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Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Story of Ping

The Story of Ping is a suggested read aloud in Expedition Earth for the week that China is studied.  There are a lot of aspects of this book that make it great for learning and further study.  I just wanted to point some of these out.  I did not do all this because I noticed this stuff as I was reading the book.  I want to point this out because as I jointly teach all my kids it is wonderful to find ways that I can interconnect their schooling.  The Story of Ping is a great book for lower elementary level students, but it can be used for all ages.  I read it to all my kids as a group two days in a row, but it is a book that could be read by my 5th grader just for fun reading.  My second grader could read it with some assistance.  Either of the two girls could use it for copywork... maybe one page per day for the 2nd grader and maybe more for the 5th grader. 

There are many other ways you could use this book for different age levels.  There is reference in this book about cousins, so you could use this time to talk about relatives and family.  They could draw their family or collect pictures of family members for a collage or poster.  Also, the author adds in an element of counting the ducks some, so this book could be used for talking about counting with the little ones and learning about two digit numbers for children 2nd grade or possibly higher.

Little ones can enjoy marching around the room doing a “duck march” as the author refers to it in the book.  Add in a little “quack-quack-quack” for some noisy animal sound fun! 

The author refers to the “yellow water of the Yangtze River” and this would be a great time to do a little geography.  Look up the location of the Yangtze River.  This can be pointed out during the reading of the book for all the kids.  You might add to this by having the older ones draw the Yangtze River on a blank map of China.  Of course, you could even have the children do a little drawing of the river, etc…  Also, research whether the water in the river is actually “yellow”.  If it is, older chidren could research why it is.

Duck crafts are an endless activity that could be done while reading this book.  I could never list all the ideas and I am sure there are a hundred options out there for free on the internet. 

Snack time could be rice cakes if some variety.  Rice cakes are mentioned in the book.

Play around with discussing the native language.  In case that would be Chinese.

Discuss the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.  Also, study the directions (N, S, E, W) and locate a compass on a map.


  1. This is one of my favorite stories. We used Five in a Row (FIAR) several years ago, when my oldest was in 2nd grade and we did most of the things you mentioned with this book. I loved it so much that I was sure to use it in the FIAR class I taught at our co-op and we made lapbooks that the kids (and parents) still talk about. So many learning opportunities exist in this creatively illustrated and beautifully written book.

    If you're interested, I have a lapbook page on my blog and this is one of the books on it...


  2. We loved the story of Ping. We also did the FIAR for a few years. Oh, I miss those days sometimes.


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