The Giraffe That Walked to Paris {FIAR}

via Five in a Row {FIAR}


"The Giraffe that Walked to Paris":  the true story of the first giraffe ever to live in Europe, given to the king of France as a peace offering.

We focused on the Peacemaker Character Trait at Hubbard's Cupboard as well as "Blessed are the Peacemakers" (Letter Bb at Raising Rock stars)

The first day, as we ate breakfast, I sang the Character Trait tune for Peacemaker, from Hubbard's Cupboard.  When I finished the quick little tune Emma says, "What's peace, mom!?"  Well Emma.  I'm glad you asked.  Let me grab the many books I found at the library to put it all into words for a 3 year old.  ;)

literature to tie in "peace" theme:
A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley:  this book is gorgeous.  It's a national geographic book - full of amazing photography from around the world with flowing, simple lines about peace.

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin is a beautifully illustrated book, again, simple and flowing circular type lines (in picture and in word) - ending the book where you started off.

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz.  This was probably the favorite for both Connor and Emma.  It goes around the world with teaching you how to say peace in many different languages.  "Meena lives in India.  Meena says shanti (SHAN-tee)", to which Connor and Emma would both happily repeat the foreign word.

The Peace Book by Todd Parr.  Todd Parr books are always a favorite in our house, with the bright colors and simple lines and the cute note at the end.  (this was the first one I read after Emma's question of "What's peace, mom!?") 
Peace is making new friends
Peace is giving shoes to someone who needs them
Peace is a growing garden
Peace is having enough pizza in the world for everyone

Language Arts:

This week we focused on Letter G for Giraffe.

We did all the G printables with Raising Rock stars Preschool's Letter Gg.

We also took from the B unit, the booklet "They are Playing".  I read it first, then Emma eagerly 'read' "all by herself".  Afterward she colored "they" from Carissa's sight word color by number.

About a year back I found a very nice book series at the dollar store, French/English first words.  They have long been Emma's most favorite to look at on her own.  For this week we pulled out the Zoo themed one, My First Bilingual Book - Zoo Animals.  The kids think it's hilarious hearing me try to say the French words.  With that said, my only complaint of the books is that there are no pronunciation guides to help pronounce the words.

When you subscribe to Five in a Row email you get a link to their free fold and learns.  Connor used the Giraffe Walks to Paris fold and learn this week.  I was surprised how much he enjoyed the vocabulary section.  Though, I did make it into a game where I'd read the definition and he had to find the word.  There were several big words to learn this week!

Social Studies:

Africa:  We read African Animal Alphabet by Beverly Joubert.  This is another National Geographic book.  It's nice in that you can easily read less (for instance, just "G if for Giraffe") for preschoolers, or you can read more, depending on the age of your kid.  Connor loved hearing quick facts about each animal and would ask to hear it if I tried to cheat and quicken up the story.

We also enjoyed A Is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu - same as said above, it is nice to read quick for preschoolers, or to read the extra facts for older kids.
Egypt:  I was trying to focus more on Africa, but Connor has a love for Ancient Egypt and when he heard that the Giraffe was from there, he got hooked.   Plus, we had just bought him Ancient Egypt Toob at the museum gift shop where we had visited to learn of our previous row of the Underground Railroad.  He got up early one morning and tore apart our basement, building himself a "tomb" for his new toys.

We learned about zoo keeping with Z Is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet by Marie Smith,  and Who works at the zoo? by Alyse Sweeney, and we also learned about Giraffes with Amelie Von Zumbusch.

In addition we learned about habitats with our Evan Moor Literacy Science Grade 1.


There happens to be quite a few zoo themed math books out there - check your local libraries!   We own and read ZOO! by Lori C. Froeb.  It's a really cute fold out/flap type book for preschoolers.

Wibbly Pig Has 10 Balloons was a "must have" from the library, according to Emma.  She seen it and just had to have it.  We read it on the way home at least twice (obviously, I wasn't driving).  It is super super cute and is math related.  Momma's happy.  Emma's happy.

I had found a 3D puzzle of a giraffe at the dollar store.  We attempted (and failed) to build it.  Some how we ended up with one missing piece for the joint of the leg, so she ended up a 3 legged giraffe.  lol.

 We also played pet shop (Connor's idea) with play money.  He built everything with blocks and then named the price, then I would "buy" it.  He also ripped me off with my 'lunch', charging $100 for a box of pizza.  ;)

We did an active (jumping around) version of the zoo math graph (linked below).  Then thankfully a much calmer activity of building a pattern block giraffe.

Side note:  Connor was very excited to see the word "dinosaur" on the printout.  lol.

Active Play:

Hop-Skip-Jump-A-Roo Zoo by Jane Belk Moncure was a wonderful find at a thrift store one day.  The kids love acting out the animals in the zoo, as prompted in this book - plus there's counting to be had in the book!  Always a plus with a preschooler.

Babar's Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff was a great find at our library.  It is a bit long, and because we had so many books this week we just looked at the pictures and copied the movements.

Super Stretch Yoga HD is an iPad app, currently free!  The kids love this, and we've had it for maybe a year or so.  I made sure to open it for this week's zoo theme.  About a week after we did this 'row' we were visiting some family and Emma complained that her tummy was hurting.  Connor immediately piped up, "I know what to do!! You do this --" and then he got down and did the "snake" pose, just as he had learned in the app.

 Wild Anamalz has got to be my MOST favorite kids CD/music ever.  He sings in a way that's pleasing to both the kids and the grownup (so not the usual high pitch kids songs).  The rhythm and the word both match what animal he sings in each song.  So the elephant, for example, is a heavy and slow rhythmic tune like an elephant walking.  My kids have loved this cd from day one, and we all run around acting out each song until we are pooped.  Even tots love it!  Emma was about 19 months when she started joining in our fun, and she would run around until she would collapse on the floor in a heap of giggles, to worn out to stand.  So hilarious!  (and the makings of a wonderful  naptime!)

Here's the kids, pictured below, nearly 2 years ago having a blast with the CD.  I don't have current pictures, but they love it just the same.  There's also one video I could find on YouTube, to show an example of the songs.

Fun to listen to AND gets everyone moving.  Win win!

Field Trip:

We went to the zoo!!  The blue sky shown is misleading.  The kids were wearing snowsuits to insure they stayed warm, and it drizzled rain most of the day.  BUT, we had tons of fun. (I'll spare you the many pictures I took, lol).  How cool is it that a baby giraffe was just born here!?  Although, we didn't see her. just the momma.  Baby was in the giraffe house resting and staying dry.  Still though, super cool.

Dear Zoo story props at Kidz Club
Map of the Mediterranean at Teacher Vision
Bembo's Zoo interactive zoo alphabet
Giraffe Lapbook from Homeschool Share
Color by letter Giraffe at
Zoo printable pack from 2TeachingMommies
Zoo Pack from 3 Dinosaurs
Harmony from Kids of Integrity is another great place to find for character trait.
Our post last year on being a Peacemaker
Egypt Printable Pack from 3Dinosaurs
Desert Pack by 2TeachingMommies
Are We There Yet:  World Adventure - Kenya Giraffes

Linking up at:
Delightful Learning 
 The Homeschool Village
So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler


  1. I dearly loved FIAR when my kids were littles!

  2. I've never heard of this book but it sounds great. We've never actually done FIAR but I love the concept!


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