Rowing the Week: {FI♥AR} They Were Strong and Good

They Were Strong and Good
by: Robert Lawson


*Note: Five in a Row {FIAR} is made to be a five day curriculum - as we only attend Co-op 3 days per week, I will post what we have done in class and fun resources for that you may want to do at home. (Not REQUIRED homework - just some family fun options.)

Resources have been included to help inspire FIAR Homeschool families in their "Rowing' journeys as well.  Enjoy and comment!  We would love to know what you are "rowing' too!

"Rowing" the Week (@ Co-op)
We completed another great "Rowing" week here at SHAPE Academy!  They Were Strong and Good by: Robert Lawson.  Just to let you know, this is one of Mrs. Mac's favorite books.  Could it have anything to do with the fact that it is a book about the author's ancestral history?  Did you know I LOVE History?  I bet my students a Co-op already knew that . . . they are smart like that.  Here is an overview of what we discussed in class, projects we completed, homework list and fun activities you may want to use to extend this lesson at home.

Social Studies - Ancestry
We discussed our family tree and our ancestors.  The students are working on completing a family tree and returning it after Spring Break to include in their notebook.

I also try to fill our Five in a Row Book Basket with other resources and titles relating to the themes we are covering during "rowing".  When my students complete their work, they can read from this basket.  Here is a picture of our Rowing Book basket this week.

Geography - State of Alabama
We found Alabama on the map of the United States, completed a coloring page and discussed the state bird and flower.  We also pinned our story disk to our wall map.

Handwriting - We completed a copywork handout with a quote from our story.  We used these wonderful FREE Copywork pages from @ All of a Kind Family.  (This is a great FIAR resource blog that I love to use!)

Social Studies - We enjoyed traditional foods from North of the Mason-Dixon line - Whole Wheat Bagels with Cream Cheese.  Hey, we're from the South,  this is as "northern" as it gets.

Here Little Miss is preparing to take her first tasty bite.  She wasn't sure about the cream cheese at first, but my students are encouraging one another in trying new things (I love that about them).  She liked it and ate all of it up.

History - The Civil War
The author's paternal father and grandfather fought for the South during the Civil War.  We discussed the beginnings of the civil war and the Mason-Dixon line which separated the states.  Then we played a game of Civil War Tic-Tac-Toe.

Yankees vs. Rebels (a.k.a. Girls vs. Boys)
History repeats itself!

Art - We documented our illustrations in our Five in a Row Passport.  We use our Passports for every book "row" in the classroom.  The students use each page to illustrate a scene in the book we are "rowing'.
Here Mr. Fix-It is working on his Rowing Passport.

Passport Resource        +        Book Illustrations

*We made simple Paper Bag Books for our Rowing Passports at the beginning of the year - I will post a tutorial later if you want to see how we did ours*

Social Studies - We enjoyed a traditional food from South of the Mason-Dixon line today - Fried Pies!  Then we voted on what Mason-Dixon snack was our favorite.

Here is Mr. Kindness showing off his Fried Pie. . . I think he likes it.

Math - Graphed and discussed observations from everyone's favorite Mason-Dixon food.

The South actually won this battle, no contest.

*Mrs. Mac hand NO VOICE today so it limited some of our "rowing" plans.  It turned out nicely as my students circled up for story time and they read aloud to one another.  I love to see them working as a team.
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Notebooking Pages - During "rowing" of each book we complete a Notebooking page to include in our Homeschool Portfolios.  The students have worked hard on these folders and I am really excited about sending them home with these wonderful memories at the end of the school year from Co-op.

HERE is the link to Homeschool Share, where I found the resources for our Notebooking page for this row.  We used the Alabama Tab Book from HS Share.  Then I printed sections of this Lapbook for our page.  I LOVED this site and all the wonderful history lapbooks - Thank you Dynamic2Moms.  We included the Weapons of the Civil War accordion fold, the War Between the States flap-book, and the Clara Barton mini-book.

The Bug completed her Notebooking page that is due for homework after Spring Break, in order to share with her friends . . . and so we can complete the Civil War lapbook we found on the internet (see below under Resources).

This is her Notebooking page "mostly" put together.  She decorated with foil star stickers and lettering.
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Just The Bug and Mom
Here is a new element I wanted to share.  The Bug and I are trying to extend our "Rowing" at home together after we have spent the week rowing at Co-op.  It gives us alone-together and learning-together time, which we both love.
(This is an old photo I love.  We are at the museum examining an exhibit of traditional Mexican dolls.  Her love of dolls still continues today.)
  • She is learning to sew - sooooo . . .

Here is the Sewing Basket I made for here.  We worked on embroidery this week.  The author's mother learns to embroider at the convent were she is being schooled.  The Bug has lots to choose from in her basket to encourage her handwork.  I included measuring tape, plastic canvas, bandannas, scrap material, felt, thimbles, embroidery hoop, yard, scissors, cross stitch patterns, etc.  She had a jar that I labeled "Use with MOMMY", this had safety pins, straight pins, seam ripper, etc - things I need to show her how to utilize and use.
  • We talked about toys used during the Civil War era and added these little cuties to her Natural Play area.  We were able to discuss the lack of resources that people would have had during the Civil War and how fortunate a child was to receive a toy.  This made her even more grateful for her little Yarn Dolls.
I found these dolls on Pinterest.  They are from Wee Folk Art and you can use this free tutorial to make your own Yarn Dolls. HERE (I love this website too!  They have wonderful FREE patterns and tutorials for some wonderful handicrafts for kids.)
  • We clipped, snipped, constructed and played with these lovely Southern Belle Paper Dolls

After playing with the first doll, Mary Lou, the Bug exclaimed, "Mommy, I think you need to make me a dress like this!  They are so beautiful."  Um, not sure that I am that talented, sorry kid.

Now we will be getting ready for our next row . . . The Story of Ferdinand.

More They Were Strong and Good Resources:
  • The Bug and I will be working on our Civil War paper dolls this weekend.  Here are some that we also liked. - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >
  • This is a great website to do more great Family Tree activities HERE
  • FR*EE Study Guide for Y is for Yellowhammer: The Alabama Alphabet
  • Here is another great online resource about Alabama
  • We are planning to complete this Lapbook at home during Spring Break LAPBOOK + Plus, just so you know I love the FREE resources on this site.
  • The Bug and I are also planning on completing this CORN HUSK DOLL during Spring Break.  We'll let you know how it turns out.
Here are some more great resources:

The American Civil War     The American Civil War Lapbook   

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"

Mrs. Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 


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  1. Just wanted to say thank you for this blog post! I was trying to find someone who rowed They Were Strong and Good and was hard pressed. This is a fabulous book! Thank you for sharing your week. I love the N vs S snack idea. =)

  2. You are most welcome. We will be rowing at least 8 more books before this summer. I will try to get them all blogged out soon. Happy Rowing!


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