PreK Week 8 Review {FIAR} Clown of God


This week we stepped back in time!  A local town was hosting a Renaissance Faire, so we decided to row Five-In-A-Row’s Clown of God and learn about some of the great artists and thinkers of that time.  We also made it to the pumpkin patch this weekend, and we all had so much fun – especially riding the steam train around the farm!

Exploring the Human Body: Muscles

We finished up learning about muscles by adding the muscles to our human body wall posters.



We used different manipulatives (bears, cards, buttons) to review larger/smaller concepts, and figure out how many more or less one set had than the other.


We reviewed letter F and began letter D.

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All About Reading Level 1 is still going great and I would highly recommend this program to anyone!  We break the lessons up, usually doing one lesson per week.  This week Libby learned the short ‘e’ sound.  This is the first one that she is struggling with a bit.  She makes the short ‘i’ sound at times instead of ‘e’.  We are continuing to practice!  She is also making progress with her readers.  She is able to read much quicker now as she has many of the words memorized and does not need to sound them out.

Learning through Literature: {FIAR} Clown of God

This is a sweet picture book written by Tomie DePaola.  It takes place in Italy during the Renaissance.  It tells of Giovanni’s life, from an orphan who juggles for food to him becoming a famous performing juggler, and when he ages and is no longer able to entertain as well, he becomes poor again.  He finds himself old and ragged at a church.  He uses his talent as a gift to the Holy Child, and dies juggling his best performance of his lifetime.  A miracle occurs – but I don’t want to ruin the story!

While reading around online I found that many people said that they would not share this book with their four year old because of the element of death in the story.  I checked the book out and read it ahead of time, and felt that my children could handle this sensitive topic, and I felt that it was handled wonderfully in this book.  It opened up great conversation about what happens naturally as we age, physically and emotionally.  We were able to talk about the life stages of humans, and how everyone does die.  Our character Giovanni had a filling life doing what he loved, and died as an old man pleasing our Lord.

Books that we read for this unit:

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And our read aloud chapter book was this Magic Tree House book that took Jack and Annie back to the time of the Italian Renaissance to help Leonardo da Vinci.

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Our trip to the Renaissance Faire:


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We made a list of things that we are thankful for.  Giovanni did not have a lot in life as an orphan but he was thankful for his talent, and through his positivity, he was able to carry on and have a wonderful life.

On another day we did this character puzzle to learn about the different things that make up a character in a story.

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We also read from The Usborne book of Living Long Ago about the food, clothing, housing and transportation during the time of the Renaissance.  We read that clothing did not have pockets, so they wore small pouches.  We decided to make some our own using fabric and ribbon.  Even Libby’s doll had a pouch made for her!


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We learned about Italy and learned a few Italian words.  And of course we had to eat Italian food!  Hubby and I made homemade ravioli from scratch one night, and it was delicious!  We finished the meal with some Gelato.

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For our science this week we read about Galileo in the book Starry Messenger.  We learned that Galileo built his own telescope and discovered many stars, and also learned much about the moon.  He also believed that the moon rotated around the earth, and that the earth was actually not the center of the universe as it was believed in those times.  He eventually published a book with his findings – but got into a lot of trouble with the church!  He spent the rest of his life in jail.  We talked about how thinkers of this time began to do many experiments and asked questions!  It is important to never stop wondering.

We painted our own sun, earth, and moon.  We then took turns orbiting them around in the correct order.  Ian making a sun:


For art we learned about some of the architectural elements that were brought back during the Renaissance such as Roman arches and Greek pillers.  We had fun finding these elements in the book.  We also talked about stained glass, and made our own out of tissue paper stuck to contact paper with a construction paper background.

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Some free painting in the nice weather, in a princess dress!


We also made jester hats!


We ended the week with a lunch to Olive Garden – which was totally not planned as part of our week but, hey, impromptu lunch can be made educational!  The kids coloring pack contained tons of information about Italy


We had a great week at the Italian Renaissance.  Next up, we’re heading to Texas for Armadillo Rodeo!





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