Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rowing Mirette on the High Wire {FIAR}

Rose and I are on our third Five in a Row book of our new homeschool year, so I am playing catch-up a bit here. Our first row this year was Mirette on the High Wire, which I chose because we recently watched The Walk, a fantastic go-along to this row.

Here's what we did!

                                        *Social Studies*

  • This book is set "One hundred years ago in Paris", so I reminded her that a recent book we also rowed ~ Madeline ~ was also set in Paris. 
  • We found some of the places mentioned in the book - Paris, Barcelona, Niagara Falls, and the Alps on our globe.
  • We talked about talents and abilities - Mirette definitely has talent to walk that wire! Rose and I had a little discussion about her talents - especially gymnastics, which is taking up a lot of her time this year as she gets ready for her first competition season. 
  • Mirette boasts that she will never fall again...we talked about why people may boast and why it is not a good idea to do so!
  • We talked a bit about the duties of an innkeeper. We were inspired by the manual to make a bed properly. We do make beds in this house, but it is really just for show - definitely not up to innkeeper standards! This took only a few minutes, but Rose took great pride in her work, and for a few days after that she had a very properly made bed each morning. 

*Language Arts*

  • We went over the vocab words and learned what a protegee is, what stupendous means, and how to devour our food (among other things).
  • As mentioned in the  manual, we discussed compound words and looked for examples in the text, like boardinghouse and afternoon.


  • I shared some information from the manual about the real Bellini, Jean Francois Gravelet. I also reminded her of The Walk, which is worth watching just for the rope walking scene - it was intense!
  • We talked about the medium used in the illustrations (watercolor) and searched for the orange cat depicted throughout the book. 
  • We talked about the various viewpoints of the illustrations in the book. Sometimes we are looking down on a scene, other times we are looking up. We often spend just seconds on some of these art concepts, but they really seem to stick with her, and she uses the ideas in her own art. 
  • I reminded her of our lesson on complementary colors and pointed out some examples in the book - there are a few examples where blue and orange are used to great effect, like the contrast between Mirette's hair and her bright blue dress. 

  • She used contrast to make her own picture. 

  • We discussed action and expression, using notes from the manual, then studied the circus poster at the end of the book.  

  • Next, Rose made a poster of her own - gymnastics related, naturally! And I reminded her of another row that featured a circus poster. 


  • We discussed how the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. Then, we looked at a map to see that we can't usually travel in a straight line!

  • This book has an illustration with copper pots, so I shared a few facts from the manual about copper with her, then she tried the suggested penny experiment. She polished tarnished pennies with toothpaste, lemon juice and sugar, and a metal polish (we used Bar Keeper's Friend) to see which would work best. She decided that the lemon juice and sugar produced the shiniest pennies. 

To wrap up this row, I set up a tightrope for her along the floor.  She had a lot of fun with this, and I left it up for her most of the week.

I had planned to do a dinner with circus foods, but we never got to that. Better luck next time!

Next up I will have our row of Ferdinand. Thanks for visiting!

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