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Five In a Row's Literature Unit: The Story of Ferdinand

Ferdinand was unlike any of the other bulls he lived amongst; he didn't "run and jump and butt heads together like the other bulls."  Ferdinand was happy and content to just sit under his favorite cork trees and smell the flowers.  The story takes a surprising turn when he accidentally sits on a bumble-bee! 

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"Well, if you were a bumble bee and a bull sat on you what would you do?
You would sting him.  And that is just what this bee did to Ferdinand.
...Ferdinand jumped up with a snort. He ran around puffing and snorting, butting and pawing the ground as if he were crazy.
The five men saw him and they shouted with joy....  [He was] just the one for he bull fights in Madrid!" (excerpt from book)

Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Please note: post contains lessons from FIAR manual AND activities that were added by me.  Enjoy!

Social Studies:

  • Geography-Spain: we used his dot paint markers to color the flag of Spain and we placed our story disk on the map.
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Culture/ Foreign Language- Spanish Words:  I picked out 6 words from the story and had my son read, spell, and write the Spanish word.  We learned how to say five, bee, bull, flower, tree and cow in Spanish.  I made these flashcards myself, obviously.. but at the end of this post I linked up some flashcards I found after I made mine!  Oh well! 
Ferdinand Five In A Row ActivitiesFerdinand Five In A Row Activities

Language Arts:

  • Interjection:  We looked for exclamation points and I pointed out that words such as Wow!  Hi!  Great!  are called interjections.  I also read them as if a period was at the end instead, to show him the difference punctuation can make.  That was fun! 
  • Animal Fantasy Story:  He made up his own story... enjoy! 
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Nouns:  Using words from the story, I had him tell me if it was a person, place, or thing.  We've done this before and he seems to understand the concept.
  • Character Maps:  Such a great so cute?  We had talked about the impression Ferdinand had of himself-- he knew "who" he was and didn't let his mother's worries bother him.  Afterwards, I asked him to tell me things he liked and what he was like... "helpful, a boy, happy, share with Little Sis, like monster trucks, cars, and trains, etc...." 
character map of Ferdinand
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Story Re-telling:  We've never done anything like this before, but this story was easy to re-tell using props we had on hand.  As you can see we have a tree with flowers, Ferdinand, his mother, the other bulls, a truck, a bull ring, and the five [lego] men.   
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities


  • Measuring in Feet and Inches:  Thank goodness for our Inchimals!  When we aren't measuring things, he likes to line them up and let little sis knock them down!  Fun, but loud!!  The first activity we did, I asked him what he would rather use to measure something with-- inches or feet.  For example, one of the cards read: length of a car-- would you use inches or feet?  I grabbed our 12in. piece and our 1 in. block to help him understand that, in general, for small things we would use inches and for large objects we would use feet.
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Another measuring activity!  Using the sheet below, T picked several things to measure.  First he guessed how long the object would be, and then we actually measured to find out!  He chose to measure in feet.
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities


  • Drama:  Using flashcards found on Homeschool Share, my son acted out several scenes from the story.  Sooooo funny!   
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Picasso Portraits:  After looking at several pieces of art made by Picasso, we created our own portrait!  So colorful!  My favorite is the heart shaped lips : )   
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • TP Roll Bull:  Using the template found at Crayola, he colored and cut out his own Ferdinand.  He is so colorful! 
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Size and Distance:  We just looked at examples throughout the book and made the observation that smaller objects are further away and larger objects are closer.
  • Humor:  Our favorite part of the story was what happened after Ferdinand entered the bull'll have to read it to find out!


  • Vultures: I pulled up some bird facts from and afterwards, we completed another Yes/No anticipatory set worksheet I made.  We did one about Rabbits while rowing Peter Rabbit and I thought it was a great way to make sure he is listening and makes reading non-fiction more hands-on.  Although, I think the way I worded things here tripped him up a little bit.  And excuse his coloring ; )  This is what happens when I ask him to sit with me and then leave to tend to little sis for a second!
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities
  • Nature Walk:  This hasn't happened yet because it's been too chilly : (  But I have our worksheet printed and ready to go!

Just for fun

I cut out melon flowers for snack and made churros with chocolate sauce! 
Well, I had the chocolate sauce... it was one of those days weeks!
Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Ferdinand Five In A Row Activities

Ideas and Inspiration

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