Former abecedarian CC tutor (iijuan12), former history teacher, & currently a Christian homeschooling mama of 9 blessings
This is the plan I used for a Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 4 abecederian class. I have included all the subjects including new grammar, art, presentations, science, and review game. I also added my weekly parent email. This is not an official tutor plan. It's simply what I did. I'm sharing it so other tutors can use it as a springboard from which to plan your own lessons that are tailored to best meet the needs of your own class.
(Class set of trivium maps, dry erase markers, and small pieces of paper towels will already be at each seat.)
• Blob mapping:
-Have the children use their dry erase markers to trace around the border of America and then erase them.
-Have the children put the caps on their markers and lay them down.
• Point out the capitals & states on my map one by one. (I say, “Eyes and pointer fingers up” each time before I introduce the next location.) Each time have the children find the location on their maps using their fingers. They say the location, and I confirm, “Yes, that is…”. Repeat.
• Show me/Tell me the locations using a dry erase marker.
-Show me where Atlanta, GA is. Put a dot on it.
-Show me where Tallahassee, FL is. Put a dot on it.
-Show me where Montgomery, AL is. Put a dot on it.
-Tell me which state & capital this is. It’s Ja… (Yes, it’s Jackson, MS.) Put a dot on it.
-Tell me which state & capital this is. It’s Bat… (Yes, it’s Baton Rouge, LA.) Put a dot on it.
-Put the caps back on the markers, but don’t erase anything yet!
• Go through the locations with me while erasing locations one by one. (Do them out of order.)
***Parent Helper: Collect markers and maps and return to tutor bag. Throw away paper towel pieces.
(*At home we’ll be learning the locations using the song & hand motions by CCHappyMom.)
- Flash the cards, while singing card titles 1-3, then 1-5 card titles, then 1-7 card titles.
- Which card is missing? Secretly pull one of the cards out. Lay them out on the table. Sing through the song to find out which one is missing. Repeat 3 more times.
- Hear me sing the 7s.
- Touch Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes while singing together. Start slowly & go faster each time.
- Sing the history sentence while children listen. I added the below hand motions. I just do the motions without explaining them. (You can get a visual from the video below. Note that I didn't use all the motions AND the ending is different.)
1776 = hold up 6 fingers when you say "6"
Continental Congress = Hold your left hand flat facing the children. Form a C with your right hand and tap it on your left hand at the top and bottom of your left hand
Declaration = Touch your lips with your index fingers and then point them outward, extending your arms straight, showing you're declaring something.
Independence = Cross your wrists in an X and then break them apart like you're breaking chains
announcing = Cup hands around your mouth like you're shouting something.
separate = Hold your fists together and then separate them quickly as if you're tearing apart a piece of paper.
- Sing it and do the hand motions together 2 times.
- Vary who sings it: Children sing it & do motions with me. Right table sings it. Left table sings it. Boys sing it in a whisper. Girls sing it loudly. Everyone sings it. (If they are able, I have the all the children do the hand motions whether or not they are the ones singing it. That keeps everyone engaged.)
This video is from the 4th edition, so the ending of the song is different. I used SOME of these motions.
- Hear me sing 8s while pointing to them on the board.
- Have children sing with me.
- Popcorn: We all sit on the floor in front of the board. Each child gets a turn circling one number on the board. After each turn, we sing the song and jump up and sit back down whenever we get to a circled number.
- I chant while using the rhythm posted by Missy Wilson (posted below).
- Have children chant it with me 2 times.
- Basketball: Give each child a half sheet of paper & have them crumple up the paper as you chant. After they say, “past participle” have them try to throw the paper ball into the trash can. Repeat 3 more times.
- Chant sentence & touch parts while children listen. For brain, touch the top of your head. For spinal cord, touch your back. For nerves, do jazz hands (hold out your hands & shake them).
- Allow each child to say what silly voice they want to do the sentence in and everyone chants it using that silly voice. (It’s okay if they request voices you don’t have on your silly voice cube.)
(*At home we will be learning this using the tune and motions by Seth, posted below.)
- Children listen while I sing it using the tune by funny shirl, posted below.
- Children sing it with me.
- Erase: Each child gets to erase a word. Sing it after each time.
(*At home we’ll be adding the memory tricks from Remole Reels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wAW7MU5Ic0 .)
- ***Parent Helper: Fill 8 Dixie cups with water. Place the cups at the far end of the children’s tables. Put a watercolor paint set and a fat paintbrush near the water. These should not be out of reach of the children.) Then put a piece of newspaper down at each child’s place (to be used to protect the table). Place a box of crayons on the tables for each group of 3 children, and pass out a sheet of drawing paper to each child’s place.
- Have children sit on the floor while the helper parent prepares the table.
- Quickly show 3 traditional paintings. (I used ones from one of the Lucy Micklethwait books.) Ask children what they see in each picture. (children and a dog, men playing a game, a mom and dad, etc.)
- Show some abstract art by Kandinsky. Ask the children what they see. Have them identify OiLs in Kandinsky’s or Delaunay’s art. Can they identify any real objects, people, or animals in the paintings?
- About 100 years ago, some artists decided to stop trying to paint something that represented an animal, object, etc. Instead, they wanted to communicate a message or feeling. “Abstract art is non-representational art. That is, art which does not try to represent people, animals or objects in the real world, but which attempts to communicate meaning either through dramatically simplified or invented forms.” (An Usborne Introduction: Understanding Modern Art)
- Read The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock . Kandinsky is credited as the first abstract artist.
- ***Parent Helper: Turn on a classical music CD. I used the songs that we will be listening to later this year from the Classical Music for Dummies CD, but any music will work. Vivaldi’s Spring is always a nice one as well.
- Have children return to seats. Tell them to not touch anything yet and wait for the instructions. Tell them we are now going to paint the music that we hear.
- Have children label the back of their paper with their names.
- Using a crayon, draw four straight lines that cross each other and go to the edge of the paper. Lines may be diagonal or straight. Put crayon back in bowl.
- Pick up a different color crayon and draw 2 circles that touch a line. They can be oval, circles, kidney-shaped or ellipse-shaped. They are to be empty and any size anywhere on the page. Replace that color crayon.
- Draw 3 dots -- any size or shape (like the circles) with a different color crayon. Color them in solidly. Then replace that crayon.
- Choosing another crayon color, place your crayon on the dot and draw a curvy line going off the page. It will look like a balloon. Do this twice. Replace this color crayon in the bowl.
- Pick up a final color and add two or three things on your own such as: a zigzag, angled line, a spiral, a dotted line, a shape like circle or dot, etc.
- Wet your paints with clear water by dropping a drop of water into each color first. Then paint in the shapes, repeating colors in different sections of the painting but not touching. ***Make sure that children do not use too much water!!! It might tear the paper.***
- Mix colors to make new ones, such as tertiaries and work on refining painting skills. All white areas should be covered with paint.
- Did we all follow the same directions? Do the drawings look the same? Different? How are they similar? How are they different? Why? With just one set of directions, everyone in the classroom will come up with very unique works of abstract art.
- ***Parent Helper: Collect papers & set aside to dry. At the end of class while we do review, they can put in children’s folders to be sent home OR collect them for the art portfolios that will be returned at the end of the 6 weeks if you would prefer to do that instead.***
- Have children collect presentation items from the basket/table.
- Remind that when someone else is talking, children should: Stop, Look, Listen.
- Remind about presentations: Today’s focus will be: Volume: Can the whole room hear you audibly? Make sure to not be too soft or too loud. What is today’s focus? [Remember to raise your hand to answer.]
- Each child gets 1 question token (a foam rectangle with their name written on it).
- Have children go in alphabetical order. (We rotate each week.)
- Next week’s optional topic: Try to memorize & recite part of or the whole second sentence from the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If you’d like to include a visual, you can bring a feather for a quill pen (or make one by slicing off the bottom) & dipping it in paint or ink.
- Next week’s skill to work on: Hear silence once. Make no hmm, um, or any other sounds between your sentences or thoughts.
- Return presentation items to backpacks.
Bathroom Break & Snack Time
Pray. Bathroom break. Get snacks from snack basket and have snack while listening to memory work CD.
- *Ahead of time watch a video of the science activity by CCLivermore Tutor (posted below).
- *Note: It's up to your director how to go about doing this activity, but if they're open to changing it, I would HIGHLY recommend doing this a different way. Unless you have a parent helper for each child, this is so difficult to do with younger children.
An alternative way to do measure lung capacity:
Materials needed: an identical container of water for however many parent helpers you have (We used 2L soda bottles.), a plastic container such as a plastic dishpan for each container of water, a straw for each student and for you, a liquid measuring cup, a pitcher of water (or more if available), & a few towels
- Before class prepare the materials. fill up an identical container of water for however many parent helpers you have as you'll want an adult to supervise each bottle. (We used 2L soda bottles.) Fill them completely and then place them each in a plastic container such as a plastic dishpan. Then top them off to make sure they are each filled to the brim. They should be on a side table where they won't be disturbed until science activity time. Also have at least 1 pitcher of water for refills. If available, have a pitcher of water for each bottle of water.
- During the science activity quickly introduce the concept of lungs and lung capacity by summarizing parts of the book Breathe In, Breathe Out: Learning About Your Lungs by Pamela Hill Nettleton. (I read the book ahead of time. In class I summarized it as I flipped through the pages, showing them the pictures.)
- Ask a few questions: What do our lungs do? Can we see our lungs? Put your hand on your chest. Now breathe in. Can you feel your chest move? Your lungs are filling with air (oxygen) like a balloon. Keep your hand on your chest. Breathe out. Your lungs are releasing air (carbon dioxide) that your body doesn't need anymore.
- Make a hypothesis: Do you think we all have the same size lungs or lung capacity, how much air we can hold in our lungs? What's your hypothesis? Raise your hand if you think we all the the same size lung capacity. Raise your hand if your hypothesis, or educated guess, is that our lung capacities are different.
- Practice taking one breath: Tell them they will each get a straw. They will put the straw in the water, take a deep breath, and then blow one strong breath until they can't breathe out any more. How many breaths? One! Let's practice taking a deep breath and then blowing it out. [Do it.] Will you do this? [Puff loudly a few times.] No. Why not? Yes, it's more than one breath. We only want one breath. Let's practice one more time. Be sure to take in a big breath and fill those lungs with as much air as you can. [Inhale loudly and exhale loudly.]
- Practice blowing one breath through a straw: Can you do that with a straw? Let's try. [Hand everyone a straw.] This time we'll exhale or breathe out through the straw. Let's inhale. Get lots of air in your lungs. Then blow out through your staw. Let's do it. Let's try that one more time.
- Demonstrate: Demonstrate for them what to do by putting the straw in the water, inhaling as much as I can [loudly & dramatically], and then blowing one long breath out through the straw. [The kids think this is hilarious as water pours out from the bottle into the plastic bin.] How much water I blew out is how much air was in my lungs. That shows my lung capacity. Let's measure it. [Dump the water into a liquid measuring cup to measure it and then dump out the water.]
- Children get to do it. Now it's your turn. we're going to do it with the water. Hold the straw in the water. How many times will we breathe out? Yes, one time. Everyone, take a deep breath and then blow one strong breath out through your staw until you can't breath out any more. Have children take turns doing it. The parent helper at each station should measure the displaced water from the previous child, dump it out, and then refill the bottle for the next child to try.
- Conclusion: Was your hypothesis correct? Did everyone have the same amount of air in their lungs? Why (or why not)? Is there a difference between children who are active in sports and those who aren't? Is there a noticeable difference between children who are 4 and children who are 5? Is there a big difference between the girls and the boys? Is there a noticeable difference between children who are shorter and children who are taller?
- Geography Fast Review: Hand out maps to each child. Divide up children among you & the helping parents so that you are able to each check specific children and what they are pointing at. Call out the geography locations from weeks 1-4. Have children tell me or show me locations using their fingers.
- Fly swatting game: Print off a flip chart from CCC & cut each subject into one square (or just use the review cards). I divided the questions in half. One helping mom/dad sat with half the children, and I sat with the other half. Each child would take a turn using a fly swatter to slap one of the flies. They answer the question that is on the back of the fly. Half way through they switch and move to the other “pond” to answer those questions.
Words cannot express how proud I am of all of my abecedarians and of all of you parents for your dedication. Your children are doing such an amazing job with the memory work, and I know that has to do with your perseverance in working with them each week!
Please try to make a habit of taking your child to the bathroom each morning before morning assembly! We had multiple requests for bathroom trips shortly after class started today.
*Next week’s presentation skill to work on: Hear silence once. Make no hmm, um, or any other sounds between your sentences or thoughts.
Would you like a little bit extra? Each week my family enjoys reading books, doing activities, and watching YouTube video clips related to our new grammar. Memorizing the CC grammar is completely sufficient, but if you’d like to add a bit more, here is what my family has enjoyed reading, doing, & watching. We’ll be focusing on the geography, but I’m also including a link on the history (Declaration of Independence) and science (nervous system) if you’d prefer to study that instead.
Geography Morning Basket Ideas:
Georgia Books and Videos: https://hubpages.com/education/learning-about-georgia
Florida Books and Videos: https://hubpages.com/education/florida-lesson
Alabama Books and Videos: https://hubpages.com/education/learning-about-alabama
Mississippi Books and Videos: https://hubpages.com/education/mississippi-lesson
Louisiana Books and Videos: https://hubpages.com/travel/learning-about-louisiana
Fun activities we did while learning about these Southern States: https://hubpages.com/education/southern-states-lesson
History Morning Basket Ideas:
Declaration of Independence: http://hubpages.com/education/paul-revere-s-ride-battles-of-lexington-concord-minutemen-thomas-jefferson-and-declaration-o
Science Morning Basket Ideas:
Nervous System: https://hubpages.com/education/nervous-system-lesson
This week I will be praying for each of your children. My prayer is that through our time at CC, they will learn to “be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (I Timothy 5:18-19)
I am here to serve you in any way that I can. If you ever have questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know!
- CC Cycle 3 Week 1
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