Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Paul Revere's Ride

"Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."

Wow, I didn't realize how long it has been since I updated my blog. Things have been busy as usual. Anyways, I know I already posted on Facebook about Zoey doing a Paul Revere presentation at the library, so I thought I would share how we got there.

Back in September when Zoey and I were selecting a book from her Five in a Row curriculum she saw, Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. She decided to save this book until after Mat and I returned from our trip to Boston in October. Hopefully, I would be able to tell her even more about the history of Paul Revere. Shortly after we returned we started with the book. I read it once but on the following days Zoey wanted to read it to us. She fell in love with the book. I was not surprised since Zoey loves poetry and this book is a poem based on the events of Paul Revere riding to warn the minute men all over the countryside that the "Regulars" were coming.

We began our adventure with the book on the first day by finding Boston, Massachusetts on the map and putting our story disk there. We also discussed history. We talked about the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. After this I suggested Zoey could make a basic time line of these events. I always have required assignments and optional assignments. The time line was an optional drawing activity so I thought she would love it but I was wrong. We moved on. The funny part is weeks later when the girls were painting with watercolor paints Zoey painted a beautiful timeline of these events. Kids make me laugh.

We also discussed how light was a main theme in the artist's illustrations. There also were five new vocabulary words from the book, and finding the name of a ship in italics. We had fun noticing the different colonial architecture, learning about fog over rivers or other bodies of water, subtracting dates to solve a riddle and learning about artists using reflections in water.

I was able to find so many books about Paul Revere and in the American Revolution time period. The girls really had so much fun with these books. We learned Paul Revere was not the only one who warned people that night. We read books about Paul Revere's life. We even read very funny picture books about Paul Revere, John Hancock, George Washington and more. They kept reading a book called John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith. It is a funny book that jokes about what they were like as children. One of the books we had from the library was Who Was Paul Revere? by Roberta Edwards. The girls liked the book because Paul's head is huge on the cover. One day while we were at the library, the girls favorite librarian, Ms. Sherry, asked if Zoey would like to join the book club. It just so happens that in November each child was choosing a book from the "Who was" series. Zoey was so excited. This series has many books and gives a history of the famous person perfect for a elementary aged child. She exclaimed, "I want to do Paul Revere! I want to do Paul Revere!" Even Sierra was excited.

Next Zoey read some of the book herself and some of it I read aloud to her. She put together a small display board with eight facts about Paul Revere. The one that she was the most intrigued by was that he had two wives (not at the same time) and each of them had eight children. Five of those children died as infants or young children. She also decorated the board with drawings of Paul Revere. When the day of the book club was here she dressed up in her home made costume of Paul Revere. She made a horse head to go on a yard stick so she could have a horse to ride. Here she is ready to go...

I love the masking tape to hold the hat in the shape she wanted. I offered to color it brown but she declined multiple times. Sometimes I forget to let her work be her work.

Here she is with her board and her timeline painting.

And here she is at the library. She also memorized the beginning of the poem and said that in addition to reading her eight facts about Paul Revere.

I was surprised that she was not too nervous doing it. She seem to really enjoy herself. I am amazed that one simple book took us so far in learning. I shouldn't be though. We have been using Five in a Row for over three years now along with other things but we continue to learn so much from this curriculum. Way to go Zoey! Keep up the excellent work.