Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rowing Harold and the Purple Crayon {FIAR}

One more Five in a Row post, and then I think I'll be caught up! We are currently rowing Owl Moon, at a very slow pace. But this post is all about our recent row of Harold and the Purple Crayon. This is such a unique story ~ but at first I considered skipping it. I thought it might be too "young" for Rose due to the limited text and sparse illustrations, but I am so glad I didn't! Turns out, there is a lot to get out of this little picture book, at any age.

Here's what we did!

*Language Arts*

  • We discussed the progressive setting of this book ~ which is what makes the story so fun, because Harold actually creates his settings as he goes...with his trusty purple crayon. Rose began making her own purple crayon story, which I thought was a really neat idea, but she lost interest partway through. I stored it on her school shelf just in case she ever feels like going back to it. 
  • We spent a few minutes chuckling over the humorous aspects of this story ~ puns, and things like that. For example, when Harold gets in bed at the end of the story, he draws up the covers...with his crayon! When he is done sailing, he literally "makes land".

  • One of the illustrations in the book gave us a reason to discuss vanishing point ~ the technique of making a road or path look like it disappears into the distance. We tried the technique out on a piece of scrap paper (not shown here!).

  • We also discussed the technique of foreshortening ~ making something look closer in an illustration, This was used in the illustration of the pies Harold set out for his picnic. 

  • As suggested in the manual, we tried this technique out with a piece of string to make a foreshortened circle....

  • Rose has been working on her multiplication tables this year, so I was pleased to see the idea in the FIAR manual to practice multiplying with pieces of pie. We looked at the picture where Harold has five pies set out, and I asked her how many pieces there would be in total if each pie was divided into 2 pieces, 3  pieces, 4 pieces, etc. In this way, we reviewed the entire fives table. Then, we did the same for the illustration of nine pies and the nines table. 
  • We also got in a fractions lesson with this fun, printable pizza pie game. She played this several times - with me, then with her brothers and her dad. 


  • I had her list all the ways she could remember that Harold traveled in the story, then we brainstormed other ways he could have traveled. This was an idea from the FIAR manual. For the record, Rose's favorite way to travel is by horse;). 
  • Harold climbs a hill at one point to figure out where he is, and we discussed how this is something you can do if you are lost...but I stressed that staying put if you are lost may make better sense, depending on the circumstances. 
  • The manual suggested doing a review of the phases of the moon. We decided to do this with cookies! The printable is here. This girl loves Oreos, so naturally, this was right up her alley!

*More Fun*

  • We decided to have a pie-themed dinner to wrap up this row. Rose helped her Dad make two chicken pot-pies and a blueberry pie ~ with a lattice crust ~ for dessert. 

And that wraps up our row of Harold and the Purple Crayon! I believe we will be finishing up Owl Moon tomorrow; I have just a couple little activities I want to get in, like dissecting some owl pellets! And then we'll be moving on to When I Was Young in the Mountains

Till next time!

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