Thursday, March 2, 2017

Rowing The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge {FIAR}

I have two Five in a Row adventures to catch you up on (our current "row" is Owl Moon). First up is our row of The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. This is one of those picture books that just about screams "classic" to me. It's a story about a little red lighthouse that is proud of the important role it plays, until the Great Gray Bridge takes over its job...or does it?

Here's what we did!

*Social Studies*

  • This book takes place in New York City, so we found NYC on our map. Rose has been to New York City, but she was just a toddler, so she doesn't remember! But I told her about some of my favorite sights. As a side-note, we were also reading The Cricket in Times Square around this time ~ a completely unplanned, but wonderful coincidence!
  • The FIAR manual recommended the book My New York as a go-along book, so I decided to splurge and purchase a copy. I am so glad I did. This book is lavishly illustrated, with so many little's the kind of book you can pore over and find something different each time. I read through it with Rose, and then she had fun finding the little orange cat in each illustration. I LOVE this book!

  • The back cover flap of the Little Red Lighthouse tells a bit about the true Little Red Lighthouse and how it was saved. I read the information with Rose, and I am actually hoping to plan a trip to see the real Little Red Lighthouse this spring, since it's only a few hours from us!
  • We discussed pride, using the notes in the  manual. The Little Red Lighthouse is described as being VERY VERY PROUD (yes, in all caps). We talked about what made him proud and at what point he goes a bit far in his pride (good lessons here!). 
  • As suggested in the manual, we discussed why it is wrong to jump to conclusions. The lighthouse reached the unfortunate conclusion that he wasn't wanted anymore, when in reality, a logical explanation exists. 

*Language Arts*

  • This book, like our previous row of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, provided a good opportunity to review personification, both in the text of the story and in the illustrations....
  • We discussed how balanced the title is ~ two phrases balanced with "and". Something I would not have thought to point out!
  • We looked for and found several compound words in the story.


  • As suggested in the manual, I had Rose search the illustrations for the one that showed the most contrast in size between the little lighthouse and the great bridge...we agreed that the last illustration was best...
  • I pointed out the repeating lines used in many of the illustrations ~ in the bridge cables, fences, and more. 
  • We discussed how the artist indicated that it was night - just a bit of blue shading and a couple of stars can do the trick! Then, she made her own nighttime picture. 

  • We noticed how there are really only three colors used throughout the illustrations, but how they are enough to make the story come alive. 

  • There was a long and interesting section on rivers in the manual, so I shared a few facts with her. I thought about doing a proper river study, but decided to keep things simple. 
  • We talked about the job of lighthouses ~ we live in New England so we have seen many lighthouses ~ in fact, during this row we took a daytrip to Nubble Light, one of our favorites. It was an absolutely beautiful day!
  • Then, for fun, we made our own Little Red Lighthouse, following these directions.

So cute!
*More Fun*

  • We made one of the recipes from the Five in a Row cookbook for this story ~ the foccacia bread. We had it with lasagna, baked from our favorite recipe, rather than the one in the cookbook. 

The bread was a bit hit! My next FIAR post will be all about our recent row of Harold and the Purple Crayon. And just as a reminder, you can click on the tab at the top of this blog to see all of our FIAR adventures to date. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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