Ask Mr. Bear
Although it’s an old classic, I had never heard of Ask Mr. Bear until I discovered Before Five in a Row. It’s a very appealing little story, with a pattern that’s easy for kids to follow and a sweet surprise at the end. Both my boys wanted to read it over and over this week.
The Before Five in a Row manual has so many wonderful ideas for this book. We spent lots of time discussing birthdays, and just making cornbread muffins (which Ian assumed were cupcakes!) was a celebration. Both boys really loved it when I read the story using different voices for the animals and we practiced making their sounds. The illustrations are great for introducing the idea of pastels (especially in contrast with the bright colors in Goodnight Moon).
I also chose two activities from Homeschoolshare.com. The first one is actually based on an activity from the manual. We used the HSS animal classification cards (which cover several B4FIAR books). I had Ian help me divide the cards into two piles: birds and mammals. The birds were easy, but he had a hard time grasping the concept of mammals. “Here’s the cow. What do you think it is, a bird or a mammal?” “It’s a cow.” Elijah spent lots of time studying the cards as well. (Somehow Ian managed to stay out of all these pictures!)
The other thing I did from HSS was the “product cards” from the lapbook, which we did after we read through the book a few times. Ian got a few of them right on his own, and for the others we went back and reread the appropriate page from the book so he could get them all. Elijah really liked looking at the cards and trying to name everything.
I’m so thankful to Before Five in a Row for introducing us to this fun story!