Wee Gillis {FI♥AR}

Wee Gillis lives in Scotland. He is an orphan, and he spends half of each year with his mother's people in the lowlands, while the other half finds him in the highlands with his father's kin. Both sides of Gillis's family are eager for him to settle down and adopt their ways. In the lowlands, he is taught to herd cattle, learning how to call them to him in even the heaviest of evening fogs. In the rocky highlands, he stalks stags from outcrop to outcrop, holding his breath so as not to make a sound. Wee Gillis is a quick study, and he soon picks up what his elders can teach him. And yet he is unprepared when the day comes for him to decide, once and for all, whether it will be the lowlands or the highlands that he will call his home. Wee Gillis

Before reading, I asked the kids if they recognized the illustrations in the book. Elli said the one with the tree reminded her of "the story of the bull."  So (happy that she made that connection), I pulled out The Story of Ferdinand and explained that they had the same author and illustrator.

I really liked this book - enough that I ordered it to add to our FIAR collection. I especially like how amiable Wee Gillis is, but it could have been because it brought up good discussion and that we enjoyed the story and our row.

Social Studies: Cultural and Physical Geography ~ Scotland; Relationships: Making Decisions and Controlling Emotions

Along with the lessons from the manual, we. . .

Found Scotland, Highlands, and Lowlands on a map from World Atlas (see map below).

Read Always Room for One More, a Caldecott winner that I found in the Country/Scotland section in Children's Literature at the library. The book is a sing-song story derived from an old Scottish nursery tale.
Lachie MacLachlan, the generous hero of this enchanting tale, is the exception to the rule that the Scots are a thrifty lot. In his "wee house in the heather," where he lives with his family of twelve, he welcomes to his hearth every weary traveler who passes by on a stormy night. "There's always room for one more," says Lachie, and how his grateful guests say a wonderful "Thank you" provides a delightfully warm and tender ending to this hilarious tale of kindness.
Listened to bagpipe music with a sense of humor. The conflict in the duel reminds me of Wee Gillis. :) Then I printed a picture of bagpipes for our album (see below).

Language Arts: Forshadowing, Descriptions and Balance, Narration,  Poetry

Lessons from the manual.

Malachi's narration was as long-winded as Wee Gillis' could have been (see below). Here is Eliana's narration. . .

Copywork from My Heart's in the Highlands, by Robert Burns

Read Halfway Down, by A.A. Milne. This poem came to mind our first day of the row, so I read it to Mali and Elli. . . (I like this poem).

Science: Fog, States of Matter, Lungs, Lung Capacity, Sound and Air

To go along with the lessons in the manual, we did activities from Usborne Book of Science Activities Volume 2 (pp. 18-19 Breathing Air) & Volume 3 (Breathing pp36-37) and an experiment from Exploring Creation with Astronomy.

Wee Gillis has very strong lungs from calling the cows and holding his breath while stalking stags. We blew as hard as we could to empty the water out of the bottle to see how much air we can breathe.

How much air can you breathe?

The older boys had to give it a try, too. ;-) 

Then we made a breathing model to demonstrate how our lungs work. 

Usborne Book of Science Activities Volume 2: pp. 18-19, Breathing Air & 20-21 Sound and Air

We learned that sound is made when something vibrates. 

How we make sound. 

Sound Catcher

Bottle Music

Musical Pipes

Usually it is Malachi on the table. :) 

We read from Volume 3: Clouds, Rain and Fog pp. 54-55.
(Wee Gillis has to call loudly because of the mist.) 

I was getting ready to do another experiment, but Dylan showed me this one from the Astronomy book. . .

So, I had him do the experiment with the kids. It is actually an experiment to demonstrate why there are clouds on planets, but it made a neat cloud.  

Art: Cross Hatching, Monochrome, Compare/Contrast

Lessons from the manual. . .
Compared oatmeal eating pictures.

Cross-hatching with scratch-art paper ~ thanks, Abby

Color illustration verses monochrome.
 (Notice the cross-hatching on the puff of smoke coming from the chimney!)

Math: Half, Calendar

From Malachi's Singapore 1B Math.

Did calendar pages from 1+1+1=1's Daily Calendar Notebook and sang the Months of the Year song.


Proverbs 9:9 - Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still.

Micah 6:8 - He has shown you O man, what is good: And what does YHVH require of you: But to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?

Lesson from the Christian Character and Bible Study Supplement, p. 33.

Our focus was on the fact that Wee Gillis has a teachable spirit and humbly receives correction and instruction. We used examples from the story and real life.

Memory Making:

We had overnight oatmeal (in a "big" bowl) one morning.

And for our FI♥AR treat, we had Scottish Shortbread.

Elli reminding me to get a picture. (Love it!)

Totally posing for a pic. 

Chai and shortbread for me while we do the art lesson. :) 

Malachi's narration on a 6x12 insert. 


I am having fun with our Project Life pages for school, but I am working on simplifying my pages AND my rows so that they are still special, wonderful and memorable, but easier to document. It is just so hard to not include every little detail (or do everything I want to do), but I can't keep this up. Life is just too full right now.

I realized something else this week. . .  Eliana has been bringing me B4 books to read (almost daily) and I ask her if she remembers when we did this or that, and she doesn't. I expected this would happen - she is so young. But, I know that our rows are making an impression on her heart. She remembers the books, and I suspect that she will grow up with fond memories of the books.  I imagine that she will have a particular fondness for a book, and may not know why. . . but I'm sure it will be because of the time we spent together rowing it. ♥

Wee Gillis is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 2

We rowed this during Week 12 of our life.  That was 4 weeks ago! Still coming up: Sonlight Moments ~ Core P4/5 and our row of Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car. Currently rowing:  Make Way For Ducklings.

Also in the works is a review of Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Solution books.  I'm reviewing the No-Cry DisciplineNo-Cry Nap, and No-Cry Picky Eater Solution books. I read the No-Cry Sleep Solution  before and so far, I continue to love how practical Elizabeth's books are!

After that, we will row All Those Secrets of the World followed by Follow the Drinking Gourd, and then we are done with Volume 2!  I will look forward to rowing Volume 3 after a nice, long break! 

Delightful Links:

Preschool Corner {& 5K too!}
Project Life Tuesday
Wee Gillis Resources at HSS
Wee Gillis Inspiration @ A House of. . .
Daily Calendar Notebook

1 comment

  1. Just bought this book at 50% from a vendor going out of business! Couldn't find it before now... I'm looking forward to rowing this with our kids! :D