squanto as well.

Our plan is to stuff craft feathers in mini-mattresses. I’m just stitching cloth napkins together. Now that I think of it we should have used the plant dye for these! The pilgrims would have used feathers, corn husks, or even pine needles. We’ll collect some pine needles outside and talk about how much work the collection process would be and talk about how comfortable a pine needle stuffed mattress might be!

Pilgrim boys would work with their father to build the homes and other construction projects so we’re making a birdhouse. I should say my husband and the boys will make a birdhouse. There are lots of plans online and kits to purchase as well. My husband felt this looked doable and inexpensive.

Food prep fits well in this section. I used a “corn” grinding activity on a later day that would work here as would actual dinner prep responsibilities which is what I will do instead.

I’m doing this in a future unit instead but dipped candle making would be fun I think. A friend is cross stitching with her daughter.

I found a recipe for soap making that just called for soap flakes or grating up regular soap as working with lye was well beyond what I am willing to do! For some reason when I link it it doesn't work correctly so I'll just copy and paste and hope it works. I want to provide it because it was a little hard find something I felt comfortable with when planning a later unit.

For the school section we're going to be finding rocks that can be used like chalk.

In later units on the thirteen colonies we'll be making a hornbook and in our constitution unit we'll be making feather quill pins and either of those might be used here for the school section instead. I'll try to link them along with other links at the end of this post.

Lesson 5--Recreation

Obviously, many of these lessons could be done in any order. I did this one out of order because it fit with a particular day we had available.

We viewed the games section here.

Because marbles were common toys, we created marbles with clay. We also played marbles using those I have here since the clay must dry. There are games suggested in that link and in this one and this one and many more.

We played nine man morris (games toward end) and Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Another idea would be to play foxes and geese.

It would be neat to sing the songs they might have sung but I couldn't find any.

This link has outside game ideas (top of page) and this site (toward the end) has lots of both. We did several of them and had a lot of fun.

There are also nice instructions for a whirligig on the first link and I'm sure it's easy to find corn husk doll instructions. We'll be doing things like that in later colonial units. If this were my only unit I would do more at this point. I've linked some other games/toys to make at the end of this unit. I'm using them in later plans but might use them here if I were just planning this unit.

Lesson 6--Pilgrim and Wampanoag Interaction
Here is a virtual field trip produced and recorded last year. This was after I planned the unit so we didn't use it ourselves. We did watch it and honestly I remember it being just ok.

At this point we will review and fill the details in about the Native Americans and particularly Squanto’s help. We have previously finished the book Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims so they have some basis. The book we’re using and, I’d assume, any book on this topic will do this nicely.

We'll watch this clip to start or, maybe, to wrap up this lesson. I like all the background and my boys really enjoyed them. Here is an alternative clip.

Here is an online Squanto story (you may need to refresh the link to begin) we will watch to review. Note: I will review the procedure Squanto shared for planting corn outlined in the Wampanoag unit--Lesson 3.

We’ll talk about how Squanto helped them learn to find food, farm, modify housing and more. I want them to remember that without his help they likely wouldn’t have survived.

I found a science with Squanto activity combined with this plan.

We could make and eat “hasty pudding”. Grinding our own cornmeal would be neat. I think we’ll “grind cornmeal” using rocks and a corn based cereal then we’ll use regular cornmeal for the dish.

Lesson 7 "Thanksgiving"
We may view the remainder of the Wampanoag vs. Pilgrim viewpoints of 1621 on this site.

I’m going to read a book Three Young Pilgrims because I have access to that one. Again, many books would be terrific here.

We'll watch a short series of videos—part 9 is a repeat, then there is a video from another user that is labeled chapter 12 that seems to be the next step and last video combined.

I think we’ll make this little booklet.

We'll view the slideshow here.

The hyperlinks to the three foods on this site contain information about the Harvest Celebration that we think of as the First Thanksgiving.

Compare Thanksgiving foods now and then.

We will have a more legitimate to the time Thanksgiving dinner. Some recipes I plan to use are for stewed pompion and some of these dishes. I plan to use foods my kids don't typically eat.

Extra Things I'm Using Later
These are some links I'm using in other units that might fit here if this were a single unit.

New England Primer with berry ink and quill on coffee or tea stained paper. Links for how to are here and here and here (page 23). I'm using these in later units. Make hornbook. There is so much online. A couple of the links I collected are here and here. We're using this in later units.

You could use wax for sealing a letter.

Very simple model colonial kitchen.

Finally, a couple of game type things we might make at some point:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Music--Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev

The first grade core knowledge music sequence calls for introduction to instrument families, the presentation of the leader of an orchestra as conductor, and exposure to Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.

I introduced Prokofiev first along with the concept of him as conductor. I highlighted information about him from this site and we saw pictures and listened to a bit of this piece.

The Peter and the Wolf movie is available online. I felt the second half was too traumatic for my sensitive kids to watch but we did watch the first one because I really like how it demonstrates the instrument for each character with a visual as well as auditory component. Warning: The wolf shows his teeth in a sort of scary way mid video when he’s introduced. We watched only the first video and then listened to the entire recording here--it's the first selection. I used it to initially introduce the instrument families. The wolf does eat the duck and sensitive kids might be bothered.

This is another link with instrument families introduced for this piece that I used later in the lesson.
An alternative is to just listen to the march and avoid the whole story depending on the child. I still think you'd want to introduce the animal sounds though with one of the two choices above. This is the Peter and the Wolf March.

We acted out the movement of the animals as suggested in this link and I also had a similar discussion following the story as the one described in the link.

I felt it was worth talking about wolves now or at some point given the scary presentation in so many stories. I will cover that in a literature unit later but today we did read The First Dog by Jan Brett because I have it here, it's a different viewpoint and it helped me make the point that both are fictional presentations of wolves.

Here is a unit study on wolves. They suggest creating the creatures using tanagrams. You can find tanagram patterns to make with cardstock free online if you don’t have tanagram pieces and want to try something like this. We’ve just got a single set of tanagrams and, at least with the limited amount we have, I would find this hard. So we used pattern blocks instead.

In case a person wanted to do a study on wolves I wanted to include a "learn to howl like a wolf" activity page I have linked that I will use when I cover wolves a little more in depth later. Note that there will be a loud wolf howl when this page is opened.
There are wolf crafts online if a person wanted to extend this lesson.

We did cover the various families of instruments again using this site. This is a more general one that could be used.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

History--Were We've Been and Where We're Going

We will begin this coming week with our final/extra lesson on the Wampanoag. We will begin Pilgrims next. We’ve got “travel to see the specialist” appointments this week and so I’m not sure how far we’ll get into the Plymouth Colony lessons. I’ll post them either very soon or perhaps after we go through them so I can tweak without needing to edit the blog.

I thought this weekend I would try to post information about some of the units that came before the Wampanoag in our history sequence this year. I hadn't saved my plans but did the best I could to recall what we did and find links I used.

I think I’ll portion the basic units we've covered to this point in individual posts.
Native Americans
Columbus, Balboa, Ponce de Leon, Pizarro, Cortes
St. Augustine
The Lost Colony of Roanoke

Jamestown Colony, 1607

I don’t have a book for this so I made a storybook of the settlement using google images and the following videos interspersed at appropriate points in the story.

Travel to Jamestown
A closer look at location
John Smith
At one point my story invited us to try to broker a trade between the Native Americans and Settler pointing out they couldn’t communicate verbally and the complications this might have caused. One child was the Native American and the other the Spanish settler.
Powhatan and Pocahontas
Note: there are tons of Pocahontas coloring pages available for free online.

Activity to end:
Make a model Jamestown together.

Lost Colony of Roanoke, 1587

We watched a portion of this video and the next stopping when the speculation on what happened to the colonists began. My boys were really thrilled with the concept of a historical mystery.

We talked about the theories. I found an idea on a message board (I didn’t save it to give credit unfortunately) to set up and video newscasts reporting on their favorite theory as if we knew what happened to the colonists of Roanoke!

We talked about how they had used archeology and written accounts to rule out many theories and determine the most likely outcome. There is a Magic Schoolbus Video and book on archeology that might fit nicely here though I didn't use it.

We did a simple mock archeological dig by digging for things buried in the old salt we used for our phonogram practice though dried coffee grounds would have been neater now that I think of it.

St Augustine in 1565

We read American Pioneers and Patriots, Settlers from Spain to begin this lesson.

Make a ship using this model of the Santa Maria given this was a Spanish ship after all and probably similar in my mind. If I weren’t using the above book which focused on the journey I would have used this link in our Columbus lessons. If a person doesn't want to cheat with a Santa Maria boat there are tons of craft ideas for boats from this time period online.

Talk about the settlement and try out the (possible, I honestly didn’t research this heavily) construction methods using a modified plan based on the ideas in this link. The site is full of lesson plans for the St. Augustine and Florida exploration history. Most were too old for my kids but it’s a very nice resource.

Columbus and Conquistadors

As we did these I didn’t think to save them to share online. I’m going to try to do some general ideas we used below but in many cases I don’t have links and I may be forgetting some things. The plans won't be as detailed as the ones I've been posting lately.

Columbus, 1492

We covered Columbus using a video that I’ll need to search for and link soon. It was good. The activity ideas in this unit and this link were very nice and make planning a breeze though we didn’t do all of either set. Hardtack is mentioned in every story of voyages (like the Mayflower) all the way through at least the Revolutionary War and this link has a good recipe though I "saved" it for a later unit.

Balboa, 1513
When we covered Balboa we focused on the discovery of the Pacific and talked about the Panama Canal. I read a story from a link I found but I can't find it now. I'll link back if I locate it. We did a playdough model/reenactment.

Ponce de Leon, 1513
When we covered Ponce de Leon we focused on the discovery of Florida and naming it for the flowers. My idea was to stamp flowers as my kids love stamping and I’ve got tons of materials from my stamping cards days. That said, now that I think of it this would be a great time to make a tissue paper flower craft!

Pizarro (1521) and Cortes (1534)
Yuck! We briefly covered Pizarro and Cortes. I’m sure there are neat ideas for this stuff but I found it difficult to communicate these things to my boys in ways that wouldn’t be too disturbing for their age in my mind. Therefore, after reading the grisly details I told them the basics of Pizarro and Cortes (and the Incas and Aztecs which we will cover in more detail at another point in our history) in story form. I used some ideas similar to those in this core knowledge lesson plan to reinforce the main points of the search for gold and advantages the Conquistadors experienced because they alone had horses and guns. We put them on our timeline and that was that for now for them. I’m sure I’ll cover in more detail when they are older.

Native Americans by Region

Native Americans by Region

As we did these I didn’t think to save them to share online. I’m going to try to do some general ideas we used below but in many cases I don’t have links and I may be forgetting some things.

I used The Very First Americans book for this unit.

We talked briefly about original North/South America inhabitants possibly coming via the Bering land bridge. I found information that led me to believe the very first people in the Americas were likely Aboriginal so I integrated that idea into the lesson. I plan to flesh those ideas out more and research myself when we cover that period in history in the future.

We focused on present day US Native Americans. For each regional area we talked about the resources available in the environment and how it determined the lifestyles of the people.

We read the Northwest portion of the book focusing on the main idea of resource use.

We could have done a lot on whaling as there are some neat plans and ideas online. We didn’t both because I wasn’t focusing long on each group and also because I’m going to use those ideas in a later unit I think. I selected an easy totem pole craft and viewed and talked about Totem poles as outlined in the Core Knowledge Kindergarten Lesson Plans for November art. This selection highlights the use of the resources available and their skill in woodworking.

We read the Southwest portion of the book talking about the resources available in that area.
I had found a video covering this regional group. You can make homes using adobe bricks. I decided not to do this at this time for several reasons but if I had I would have used clay for my bricks. Playdough works well enough for me but isn’t particularly educational in terms of adobe homes being sun dried bricks. If you’re up for the expense though Walmart sells Terra Cotta colored clay with their playdough, modeling clays, etc. that I noticed after I had completed the unit. I think it was Crayola if I remember correctly.

We read this portion of the book. We were studying the Wampanoag in a later unit so for our activity I decided to focus on the varying types of houses in these groups and making a longhouse seemed like the best craft though there are so many alternative ideas available. In searching for the longhouse idea to link in this blog post I found this site. I would have used it for each of the groups had I found it I think. It’s neat.

We spent a little more time on this group/region specifically compared to the others. The Core Knowledge plans have study of a particular regional group rather than each group in detail.

We read this portion of our book and I used select youtube videos for this portion. There are many videos especially for Sioux groups. I’m going to try to link some. That said, I had viewed tons of links and videos in the course of planning these units and I know some I previewed weren’t good. It’s hard to determine what I used and what I just viewed! It’s easy to find lots of information for these groups. I * think * we viewed this one though I’m not certain. We used some videos from this user for language and I know we viewed a video of traditional dancing from the late 1800s.

There are so many crafts (specifically shield covered here to touch on wars between tribes) and we made jewelry as well I know and something else clothing related that I can’t recall now.

Our literature day was the Sioux Legend of the Jumping Mouse much as outlined in the Core Knowledge Baltimore Literature Lesson plans for Kindergarten in November.

To finish we made a model with tepees, buffalo, and horses. We made the tepees and used drawn and cut out pictures for the other two because one son really wanted to do that instead of our animal figure horses and image search buffalo. I thought they would never stop with the tepees! It cemented the points I wanted them to remember from this culture.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wampanoag Lessons

Lesson One--People of the First Light, Wampanoag Homes

Our read aloud during this unit was Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims.

I found a nice site to introduce the different aspects of Wampanoag life. On this day I will be using the section on housing to introduce the wetus. I'm focusing only on the Wamapanoag for now though I'll be using both this and the next site as well in our upcoming unit on Pilgrims and the cultures together.

We will also listen to the wetu and footprint section on this great site.

This is a video showing a Wampanoag homesite recreation. You get a look inside various wetus.

I will be reading a portion of a story I made of the life of a Wampanoag boy focusing on housing for today. That's not necessary for this plan but was easy to put together. I made it because I couldn't get this book from our library but if you can I suspect it would be wonderful for these lessons.


Make a wetu. There are directions for one made of mud here but we’re doing it the clean way both because it's less messy and also because I think it's more accurate in terms of the way these homes were constructed. I'm saving the mud wetu link though because I may do something similar for homes made of mud or mud-like materials in other units. We used pipe cleaners with playdough at the base for stability and torn lunch bags as our bark.

There are directions on this site for making food dye (scroll to Nature's Paint Box, but note all the other neat ideas too) that we will use for colored mats. As I got ready for this lesson today I decided to wait on this portion because I believe I would rather use it in our upcoming lessons on colonial life. I'll leave it here though because if a person were using these materials for a Thanksgiving type unit I would probably leave it in this lesson.

Wetu coloring picture

We sang the "Song of the Tee Pee" listed on this site (scroll down to unit theme ideas) modifying it for a wetu.

Lesson Two--Wampanoag Clothing

View the clothing section and read the clothing section of my Wampanoag boy story.

I might use this Leather Painting idea (Native Americans Theme section; this site has so many good ideas I thought) to make our grocery bags look more like leather.

We'll be making pouches.

We'll be making headbands.

We'll be making jewelry. There are several ideas on that link for jewelry (note: Lately that link has been down. I"m leaving it here in case it's back up soon but the site I've been linking has an idea for clay jewelry that would work or you could dye pasta as well.

Lesson Three--Wampanoag Food and Corn Planting

We'll read my story and then watch this and the deer, turkey, and then the hoe section from here.

A. Make journey (or Johnny) corn cakes or other recipes widely available on various sites.

B. Act out the motions of planting corn using the script from this site.

We will make a makeshift Wampanoag hoe which was originally made out of a stick and clam shell. The boys will dig through a recycling paper-shredded garden “soil” following the script. We will possibly use a paper fish* to bury and candy corn or construction paper pieces for corn for the seeds. Real dried corn would be better of course. We will talk about later planting beans after the corn sprouts and why this was a good practice in terms of the soil quality.
*I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the fish. There is some evidence that this was not widespread among tribes yet we know Squanto taught the Pilgrims to include fish. I think the debate is whether he learned it from his tribe or while he was in Europe. I may save the fish inclusion for an activity we will do later with Squanto and and the pilgrims.

C. Our “harvest” will be based on this craft.

Lesson Four--Travel and Canoe Making

We'll read the travel section of my story which includes travel by foot and also the specific procedure for making the canoes.

We'll then possibly watch the canoe section here though it's pretty basic.

We will watch the following videos either in whole or in part. They are both via youtube and show making a Wampanoag canoe and traveling by canoe. Both start sort of slow and there is lots of talking but the content and video demonstration is good so I’m using them in some manner I'm nearly certain.

Wampanoag canoe coloring picture.

We will read my story portion on the chores. This includes how Wampanoag children would help their mother get clay for pots and use some to make their own play things.

We will view the chore portion and possibly "school" section from this site

Make a canoe or pots out of clay. I have a link for making a paper canoe as well but I think I'll do the clay as it's closer to what a Wampanoag child might have done.

Lesson Five--Wampanoag Games

We'll read my story and watch the strawberry section and games section.

We'll pretend that we are Wampanoag children and do some of the things they did for fun long ago.

Toss and Catch game

Outside and inside games as listed on this site.

Extra Day--Transmitting and Preserving Culture

I'm not sure where I'll fit this day or if I'll portion it out on various days perhaps but I plan to use this video of a present day Wampanoag, Mashpee drum circle and tie it in with rhythm objectives in the Core Knowledge Sequence for music as well as the concept of preserving a culture.

We will listen to this site with a recording of the last speaker of the Wampanoag dialect (Chief Wild Horse, Mashpee division). I might use this site with Wampanoag names for various animals as well.

We will watch the oral tradition section of this site and talk about storytellers and the importance of stories in terms of oral history. I believe I will use this legend discussing the purpose of folk tales (in this case to explain the geography of the area).

I found images of the places referred to in the legend.
Gay Head Cliffs picture
Satellite image of Nantucket Island
I *think* these are the rocks referred to in the legend.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mexico (North America Unit)

Most of this unit focused on Mexico.

General Mexico

  • We colored our map from this book noting landforms as specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence/Baltimore Lesson Plans for First Grade May. Note: there are tons of free maps available online so this coloring book wasn’t a must but it’s cheap enough that I felt when I factored in the computer printing costs (each map includes information, map, and a flag of the country) I was better off purchasing.

  • We reviewed and elaborated on the history including the Aztecs/conquistadors/Spanish rule and how that blend of cultures influences the people even today. We talked about the eventual war for independence from Spain. I could not find "my kid appropriate" videos for this area so as I did the first time through I told them in story form myself.

  • Activity: We made a flag using construction paper and a coloring page image (free online) for the center part.

People and Culture

We looked at the entry in our Children Just Like Me for Mexico.

We covered topics specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence and the Baltimore lesson plans-specifically Cinco de Mayo, traditional clothing, piñatas, and siesta. I covered Cinco de Mayo because it is in the Core Knowledge sequence and celebrated in the United States even though in most areas of Mexico it is not widely celebrated. We did talk about the Mexican Independence Day being more significant in Mexico itself. If I were planning this unit all again I might just tie the fiesta concepts and celebrations of Independence Day in Mexico in with the literature I selected for this unit.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo video

Sesame Street video with film of celebration and we get to see traditional clothing in this video as well.

That video led us into discussing traditional clothing (I made a coloring page using an image I “grabbed” from google image searches. The book Uncle Nachos Hat is suggested in these plans for exploring the traditional clothing and I’m suspecting it’s good if your library has it. He suggests other books as well including Hill of Fire that I used later in my plans. These plans would make a nice unit actually. I just didn’t find them in time!

We also talked about fiestas and the piñata. My kids are familiar with those from birthday parties and the like but I still showed a picture.
note: Diego Rivera has artwork of children with a piñata that might work nicely here though I decided to keep it with our art appreciation day instead.

Activity for today:
We made miniature piñatas and hung them up as decorations.

Art: Diego Rivera and Murals

I showed his piñata picture and showed and discussed this section of one of his murals.
This is a video of the mural in Mexico City that shows the, well, impressive size of it. I muted as it’s better without the environmental sounds.
This is a video about architecture in Mexico City but includes a lot about Rivera specifically and his murals which is a Core Sequence curriculum art objective. I stopped at his house in the last bit of this video as beyond wasn’t considered appropriate content for me but that was very little of the video. I still showed most as it gave a nice view of Mexico City and the value of murals in that city and culture.

Art Activity:
Make a mural in his style--the art lesson in these lesson plans is good. We will use magazine and clipart pictures for our murals along with their additions.

We read the Legend of the Poinsettia from Mexico which we have in a book by Tomie de Paola but there are many variations available online and, of course, many other stories if this one won’t work for a family. Here are a couple of free online versions and there are more.

We completed a Poinsettia fan craft.

We talked about and "experienced" the Christmas La Posada celebration as outlined in this lesson.

We hung our poinsettia decorations on our ceiling with the piñatas and crafts we’ve done in our bible this week.

Alternative Literature Idea without Christmas themes
I planned this and then decided to save it for a science unit we’ll be completing later in the year. I’m including it here though as it also works in a Mexico unit covering the Paricutin Volcano. I intended to use this video of the Hill of Fire book that includes footage of an active volcano and volcano information that is very good.
This website has information about the Paricutin volcano

And, of course, we’ll make a volcano!

Music Lesson

First we made maracas (well, maraca like things anyway with cups and beans-there are lots of easy to make plans for various types of maracas online) to use while dancing and listening to the music.

Music covered was that listed in the Core Knowledge Baltimore lesson Plans. I used the following videos for the music:
La Cucha Racha
The Mexican Hat Dance

Before playing the Mexican Hat Dance we learned the steps as outlined here and in the Baltimore Lesson Plans for May Music (or at least we tried to!) and made a sombrero .
The Baltimore plans have a nice craft idea in the May first grade lesson plans for making tissue paper flowers and there are lots of instructions online too. If I had girls I would have likely done that instead of the sombrero. They look pretty. I might have done it anyway but I was overloaded with crafts this unit as it was.

Mexico games and crafts

Here is a list of some games played in Mexico.

  • I introduced our poetry of the week this day which was the Rope Rhyme by Eloise Greenfield (jump rope games in Mexico tied it into this lesson). That site has a lot of nice poems to use for poetry studies.
  • We clapped to the rhythm of the rhyme to simulate the sound of the rope hitting the ground while one child jumped on our mini trampoline and then switched guys as jumping rope wouldn’t work well with my two.

  • We talked about crafts in Mexico (a google image search will usually bring up pictures of the ones mentioned in the curriculum) and made some pretty crafts called papel picado per the instructions in the Baltimore Core Knowledge Lesson Plans.
  • We made palm trees as well because one of my two has been wanting to make them since we started Mexico. At any rate, we have been hanging all the crafts we’ve made with this unit to the ceiling and when we added today’s crafts it looks really festive! The boys are thrilled to see “their decorations” hanging.
  • I mentioned in another post that we use the Day by Day Devotions by Karyn Henley as our bible during the week. Since the first week is available online as a sample I will mention that Thursday’s Elijah lesson with the hide and seek activity worked really well with this lesson. It also gives me a chance to say again how much I love and appreciate her materials!
Eating authentic Mexican food "out" would be such a nice way to end the unit. We have a significant Hispanic population here so that would be easy to do if it weren’t for food allergies. We had to make due with what could be made here free of my son's allergies. It was still fun.

Final note: I had to cut out so much in planning this unit to fit it into the time I felt we could spend. I understand how and why people spend an entire year studying countries!

North America Unit--General

North America
The bulk of this unit was about Mexico but we began with a short bit on North America in general.

  • We viewed a map of North America noting the countries involved and I printed a blank North America map to color as well.
  • We briefly looked a little closer at those countries that touch the US focused on Mexico in this unit (post to follow) given we’re studying Spanish and the Core Knowledge Sequence covers Mexico in first grade.

United States

  • National Anthem
  • We viewed some Norman Rockwell artwork here for prints or here for video and talked about what we would draw or paint to portray life here.
  • We looked at a couple of the US entries in a book we have Children Just Like Me and discussed how their daily life paintings might look different than ours.
  • We’ll be covering a lot of United States in history, art, and music lessons this year so this seemed more than sufficient for now.


  • We looked at the map and discussed the country information in our Around the World Coloring Book. There are plenty of maps available free online as well. I found a lot of great stuff for Inuit people but we’re exploring that culture in a later unit.
  • Video
  • Then the National Anthem and Flag.
  • Make a flag using red construction paper and a print out of a Canadian Flag Coloring Page (widely available for free) for the center portion.
  • Recipes
  • Lots of good Canada information on a variety of topics tailored to kids.
The bulk of this unit was about Mexico so I am making a blog post specifically for Mexico.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Continued Unit on Seasons and Warm/Cool Colors

Every day has reading, math, handwriting, memory work, etc. for the core areas. I gave an overview of what do daily here. In this blog I am just going to be linking things I used for the Core Knowledge Sequence and related parts of my weekly plans in case it can help someone else following those plans.

NOTE: We had started this unit previously and I linked some detail in this post. This is a continuation of that beginning to the unit.

Picture Study for this week:

Henri Matisse, Interior, Flowers, Parakeets (1924)

Mary Cassatt, Portrait of a Little Girl

These selections gave me a chance to review warm and cool colors this week. It was also easy to tie warm/cool colors into talk of the seasons so it worked out nicely. We talked about the artists and time periods but basically just discussed the use of color and what we noticed, thought, and felt.

Day 1—Fall overview and leaf collection.

We talked about deciduous vs. evergreen trees and collected a variety of leaves for identification and rubbings.

I could have made “leaf people” by gluing the leaves to paper but I didn’t want to have the leaves in my house indefinitely and artwork is “forever” here so we stuck with the rubbings.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was used for our music appreciation this week and last. Youtube has tons of videos for them. Here is an example for Autumn.

Day 2—Winter overview including wind.

We talked about wind and made an anemometer as we discussed how wind speed is measured. I used this site for my lesson planning and directions.

We read the Poem I Do Not Mind You Winter Wind by Jack Perlutsky as specified and included in the Art for December in the Baltimore Lesson Plans.

We listened to a waltz from youtube and enjoyed the music by “skating” around on wax paper. It was fun and great exercise though not particularly educational! I read up that there is some controversy about the man in the world of classical music. But what joy it was to watch them and listen. Fun!

We did listen to Vivaldi’s Winter as well via youtube but it wasn’t great to “skate” with hence the waltz!

Day 3—Spring including Rain

We talked about spring and rain particularly.

We watched a free Magic School bus video about the Water Cycle Note that there is a Bill Nye one as well on the same site but my kids are more a fan of The Fritz right now! The Magic Schoolbus books are wonderful and we are using those for the ones I own in our science units. However, the free videos are saving me money or interlibrary loan headache and the boys really love them.

We made “rain in a jar” illustrating the water cycle.

We didn’t use them due to limited time but here are some other science ideas to go with this topic!

We talked about the idiom “Raining Cats and Dogs” today.

Day 4—Rainbows

Poem— April Rain Song by Langston Hughes

We watched a Magic Schoolbus video about Rainbows.

If there was sun we were going to make a rainbow with a hose outside but, alas, it rained!

We made watercolor pictures of rain scenes or rainbows listening to Vivaldi’s Spring via youtube.

Note: Schoolastic has a color mixing/Rainbow activity that would have been nice but we didn’t need that type of activity right now.

Day 5—The House on Pooh Corner Literature Day

I found videos of extremely well done audio recordings of this book with the illustrations. I selected a few specific chapters because we focused on characters and completed a character map but I definitely included Chapter Nine—In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water! The recordings include 10 chapters and are wonderful and worth checking out even if you have the book in my opinion! I used free character map printable worksheets.

Our Curriclum For First Grade

Daily review of phonograms and daily reading to work on fluency. We'll add formal spelling when reading is solid. I wanted to share a free formal spelling program and the free phonics program I found also includes spelling for K-2.

Leftover from last year RightStart math, free MEP math, and materials I find particularly helpful for my math struggling child like this on number parts/bonds and a lot more. Actually, I need to make a post of all the neat math sites I've found soon!


I’m using Karyn Henley Bible materials with the boys. I really love her materials. This year we're doing Day by Day Hope for Kids Devotions Daily and her 1st Grade Foundations curriculum as a family on the week-end. These are one of the few things I purchased for this year and I believe they are worth every penny.

Chapter Book Read Alouds and Narrations:

We are reading and narrating one or two chapters of a read-aloud book each day except on literature day in the plans. Here are some narration ideas.

We just finished The Adventurers of Chatterer the Red Squirrel this week and began Squanto: Friend of Pilgrims in anticipation of our upcoming history units.
While we read lots of picture books as well I only enjoy reading one chapter book at a time. My boys really love audio stories and so they also listen to audio chapter book recordings we get from interlibrary loan. They are listening to The Trumpet of the Swan the last few days and we’ve already enjoyed so many wonderful books. This allows us to cover more great literature even as I find that moving more slowly through our personal read alouds lets us sink into those books in an especially meaningful way.

Memory Work, Handwriting, Poetry:
Our memory work is a weekly bible verse. Handwriting is copywork. Poetry will be weekly and I'm doing an idiom of the week too as my spectrum child especially could use a little direct instruction in that area!


We sing kid songs together most days and also do weekly classical music exposure (this week Vivaldi Seasons) or more formal music appreciation/study specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence.

Science/History/Geography/Art/Formal Music/Formal Literature:
We’re using the free for download Core Knowledge Sequence especially the Baltimore Lesson Plans as our spine outside of the above basics. I found much of what I needed for this curriculum free online. I’m doing sort of a mix of things using those materials. I organized them into science units, history units, and geography units. I planned formal literature, art, and formal music as weekly lessons. For the art I added hands on artwork to the topics the Baltimore lesson plans used for art study as needed so there is something to “do” every week. I didn’t think to save my sources for the art activities but I will try to find them again as I go.

I used the lesson plans as a foundation though I found I had to add a lot to history and art particularly to make it engaging and memorable.

We are really enjoying this curriculum. I'm pleased and amazed to find all of this is available for free.

History Specifics:
This will be early US History primarily--early exploration and settling through the Revolutionary War, Lewis and Clark and Westward Expansion. We’re doing some general things as well including symbols, significant people, etc. We already began with Native Americans, Columbus, Balboa, Ponce De Leon, Aztecs/Cortes, Incas/Pizzaro, The Lost Colony of Roanoke, and Jamestown. I didn't think about adding those plans to this blog but I do plan to try to keep up from this point forward.

Geography Specifics:
Geography units include major oceans and the continents, directions, the equator, landforms, etc. Periodically through the year we will focus a unit on a particular continent covering all of them over the course of the year. I pulled some ideas from the Core Knowledge K Sequence. I wish I had discovered this curriculum last year and decided to use certain portions of the K this year for first grade.


I’m covering the Core Knowledge Sequence for 1st grade Science also in unit form. I did pick up a bit from the Kindergarten Core Knowledge curriculum as well.

My plan is to do Salsa Spanish which we started this summer and enjoyed but so far working it in has been a struggle this academic year.

In case it’s useful to anyone I think I’m going to go ahead and post a simplified “what we did each day” from this point forward with any links I used. I hope this works and is useful to someone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Seasons and Warm/Cool Colors Resources

For the seasons introduction I found a video on teachertube showing the various seasons to start our discussion. We divided a paper into four sections and made our own pictures for what we thought of for each season. We then rolled and taped it into a cylinder to show the circular nature of the seasons.

We watched this youtube video showing the “why” of seasons. We used our globe and flashlight to mimic what the video showed.

We talked specifically about summer and the sun and made summer artwork pictures. For each season I decided to use Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and there are so many youtube videos for those I feel silly linking any of them. I do link one in this past week’s plans though.

The study of Seasons fit well with warm and cool colors. I did the art study for the works mentioned here in the Kindergarten September Art. The art study landscapes are set in spring and winter. It was easy to find these paintings full page online.

For the warm and cool colors we were also studying the bible story of Abraham and Isaac this week so I had them stamp stars—one page in cool colored stars and one in warm colors. The link above has them using paints in warm or cool to make a handprint wreath. My kids would have loved that but, well, I wasn’t up for the mess of hands in paint this week! I found this video tutorial with warm and cool colors explained that I showed. Preview first to make sure you’re ok with it though because there is one picture that might not be ok for some.

I'll try to be more detailed in future posts if I can.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lesson Plans for Art, Music, Social Studies, Literature

I've been busy planing and found a variety of other neat things. I hope I can remember all of them to post.

I found a school that has lesson plans that support the Core Knowledge Curriculum. I really liked the K plans. I wasn't as impressed with the first grade though and haven't looked beyond that. However, the K and 1st grade art and music plans both look terrific. I suspect the same person or persons worked on those areas in all the grades. I plan to use them for my art and music for our first grade curriculum.
Lesson Plans

A Few Geography and Culture Links

I've been planning units on various continents. We're doing folk tales, folk music, a craft etc. from the various continents. For the most part you can google and find things easily but I did want to post a neat site for aboriginal/Australian folk stories put to video. I plan to use the Mimi one for our unit on Australia.

Games for various areas on this link. My link is on continents but there are a variety of options.

I know it's super easy to find free maps but I really like these because of the terrific variety and the size and quality.

Adding: When we study Asia we will be doing a literature study on Momotaro peach Boy. Here is a link with a song about it in Japanese!

I've been collecting lots of resources for each continent. When I actually cover them I'll try to make a post with the resources I used for each one.

A Couple Early American History Links

Early American History. They have primary history documents, videos, audio files, etc. Neat site to explore!

This account has some cartoon type history videos for a number of areas.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Great Resources to Target Specific Phonic Concepts or Phonograms

I’m concentrating on R Controlled Vowel Resources and Oy/Oi in these links simply because that’s where one of mine needs some reinforcement. However, most of these resources are useful for various phonograms or phonics concepts that your child might need to cover.


Between the Lions Cliff Hanger Episode with R controlled vowels
You can find Cliff Hanger episodes for many select phonograms sounds. Cliff Hanger Episode
Between the Lions has a lot of nice phonics videos. For example Vowel Boot Camp was a huge hit here!

The Electric Company Bossy R—they have five different fun videos just for Bossy R! You can find Electric Company videos for many phonograms you might want to target.
Electric Company Bossy R

This is slow but correct. The slowness of it allows the child to say the sound of the phonogram prior to the video. It isn’t flashy at all but my kids like it for some reason and it is a good review. She has three videos. Phonogram Videos

Diagraphs and Dipthongs This is a song that includes diagraphs and dipthongs. For many (but not all) they have all the sounds. It’s cute. They have other videos as well.

This is the Letter People video for oi/oy. I’ve seen one of their videos that was a bit scary and I wouldn’t show but this will work for many combinations! Letter People oi/oy

Hooked on phonics for oy/oi and they have other videos too of course.

Lots of options here for particular phonics areas. Lots of Variety Phonics Videos

Don't forget about Leapfrog Letter Factory Video for learning initial (first) letter sounds. It's worth the cost if the library doesn't have it and is usually inexpensive second hand.

Starfall has r controlled vowel activities. This makes a nice starter to your own word sort or similar activity for kids. If Startfall covers the phonogram you’re covering it’s often worth doing for something fun and different.

Remember, Progressive Phonics has fun readers with R controlled vowels and most phonograms you might cover.

Games for er/ir/ur (word documents so you can adapt to cover what you want and I changed them to include wor and ear as well as or and ar). Again, he has games to cover many types of sounds and most of them are easily adaptable to anything you wish to substitute. Games for Reading

I’ve used several materials from this resource. She has worksheets, cut and paste, posters, sliders, poems, games, songs, etc. Lots of materials!
Here are her diagraph and dipthong pages.

PBS kids Bossy R Rap Lesson

This website has tons of online worksheet type activities covering a variety of language arts areas including readiness skills. It’s nice to have a free worksheet that is self checking and you don’t have to print! She also has paper and pencil activities. Worksheet Type Online and Printable

Here is one example of a game (game can be used for other phonemes too):
Game Online

More worksheets—there is so much like this out there.
More Worksheets

Spelling--How to Mark Words Riggs/Spalding Style and more

I found a school handout describing how to mark spelling words (Riggs/Spalding style), silent e rules, and same spelling lists (with markings) for a first grade year!
First Grade Spelling

Free Complete Multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham Lessons

They rearranged their site so my old links don't work! I added the new links in place of the old below.

I found these materials to do a complete multi-sensory phonogram (Orton-Gillingham) based approach to reading and spelling! The links for K through 2nd grade are at the bottom of this page. It’s absolutely fantastic and free. If something happens to the link materials you might purchase Recipe for Reading and see if it covers the same material. It’s a pretty cheap book new and even cheaper used.

Each grade (K-2) has a methods plan that tells you how to do the multi-sensory approach and complete lesson plans.
This is the first grade methods page and the first grade lesson plans.

Implementing this program cost me $1.50 to purchase the needlepoint mats to use as sensory bubble mats for writing. I used salt in a pie plate as our sand tray.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pronunciation of Phonogram Videos

If you need help pronouncing the phonograms these youtube links show you how for free!

Writing Road to Reading (all of the phonograms)

A kindergarten class doing 50 of the phonograms with their teacher. My kids like to say them with the children. The teacher does motions and key words which was nice for me to see. I believe these are Spalding based.

Even if you do know how to pronounce the above videos are worth watching if you’re not familiar with a Spalding type approach (I wasn’t) because they tell you things to note as you teach the phonograms (such as “a” that can be used at the end of the word for /ay/ and “a” that may not be used at the end of the word for /ai/, two letter “e” for /ee/, etc).

Free Phonogram Cards

Free Printable Phonogram cards (backs and fronts). The only problem is they formatted the backs incorrectly to print and have a few typos. I also wanted to add some things gleaned from the youtube links above. I think you can convert pdf to word for free and then you could edit and use them. But I just made my own using their text.

I selected the text from the pdf file and then did a right click to paste to the clipboard. I then pasted it onto my own card template in MicroSoft Word. The font looks really nice (size and type) and the wording on the back is worth the trouble to use these as a guide I thought. I printed on cardstock. You could laminate for something completely durable. They look really nice.

I did create and print smaller tile like phonograms too for my son to use for spelling. I plan to attach magnet backing and use the fridge as we don’t have a large magnetic white board.

Decodable Phonogram Reading Practice

If you want to use reading practice that covers the particular phonograms I found a couple. The order is slightly different. I tweaked the order of the lessons somewhat for that reason.

Word Mastery on Don Potter’s website would be 100% decodable and works through phonograms as well as things like blends. It is word based rather than stories but 100% decodable. This can actually be a stand alone phonics program. His entire website is full of great things—resources like this (so many), information and education on instruction, etc.

Progressive Phonics has the parent/teacher read the non-decodable words while the child reads the highlighted decodable words. It covers most but not all the phonograms in a progressive fashion. The stories are fun for kids to read.

I See Sam readers available free, for printing, online here. You would follow the instructions on the 3rsplus site for the use of the program. I found this to be a gentle, enjoyable, and effective start to reading for my kids. It is 100% decodable and explicit phonics. You can purchase thesereaders through 3rsplus linked above or I See Sam.