So, the other day, I (D-Word) stumbled upon Important Trees of Eastern Forests – a booklet I borrowed back in Jr. High from a friend of mine and never returned (sorry Rob). Since we’re trying to assemble a well-rounded curriculum for Fuller (and that other kid we’re gonna raise someday), I figured we’d depart from the usual read’n, right’n, and rithm’tic and included a simple botany lesson.
So, I instructed Fuller that he and Mommy would go out and find 5 different trees, take their pictures and collect leaves from each one. Then, Mommy would print out each of his tree photos onto a sheet of paper. Then Fuller (with Mommy’s help) would look the trees up in the “tree book” and write down each one’s common and scientific names (yes, I know… I’m a task-master about my Boy’s education). Finally, Fuller would tape the leaves he’d collected to the appropriate pages.
Then it went and rained.
When I got home, Alli relayed how badly the day had gone and that Fuller’s big botany lesson had to be canceled. I told Fuller we’d learn about Drama and the Performing Arts instead of botany today, and pulled out one of Fullers books, Lambert the Sheepish Lion.
I started by reading the story, stopping every time a new character was introduced. I wrote each new character’s name down on a “cast list.” After the story was over, I read the cast list and had Fuller assign which of his action figures would play the different parts in the play. Here’s the cast list:
- Mr. Stork…..Captain America
- Sheep…..Thor, Superman, Iron Man
- Mama Sheep…..Hulk
- The Wolf…..Hobgoblin
After assigning the parts, I re-read the story while Fuller acted out the parts with the action figures. I had to tell him what to do a lot at first, but by the end, he was doing a pretty good job of replicating what was going on in the book’s pictures with his action figures.
At the end, I had Fuller walk each character out on stage (a plastic Ikea toy box) and take a bow to the audience (me). Finally, I introduced Fuller as the Director and had him take a bow as well.
All-in-all, it was a nice introduction into drama and the performing arts for a 4-year-old. I think he enjoyed it and learned a few things about communicating a story with actions. His Renaissance education is off to a good start.