P31 Wannabe

HS: Wee Gillis (FIAR 2) September 25, 2012

Filed under: Books,FIAR,Homeschooling,Life — Lacey @ 5:30 pm

(Resource links added at end, 10/5/12)


When Haddie saw the only black and white pictures inside Wee Gillis she kept telling me that she didn’t want to read it (this was 1-2 weeks before we were even ready to row it). She kept saying that she wanted a book with colors. She mentioned it a few more times and each time I told her we were still going to read it. And finally, a few days before we started, she started begging to read it. I’m so glad she changed her mind!

Day One
I had her guess what the story was about before we read it.
Haddie: “a horse. A horse named Wee.”
Me: “what about the gillis part?”
Haddie: “that’s the dog. There’s a dog in the story named Gillis.”

Well, she was wrong on both accounts. No dog and no horse. But she didn’t even remember once we started reading. I think this book is going to be a lot of fun. It’s a cute and interesting story.

After reading, we watched a YouTube video of a man playing bagpipes. I was just going to watch one, but she begged for more, so we watched a longer video of compiled pictures of Scotland. She liked seeing all the castles and long haired cows.

Next, we found Scotland on the big map. Well, it wasn’t marked on ours. We found the UK and I pointed out the northern area where Scotland is located (after searching google first. Yep, I’m learning a lot while teaching! Many things I should have already known, too).

Then we got to work making a pretend set of bagpipes. Haddie was very excited about these and kept going around “playing” them.


While reading the bagpipe books I pointed out the kilts and explained what they were. Her response to men wearing skirts, “that’s weird! What do the girls wear? Shorts?”

And a side note about the bagpipe books.


I found them while searching for kids’ bagpipe books at the library. They’re both fiction, but I wouldn’t recommend the Cold Feet book. I guess it’s based on a folk tale or something, but it’s creepy and not appropriate for younger children. It’s about this poor bagpiper that finds a frozen dead body in the woods. He likes the dead man’s boots so he ends up breaking of his frozen feet (because he can’t get the boots off), and waiting until the feet thaw so he can get the boots. Then playing a trick on a farmer by feeding his cow the dead man’s feet. Yikes. The story is told in a much “nicer” way but that’s basically the plot. I had already started reading the book before I realized what was happening, so I discretely edited out a lot of it while reading.

Day Two

We read Wee Gillis again and while reading we reviewed where he lived, what clothing the men wore (and difference between the highlanders and low landers), and what the first month of the year is. Then learned about fractions. I pointed out the times half is mentioned in the book (“felt pulled in half” and “standing halfway up and halfway down”). We read a really cute book about fractions and had her answer each of the questions in it. I’d highly recommend this cute story:


Then we did a couple of half fraction worksheets from education.com. Haddie decided to make her own desk from a laundry basket. And she did surprisingly well on the worksheets.


Then we made shortbread cookies since they are popular in Scotland.


Day Three

Haddie started out the day by completing two more half fraction worksheets. We reviewed the states we’ve been learning (not a FIAR activity, but school nonetheless). At nap time we spent some time looking at the pictures in a couple different books about sheep (too complicated to read to her, but we talked about the highlights), then we read Wee Gillis again, and finally a silly book about counting sheep.

Day Four

At nap time (yes, again!) we read a book about breathing and lungs and practiced breathing (pointing out that we breathe through our nose mainly), feeling where our rib cages are (talking about how they protect our lungs), and feeling our hearts beat (our hearts are in the middle left side of our lungs, and help pump the blood through our body and lungs to get the oxygen). Then we read some poems from a children’s poetry book. We talked about how many of the children’s rhymns and songs she knows are actually poems (i.e. Mary had a Little Lamb, Over the River and Through the Woods).

Day Five
I discovered a lot of math manipulatively in a bin that a teacher friend had given me a while ago so we spent some time playing with them this morning. Then we did some patterns with m&ms (from a math m&m book also from said friend).

Later on we finally got to some Wee Gillis work. We did her language arts notebook and talked about the setting, she chose a vocab word to draw (highlands) and then we wrote down what her name would have been if we added family names like Wee Gillis’.

We did some social studies by coloring the Scotland flag and finding/coloring Scotland on a Europe map. We put the months in order (using the printable list from homeschool share) and quoted them over and over until she seemed to get at least some of them right.

For art, she drew a picture and then I photocopied it on the printer to show her what itd look like as a monochrome drawing like the Wee Gillis book. We also compare and contrasted the oatmeal pictures.

Day Six
Today we took one last trip to the zoo before our year pass expires. After an attempted naptime we squeezed in some school.

We mainly focused on science today. We did a fog experiment (from online), talked about fog and watched a short video about fog on YouTube (wasn’t too impressed with it).


Next we did some lung experiments. We tested our lung capacity by blowing up balloons (more like tested our ability to even blow up balloons!).


We also did an experiment with blowing water out of a 2-liter (found it in a FIAR website). We looked through a couple books about breathing and lungs (most of it was too advanced for her).

Next we read Wee Gillis for the last time. While reading I stopped occasionally and let her fill in the sentences. We also found the shadows and traced them up using a ruler to find the light source.

Then we practiced making our own shadow drawings. I first drew a tree an sun and had her draw the shadow. Then she drew a dog house and I drew its shadow. Then we learned how to do cross-hatching like the pictures in Wee Gillis, only we did it in color. I drew a face with puffed up cheeks and cross-hatched cheeks. Then she did the same. Please excuse my lack of artist ability. My drawing’s on the left.
Just kidding. It’s the other one.


We really enjoyed this cute book and learning about Scotland. I’m looking forward to the next book we’re rowing (A New Coat For Anna). Although we probably won’t start it until next week since I have to get it ordered from another library. We’re going to have fun with weaving, bartering and dyeing fabric.

Helpful Wee Gillis Links:







Homeschool share resources: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/resources_wee_gillis.php

Bagpipes craft: http://twobarefootragamuffins.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/first-week-wee-gillis/



2 Responses to “HS: Wee Gillis (FIAR 2)”

  1. Michelle G. Says:

    Love that you record her thoughts and preconceptions ~ too cute!. Love the bagpipes, too. Really love how you are rowing and your enthusiasm! Great job!

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