before five in a row · Preschool

Blueberries with Sal – BFIAR Preschool

Blueberry Cover

We spent last week rowing Blueberries with Sal by Robert McCloskey.  Each week, I am loving Before Five in a Row more as it opens new worlds and learning experiences for us.  While I really enjoyed this week, M LOVED it!  She had so much fun with our story and activities that I found her repeating them on her own over and over throughout the week.  What more could I ask for?

When we sat down to read the book on Monday, I could tell M was enjoying it.  She was interested in the pictures and kept asking questions.  Definitely an improvement over the first two books.  We probably ended up reading the story 4 or 5 times throughout the week.

To kick off our related activities, we worked on the corresponding lapbook from Homeschool Creations.  M cut out a page of words that were found in the story and glued them onto one of her pages.  The pictures helped her figure out what each word was.


Next, she put together a puzzle of the bear and glued it down.  She got really frustrated that it didn’t come out exactly right, which I realized was because I didn’t give her a reference picture.  I think it came out pretty good considering she had no reference point.


Finally, she put together a book using different positional words.   M glued the baby bear onto each page based on the description it gave (i.e. next to, on top, near, etc.)  I think it was great practice and she seemed to really enjoy figuring out where to put the baby bear.




Afterwards, we acted out the book using animal figures we have.  Luckily, we had a “mama bear” and a “baby bear” so it worked perfectly.  M put each bear in their correct position based on the book.  (The blue chair is our very own blueberry hill)


Something about bringing the story to life with the bear figures clicked with M and she absolutely loved it.  After we acted out the story, we spent the next hour just playing on the floor with the bears (and eventually any other animal we could find) and she created different stories about what they were doing.  These are the moments I cherish and what remind me that learning doesn’t always happen at a table with a notebook and pencil.


We also added three new classification cards to our group – bear, crow and partridge.  M wasn’t interested in the crow or partridge but wanted to know more about bears.


After we re-read the book, we talked about how everyone prepares for the winter.  We talked about how the bears needed to store up food because they hibernate during the winter.  I found a high level video on YouTube that explained this using footage of actual bears.  I love to see the wheels spinning in M’s head as she told me that not all bear hibernate because Polar Bears like the cold and don’t sleep through winter.  We hadn’t discussed that but she was right, so we talked about how there are different types of bears and only some of them hibernate.

M also found a bunch of books involving bears at the library for us to enjoy this week.

61Hmyf0KDhL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_     Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Baby bear sees BLUE by Ashley Wolff

The Bear in the Book by Kate Banks

We used the story to practice the concept of addition.  While I had grand plans of doing this activity with an actual pail and fresh blueberries, it did not happen.  Instead, we used an equally effective if not as delicious version of a paper pail and berries.  I let M take the lead with this, picking two numbers to put into the equation and then we worked together to add the right amount to the bucket.  She then figured out the answer and plugged it in.  She did really well but wanted to move on after about 4 equations.




After we read the book towards the end of the week, we took some time to look at the illustration on the inside cover.  It’s Little Sal and his mother in their kitchen.  I asked M if she noticed anything different about their kitchen compared with ours and she pointed out a few things.  But when I asked her where their refrigerator was, she started to see that there were some major differences.  I explained how the story took place a long time ago, when things were very different – the wood burning stove and no refrigerator to name a few.


No week would be complete without crafts and we had a few good ones!  M used blue paint, cotton balls and popsicle sticks to create her own basket of blueberries.  She thought it was funny that we used cotton balls instead of paint brushes.



She also recreated Blueberry Hill.  I gave her a hill, pictures of mama bear, baby bear, Little Sal and his mother as well as lots of blueberries and she designed Blueberry Hill as she imagined it.  She also requested a giant sun for the sky!  I forgot to get a finished picture but you can see her hard at work here.


We had a great time rowing Blueberries with Sal this week!  Don’t miss our other BFIAR posts as well – Yellow Ball and My Blue Boat.

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