Homeschool with Five in a Row's The Salamander Room


Once a little boy finds a Salamander in the woods, a lively and imaginative dialogue takes place between the boy and his mother.  I could tell T enjoyed "The Salamander Room," by Anne Mazer, because he not only requested that I read it, but he sat quietly through the whole thing every time!  It was a wonderful story illustrating a child's endless imagination.

Five in a Row: The Salamander Room

Social Studies:

  • Relationships: Mother/Son time: I am ashamed to say that besides doing school type stuff with T, I realized that we haven't played together in quite some time.  I think I've gotten too caught up in all the day-to-day stuff.... cooking, cleaning, cleaning, more cooking and add in a one year old, and I am beat!  However, as we did more conversationally this week, it gave us a chance to play.  He so happened to be all about Monster Trucks this week, too; so using packing tape and cardboard boxes, we set up some ramps and let them rock n' roll!  

Language Arts:

  • Copywork:
FIAR The Salamander Room
  • Along with verbal list making and talking about setting, we used blocks to illustrate "parallel construction" in the story.  Simply put, "parallel construction" means the same thing on both sides-- in this story, there is a mother side and a son side.  To show this, I would say the mother part and put a block on the table and then he would say the son part and put a block on the table.  Although the replies are not even, in the end we both used the same number of blocks.
FIAR The Salamander Room Go Along Activities


  • Buggy Multiplication/ Grouping:  Brian's mom once comments that the bugs he will use to feed his salamanders will multiply, so I used this opportunity to talk about grouping.
The Salamander Room Go Along Activities


Salt Dough Salamanders:   We used the recipe found at Satori Smiles...
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Salt
  • 3/4 C Water (plus a teeny splash)
  • 1 T Veg. Oil
Mix it all together until it is smooth and mold away.  Next, bake them at 300* for an hour.  Let them cool and paint away!  We used metallic paint and glitter glue. Big Brother loved this!
The Salamander Room Go Along Activities

You will notice that T's Salamander has MONSTER fingers and toes!  His salamander is looking at my reddish one-- see the yellow and green eyes? The body is a backwards "S" and then all those long "rolls" are fingers and toes.  The one on the left, we did together.  They are very fragile... mine had to see Dr. Glue Gun a couple of times!

     The Salamander Room Go Along Activities
  • We also took time to look through the book and examine color scheme and shadows.


  • Animal Classification Graphing : Specifically, we talked about Vertebraes-- mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish.  I found the Animal Classification Graph at Homeschool Share and used it along with some classification cards that I found somewhere online...
    The Salamander Room Go Along Activities

  • What Doesn't Belong?  Using cards from this Animal Classification website, I lined four animals under each group and T had to pick which one didn't belong.  He got the hang of it after a while!
The Salamander Room Go Along Activities
  • Insect Vs. Non-Insect Sort from Homeschool Creations:  While insects are not amphibians, I thought is was cute and decided to use it!  There are many more pages in the Pond Preschool Pack you might want to check out, too!
  • The Salamander Room Go Along Printables
This row set us off on a couple of bunny trails as we have since learned about frogs and turtles (posts to come)!!

Ideas and Inspiration:
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