Big Green Pocketbook
A little girl and her mom, pocketbooks in hand, take the bus into town to run some errands. At each place they visit, she receives something to put into her big green pocketbook. At night, when she is looking for her new crayons, she realizes her bag is gone and she must have left it on the bus. Hopefully the pocketbook is not gone for good!
On her day in town with her mother, a little girl starts off with an empty big green pocketbookjust like her mother'sand along the way collects pieces of her day to put inside, inventing stories for each treasure.
These literature-based unit study curriculum guides are so named because you spend five days in a row (a full week; one day for each subject area) using a particular children's book as the theme for multiple academic subject areas. Five in a Row (FIAR) Volumes 1-3 cover social studies and character, language arts, math, science, and art through 15-21 children's books. The literature selections, primarily picture books, contain positive moral values reflecting Biblical values. Christian content is not incorporated in Volumes 1-3, but is available separately in a Christian Character & Bible Study Supplement. Five in a Row Vol. 4 is for slightly older students (Grades 2-4) and features fewer books, some of which are stretched to two weeks of lessons. Christian content is included in the Volume 4 guide.
Before Five in a Row takes the same concept, but simplifies it for ages 2-4, with multiple activities provided for each book, but not as structured between days of the week.
Beyond Five in a Row is the next step up (for Grades 3+), and these guides are structured around chapter books. Activities at this level incorporate history, geography, science, language arts and fine arts with Christian Character and Bible content available separately.
What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.
Not to leave out the eager younger children, this volume provides mini Five in a Row- style lessons for youngsters. This book; however, is divided into two parts, the first being similar to the other curriculum guides. Just as in the original series, each unit is built around a simple, classic children's storybook. This book differs from the older volumes in that it is not structured around a week. The purpose is simply to provide an array of activities for each book that engage children and lay the foundation for further learning. Some of the activities are subject related, such as Bible, science, math, language arts, and art; others are various skills such as learning shapes, sequencing, colors or problem solving, and the rest are centered on specific topics, like relationships, contentment, birthdays or another book-related idea. The second part of this book focuses on arming parents with creative ideas to build learning readiness. This section is a treasure trove of activities that help develop reading readiness and motor skills or focus on the arts. Additional activities also capitalize on teachable moments that arise during bath time, in the kitchen, or during a trip to the store. 149 pgs. ~ Steph
It is no secret that reading engaging stories aloud fosters intimacy between parents and their little ones. And children love to have someone read to them! There are a plethora of children’s books to choose from these days. But have you ever just wanted a list of great classic literature to read to your young ones? In the Before Five in a Row series, the authors have carefully selected classic stories that are rich in content and illustration. Not only is there a list of wonderful stories, but also a range of interesting and simple activities to select from that correlate with the reading book. This series has been available for many years, but has recently been revised to include two books for this age group: Before Five in a Row and More Before Five in a Row. The goal of the first book is to provide children with an introduction to quality books in order to stimulate their natural curiosity to learn. The second book has a new list of books with more connection-building lessons focused on six early literacy skills: vocabulary, narrative, print awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and print motivation. Unlike the original Five in a Row, this series is not structured around a week, but rather follows a more leisurely pace with what works best for you and your child.
Before Five in a Row has much the same content as the original book. In fact, the stories remain the same; however, there are three additional stories included. There are also updated illustrations, Animal Classification Cards that help young minds develop simple classification skills, and StoryDisks and a Storybook Map providing hands-on fun. All of these activities are designed to prepare children for later studies with More Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row. The book is divided into two parts. The first part lists the 24 stories along with the simple and creative activity suggestions such as examining the stars or using colored tissue paper to make a simple collage. The second part is filled with many ideas to help build a foundation of readiness in some area of your child’s life (talking and listening skills, coordination skills, activities in the kitchen and many others). This is such a helpful resource for young parents!
More Before Five in a Row is the new addition to the series and includes 14 new books. It has been specifically written as a preschool curriculum (3-5 year olds) but also serves as an encouragement to parents of young children by providing a simple Bible lesson at the beginning of each lesson. The gentle activities focused on early literacy skills are not meant to teach in depth concepts, but to enhance your child’s awareness of the world around them and create special bonding time between you and your child. Focusing on play and discussion, one of the activities might include a rhyming exercise or an activity talking about one of the five senses. The activities are a bit more detailed than the Before Five in a Row book. StoryDisks, a Storybook Map, and the Animal Classification Game are also included.
With so many distractions in our world today, it is important to be intentional in teaching children to love reading. Not just passive reading, but also interactive reading (asking your child questions as your read) to help your children understand a greater depth of what they are reading in order to enhance their comprehension skills. This series provides a wonderful way for parents or grandparents to nurture their relationship with the little ones that are under their charge and foster a lifelong adventure of learning.
*Note: Jenny’s Surprise Summer in Before Five in a Row is currently out-of-print. It was included as an extra title because it provides an excellent opportunity to introduce decision making skills at a very young level.