Climbing Kansas Mountains {FI♥AR}

When I first considered rowing Climbing Kansas Mountains, I wasn't very inspired by the manual and I wasn't very inspired by the book. Well, I at least wasn't inspired by Kansas, where the book takes place. We drove through Kansas once and it was nothing but wide open prairie. But then we did a unit study on Sarah, Plain and Tall and I fell in love with Kansas. We learned all about Kansas, made a wildflower field guide, had a "Welcome to Kansas" party, and more. And following up with a row of Climbing Kansas Mountains seemed perfect! I have a deeper appreciation for Kansas, the prairie, and Climbing Kansas Mountains, and wish that we would have stopped the car on our way through to see it more closely.

(Photo of an Indian Paint Brush ~ a Kansas wildflower and also our state flower. Taken in the Big Horn Mountains.)

Social Studies: Kansas, State Symbols, Prairie

Day 1: Today we read about Kansas in two wonderful books: S is for Sunflower ~ A Kansas Alphabet and One Kansas Farmer ~ A Kansas Number Book. My children liked the poetic rhythm of the books and I liked that if they wanted to know more about each topic, I could read the captions on the side. We learned lots of interesting things about Kansas and the book gave us some inspiration for our row.

For state symbols, I printed Erica's Road Trip USA lesson on Kansas and all three of the younger kids colored them (even little Bo wanted to color one).

Day 2: Today we read from a variety of books on the Kanas prairie: P is for Prairie Dog ~ A Prairie Alphabet, If You're Not from the Prairie, Out on the Prairie, Bluestem Horizon: A Story of a Tallgrass Prairie, and Prairie Storms.

Language Arts: Simile and Metaphor, Good Descriptive Writing

Day 3: We did the lessons straight from the manual.

We also had fun reading Well, I Never! because of the expression "when pigs fly" from the book.

Science: Organic Farming, The Grain of Wheat, Wheat to Flour to Bread

More books! We read Bread! Life on a Wheat Farm and Bread Comes to Life. . .

Ground some wheat to make flour. . .

And made chewing gum by chewing kernels of wheat.

After lots of chewing, we finally had a piece of wheat gum!

And with the flour we ground, we made a loaf of crusty no-knead bread.

Math: Acres, Grain Measurements

How many grains of wheat in a bushel? in an acre?

To find out, Malachi counted how many grains of wheat are in a tablespoon:

  • 1 tablespoon = 580 grains of wheat

  • 1 cup = 9,280 (16 T)

  • 1 quart = 37, 120 (4 cups)

  • 1 bushel = 1,187,840 (32 quarts)

  • 1 acre = 118,784,000 (100 bushels)

(We used a calculator!)

Art: Symbolism

Lesson from the manual.

Our FI♥AR Recipe: Kansas Farm Burgers

1 Kansas farmer in a field of amber grain.

Looking after cattle, he checks the sky for rain.

You have a piece of bread; you have a piece of meat.

One Kansas farmer grows a lot of what you eat. ~ One Kansas Farmer: A Kansas Number Book

Our Kansas Farm Burger:

  • wheat bun

  • lettuce

  • tomatoes

  • pickles

  • cheese

  • 100% beef

We decorated with sunflowers (the Kansas state flower).

FI♥AR Quilt

Eliana and I first picked out this fabric because it reminded her of Sarah, Plain and Tall.

But, then I found this fabric with a grain elevator and a wheat farm.

I'm participating in a FIAR Quilt Swap and super excited! It's taken me years to find fabrics to match each book we've rowed, and I am missing many. The only thing I'm not sure about is that I have enjoyed personally picking out each fabric with Malachi and/or Eliana, so each fabric print has a special meaning to us, based on how we rowed the book. I'm still excited because I'm sure we will be able to make many connections to each book anyways. The only thing I can't decide is whether I will make the quilts for the kids, or for me! :)

Climbing Kansas Mountains is a Five in a Row selection from Volume 3.

We are rowing Amber on the Mountain next.


  1. LOVE this. Being from the prairie and all! ;) I might have to borrow a FIAR book from you and give it a try again!

  2. Also, Ellie's expressions are so cute! And we have the book "If you're not from the prairie", it's kind of special! :)

  3. What a fun week it looks like you had!

  4. Great post! I always love all the pictures you include. Was this from Unit 4? I'm so excited you are posting FIAR again. It makes me want to do more FIAR. Baby #4 is a week old so we are doing something else this fall (that Mommy doesn't have to plan :-) , but I look forward to FIAR again after Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

  5. PS Where are the bars at the top that show where all the FIAR, BFIAR, Preschool, etc posts are? How do I find them?

  6. Oh goodness! Everytime you post one of these it makes me want to dig out my FIAR manuals. So, so fun! We live in Missouri and have had to make the drive all the way through Kansas many times. Maybe a row like this would make me appreciate it too :)

  7. Great Row! Love Sarah, Plain and Tall and the sequels. Buffalo coming to a Prairie near us soon--will have to keep you posted. :)

  8. Heather, we have not seen the series yet!! I need to find it! Our library doesn't carry it. Are you doing the Prairie Primer?! Please keep me posted!

  9. Aw, thanks Tara! Would you believe that the first time we drove through Kansas, we drove to Missouri! (My kids still call it the "Misery" trip, haha!) The second time, we drove to KY. :) Just so you know, I feel the same about your weekly reviews!

  10. Ugh, sad story, Sarah! They are gone! I logged on one day and they were missing. I think they were lost in a WP update. I found a setting to restore them, but most of it was missing. :( It took me HOURS to do that! I would put it back if I were staying at WordPress, but I am moving back to Blogger at the end of Nov. My navbar should still be there - will just need updating! Such a bummer - I miss it, too! It's frustrating to not be able to find what I need on my own site!

  11. Sarah, this is from Volume 3. I have a few books I want row before moving on to Volume 4 (Amber on the Mountain, Andy and the Lion, Paul Revere's Ride, and The Finest Horse in Town). I'm needing something a little easier right now, too, so I am not rowing weekly - just when I can, which will hopefully be at least twice a month!

  12. You are welcome to, Jenny! I have an extra Vol. 3 if you want to borrow it!

  13. And you are from the prairie, so I imagine it is more special to you! :)

  14. Had to drop Prairie Primer basically right after I mentioned it to you--just too much to collect at the library and to decide what to do and what not to do. I THINK I am learning that I like some structure for the basics and then let the projects and creativity just come with the week or season--like we just went to Reagan's boyhood home, so we get things about Presidents or we go to the Japanese Gardens so we look into that.

    I think you'll like Skylark and Caleb's Story and think there is one more.

    Hoping to go to Nachusa Grasslands and see the buffalo in November:)

  15. I'm wondering about that for next year. I have the basic books in my Rainbow Resource cart, but I'm guessing it will be like FIAR? Where I have to find supplemental books? I hope to buy it this year sometime so I can start preparing. I am enjoying having our basics, and letting that creativity come with an occasional row. Your field trips sound great! We don't have much like that here, so books it is! Enjoy! Hope you have a wonderful Feast too! Hope you will share pics!

  16. You ALWAYS inspire me!!! Always!