Five in a Row Another Celebrated Dancing Bear Unit Study

By 10:04 AM

This week our FIAR studies took us to Russia with the book, "Another Celebrated Dancing Bear" by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk.  The story is about two friends, Max and Boris; Max is a dancing bear in the Moscow Circus and Boris works at the hospital, taking care of all kinds of animals.  Feeling rather glum after another day and seeing a circus poster of Max made Boris wish for a "life" like that-- traveling, dancing before an audience, and music.  Feeling Boris's envy, Max offers to teach him how to dance. 

While this wasn't one of our favorite reads, there were many lessons to be taken away from the book--value of friendship, importance of hospitality and sharing your talents/gifts, and the value in practicing and listening when learning something new.

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear Five in a Row Unit Study

Social Studies:
  • Found and placed our story disk on Russia
  • Let T free-style the Russian flag.  I gave Big Brother red, blue, and white construction paper and said, "Have at it!" 
  • Talked about the word "Occupations" and what it meant; also played memory with some very cute Community Helper flashcards. {We've since made our own Occupations Flashcards for you to use; check out 3 fun way to play with them!}

  • Worked on simple addition facts with cute bear printable cards.
  • Reviewed concept of Telling Time by the hour and minutes by playing a cute game called Scrambled Schedule
Putting the hours in the right order; found this at the dollar store!

Language Arts:
  • Drama-- My son acted out several action words.  We also tried to imitate the "one--two--three--four" glide that Boris learned in his first lesson.  It reminded me of the basic waltz step, so I pulled up a video on YouTube, and T and I danced together.  It was quite funny!
  • Using a Venn Diagram, T and I compared Real Bears to Make Believe Bears.  We brushed up on what we knew about Bears by looking at a National Geographic Kid's web page
  • Lesson on Characterization; I mentioned the three elements of characterization: 1. What does the Character look like, 2. What does the Character do, in the story, and 3.  How do others react towards the Character-- I pretty much did this activity by myself!  
  • Creative/ Descriptive Writing:  This idea came from Saylor's Log.  My son choose a sticker to represent his character.  With my help, he wrote a sentence about his Character.  After he made his sentence, I had him write it out.  Great idea that I will be incorporating in future lessons!

  • Crayon Etching-- the illustrations were etched by Barbara Garrison, so thought it might be fun to do some scratch art; this was tiring!

  • Warm Color Palette-- I found this worksheet on homeschool share and I spread several paint chips out on the table and had my son fill the worksheet with warm colors--reds, oranges, and yellows.
  • Matryoshka Art: After reading "The Littlest Matryoshka" we used different lines (click this link a pdf of the ABC's of Art) and patterns to color Matryoshka Dolls.  For the background, T chose to watercolor the paper in warm colors.   
  • Russian Architecture: Using a printable from our FIAR manual, T colored the "onion domes" and drew his own Russian Skyline.  When I first asked T what the buildings looked like, he said "candy."  And they do resemble the castle in Candy Land!
  • The Science lesson in the manual was about Boiling Point and Freezing Point.  We briefly talked that boiling means the water is "dancing" and freezing means "ice."  But for an experiment we did a freezing/melting experiment, though it didn't work like it was supposed too!  I am guessing it didn't work because the air (which was actually supposed to melt the ice) was too cold, thus because the other cup was wrapped up in something warm the ice melted.  So, the experiment worked in reverse.  Time to crank the heat up apparently!!

Thanks for stopping bye to look at the fun we had with this book!  Come back next week to see what we learn with "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge."

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