Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne are a remarkable team. Mike is so faithful to his steam shovel that even the new and improved gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels do not interest him. Soon, Mike and Mary Anne find themselves without work. In an attempt to prove that Mary Anne is still able to work with the best of them, Mike makes a proposal to the town of Popperville. He and Mary Anne will dig the cellar for the new town hall in one day or it's free of charge. When a glitch prevents the task from being accomplished, it looks as though Mike and Mary Anne will not get paid. Then, a clever suggestion by a little boy creates a home for Mike and Mary Anne in Popperville forever. ~ Enh
A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.
Language arts programs listed in this section cover most areas of language arts (reading/literature, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting) in one curriculum, although some skill areas may be covered with less intensity than a focused, stand-alone course.
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.
These literature-based unit study curriculum guides cover social studies and character, language arts, math, science, and art. Literature selections contain positive moral values reflecting Biblical values. Use as a stand-alone curriculum for preschool or supplement with phonics and math for older children. Curriculum is 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. There's plenty of text here as the author provides all the reference material you'll need right in the volumes as background for your studies. Hands-on activities and projects abound and there are plenty to choose from each day, using the literature selections as a springboard. The varying difficulty of the activities makes it easy to use with a range of ages. Very little teacher preparation is required. Once you have the needed literature selection, you can open the book and begin! Each book also includes tips for teaching the curriculum, instructions for creating manipulatives, a topical index, a sample planning sheet with a blank, reproducible lesson plan sheet, literary glossary, story disks, and suggestions for finding the reading books. Volumes 1-3 do not incorporate Biblical content, as this is found in the optional Christian Character & Bible Study Supplement, 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.
"Its just common sense!" Yes, everything about this program is common sense. A very complete program organized around quality children's literature and covering phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and higher-order reasoning. Phonics instruction is systematic, introducing a few sounds at a time and providing opportunities to read a "real" (small story book) book which uses those sounds. The literature component (carefully selected children's favorites) reminds students that the reason for all the hard work in phonics is the joy of reading wonderful books. And woven through both of these elements is comprehensive instruction in all aspects of language arts. Relying heavily on Ruth Beechick's principles for teaching reading (including her letter dice activities), the program includes a wide variety of activities appealing to all learning styles.
The current 3rd edition features updated covers and clearer day-by-day instruction; there are also updates throughout the series to reflect changes in how research is conducted. Also, there is clearer direction for making personalized spelling lists. Some lessons have been "switched-out" to give students exposure to more classic literature. Since the original series was written over several years by two different authors, this 3rd edition has been tweaked to make it more consistent. A few out-of-print books have been replaced as well.
The Teacher Book is a homeschooler's dream; all the work has been done for you, taking you step-by-step through the 36-week/36 Lesson program. The Lessons are grouped into "Parts" and each is divided into five days of detailed instructions. New skills are listed for each lesson and necessary supplies are included at the beginning. There is virtually no teacher preparation needed; you teach as you read. All answers are provided within the lesson. Examples and diagrams are user-friendly including the easy-to-follow references to the Student Book. Periodic assessments are provided to help you determine your childs readiness for the next "Part." The Student Book contains the materials (except for household and school supplies) needed for cut-and-paste, word wheels, flip books, picture sequencing, story-telling puppets, and handwriting pages. The comfortable, natural handwriting method that isnt exactly traditional, modern, or italic was developed by the authors. This handwriting instruction is coordinated with the phonics and includes pages for children to carefully complete and display or give as gifts. The Student Book is consumable with perforated pages. Even the back cover is put to good use providing the miniature book covers to be added to the personal reading chart that marks the childs progress. Phonics concepts are reinforced in separate beginning Readers. They are small-sized for little hands and include black-and-white illustrations. Stories are engaging which is a good thing since the weeks learning activities are built around them. The student uses puppets to retell the stories, completes sequencing activities with a series of reader-related events, and answers comprehension questions. One interesting aspect of the teacher-student interaction concerning these readers is that the weeks lesson starts off with the teacher reading either the small book (Blue) or a part of a reader (Red) to the child. After several lessons thoroughly covering the new phonics concepts and practice reading parts of the story, the student concludes the week with the successful reading of the same reading selection. This is an effective variation of the typical approach because the goal of reading the book is always before the student. The Materials Packet (Blue Program only) is a useful collection of color-coded letter and word cards for learning and review along with cards used for reinforcement games and, of course, the letter dice (to be assembled from cardstock patterns). While this part of the program is not exactly consumable - you could use the various components again - the components do get a workout. If you are expecting to use the program with another child, you'll want to save these items, possibly laminating them. However, we sell additional Material Packets as well as Student Books and Reader Sets so you can easily use the program with a second student. Well-known children's literature (Read-Aloud Library) is suggested each week, so at the same time your child is learning phonics, he is also learning other important reading skills such as literal recall, comprehension, predicting outcome, and drawing conclusions. These books are an integral part of the program and the Student Activity Book relies on them. Although usually available at the local library, for your convenience we also sell them. ~ Janice
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne are a remarkable team. Mike is so faithful to his steam shovel that even the new and improved gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels do not interest him. Soon, Mike and Mary Anne find themselves without work. To prove that Mary Anne is still able to work with the best of them, Mike makes a proposal to the town of Popperville. He and Mary Anne will dig the cellar for the new town hall in one day or it's free of charge. When a glitch prevents the task from being completed, it looks like Mike and Mary Anne will not get paid. Then, a clever suggestion by a little boy creates a home for Mike and Mary Anne in Popperville forever. ~ Enh
Organized around quality childrens literature, this program covers phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and higher-order reasoning. Phonics instruction is systematic, introducing a few sounds at a time and providing opportunities to read a "real" book. The literature component emphasizes the joy of reading wonderful books. The wide variety of activities appeals to all learning styles. Handwriting method is unique to the program. The Teacher Book provides 36 step-by-step lessons, answers, and periodic assessments; no teacher prep needed. The Student Book is consumable. Well-known childrens literature from the Read-Aloud Library (an integral part of the program) is suggested with each weekly lesson.
The Blue Program (K-1) covers beginning and intermediate phonics. Blue Program Set includes Teacher Book, Student Book, three sets of Readers, and Materials Packet. Materials Packet is non-consumable and contains letter/word cards and cardstock letter dice.
Listed below are the suggested books for use with the Blue LLATL program.