Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lapbook - "A Pair of Red Clogs"

Emily is rather predictable when it comes to books she likes.  While she generally loves reading about just about anything (ranging from lighthouses to the lives of Venetian street cats), her favourite books tend to have the following common elements: a young female protagonist and a story theme which is built around an article of clothing (like a coat or footwear).

As such, it came as no surprise when Emily requested that we lapbook A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno, a book which is featured in the Five in a Row (Fiar) homeschool curriculum. The book, which is set in Japan and gorgeously-illustrated, is about a young girl named Mako who is given a pair of red clogs.  She adores her beautiful clogs and wears them to school every day.  One day, she plays a traditional weather-telling game with her friends which involves her flinging one of her clogs into the air.  This damages the clogs and Mako decides to soil them in mud so that her mother will buy her a new pair.  However, she starts to feels guilty about lying to her mother and about her hidden motives.  Mako's mother asks her to wash the clogs and to continue using the washed clogs until a new pair is bought.  Mako decides that she will never lie to her mother again.

This is the cover of Emily's lapbook.  She coloured the traditional Japanese house scene on her own (which explains the (over-) liberal use of black for the screen).  The cover also features a craft activity which Emily enjoyed.  I cut out paper clogs and Emily painted them bright red.  We then used pipe cleaners as thongs, and stuck them on some gorgeous Japanese print wrapping paper which a friend had used to wrap a gift for us. 

Here is the inside of the lapbook, with the central flap lifted.  We showcased a finger painting of a cherry blossom tree which Emily did on the underside of the flap.  She did the finger blobs, while I added the tree branches and trunk later.

The topside of the central flap has a world map to show where Japan is in relation to Singapore (where we live) and to the United States (where Emily's young aunts and uncle live).  The Japanese flag is a lot easier to colour than the Spanish flag, and Emily used red paint to colour the sun.

We were also working on phonics quite a bit during this period, which explains the exercises on words ending with "ig" and "og".  It took me a bit more time to make the "ig" exercise, but the use of velcro tape has allowed Emily to redo the exercise many many times.  We like velcro tape!

We also embarked on some simple Mathematics word problems.  I read the words to her and she figured out the answers on her own.

I also found print resources for this Clog Matching Game online.  We play it as a memory game.  Emily lines up a string of cards, places them face down and then seeks to recall the colours of the clogs featured on each card.  She can usually handle a series of at least six or eight different cards, especially when she uses the Linking Memory skills taught in Shichida (we did two terms many moons ago!).

We also made a mini-book about Emily's Exciting Week to teach words related to the seasons (a link to Mako's weather-telling game) and the days of the week.  Emily helped colour the illustrations and choose the photos for the front cover of the mini-book.  Because the book is about her and about activities and places familiar to her, she loves to read it over and over again.

This is one of my favourite lapbooks from our growing collection.  I like how we managed to integrate some reading and vocabulary activities alongside Mathematics-based ones.  I also love the craft and game elements and Emily really enjoyed doing the craft bits.  There are a ton and a half of other great ideas available online as this is a very popular Fiar book, and this would make a great first lapbook project for any family thinking of getting started with lapbooking at home.

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