Follow the Drinking Gourd {FI♥AR}

"We rowed Follow the Drinking Gourd. We looked at some books. We learned about stars and the Drinking Gourd. Another name for the Drinking Gourd is the Big Dipper. We made star cupcakes. We learned about the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad is a trail of houses that leads the slaves to freedom." ~ Malachi
For Social Studies, we touched on slavery and using the text from the book, we learned about the underground railroad. We found Canada on a map, colored the slave and free states, and noted routes of general movement and the underground railroad (see below).   We learned about how they used the North Star, and the Drinking Gourd, the Big Dipper, to find their way north.

We imagined what it would be like to trudge through fields, cross streams to get to the woods, hide in the trees during the day, walk along riverbanks, follow trails to the river's end, climb hills to find a new path, then find "another river beneath the stars," until we finally crossed the Ohio River, and then go house to house along the Underground Railroad until we reach Canada.

We also read Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and that gave us another appreciation for those who followed the path to freedom.

For Language Arts, Malachi made compound words, such as trapdoor, underground, and runaways. For Sonlight LA he had to recall an experience (LA1 Week 4) and he narrated his recollection of our row (above).  (He had to do a "recollection" in 8 sentences or less for Sonlight LA, so I had him recall our most recent row.). For Week 5, he had to narrate his favorite scene from a chapter book, so I had him narrate our FIAR book.

For Science, we learned about star groups and constellations, namely the Big Dipper ( and that it is a part of the constellation Ursa Major), the Little Dipper (a part of Ursa Minor) and the North Star (Polaris). We read from AE's Young Explorers Astronomy book about stars.

And I read the Creation Account from Adam and His Kin, as suggested in the manual.

Malachi and I made a mini constellation book while Eliana water colored a picture.

And I made a Star Wheel for our "starry night." (We can see the stars really well at our mountain property and plan to go star gazing this summer.) 

For Art, we talked about what a cut-away drawing is and listened to the lyrics and music to the song from the book. I noted that the song was not actually sung when slaves were escaping, as the song was written later.

At bedtime one night, we made up our own song about how to get to our property in Montana from here.

For Math, we focused on measures of time: minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

For our FI♥AR Recipe, we made a "Southern" Peach Crisp and we made some oh-so-fun star cupcakes.

Delightful Links:

Constellation Book {inspiration and tutorial}
Star Cupcakes {inspiration and tutorial}
Underground Railroad Quilt The Patchwork Path @Forever and Always {liked but didn't get to} Recordings
Reading Rainbow
Resources at Homeschool Share
Preschool Corner {& 5K too!}


  1. Love your site! Also love your scrap booking skills!

    1. Thank you! It's called Project Life - so much easier than traditional scrapbooking. I just combined it with FIAR for Project FIAR. :)