Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Story About Ping

We started off our 2nd school semester with a Five in a Row unit on The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese.  This is a cute story about a duck who learns the importance of facing up to consequences for his actions.


Here are some of the activities we did to go along with the story:

  • Studied China - Ping lives on the Yangtze River in China, so we found China on our map at home, and drew the outline of China on a dot-to-dot map.  We also read lots of books, and learned some interesting facts about China through websites such as this one.  I also "rented" a  "Follow Jade" video from Youtube which taught the kids some Chinese words and phrases.  They really enjoyed watching it, and had fun trying to remember the words... I wish I would have caught them on video when they were "practicing."

Mesmerized by the Jade language video... :)

  • Math: Counting - We completed a math activity from, which involved counting all of Ping's family members (and he had a LOT of family members).  The kids grew a little tired of coloring every single duck by the time we got to his "42 cousins," so we just marked them and called it good.

  • Bible: Jonah - For our Biblical tie-in, we learned about the story of Jonah and how he tried to run away from something he didn't want to do (just like Ping!)... but nobody can hide from God!  We memorized Hebrews 4:13, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight."  I also found this  really cute activity for telling the Jonah story that involved using the faces in the pictures below (basically you hold up different faces according to what Jonah was feeling at different points in the story).  We then made our own whales, and put Jonah inside of them (Jonah was made out of pipecleaners).  My kids are still playing with their whales, and they love to tell everyone that Jonah is inside!

  • Art: Colored Pencils - The Story About Ping was illustrated using colored pencils, so we studied the different drawings and then the kids each drew their own duck to illustrate a poem about ducks.  We also discussed how the illustrator drew the water lines trailing the ducks in the book to make it appear as if they were moving... so we practiced including water lines too!

  • Science: Sink or Float - Since we spent time learning about ducks this week, we had fun doing a little experiment and learning about why certain things sink or float in water.  First we made a prediction about each item (pencil, block, popsicle stick, scissors, rubber band, rubber ball, spoon, paperclip, penny, can), and then tested them out in our tub of water.

  •  Science - Ducks!  Of course we learned about ducks :)  We enjoyed saying poems about ducks, reading about ducks, looking at pictures of different kinds of ducks, and then taking a field trip to the Riperian Preserve near our house to have a picnic lunch and take our own pictures of ducks!

We have quite a few little projects from this unit that are just waiting to be put into a lapbook... but instead we jumped right into our next FIAR unit with Make Way For Ducklings (our Ping unit flowed so nicely into this one... and our journey with ducks continues!).  Following that, we are looking forward to rowing Katy and the Big Snow, but my plan of driving up to Northern AZ to take a sledding "field trip" in honor of the book is not looking so great... considering the mountains of AZ are in desperate need of some snowfall this winter!  So pray for snow!!



  1. Wow, I'm tired just reading this :)

    LOVE your new header pic. Your kids have gotten so big.

    1. Haha, yeah when I put it all together in a blog post, it really does look tiring, lol :) All of these things were actually spread over WEEKS of time (maybe 1 or 2 activities per day and some days zero), so it really wasn't bad in the day-to-day work load... at least not as bad as it looks!! And you're right about the kids - they are growing way too fast - I need to figure out a way to stop time :)


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