Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rowing Owl Moon {FIAR}

I still remember reading Owl Moon with Grace when she was little ~ we had checked it out from the library, and I was lucky enough to find a used copy at a book sale shortly afterwards.  This is one of those books I can almost recite by heart. You know, one of the good ones:). Our copy is a bit well-loved.

Here's what we did!

*Social Studies*
  • We discussed maturity. The main character in this story (we never learn her name) is a young girl who is finally old enough to "go owling" with her father. To do this, she has to be brave enough to walk in the dark woods and have enough self-control to stay quiet. 
  • We read the bit in the front of the book about where the story takes place - the farm shown in the illustrations is actually the farm of John Schoenherr, the illustrator.  We thought that was pretty neat!

*Language Arts*
  • We reviewed what a metaphor is using the line "The trees stood still as giant statues". Then, we hunted for similes throughout the book, as suggested in the  manual. Example: "quiet as a dream".
  • I defined hyperbole for her - this is an exaggerated statement ~ so when our main character says she stared at the owl for maybe a hundred minutes, she is using hyperbole. 
  • There are so many wonderful lines in this little picture book. We talked about how so many of the lines help us "see" the story ~ even without looking at the illustrations. 
  • This is an "I" story ~ so we discussed first person point of view briefly. 


  • Using the manual, we looked for little details in the illustrations. Many of the illustrations have animals hiding in them, for example. 

  • We carefully studied the aerial view of the farm ~ the manual suggested this was the owl's point of view. I love this illustration!

  • We discussed drawing trees, since there are so many throughout the illustrations. There was a nice explanation in the manual about how to teach your child to draw trees. I asked Rose if she'd like to do it with me, but she declined. She didn't feel confident in her ability to draw trees. I didn't push it, but next time she did an art lesson, I noticed that she included several trees. I love when that happens!

  • We reviewed units of time - how many minutes are in an hour, in two hours, in three hours, and so on. We also reviewed how many hours are in a day, two days, three days, and so on. 
  • The main character says that she and her father watched the owl for "one minute, two minutes, maybe even a hundred minutes". As suggested in the manual, I challenged Rose to tell me when she thought a minute had gone by (I used a timer). She actually got it almost to the second ~ I think doing timed poses at gymnastics helped with that!


  • There was a lot of information in the manual about owls, so I shared that with her. We looked in a local nature guide to see what kinds of owls live near us. We also checked out the owl calls in a bird call book we own. I am not sure if I have mentioned this book here on the blog before, but we absolutely adore it! We have had it for many, many years and it still works perfectly and still draws a crowd whenever someone gets it out. The dogs, however, are not fans;).

  • We talked about the moon and briefly reviewed the phases ~ we just did a project with this for Harold and the Purple Crayon, so we kept it short and sweet. 
  • We looked at the tiny tracks in the snow on the first page of the text. The manual pointed out that they are so small they could have been left out, but since they are included, they make the story that much more authentic. We whole-heartedly agreed. I had planned to go look for tracks with her, but we ran out of time. Instead, she noticed some tracks in the snow all by herself when she went out to collect eggs. 
  • The manual suggested reading "In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle". Luckily, we have The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, so we were able to do just that. I miss reading those stories. I told Grace she should read them now, as a teenager. They actually get better with age, I think. 
  • We talked a bit about shadows, and why the father's shadow is long and the girl's is short and round. The manual pointed out that this was covered in Three Names, and I was grateful for that reminder, as I don't know if I would have thought of it on my own. 

*More Fun*
  • We made the root beer floats from the Five in a Row cookbook to go along with this story. Not really sure root beer floats had much to do with the story ~ but it was a nice excuse to make them!


  • And she dissected a real owl pellet, along with her siblings.

A close-up of her brother's pellet...I ordered a set of five and they all had neat things in them. I think Rose preferred the virtual dissection, though. 

 And that's it for this row! My next FIAR post will be about our row of When I Was Young in the Mountains. 

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