Monday, March 26, 2012

Sail Away, The Ballad of Skip & Nell - Activities, Printables, Crafts

We've been spending time with two delightful little dingoes of late. Sail Away, The Ballad of Skip & Nell is a story about a journey. A rather long journey, which takes these two adventurers around Australia, in search of a boat race.

This story is a great introduction to Australian Geography and Australian Animals.

Freezing objects in ice is nothing new to the blog world, but it was a new experience for us. I grabbed a couple of different packs of Australian Animal figurines and froze them into three separate containers of ice.

This was our introduction activity to the book. Initially, I left it up to them as to how they were going to excavate the animals from the ice.

Initially they all ran for the cutlery draw, grabbing knives and forks and began pounding away at their ice block. Little Surfer Dude thought his wooden hammer might do the trick.

The chipping away was working but they quickly realised that the ice would probably melt faster than they could work.

That's when I opened up the discussion about melting ice and ways in which that could be done.  We live in a warm climate and the children have had no experience with snow or ice as part of our local weather.

Fairy Princess asked me to heat her hot pack to give that a try and whilst initially it appeared to be working the water was quickly saturating the material of the pack.

We tried salt on the ice with minimal success.

We boiled the kettle and used small jugs to pour over the ice, now this was working, but it was still slow going.

The sure fire quickest way to remove those animals from the ice was under the running warm water tap. Everyone marveled at the holes in the ice that were formed from the water and how each piece disinegrated differently.

We spent some time simply playing with and talking about the animals. Then we ventured into the read aloud.

Lego Lover made lists of the destinations and the animals along the way.

Little Surfer Dude, matched up the animal replicas to the cards I made.

Fairy Princess extended the cards and used all 3 parts for some vocabulary work. Little Surfer Dude also enjoyed this activity and completed it successfully several times on his own.

I placed the 3 part cards and animals onto our "Australia" work area so the children could play with them at their leisure.

I had planned a couple of art and craft activities to go along with this story, but this particular one was completely instigated by Lego Lover. The double page spread illustration of the Frilled next Lizard caught his eye and even though he isn't actually a part of the storyline itself, Lego Lover was keen to replicate it.

Of course everyone had to try their hand at this.

Lego Lover's Frilled Neck Lizard.

Fairy Princess used a combination of pencil and oil pastel.

As did Little Surfer Dude.

It was the journey around our great land that inspired Lego Lover to create his map from Lego.

Now there is no mention of it in the story but it's pretty clear to me that this journey was to take the animals to a race, a very special boat race, during a very special year - the year Australia WON The America's Cup!!

This story build up and this illustration tells it all. I thought we could have some fun recreating it but in more of a 3D kind of way.

We began with a lesson on Horizon lines. We looked through the story and noticed several of the illustrations have very clear horizon lines.

We took a stroll outside and saw first hand, the real life horizon lines that surround our home.

I googled horizon line art lessons and showed the kids this one and this one which helped them to get more visuals.

I hand drew some sails and cut them out in varying sizes and the kids decorated them in anyway they pleased. They then set about placing them on their paintings where they felt looked best.

You'll notice all the streamers in the air in the illustration. We decided to use real streamers, twisted them a little and glued them to the page.

Fairy Princess simply attached hers so they could move about freely.

Lego Lover chose not to add any at all.

We've enjoyed delving more into this story and I have more activities to share with you, but this post is getting quite long so stay tuned for Part 2, which will include some printables to go along with the book, Sail Away The Ballad Of Skip & Nell.


The Homeschool Den said...

It's so funny you should mention freezing animals. We were studying the Arctic last week and I froze a wooly mammoth (and talked about icebergs) with the kids. I'll be posting about that next Monday! What a wonderful array of activities. Looks like there's a lot of good learning going on in your household! ~Liesl

Rosemary said...

What great ideas to bring the story to life! And such beautiful artwork by the kids.

Anonymous said...

Wow what great activities! It's funny because my children just opened their most recent pen pal letters from April's children (from Educating April)and her son sent a 3D puzzle of the Frilled Necked Lizard so my son has had me searching everywhere for information. LOVE the LEGO map, that's so creative! Thanks for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness I love the lego map!! That is really amazing. Their Dragons came out amazing too. The Horizon Art is beautiful. I love the use of the mixed media. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up to stART :)

Shauna said...

What wonderful activities and little artists you have! What a cute book you mentioned. I can't wait to find it and read it to my children. I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

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