Puddles and Ponds Schedule

This unit was designed to be used as a summer guide in our homeschool companion series. If you followed our other units you will notice a few differences. First there is no phonics/alphabet study included. If you child has completed the Pre-Explode the Code books A-C and you would like to continue... feel free to start on Explode the Code Book 1. I suggest getting the teachers guide book and a set of the ETC flash cards. Second, the crafts and recipes have been replaced with outdoor activity suggestions. We like to get outside and get messy in the summer. Third, it is only a ten week guide rather than covering a full 12 week term to accommodate vacations and lazy days. We love to encourage learning all year round... but do suggest that it be a bit more laid back during the summer.

Puddles and Ponds Weekly Schedule

Week Literature Lesson Activities Enrichment
1 Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today? by Tish Rabe Closed Cones NNS pg 7
Make a Weather Chart to use daily for the next 4 weeks.
Poem: Rain Clouds
Music/Art Study: Track 1
2 Little Cloud by Eric Carle The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola Cloud Creation and Cloud Predictions NNS pg 8-9
Go cloud watching.
Poem: Rain Clouds
Music/Art Study: Track 2
3 Rabbits and Raindrops by Jim Arnosky Down Comes the Rain by Frankly Branley Water Cycle NNS pg 30
Play in the rain.
Poem: Rain Clouds
Music/Art Study: Track 3
4 Thundercake by Patricia Polacco Flash, Crash, Fumble and Roll by Franklyn Branley Tornado Mix NNS pg 29 or Windy Weathering NNS pg 33
Put together a storm safety kit and plan.
Poem: Rain Clouds
Music/Art Study: Track 4
5 A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler Rainbow Milk/Soap experiment,
Make your own rainbow with a hose.
Poem: Rain Clouds
Music/Art Study: Track 5
6 Pond Circle by Betsy Fanco What's in the Pond? by Anee Hunter OSS pg 3-7, Establish Your Square
Make a Pond Journal to record your weekly observations.
Poem: A Dragonfly
Music/Art Study: Track 6
7 The Little Wood Duck by Brian Wildsmith Ducks Don't Get Wet by Augusta Goldin OSS pg 8-11, Wood Duck House, Wet Feather Experiment Poem: A Dragonfly
Music/Art Study: Track 7
8 Eliza and the Dragonfly by Susie Rinehart Take a Walk with Butterflies and Dragonflies by Jane Kirkland OSS pg 12-17, Periscope
Homemade Bubbles
Poem: A Dragonfly
Music/Art Study: Track 8
9 It's Mine by Leo Lionni Frogs by Gail Gibbons OSS pg 18-23, Leaf it Up
Story Telling using A Boy, A Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Meyer
Poem: A Dragonfly
Music/Art Study: Track 9
10 Box Turtle at Long Pond by William George Look Out for Turtles by Melvin Berger OSS pg 24-27, Come and Get It
Turtles on a Log snack
Poem: A Dragonfly
Music/Art Study: Track 10

Click here to go to the Activity Guide Page where you will find directions for the activities not included in a book and the poetry for memorization. If you need more information on how to use the schedule click here.

Additional Books & Supplies:

Books you need to complete the unit:
One Small Square Pond (OSS), Nature in a Nutshell (NNS), and Can You Hear It (Music/Art Study), An Outdoor or Student Thermometer

Chapter Books:
Is your child ready to listen to longer chapter books? Here are a few suggestions for summer reading. By no means do you need to read them all. Pick a couple of your favorites and read a few pages at a time as your little ones get used to listening to stories without all the pictures. These books should all be readily available at the library but on the other hand, they are also great books to own and re-read. Ramona the Pest and Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, Stuart Little by E.B. White, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, and  Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren.

A Family Favorite:
I also highly recommend the Boobela and Worm series. They are hard to find in the US but the kids and I adore these books. Snatch some up if you can.

Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2012. All rights reserved. This guide is part of our Homeschool Companion Series and is available for non-profit use only.

~Signs of the Season~

Signs of the Season are all around us. Feel free to link to one of yours.

A, My Name is Alice

"When I was a kid"... boy, that sounds like something your dad would start out a conversation with when he was trying to make a point of "how easy you kids got it today", right?  Let's try this again... "back when I was a child" (sounds better, right?) all we needed was a piece of chalk, a ball, and a jump rope to keep us more or less entertained all day. Not that we wouldn't have been distracted by a Wii if Wiis were invented, but we didn't have them, and managed to while away the summer days in idyllic bliss!

Many of our summer games used a basic rubber ball with a good bounce. There were basically 2 different types of ball games we played. First, the type that involved some type of grid on the ground, like Four Square. This required more than one person. The other type of games were usually played by yourself, while waiting for a friend to finish lunch. These were bouncing games, either on the ground like "A, My Name is Alice", or off a wall, like "7-Up". 

I am sharing just a few of the ball games I enjoyed the most. As with all these games, there may be some "official rules" out there, but most varied from neighborhood to neighborhood. I am sharing the games and the rules as we played them. Hope they bring back some memories and encourage you to play them with the wee ones in your life :)

What were some of your favorite ball games as a child or those that your children are playing now?


Rubber playground ball
At least 4 players

Set Up:
Draw 1 large square with chalk on a hard, level surface. Then, divide into 4 equal squares. The overall dimension of the court depends on the age of the children playing and their skill level.

For elementary: 8’ x 8’
For middle school: 16’ x 16’

Divide the large square into 4 squares and label them clockwise A, B, C, D. Square A is the “serving” square. You may want to draw a diagonal line to serve as a service line.

One player stands in the far corner of each square facing the server in box A.

The server begins the game by bouncing the ball once behind the service line, and hitting it open hand, into another square.

The player receiving the ball must allow the ball to bounce once in their square, then using an open hand, hit it into another square. The game continues until someone commits a “fault”.

Step over the service line when serving
Misses a serve
Fails to return a hit
Hits the ball with a fist
Hits the ball overhand
Hits a line
Hits a ball out of bounds (outside the large square)
Is hit by the ball on any part of the body except the hands

When faults occur:
When a player commits a fault, the players shift around the court.
If the server in square A commits a fault, they must move to square D. Then D moves to C, C moves to B, B moves to A and becomes the new server. The goal is to become server.

If there are more than 4 people playing, when someone commits a fault, they leave the game, and the next person waiting in line moves into square D. Everyone shifts as described above, unless D was the one that faulted, then the new player simply takes his place. The person that faulted out goes to the back of the line, and can re-enter the game when his turn comes up again.

There is no “end” to the game. The game continues until players grow tired of the game or it is time to quit. The better players are rewarded by getting the most court time and getting to serve more frequently.


Set Up:
Don’t have 4 people to play Four Square, no problem. Play Two Square! Think of Two Square like Ping-Pong, except it is played with a rubber ball, and the ground instead of a table. You can use a Four Square court, using 2 attached squares. Instead of serving behind the diagonal service line, you stand outside of your square. You can also use squares on a sidewalk. If you do, use a smaller ball.

Play: One player is server. She continues serving the ball until she commits a fault. The ball then goes to the other person and he serves until he commits a fault. Instead of changing places if a fault occurs, the person creating a fault loses a point to the other person.

The faults are the same as Four Square.

Traditionally, the game continues until one person reaches 21 points and “wins”. If players want to spend less time, they can decide on a small number, like 11, but this needs to be determined before the game begins.


Bouncing Ball

Set Up:
Make up a grid with 2 columns and at least 4 rows. The boxes should be about 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep. Number the boxes beginning in the bottom left column, and number clockwise, coming back down the second column. In each of the boxes, write a different category familiar to all players.

Girl’s names
Boy’s names

To begin play, one player stands behind the line at box 1. She rolls the ball into the first box. She must stop the ball with her hands or feet before it leaves the box. Then, she stands up, bounces the ball once in the box, and gives the name of something that meets the category.  This has to be a name that no one in this game has used before. The player continues moving through all 8 squares, bouncing the ball once in each box, and giving a name of something that meets the category. They keep going through the grid until they fault out, or successfully finish the round.

If the person did not fault out, then still standing outside of box 1, they must roll the ball into box 2, and stop it with their hands or feel before it leaves the box. The player cannot touch the ball before it reaches the correct box.

Play continues until a player faults out, or successfully goes all the way around the court, rolling the ball with each new level. If the player faults out, the play is continued by the next player, and the player that just faulted must go to the end of the line and wait her turn.

Lose control of the ball
Hesitates when giving an answer
Gives a wrong answer
Steps on a line
Rolls the ball into the wrong box or out of bounds

The winner is the first player to make it through all 8 levels. Some people play that if you make a mistake, you must start all over on your next turn at box 1. Other people play that you can pick up at the last level you faulted on.


Small rubber ball or tennis ball
Windowless brick wall
One person

Set up:
Make a line on the ground at least 5 feet from the wall.

The object of the game is to get through 7 levels of motions. The motions we used differed at times, and you can certainly create your own.

~Onesies: Bounce the ball against the wall, and catch the ball, once.
~Twosies: Bounce the ball against the wall, twirl around and catch the ball. Do this twice.
~Threesies: Bounce the ball against the wall, clap three times, and catch the ball. Do this three times.
~Foursies:  Bounce the ball against the wall, clap your hands once in front of your body and once behind, and catch the ball. Do this four times.
~Fivesies: Bounce the ball against the wall, slap your hands against your thighs, then crossed slap your chest, then clap your hands, and catch the ball. Do this five times.
~Sixies: Bounce the ball against the wall, lift your right knee and clap under it, then lift your left knee and clap under it, and catch the ball. Do this six times.
~Sevensies: Bounce the ball against the wall by throwing it under your leg, and catch the ball. Do this seven times.

Since you are playing by yourself, you can make your own rules, but the way we played, if you made a mistake at any time, you had to start all over. You got bragging rights, and a few doubtful glances, when you told your friends you got all the way through Seven Up.

Basically, almost any rhyme that is used for jump rope can be used for ball bouncing games, too. We used A, My Name is Alice for both. The basic idea is to start with the letter A and go all the way through the alphabet. For each letter you will need to think quickly and give a girl's name, boy's name, city/state/country, etc, and an object that begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Starting with all (A)s, you plug the (A) words into this chant while bouncing the ball rythmatically. If you hesitate or lose control of the ball, you start over. 

A, my name is AMY, my husband's name is ADAM, we live in ALBUQUERQUE and we sell APPLES.
B, my name is BRENDA, my husband's name is BEN, we live in BALTIMORE and we sell BANJOS.
C, my name is CHELSEY, my husband's name is CHAD, we live in COLORADO and we sell COMIC BOOKS.
Continue through the alphabet.


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