The Story About Ping {FI♥AR}

I love Before Five in a Row, but I LOVE how Five in a Row is laid out! I used the planner from the book and did each subject by day, but the 5 days were spread out over 2 weeks (3 days 1 week, and 2 the next).

"Ping is a little duck living with his 50+ relatives on a boat on the Yangtze River. Every day the ducks leave the boat to swim and hunt for food, and at night the master calls them all back. Ping is always careful not to be the last duck back up the little bridge into the boat, for the last duck always gets a spank upon the back. One day Ping gets careless, and too afraid to take his punishment, he decides to hide instead of joining his family on the boat." ~ Rainbow Resource

We listened to the book on CD each day. This was fun and a wonderful addition to the story! The information at the end explained many things from the book, such as why the ducks were spanked, the name of the fishing birds (cormorants), the history of fishing in China, and much more.

Day 1: Geography: Physical
  • Where does Ping live?
  • Find China on a map, noting that it is located in Asia.
  • The Yangtze River is the longest river in China (4,000 miles long).
  • Malachi colored the flag of China and pasted the map of China.

Geography: Social and Cultural

We learned how to say hello and good-bye in Chinese and had an {American} Chinese dinner of homemade eggrolls and rice noodles.
We followed up with Egg Drop soup for lunch the 2nd day.
Day 2: Art

I printed this poem and Malachi drew a picture of a duck from Draw Write Now (love those books!). Our art medium was colored pencil and the technique he learned was how to draw water moving. I showed him several examples from the manual.
Eliana texture painted and Malachi meticulously painted his paper plate - very slowly.
This was Eliana's idea. I was going to trace her hand and cut them out, but I loved her idea more!
Materials for the craft. 

Day 3: Math

Counting Skills

Color Ping's Family (from Homeschool Share)
I had Malachi mark the ducks with the right color for each member of the family (he got tired of coloring them all in). He missed two numbers counting to 42 (30 and one other but I can't remember).


Day 4: Science

Ducks Don't Get Wet

We read the book Ducks Don't Get Wet by Augusta Goldin and learned that "ducks don't get wet" because they cover themselves with oil (a process called preening) to waterproof their feathers.

We did an activity to show that oil and water don't mix.

I traced a duck onto a brown paper bag and cut out 2 each. They painted one with oil and used a water dropper to add water to both ducks. The water droplets rolled right off the oiled duck's back ~ just like a real duck.

How a Duck Floats

We learned that a duck has an air sac that fills with air to help him float. He lets the air out when he wants to dive. To explain this process, we filled a balloon with air to show that it floats and left one empty to show that it does not float (as well). Malachi spent the whole time trying to get the empty balloon to sink to the bottom. :-)

Float or Sink

Lap Journal: Types of Ducks, Habitats and Preening

Day 5: Language Arts

I had Malachi narrate the events of the story to me and then I had him do the story sequencing activity cards from homeschool share. I gathered the cards to put into a little book for him.

Another day we had quite an adventure with Ping, the duck we raised for our fun memory for this book. We have a small pool for Ping that we let him out to swim in occasionally, but we thought it would be fun to see him swim and dive for small fish just like Ping in the story. . .

Ping liked the idea too. 

And as soon as he swam away, I knew it was a big mistake to let Ping free. 

He swam away and hid in the bushes! 

We tried to lure him with rice cake crumbs (just like in the story) but that did not work at all.

We (Jordan, Nathan and I) had to corner Ping at the end of the pond. Jordan and Nathan both waded in to try to catch him and we finally did.

We took Ping home and gave him a bath. And this past weekend, we took him to live with Nanie, the kids' great grandma. She has a nice duck habitat and another Pekin duck. I think Ping will be happy. =) 

My youngest two may forget Ping, but I know for sure my older boys will never forget him.

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