Three Blocks in April

We are headed into our last block of the year!  I cannot believe we have almost completed two full years!  The month of April has been a lot of fun; although a little tough too.  Many times, the blocks cross over each other and we can do some lessons together.  This month, everyone had a very different block!  Sawyer completed a block on the Jataka and the Anansi Tales.  Sims completed a block on human anatomy.  And Parks worked through the first Life of Fred Book called Apples.  Each kiddo has thoroughly enjoyed this block and has done a lot this month.  Instead of trying to cram it all into one post (which may be very long and boring), I am going to break them up into three different blogs (shorter and hopefully, slightly more entertaining).

The Jataka and Anansi tales are not only entertaining and humorous, but also full of history and lessons.  The Jataka tales are stories native to India that tell the previous lives of the Buddha in both human and animal form.  The first two weeks of the month, Sawyer went through The Monkey and the Crocodile, The Turtle Who Couldn’t Stop Talking and The Turtle Who Saved His Own Life.  The Jataka tales are perfect for the 8-year-old moving into the 9-year-old change.  All three of my kiddos are talker to the second story really hit home for all three of them.

The last two weeks of the month, Sawyer moved onto the Anansi Tales. The Anansi Tales are historically West African and Caribbean folklore.   First, she learned about how Anansi became a spider.  Then she learned about many of the tricks that Anansi did such as Anansi and Tying the Tiger, Anansi and the Talking Melon and Anansi in Tiger Soup.  Anansi is a very tricky spider who has the ability to become powerful even as a little spider by using his wit.

Another aspect of these stories, we enjoyed was comparing them to many of the other stories we have read throughout the year.  Anansi is very similar to the Coyote who read about in several Native American folk stories.  The same themes keep emerging and it is fun to see her realizing the similarities.  I look forward to going into more history of the stories when we go through these again with Parks in the second grade!

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