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Cranberry Thanksgiving {FI♥AR}

November 14th - 15th & 21st - 25th

Social Studies: Family Traditions; Geography ~ New England; History ~ Thanksgiving

In Cranberry Thanksgiving, Grandmother's cranberry bread is known for miles around. She keeps her secret recipe "carefully hid" behind a brick in the fire place. "It was so famous that bakers all over the countryside had offered great sums of money for the recipe." Grandmother "scoffed at the idea, but she still thought it was something special to leave Maggie."

I've been thinking about this a lot, and hope to have some special recipes to leave my daughter (or granddaughter) someday.  So I opened this Recipe Traditions binder with the hopes of creating some special recipes of our own as a keepsake to pass on to Eliana.

Grandmother and Maggie lived "at the edge of a cranberry bog in New England" so we found the New England states on a map. 

For history, we read about the history of the first American thanksgiving and watched America: The Story of US ~ Episode 1: Rebels (from Jamestown to Plymouth) on Netflix  (Malachi watched all the way to Episode 5: The Civil War, on his own).

My favorite go-along book for Cranberry Thanksgiving is A Pioneer Thanksgiving.   It is a dramatic story that follows the Robertson family as they prepare for Thanksgiving in the year 1841. It includes information about the pioneer period and how Thanksgiving was celebrated in the past.  It also has hands on activities such as making a corn dolly or learning to play conkers. 

We played a "Sail on the Mayflower" game. 

Eliana pasted together a Mayflower ship.

And we completed a history theme pocket from Evan Moor on The First Thanksgiving.

Pocket #1

We used the 3 Rules poster from We Choose Virtues for our Class Compact:

I love the idea of this poster.
"Every classroom or home instruction you already use can find its place under one of these three rules. They are based on the three most important Virtues that a young student needs to know. All 12 Virtues fall under these categories as well!"
My boys are always asking me what they can do to turn their negative behavior around and I respond with these three rules. =) 

What Will You Take?

Eliana's list: "food, dolly, wool to make a coat, books to read, and a flashlight." =) 

Pocket #2

The front side of each page includes information about the pilgrims during their first year in America, including housing, clothing, jobs and chores, and transportation. . .and the back of each page is a drawing of all these things in Malachi's life. If anything in our life resembled the pilgrims, he drew that. For example, pilgrims had to mend their clothes instead of making more right away, so Malachi drew me sewing clothes (although I buy most of his clothes). He wouldn't budge and draw us shopping for clothes. =)

Pocket #3

I used this spot to have Malachi narrate what he had learned and then he drew an illustration (instead of writing facts on turkey feathers). 

And we made a Thanksgiving placemat that compared the first Thanksgiving feast in America to our Thanksgiving dinner today. 

We also discussed the moral theme of the story  ~ not judging someone by their appearance (or smell).

Language Arts: Aliteration, Consonance, Onomatopoeia

While we were cooking our cranberry sauce, I reviewed onomatopoeia with Malachi. We tried to think of some Thanksgiving onomatopoeia and we came up with gobble, gobble and a few others. Well, the cranberry recipe said to cook the cranberries until they "pop" so that tied in nicely with our lesson. The sauce had to be stirred for 10 minutes, so I covered alliteration and consonance with him while waiting, as well. We tried to do a cranberry alliteration and came up with something silly like "cranberries crying in the crock, cooking in the kitchen. . ." (something like that). This is how I imagine Five in a Row was meant to be taught and . . . I enjoyed it very much. We do this often, but I fight the temptation to pull out a lapbook piece (I had them printed, cut and ready to go!) because I love having our lap journals to look back on. But, really Five in a Row is very easy to implement if you do it this way!

Science: Leavening/Chemical Reactions - Baking Soda Bombs, Cranberry Science

Vinegar and baking soda reaction to blow up and "pop" the bag. 

We watched How It's Made ~ Cranberries (Season 2, Episode 1 on Netflix). (I've seen the same video on YouTube.)

Math: Measuring Skills, Popcorn Estimation and Counting

We reviewed measuring dry weights using cranberries and liquid measuring using the orange juice in the cranberry bread (below).

The Pilgrims learned how to make popcorn from the first native Americans, so we did a Popcorn Estimation activity.

Popcorn Estimation

Malachi did not want to count all the popcorn kernels. So, I divided them in half and then helped him by making piles of five (hoping he would count by 5's). Well, he put two piles together and counted by 10. He was only 3 off! (His 9's are backwards).

I made a special "corn" treat, since the pilgrims grew corn.

FIAR Recipe: Cranberry Potpourri, "Cranberry Bog" Bread

The potpourri made the house smell so good. I only used a half an orange (ate the other half), but it still smelled wonderful! I stuck in the fridge and used it again the next day.

Cranberries, whole orange, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and nutmeg.
Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread is in the back of the book, but would you believe I couldn't find the book when we went to make the cranberry bread?! I used Pamela's recipe, but instead of using golden raisins, I added milk chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Hence, we named it "Cranberry Bog" bread. The Five in a Row Cookbook suggests you give a special name to the recipes you make, so since Grandmother and Maggie live on the edge of a cranberry bog, we thought that would be a good name. 

We made bread and muffins. I took Pamela's advice to put the cranberries at the bottom of the mix (instead of stirring them in) - so glad I did. This keeps all the cranberries from floating to the top. For the bread, we put some on the bottom on and folded some in. 

I had Eliana use Easy Grip Tweezers to transfer the cranberries to each muffin cup for a practical life skill (they are kind of hard to squeeze). 

She also wanted to add the batter to each cup. I gave her a second spoon to push the batter off the first spoon (she didn't want to use her finger like I do, lol). I was so proud of her for being diligent to fill all of the muffin cups by herself.  Malachi wanted to help too, so I had him put the cranberries in the bread pans and help me scoop the batter in. 

Cranberry Bread ~ with cranberries, milk chocolate chips and pecans

The bread was so good! I love how the tart of the cranberry meets the sweet milk chocolate, the undertone of orange was perfect and the pecans give it a nutty flavor and texture. 

We also made two types of cranberry sauce - a fresh relish and a cooked sauce. 

Fresh Cranberry Relish:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 whole orange, the ends cut off
1 cup sugar
Elli made the fresh cranberry relish (I remember first making this in the 4th grade during a Brownie meeting) and Mali made the cooked cranberry sauce. We served them both with our dinner. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner! I made an herb and citrus turkey that was the best turkey I've ever made.  You can see a peak into our home during our first week of this row here (including a road trip to Montana and a shopping trip to Costco), and our Thanksgiving week here (including a link to the Herb and Citrus Turkey recipe that I used!). 

"Thanksgiving" Memory Making

We have our Thanksgiving dinner for our Erev Shabbat meal (on Friday evening), so on Thanksgiving day I made a special "turkey dinner." 

Cranberry Popcorn Trail Mix

Popcorn Turkey!

Apple Turkey Sandwich

Art: Silhouettes

I was determined to find an easy way to do this, and I love how it came out . . .

To make the silhouette, I first took a portrait photo of Eliana from the side. Then, I made it black and white (to save on ink) then printed it onto printer paper.  I used a little rubber cement (because it peels off easily) and glued it to a piece of black card-stock. Then, I cut it out and then peeled off the photo and mounted it on white card-stock. (The hardest part was trying to decide which photo to use!)

Cranberry Thanksgiving is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 1.

Delightful Links:

CT Resources @ HSS

Blast Off to Reading!

All About Reading Level 1 is here! 

From Tuesday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 6, All About Learning Press will have their official launch of All About Reading Level 1 with 10% off plus a bonus gift for all orders placed that week! The bonus gift is so fun and will help you and your little one "blast off to reading!"

A Taste of Outer Space

If you have thought about ordering, now is the time to do it! 

Sitting on my desk is the All About Reading Level 1 Kit . . .

and the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit . . .

and I what I ♥ what I see!

I am so pleased that I will be reviewing this for All About Learning Press and for you! {I will also be hosting a giveaway for All About Reading Level 1 when I do!}  We will be using AAR Level 1 along with All About Spelling Level 1. Can I say I am SO excited?!

And, Eliana and I are plugging along nicely with Level Pre-1 and still loving it. ♥

P.S. Did you know that all of All About Learning Press' products come with a Go Ahead and Use it One-Year Guarantee?

Grapevine Studies ~ The Birth of Jesus {Review}

I have a new Grapevine Study to share with you today! Then I will give you a chance to win it!

Birth of Jesus Beginner Study
"Preschool and kindergarten Bible students will saddle up their donkeys and take an unforgettable journey back in time to discover the amazing events that surrounded the Nativity." 
Birth of Jesus Multi-level Study
"Children and teens will travel back to the first century for a fresh look at the events surrounding the birth of Jesus! The timeline of the Nativity will come alive through the Bible study of the characters and events surrounding the birth of Jesus. On this journey students will map the travels of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus."

Birth of Jesus studies teach:
  • The chronology of the Nativity 
  • The people involved 
  • Where Jesus traveled 
  • Scriptures related to the Birth of Jesus 
I chose to use the Birth of Jesus Beginner Study. It has 7 lessons that include:
  1. Mary
  2. Joseph 
  3. Birth of Jesus
  4. The Shepherds
  5. The Temple
  6. The Wise Men
  7. Herod

Mary's Song from Lesson 1
There is also a final review. The beginner lessons do not contain the time line, but the multi-level study does.  I've read through both studies and think they are a great study on the birth of Jesus. 

The beginner study will be perfect for Malachi and Eliana, who will soon be 5 and 7 ~ the target age for the study! And while we do not believe that Jesus (whom we call by His Hebrew name, Yeshua) was born during this time of year, we do believe that he may have been conceived this time of year! So, this really is a study that you can do any time of the year! 

Grapevine is multi-sensorial, colorful, engaging, incorporates note-booking with Bible and is chronological. The lessons are teacher and student friendly and use stick figure drawings for a fun and memorable way to learn important peoples and events in the Bible. The drawings tie in nicely with the Scriptures and are fun and easy to do. But most of all, Grapevine is non-denominational and Biblically based!

Read my review of Old Testament Overview and Biblical Feasts and Holy DaysResurrection Study and Joseph Study to see more of how we have used Grapevine in our home!

Now for the giveaway!

Grapevine Studies would like to offer one of my readers a chance to win either the Beginner Study or the Multi-level Study Teacher and Student books!

{Giveaway has now ended}

Congrats to commenter #3, who said:

To enter, choose which level you would use:
Then leave me a comment telling me which study you would prefer and which format (book* or e-book)! 

If you would like an optional entry, tell me which other Grapevine study you would like to do!

This giveaway will be open until 12:00 Noon MST on Friday December 2nd.  *This giveaway is open to anyone for the e-books; U.S. shipping only for the books. Your comment is your entry, so be sure to leave me a comment on the blog! One winner will be selected at random (using random.org) and the winner will be notified by email. The winner will then have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.

Want to see more?

Download Grapevine's Free e-lesson for December! 

 Disclosure: I received these ebooks for free from Grapevine Studies in exchange for an honest review.

Lights and Sounds Digger {Lakeshore Learning Review}

We will be "rowing" Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel soon, so I couldn't resist this Lights and Sounds Digger Truck from Lakeshore Learning for my very busy and energetic baby boy.

He is all boy, and very active, so I was pleased to find something that would not only hold his interest, but capture his curiosity too.

Putting the driver in the Digger Truck.

So proud of himself!

The Digger Truck features lights, sounds and moving parts. 

When you push on the driver, the truck makes sounds and lights up.

Push the smoke stack button for more lights and sounds. 

The sounds are pleasant - the horn is a friendly beep. I'm not a fan of toys that make noise, so I was happy about this feature.

Boaz is fascinated by all the features. He puts the construction guys in and takes them out and moves the parts around as they "click, click, click." As I play with him I reinforce what he is doing by saying "in and out" and "up and down." It is quite a fun toy geared for ages 12 months to 5 years. My 4 year old LOVED it, and my 6 year old did too - even watched baby brother play for a good 15 minutes waiting for his turn and then they all played together. 

The Digger Truck is a part of the Light and Sound Super Trucks collection - also available is a Mixer Truck and a Dump Truck. All are on sale at Lakeshore Learning for $16.95! (Regularly $24.95).

Lakeshore would like to offer one of my readers a $25 gift card redeemable online or in store!  (Oh, how I wish we had a store nearby!) {Giveaway has ended.} 

Congrats to commenter #47! 

To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to be entered! 

If you would like an additional entry, visit Lakeshore Learning and tell me what you would buy!

Your comment is your entry, so please leave a comment on the blog. This giveaway will be open until midnight EST on November 30th, 2011. A winner will be selected at random using random.org and be notified by email. This post will then be updated with the winning information.

Check out Lakeshore Learning for a wonderful selection of gifts that are sure to please.(Using that link will give you an offer for 25% off a non-sale item!)

Disclosure: I received this product for free from Lakeshore in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.