Higgens Bend Song and Dance {FI♥AR}

During our nature walk to look for ferns, I was inspired to row a book about fish and Higgens Bend Song and Dance popped into my mind.

Eliana loved this book! She asked me to read it everyday this week. I read it with lots of energy to make it fun, but didn't feel like reading it after we finished our row and she could have listened to it one more time. :)

We picked Mississippi as the setting for Higgens Bend Song and Dance, since it seems to be set in the deep south. There is a handwritten inscription inside my copy of the book that says "Southern people are some of the best kind of people." Then we learned that in 1872, Mississippi was known as the Mudcat State,
 mud. How cool is that?! We learned this from facts about Mississippi & Interesting Mississippi news for kids.

We then went off on a blues music tangent, watched a documentary on the Great Depression and the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, as recommended in the above links. It is also set during the time of the Great Depression.

Books from the library:

We ended up watching the Huck Finn movie instead of reading the book (as I decided it is more of a high school level book). 

Malachi drew a catfish. He sketched in pencil and then outlined with watercolor pencils and lightly brushed with a wet brush to give it a watercolor effect.

We don't eat catfish because we eat a biblically clean diet, but we learned about the history of the aquaculture industry (fish farming) in Mississippi, what barbels are (catfish whiskers that are sensory organs), what broodfish are (mature fish used for breeding), what catting is (fishing for catfish), and more.

We also read in one of the books how to make stinky bait dough balls!

Our visit to the Fish Hatchery broodfish and settling ponds during our last nature study is what inspired me to want to row this book. 

The Morning Star
Oscar (the catfish) pulled on the sock - he pulled so hard, the raft began to move out of the rushes and water weeds, down that beautiful river, under the morning star... down to Higgens Bend.
We learned that Venus is sometimes called the "Morning Star" or "Evening Star" because it appears shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset.

Venus is called the Earth's Twin so we compared and contrasted Earth and Venus.

  • They are made of similar material. 
  • They are the same size.
  • They both have clouds. 
  • They both have volcanoes. 

  • Venus is hotter and Earth is cooler. 
  • Venus probably does not have water while the earth does. 
  • Earth rotates counter-clockwise and Venus rotates clockwise. 
  • Earth has a moon while Venus does not. 
  • Earth's clouds are made of water, while Venus' clouds are made of sulphuric acid.

Speaking of sock... 

Simon Henry's last attempt to catch Oscar the catfish was with a stinky sock, so I loved catching the meaning behind the quilt square I received in the Volume 4 quilt swap. So cute! 

FIAR Recipe: Potato Kelly's Potato Chowder

We talked about why we don't eat catfish (a recipe suggested in the manual) - because a catfish has skin instead of scales, and the Bible says that fish that are clean to eat have fins and scales and are indeed ideal for human health. Almost all of the creatures on the unclean list in the Bible are scavengers: they don’t hunt for their own food and instead they eat the dead and decaying matter of our environment. A catfish does that at the bottom of a pond; lobsters and shrimp do it in the ocean. A pig will eat anything. Vultures, almost by definition, are known for their scavenger habits. These animals can have devastating health effects. A Matter of Health? makes some great scientific points about discerning between the clean and unclean and God's health guidelines in the Bible if you want to learn more. 

We didn't catch any fish this week, but Nathan did! 

I'm planning to follow up with a row of The Raft to pour my little heart more into the topic of exploring small streams and fish. We'll see! We'll ease into a new school year this week and see how it goes. :) 


  1. Love the quilt square! As always it looks like another fun FIAR lesson or unit :)

  2. Looks like such a fun week! We recently went to a hatchery. I wish I had known about this book!

  3. Thank you, ladies. ♥ Last night, my oldest told me he was going catfish fishing, and I was like "What?!"
    A friend of his has a pond with giant catfish in it and they fish for the sport - said they were fun to catch. Now, THAT would have made this a fun row! :)

  4. This book is on our list this school year -- probably in the spring though :) Thanks for sharing about the hatchery. We have one -- up the mountain (ugh) so I hope we can make that a field trip. Thank you for mentioning about "Biblically Clean" foods, too. It's been a prayer of my heart for years and it seems that many of my family (like husband) are closely on board :) I've already substituted so many things already.

  5. Your blog is really cute :) xx Looks like your family has a lot of fun together learning xx