Week In Review: The Duchess Bakes a Cake

About two weeks ago we had lots of fun "rowing" The Duchess Bakes A Cake by Virginia Kahl.  This is a cute book about a Duchess who decides to make a "lovely, light, luscious delectable cake", without a recipe or help from the cook...  Let's just say, her independence leads to some steep consequences! 

Social Studies
We talked about the feudal system, and used the manual lessons to discuss consequences and problem solving.  Throughout the week we read Castle by David Macaulay.  I was a little worried that this would be over their heads, but Bitsy begged to read it every day, and Manly was fascinated by the pictures. 

After reading A Medieval Feast by Aliki we had our own little feast for dinner with beef wellington, mashed potatoes, and peas.

Language Arts
We learned about alliteration and rhyme, which led to lots of tongue twisters, such as "She sells seashells by the seashore" and the children's favorite, "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood..."  These little alliterative rhymes were great time consumers in the car!  There were several new vocabulary words in the manual, and we practice list making by trying to recall all of the characters from the story.

We also worked on filling out our story map to help reinforce the elements of a story.  (To make a poster sized story map, you'll want to go here.  Thanks to Our Homeschool Fun for the fabulous idea and the link!)

The manual had great stick drawings that we could place over the illustrations in the book to learn about movement in illustrating.  I traced the figures from the manual onto parchment paper, and then gave the whole stack to the little ones so they could match them up.  Bitsy loves puzzles, so she thought it was great, and she was actually a lot better at it than I was!   

When daddy got home he helped with us build our other art project...  a popsicle stick catapult
Should you decide to make your own, be forewarned, that it has a pretty good range.
 Needless to say there were lots of pompoms flung all around the house!

This was one of my favorite days this week.  We started off using this great list to make our own cake.  The children choose the ingredients, mommy choose the amount of the ingredients, and together we baked their cake.
When it was all said and done we had a fairly good chocolate chip spice cake.  We talked a little  about how much nicer it might have tasted if we had followed a recipe.  :)
Daddy helped us again when he got home by playing "Storm the Castle" with Bitsy. 

We finished up our week by using natural dyes to make a "lovely, light, luscious, delectable" rainbow cake.  The little ones loved mixing the dyes into the cake batter. 
 I saw the recipe for this a few weeks ago, and had been looking for a time and reason to try it, and this row seemed perfect.  The colors weren't as bright as if we had used food coloring, but I think it was beautiful, and it was a lot of fun to see how people dyed things before running out to pick up a box of food coloring.  (The recipe calls for 5 1/2" inch pans, but since I didn't have any, we just stacked cupcakes on top of one another and secured them with bamboo skewers.  We also varied our natural dyes a little which is why it's not as bright, and only added the buttercream frosting.) 

Just For Fun
We ended our week with a wonderful trip to Medieval Times.  This was such a fun experience for all of us!!  
Bitsy loved watching the beautiful horses perform, and Manly was thrilled with the jousting and fighting.  Manly loved the whole thing, and looked like this pretty much the whole time. 
At one point as one knight knocked the other knight down I heard him shout, "Oh yeah!", and every time our knight would compete he would wave his banner as hard as he could... And momma would protect little Lettie's eyes!  :)

Eddie  – (May 24, 2012 at 6:36 AM)  

What a great row! I loved that book as a kid and have rowed it with one child so far - can't wait to row it again this year!

Abby  – (May 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM)  

Thanks Eddie, I hope you have a lot of fun!

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