And just like that, it is time for week 2.
This week we will read chapters 6 – 10. One chapter per day is a steady pace and you can catch up on any chapters you miss over the weekend. In this section of the book, Louis begins experiencing new challenges and then must decide how to overcome them.
- What does Louis do when he is worried and anxious? What is something that makes you feel worried or anxious? What helps you feel better? How do you learn to do something new?
- Look up when birds in your area migrate. If you live in a very warm location, you might see birds migrate in, rather than leave to fly south.
- Watch videos of varying aspects of flight. Louis is told to run through the water while beating his wings for takeoff, then to level out and put his feet down to hit the water to land. On Netflix, there is a show called Tales by Light. The show follows photographers looking for elusive and difficult shots. In S1:E3 at the 13:20 mark, there is a video of an adventure photographer trying to get shots of the salt flats in Utah by paragliding. The takeoff to get into the air reminds me of Louis. Watching video clips of water skiing might be fun as well.
Speaking of taking flight, I would like to introduce the idea of combining resources into flights.
The families following this book club will all start with the same book, The Trumpet of the Swan, but they could all end up with very different adventures.
It was my intention to wait until the book was over and we were celebrating at the book party before throwing this idea out here, but it seems a great time to mention it. A flight of books or even a book/activity combination can greatly increase the excitement and overall learning done through a book. Your flight can take off at any time and head in any direction.
I will be sharing a few of these directions in a Facebook Live video where I will showcase some materials you could use to take flight. For example, in chapter 6, Louis is learning to fly. If you have children who are excited by engineering or science, you could pause here and learn about Wilbur & Orville Wright. You could visit a flight museum or a science center. You could watch a documentary about flight. This could be especially meaningful if you have flown recently or plan to fly soon. You can take one struggle that Louis overcomes or any encounter in the book and head off in search of your own patch of blue sky.
Now back to our chapters!
- What is a cow pony? What is Sam’s best quality as a friend? A little girl at school thinks rain on a picnic is a catastrophe. What do you think a catastrophe is?
- Think of a short word like cat and see what bigger words you can make from that base. Try the words: cap or bus.
- Hold an informal spelling bee. Let the children be the judges and let the older kids and adults be the contestants. Let a grandparent or neighbor pick the words and oversee the judges.
- Play a game like Charades, Pictionary, Lego Creationary, Telestrations, or Backseat Drawing. This kind of game shows how difficult clear communication can be and often results in a giggling mass of children. Win – Win.
- Come up with funny solutions to math word problems like Sam’s fifth grade class.
- Do you think it was wrong that no one searched for Louis? Why did Serena not pay attention to Louis? What do you think can be done to help Louis speak to Serena?
- Louis is gone a whole year – through all the seasons. You could do a quick study on seasons or what a bird, like Louis, would do in each season.
- What items were in the music store? Should the cob have taken the trumpet? What are your favorite musical instruments?
- Make a list of the musical instruments in the shop and look them up to see what they look and sound like.
- Check your local area for a live music performance. Our library hosts a music show for kids a few times a year.
- Check out the DK Eyewitness Book: Music – for pictures of instruments ranging from panpipes to zithers.
- Peter and the Wolf is always a classic for introducing the different ways that music can make us feel a story. I recommend the sound recording CD by Magic Maestro Music. Follow along in the book, Peter & the Wolf by Ian Beck.
- Experience the Story of the Orchestra through pictures, words and clips of music. The Brass section starts on page 60.
- Do you like to camp outside or go to camp? What job would you choose to do at camp? Should Louis work to pay back the music shop? Would you like to go to camp with Sam and Louis? What would you pack in your bag?
- If you have a brass instrument, let the kids try to play it. My Mom played french horn and would let my brothers try to blow through just the mouthpiece. You had to have a lot of air to make a significant sound!
- Listen to the songs Louis played at camp – Reveille, Mess Call, and Taps.
- Let the kids write a packing list for camping and consider camping in your backyard. Chapter 10 is Louis preparing to go to camp and chapters 11-13 are at camp. Wouldn’t it be great fun to be camping as well? You could also plan to go camp and read chapters 11-13 there. Make sure you find a place where you can walk softly like Indians, paddle a canoe, eat something cooked over a fire, and watch the sun go down while listening to Taps.
Here are a few of the resources I suggest for flights.
“It’s All About the Birds” Flight
Start with The Boy who Drew Birds or the PBS DVD, John James Audubon, and then follow that up with bird watching or an art session devoted to drawing birds.
“It’s All About the Music” Flight
Start with A Horn for Louis and then listen to the music of Louis Armstrong.
“It’s All About the Author” Flight
Read the book, Some Writer, and then follow that with a short writing activity or read another one of E.B. White’s classics, Charlotte Web.
“It’s All About the Animals” Flight
Read Little Swan and take a trip to the zoo.
“It’s All About the Growth Mindset” Flight
Read the book, Courage, and learn some beginner sign language.
Join me next week for Week 3 of Family Book Club! Please share with your friends if you would like another family to join yours in reading and celebrating this classic children’s book.
Stay tuned for the Facebook Live where I will show you the books and DVDs featured above. Have a great week!