The Story of Ferdinand | Five In A Row Activities


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! 

Enjoy reading through our week rowing, The Story of Ferdinand! We learned so much and made some fun memories!

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Five in a Row Ferdinand Activities

"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)

Please note: post contains lessons from FIAR manual AND activities that were added by me.  Enjoy reading through our week rowing The Story of Ferdinand.  At the end of the post you will find links that inspired our activities during this row!

The Story of Ferdinand Activities

Social Studies:

  • Geography-Spain: 

We used dot paint markers to color the flag of Spain.
the story of ferdinand learning about spain

For geography, we also placed our The Story of Ferdinand story disk on the map.

marking spain on map for the story of ferdiand

  • Culture/ Foreign Language- Spanish Words:  

I picked out 6 words from the story and had my son read, spell, and write the Spanish word.
read, spell, write, spanish numbers for the story of ferdinand

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!   

diy spanish words flashcards for the story of ferdinand

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! 
animal fantasy story for the story of ferdinand

  • 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 idea to talk about the character of the story- Ferdinand!  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 Big Brother 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 character mapping

  • 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.   

This was a great activity to work on sequencing skills, story comprehension, and expressive language!

rowing the story of ferdinand


  • 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.
measuring feet and inches

Another measuring activity!  Using the sheet below, Big Brother 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 math activity - measuring with inchimals


  • Drama:  

Using flashcards found on Homeschool Share, Big Brother acted out several scenes from the story.  Sooooo funny!   
Acting out The Story of Ferdinand

  • Picasso Portraits:  

After looking at several pieces of art made by Picasso, we created our own portrait!  So colorful!  My favorite feature is the heart shaped lips : ) 

picasso portrait - the story of ferdinand art activity

  • TP Roll Bull:  

Using the template found at Crayola, he colored and cut out his own Ferdinand.  He is so colorful!
paper tube bull craft - the story of ferdinand activity

  • 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!
learning about vultures True or False

Just for fun

We had an edible flower bouquet using fruit!  I cut out melon flowers for snack using cookie cutters and used skewers for the stem!

Fruit Flower Bouquet for The Story of Ferdinand

And last, but certainly not least, we made homemade churros with chocolate sauce! 

making churros for the story of ferdinand

Ideas and Inspiration

Babar To Duet or Not to Duet

For more Five in a Row inspiration, check out all the books we have rowed by Volume! 

Homeschooling with Five in a Row

All- Time Favorite Rows

Homeschool Heart Talk: Should YOU Homeschool?