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FIAR: The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

I just adored everything about this book!  The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge is a classic-- a Parents' Choice Honors and Reading Rainbow book; definitely one I will be looking for at book sales!  And if you have a chance to visit New York City one day, you can check out the little red lighthouse for yourself!  Yes!  It actually still sits on the edge of the Hudson River. 

"A little red lighthouse looks at circumstances and draws wrong conclusions.  But, with the help of the great gray bridge, he discovers the truth; that he still has useful work to do."-- summary from FIAR manual
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Social Studies:
  • Located New York on our map; found the Hudson River and Erie Canal.  Decorated a page All About New York with stickers and a colored picture.  After reading several books, I had T narrate what he remembered, which was actually him going page by page in a book and telling me!
I asked Big Brother, "Wouldn't it be fun to go to New York City?  We could go to the zoo, see the Lighthouse and the bridge, see the Statue of Liberty, etc."  And Big Brother said, "No. I don't like New York."
"You've never been there."
"Well, I just want to stay home and play the Wii."..... oh, brother!
Now mind you, the only time he plays is at night!

Language Arts:
  • Personification-- I had a great idea for this lesson, but try finding stickers of just facial expressions... Yeah, well... I didn't!  I did find something close, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.
  • Creative Writing-- after pointing out personification in the story and in just about every Disney movie he loves, Big Brother wrote about a heart.
  • Compound Words-- Printed and laminated some super cute compound word cards for T to match.  Then we used our artistic abilities to draw our own! 
Math: Nothing notable!  Just worked on addition and used Carissa's Angry Bird math printable to talk about before, after, and in between on a number line.  Asking him to find the number before such and such tripped him up at first, but he quickly got the hang of it.   
Last minute idea I came up with-- Map the Coordinates. I createda very basic grid {download here} and added stickers so he could find the coordinates.
Art:
  • Made our own toilet paper tube Lighthouse
  • Talked about the drawings contrasting the size of the bridge and lighthouse.  He didn't have any interest in doing his own drawing...
Science:
  • Simple Paper Bridge Experiment-- here we asked the question, "Does the shape of a bridge affect how much weight it is able to carry?"  The answer is, "Yes!  Design matters!"
 The first couple of bridges only held >10 pennies; the folded bridge held at least 26... we ran out of pennies!
  • Just for fun, we checked out Steve Spanglers Science website and tried and failed a couple of his experiments!  We tried Balloon Skewer and Color Changing Milk
  • Read some books and checked out a website to learn more about Lighthouses and light keepers. 
  • Talked about the use of rivers and reminded him of the Yangzte River in China that we learned about when we read, The Story about Ping
  • Built model bridges and determined which bridge is the weakest and which was the strongest.  Found this experiment in "Fun Science Projects: Making Shapes" by Gary Gibson.
Bridge in the back is a simple Beam Bridge; the middle bridge is a Suspension Bridge; and the bridge in the front is an Arch Bridge.  Which one do you want to travel across?
 The Beam Bridge collapses!
The strongest bridge is the Arch Bridge because the weight of the juggling ball is spread out over the whole length of the bridge.

Oh, and here are some more links you may enjoy!
New York Coloring Page
Lighthouse Hidden Picture
Lighthouse Unit from Chestnut Grove Academy
Little Red Lighthouse from Academy at Thousand Oaks
Little Red Lighthouse Row from Delightful Learning
See all of our rows here
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