“A boy discovers that he has a special talent, and using it makes a difference.”

Although we took a schooling break in July, for the most part, we did row this one story over the entire month.  We started it sometime around the 4th of July, hoping to tie in with the patriotic theme of the book.

Social Studies:

Geography:  The story takes place in a fictional city in Ohio, called Alto, but we were obviously still able to put our story disk on top of Ohio.  We also briefly discussed what it would be like to live in a small town.

History:  We talked about the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that is mentioned in the story, and discussed why people might want to build a monument to honor the people who have fought to protect their country.  We briefly discussed Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Human Relationships:  We talked about individual differences and the ways that each person has unique talents.  We also talked about having to deal with disagreeable people, such as Old Sneep in the story.

Patriotism:  We did an American Flag craft.



I found these simple little flag cut-outs on Pinterest.





Even Barrett got to color on one of the mess-up templates!



The boys learned that the American flag has 13 stripes, which represent the original 13 colonies; and 50 stars, which represent the current 50 states.




Science:  Taste Buds

“Old Sneeps plan for destroying the town’s celebration includes the use of a lemon.  In sucking on a lemon, Sneep causes all of the band members to “pucker up” so they can’t play.  Why do sour things make us pucker up?”

We had our own little lemon-tasting experiment!






🙂  Then we took it up a notch and I brought out the big guns…



The boys were so excited that I was going to let them have candy…tee hee.






Ha ha, he’s wiping his tongue off with his shirt!  I even tried the sour candies myself and BOY were they sour!  Blech!

I pulled out our Usborne Flip Flap Body Book and opened to the page about taste buds.



We tried to distinguish whether or not the sour candies tasted more sour on the back of our tongue, but really it was just gross and sour all over our tongues!


Fine Arts:  Whittling!

At one part in the story, we see Old Sneep sitting on a bench, whittling a piece of wood.  One afternoon while the boys were playing in the bathtub for two hours, I pulled out a couple bars of soap and some butter knifes and told them to whittle away!



Conner was the only one who was interested in the activity, though.  I think Logan was too distracted with his water fun.



And Conner only got into it for about 5 minutes and then wanted to play in the tub.

Fine Arts:  Whistling!  

We tried teaching the boys how to whistle.  Actually, Raphael tried teaching the boys how to whistle as I cannot whistle.  So far, neither of them have figured it out yet…but I’m sure they’ll keep practicing.

Fine Arts:  Harmonica!

In preparation for this unit study, I ordered both boys a good quality intro harmonica.



They were quite pleased.



They don’t know any actual songs yet, of course, but their music sounded pretty good, right from the start.  A very forgiving instrument!



I ordered a little harmonica music book for them to learn songs when they are ready.

And as inspiration, I showed them this little video I found on YouTube…


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