Week In Review: Mrs. Katz and Tush

This was our first week back with Five in a Row, and we had a great week!  This week's book was "Mrs. Katz and Tush" by Patricia Polacco.  It is a great book about a young boy who befriends an elderly widowed neighbor, learning lessons that change his life.

Social Studies:
We talked about the importance of loving our neighbors, and since Mrs. Katz is Jewish, I decided our scripture for memorization should come from the Old Testament, so we worked on memorizing Leviticus 19:18.  "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD."

Mrs. Katz immigrated from Poland, so we found it on the map, but we also found New York since she talks about vacationing in the Catskills.  We also through Egypt in for good measure, since Mrs. Katz teaches Larnel about Passover, and the exodus.  For our evening scripture study we've been reading through Exodus 5-12.

Bitsy and Manly worked together on a state fact book for New York, saw the state flag, and learned that the state bird is a bluebird, and the state flower is a rose.  She cut the symbols, and he glued them.  It was good teamwork.  :)

Language Arts:
This weeks lesson was light on language arts, and since we're still recovering from our monster illness, we needed light.  We mostly practiced the Yiddish words included in the manual.  Bitsy's favorite was by far "tush", as every time we read it she said, "They named that kitty, bottom" with a big grin on her face!
Bitsy also did a page of copywork.

We studied the illustrations in the book and talked about the expression an illustrator can show, and then went page by page to identify the feelings Mrs. Katz and Larnel were feeling, based solely on the illustrations.
I also pulled out some of our "Childsize Masterpieces" cards that had particularly bright patterns, like those seen in Mrs. Katz, and we discussed the colors and patterns in each one.  We also talked about the different techniques different artists use, and how they can make similar subjects look so different.  While I fixed lunch the little ones looked through all of the pictures I had pulled out, and picked out their favorite ones for us to talk about while we ate.
Since Chopin was from Poland, we also got out a CD we had of his work, and took some time to dance.  Larnel and Mrs. Katz dance with scarves, but Bitsy and Manly decided to dance with some yarn instead.

We did some kitten math, and calculated the number of grand kittens, great grand kittens, and great great grand kittens Mrs. Katz would have if everyone kept multiplying at a rate of four.
That's a lot of great-great grand kittens!  I thought about it to late, but it would have been fun to do this with kitten stickers, oh well, maybe next time... 

Who doesn't enjoy science they can eat?
Larnel notices that the Passover bread is flat, and Mrs. Katz tells him it is because it doesn't have yeast, so we decided to see what yeast can do to dough as we made pizza crust.  We took a one inch ball of dough out before we mixed in the yeast, and then another ball after we added yeast, and put them on a plate while we finished making our pizza.  (I added the toothpick to remind me which one had yeast, because it's been that kind of week, and I wasn't really sure how much bigger it would actually get.)  It's pretty amazing how those little yeast granules can make such a difference!

Just for Fun:
One of the issues discussed in the book and the manual is immigration, and while the last several generations of our family have been born here in the U.S. I thought it would be fun for the children to learn a little more about their heritage, so I emailed the grandparents, and asked for pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures, and then we made our own (little) life sized family tree.  After I took the pictures I added in all of the names, but the entire time we were adding it to the wall Bitsy kept saying, "Mommy, this is so great.  I love this project!"  There has been lots of discussion about our relatives since then, and lots of exploration of our family tree.
I used some brown crumpled packing paper to make the trunk, and just taped together six 12x12 sheets of green card stock to make the tree top.  After they were taped together I cut around the edges to make it more tree like.
I was going to make matzah as well, but we opted for the store bought kind instead.  :)No one seemed to mind. 

While I was able to do most of what I had planned this week, we did scrap our field trip to the local Jewish deli, and our celebration of Purim was limited to watching the video of Queen Esther from the Old Testament Resources Video.  We needed a light but memorable week, and that's just what we had.

Kitten Math and New York Fact book from Homeschool Share

JDaniel4's Mom  – (March 18, 2012 at 3:06 PM)  

Wow! I love all the learning you tied in! The yeast project looks like fun!

Mary Prather  – (December 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM)  

I appreciate your resources! We're going to row this book very soon, so I appreciate your thoughts -- thank you!

Anonymous –   – (April 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM)  

We just rowed this and had so much fun! I tried to use your advice and find some small kitten stickers. I couldn't in the short time I had, but I loved your idea. Thanks for sharing!

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