We had a great time rowing this book. Now that we’ve finished it, H has declared that it is her all time favorite book! I think she enjoyed all the pasta, Italian snacks and learning about cats!
Ironically, you can see our new kitten looks a bit like Papa Piccolo. After studying the book, H voted to expand Oreo’s name to include Piccolo as the middle name.
Here’s some of the things we did during our FIAR study:
A couple of days before we officially started our study, we happened to stop at a Pizzeria for lunch. H was excited to find out that pizza and cannoli’s are Italian (although she wasn’t a big fan of the cannoli because of the cream filling).
Today we started out by reading the theme book. Next, we read a couple of books about Italy:
Then we did Italian map and flag mini-books from the homeschool share website.
Next, we read a book about Cats and completed most of this worksheet set I found online (see my Pinterest board for links):
H enjoyed the cat packet and I let her trace the cursive writing however she wanted since we haven’t started learning cursive. I want her to work more on her regular printing before we delve into cursive.
Then we enjoyed an Italian wafer cookie snack H had picked out from World Market (we went a week or two before we started this study).
Later we made Chicken Parmesan for dinner and I was pleasantly surprised at how well H ate it! She tends to be pretty these days when it comes to dinner foods.
Today we read a couple more cat books and looked through a print out of different types of cat breeds. H was surprised at how many different types of cats there are (and I was surprised, too!).
Next, we read a story about Venice, Italy:
Then we tried Italian soda (also from World Market). I wasn’t a fan of the flavor and H wasn’t a fan of the fizz. She liked it after it had been sitting out for a bit. But Daddy liked it a lot and finished most of it off for us.
Next, we talked about adoption and how Papa adopts the kittens. H is pretty familiar with adoption since both of her siblings were adopted within the last year. We reviewed the process we had to go through to adopt K and we talked about all the kids that are still waiting to be adopted. I even pulled up some of the heart gallery pictures to show H the faces of some of the kids waiting for homes. Then we read a story about adoption:
Today H did a Papa Piccolo word search (see my pinterest board for link), and an Italy worksheet. We read a few more books about adoption and cats:
We talked about the different cat breeds in the Castaway Cats book. H is now a big fan of Siamese cats. We also read another book about Venice:
Then we made an Italian love cake. I had never heard of this recipe, but it was pretty easy, and it was neat how the layers switched places while baking (see my pinterest board for the recipe). I thought it was interesting, but H wasn’t a fan of the ricotta layer. I think she was expecting it to be thicker like cheesecake. Daddy liked it though and he helped eat the rest of it!
K ended up sick yesterday afternoon and today, so we didn’t do as much school. We read a couple books about cats (I’m always a big fan of anything by Gail Gibbons!) and Venice:
Today we started out by talking about what a fable is, then reading (the Fox and the Grapes):
We talked about what the metaphor “sour grapes” is and then we read Papa Piccolo again and looked for the explain of the metaphor. H actually got the idea fairly quickly. We also talked about the lullaby that Papa sings to the kittens, and then we made up our own versions for dogs, butterflies, H, Daddy and Mommy.
Next, we talked about what a father is, who’s the perfect father (God!), how some families are different and don’t have one or both parents. We talked about what Piccolo taught the kittens as their adopted father and what Daddy has taught H. Then we read a few books about fathers (the above one included):
The “A Father Like That” book was especially neat.
We found Italy on our school map and marked it with a see-through colored sticker. H did her setting and vocab notebook (we do a page for each FIAR book we study).
We tried some Pizelle Italian Waffle cookies and made real Italian pasta with garlic bread for lunch.
Today we talked about the different types of jobs that they had in Venice on the water. We talked about what kinds of jobs that we have near us that takes place on the water. Then we read a couple books that talked about jobs on water and also living in different types of houses/neighborhoods (including Venice).
Then we read a story about Marco Polo and another book about Venice.
We watched an episode of “Travel with Kids” on Youtube about Venice. H liked it so much, that we found their series on Amazon Prime and she went on to watch episodes about Florida (even though we live here!), and Paris. The shows are really neat. They’re about a couple who took their two young boys and traveled to 35 countries in one year. The shows are educational and entertaining.
Next, we did some art based on Papa Piccolo. We looked at how the artist drew the cat’s eyes. We looked at how the cat’s eyes have light in them, which makes them look more alive. Then we practiced drawing cat’s eyes with light in them. Since this lesson H has noticed how in real life, people’s eyes also have light reflected in them.
Then we practiced drawing things in motion like the kittens were running in the book. We tied a stuffed animal to a string and took turns swinging it around. Then we tried to draw it like it looked. Here’s how it looked while H was swinging the stuffed animal and how she drew the stuffed animal in motion (when I saw swinging it).
Today we read a few books about eyes and sight. We did some of the activities mentioned in the books, focusing most on peripheral vision since Papa Piccolo saw the kittens “out of the corner of his eye.”
Next we looked through a little of this book about inventors. We mainly focused on inventors from Italy, like Da Vinci.
Then we looked at some of the famous paintings by Italian artists in this book. I like how big the pictures are.
I was disappointed that there weren’t pictures of the Sistine Chapel in the book. So we looked up some pictures online. Then the girls pretended to paint like Michelangelo by painting under the table (pretending its a ceiling). H wasn’t a fan because she couldn’t make her lines straight enough (what a perfectionist!). K had a good time though!
H wanted to paint more after this but on the table like normal instead. I was pretty impressed with her painting of Venice, complete with Papa Piccolo on a pole by the water.
Then we read another book about Italy. H practiced drawing some of the sights of Italy from this other book while we were driving to a science class by the beach.
Today H did some writing practice with Papa Piccolo words (from a printed packet from online). We read a book about Venice called “Gabriella’s Song” (apparently I forgot to take a picture). Then we looked briefly through this book about flags:
We found Italy’s flag and Venice’s city flag. Venice’s flag is definitely unique! We made gnocchi (from a package) and garlic bread for dinner.
Today we read Papa Piccolo again and did some math activities/discussions based on the book (pairs, windows, etc). H colored another Italian flag, did a mini book about Italy’s vs. USA population and the time here vs. time in Rome, Italy. We read this book about Italy and practiced our numbers in Italian:
We talked about homelessness, how the kittens were homeless, how there really are homeless people. We discussed home some people become homeless and how to help homeless people. We also talked about how some animals are homeless. Then we read a few books about homeless people. They were all really neat.
We also did some activities with the color wheel. We used the page from the back of the FIAR manual and talked about primary, secondary and complementary colors. We learned how if you mix complementary colors they are supposed to make gray. Then H used each color to make a picture, putting the complementary colors next to each other and using their mixture of gray to make rocks.
Finally, we finished up by enjoying some pizza and mini cannolli’s today while we were out running errands.
Our next FIAR book is The Clown of God. So, we’ll be continuing our study of Italy, but this time during the Renaissance period.
Here’s my Pinterest board that has links to the print outs I used and where I got a lot of my ideas.