Thursday, 3 May 2012

Mirette on the High Wire
One day, a mysterious stranger arrives at a boardinghouse of the widow Gateau-a sad-faced stranger, who keeps to himself. When the widow's daughter, Mirette, discovers him crossing the courtyard on air, she begs him to teach her how he does it. But Mirette doesn't know that the stranger was once the Great Bellini-master wire- walker. Or that Bellini has been stopped by a terrible fear. And it is she who must teach him courage once again.
Emily Arnold McCully's sweeping watercolor paintings carry the reader over the rooftops of nineteenth-century Paris and into an elegant, beautiful world of acrobats, jugglers, mimes, actors, and one gallant, resourceful little girl.

This has been the perfect book to row this week as Stuart is away in Paris so we are tying it into some more general French themes.

We have used some parts of a Homeschool Creations - circus pack and a Homeschoolshare lapbook for our table work. Harry has been quite resistant this time so we have not done as much as I had planned.

We plotted the places Bellini had visited on the world map after listening out for them in the story and looking in our atlas. Harry remembered from discussion that Niagara Falls is in North America and Paris is in Europe.

We coloured French colour items. This was also good timing as we have just covered colours at our Lingotot class.

Spot the difference in the circus pictures. 

Following different shaped lines from the acrobats.

We also did some addition sums using pieces of popcorn. This worked well and I explained how we can use anything to help us visualise the numbers we are adding - we then practised some adding using our fingers. Although resistant to the sit-down work, Harry has loved the practical work relating to this book. After one reading I found him trying out some balancing of his own accord,

so we went on to talk about balance and the center of mass and tried out balancing an emery board in the centre on his finger and then adding weight to one side, which made it fall off.

We then tried to weight each side the same to see the difference (I love this photo of him too!).

Harry had a go himself and came up with something weighted all the way along.

He then tried out some balancing with his body, standing on one leg.

Following on from these balance exercises, we set up a low wooden beam in the garden for him to practice some 'wire walking'. This has been very popular and he keeps looking for new things to hold to see how they affect his balance. I think we will leave it up for a few weeks!


  1. Oh Hayley, some gorgeous photos of your boys! I shall be stealing your ideas when we do this book!!! So glad you're blogging about what you do xxxxx

  2. Mirette is one of my favorite FIAR books