I’ve finally started reading chapter books with Monkey and Owlet. At six and almost five, they’re able to concentrate much longer periods of time, and I’ve been taking advantage of that to begin to have a read-aloud time with them. It doesn’t always happen daily, but several times a week, I’m sitting down with them (and the older ones crowded over us as well) to read from a chapter book.
Our first chapter book that we’ve read through has been My Father’s Dragon. I read it three years ago to the older children, and I remembered it as being the first chapter book that Firecracker really liked, so of course, it was the first book I wanted to share with Monkey and Owlet.
If you’ve never read My Father’s Dragon, it’s a delightful story of a young boy who can talk to animals and ran away from home to rescue a dragon from some awful wild animals who were holding it captive. If you’re looking for a great unit study to incorporate with the book, Homeschool Share has a lapbook that expands the book wonderfully. I used the lapbook with my older two, but my younger two aren’t ready to do that kind of cutting and gluing, so I skipped it this time around.
Instead, we’ve done a few hands-on crafts and projects that have really appealed to the younger two, including the paper plate lions that I’m sharing today.
In the book, Elmer finds a lion who is crying and upset because his hair is all snarly, and even though he wants to eat Elmer, he needs to fix his hair even more urgently. When Elmer gives him hair ribbons, he starts to fix his hair so intently that he forgets that Elmer is even there. The children were very happy to make these snarly haired lions 🙂
We started with paper plates and orange and yellow paint. We painted the inside of the paper plate yellow and the outer circle a darker orange to be the mane.
After that was finished, we came back with bottles of glue and lengths of yarn and glued on hair. Each child took a different approach to this part of the project.
We also drew on our own faces with pencils, sharpies, etc. This one is Firecracker’s lion. (The older kids knew this sounded like fun and decided to participate.) He left his hair long and scraggly because he thought the whole idea of hair ribbons was girly.
The other kids tied little bows (or had me help them tie them). Then, we took the hot glue gun and glued the hair ribbons on. This one is Owlet’s lion. She wanted lots of beautiful hair ribbons.
Monkey was very particular about his project, and he carefully put five hair ribbons in his lion’s hair. He put them exactly where the clumps of hair on his lion were. It’s very darling and sweet 😀 (I wanted to share pictures of both him and Owlet, but he kept stripping down to just his underwear for painting!)
Rose was the most “artistic” of all the children, carefully placing two bows, and bangs and allowing the orange mane to stand in for most of the hair. The yarn she put on was evenly spaced and cut as well.
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