Monday, September 16, 2013

Living Books

Living books can be so enriching in our school in many ways besides the wonderful content we are reading. We can use passages from living books for copywork, spelling, grammar, dictation, and vocabulary. Today we made vocabulary cards that we can use in a variety of ways.

I see that the picture of the word cards isn't clear enough to read the words. 
The vocabulary words are intrigued, tantalizing, authoritative, perpetual, repetitions, queries,
 enthusiasm, participant, porcelain, scholar, persistent, reveled, reverie, and rebuttal.

We ran across a few words that the student struggled with in either pronunciation or definition while reading A Piece of The Mountain: The Story of Blaise Pascal. I typed up the words and cut them into pieces small enough to fit on some 2x2 inch card stock that I had. Taping one of each word on different colored cards will allow us to play 'concentration' with them.  Another activity will be to put them in alphabetical order. Over several days, we will write sentences with many of  the words and look up others in the dictionary. This student likes to read his words on video tape and play it back which gives another review. (This is fun for spelling words as well.)

Using words, sentences, and passages from books we are reading is a great way to make the learning more realistic and meaningful than using a workbook with unrelated words and exercises. Literature can definitely be used to teach more that one subject. This particular book is a biography of a mathematician and physicist so we are learning about history, math, and science while reading this too.
I would love to hear how you use living books in your school!

Friday, June 14, 2013


This time of year, hubby and I like to eat light and eat cool. A nice cool cantaloupe right out of the refrigerator makes a perfect supper on a hot Georgia day.

For years, we looked forward to this time of year, when we could stop by a road side stand, a pickup truck parked down on the corner as we traveled to town.We really miss visiting with Mr. Jake at his pickup truck as he picked out his best melons for us. We rarely see Mr. Jake anymore. He can't take the heat nowadays, but for years he was a landmark, a favorite past-time, and a good friend. I really should call and check on him and his wife. Good people.

One day while visiting with Mr. Jake, he told me about this Cantaloupe Pie his wife Leona made. What? Yep, he said, cantaloupe pie and he went to his truck pocket and got me a copy of the recipe.


1 cantaloupe
1/2 c. white sugar
8 TB flour (recipe didn't specify, but I think I used self-rising)
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 TB water
2 TB butter
1/4 tsp butter extract/flavoring
Meringue ingredients listed separately within text of directions.

Seed the cantaloupe and cut out the flesh. Cook the cantaloupe and mash it as it heats. Leave 2 cups of cantaloupe in the pan. Combine sugar, flour, and salt, pour in melted butter, beaten egg yolks and extract.
After mixing together, add to cantaloupe pulp in pan, stirring constantly and cook until thick and creamy over medium heat. Remove and pour into a baked pie crust (or graham cracker crust is good too).  Beat the egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 c. of sugar for a meringue. Pour over the pie and brown in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned. Remove and eat warm or chilled.