Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Rag Coat

I don't often post about our FIAR weeks as we plug along at home and just don't always take pictures.  I thought I'd try to do a little more with photos this time and share just a little bit of our time.

This is our time with the book The Rag Coat.  What a wonderful, tender story about friendship, love, forgiveness and the important things in life.  We read some additional books to go along with this story (and I didn't take a picture).  The two titles that I remember are The Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton which is a story similar to this one and Appalachian:  The Voices of Sleeping Birds by Cynthia Rylant which is a great look at this region of the country.  My Mom is from this area, so it is close to my heart.  We watched the movie Christy to learn a little more about this area about 100 years ago.  Here is a great map of the region.

One of my goals in this unit was to have more hands on projects.  I'm not always so good about this.  I remember doing so much more when it was just my oldest two doing FIAR.  So, my intent was to make this memorable.

We made coal cookies after discussing and learning about coal, how it was mined and how it was used.  We modified the recipe slightly to make it gluten free.
Here are some more resources we used to learn about coal.

Short movie on how coal mining is done.  Definitely worth watching as it really gives a great picture of what it is like to work in a mine.

Facts on coal.  The basics are from an old earth position.  We used this site for information on types of coal and types of mining.

For anyone that is local, this was a surprise.  We found that there was once a coal mine near where we live!  Here is the information.

This next activity was one that *I* was very excited about.  This sensory bin was a huge hit!   (I saw this also on Tamara's blog linked below.)  I filled a tub with black beans - lots of them.  I used the magnets that we had on hand - a wand magnet and some small discs with a metal rim.
 The discs were buried into the "dirt" and then Daniel went mining to see what he could find.  I loved that we had this hat too!  This got a lot of play and I hope to do a better job incorporating these more often into our days.  It helps a lot when they are simple like this one!

 We made an apple pie as is suggested in the cookbook.  Actually, Daniel and his Daddy made this one! Great job guys!

 It was delicious and enjoyed by all.  (Yes, we did adapt it to make it gluten free.)

More great posts on rowing this book are here and here.

We had a great time with this book and made some sweet memories.  I love that about Five in a Row!



  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your activities. I really want to do more FIAR. We only get to do about a book a month.

  2. We love The Rag Coat. Minna is like an old friend to us. We first read The Rag Coat 6 months after Jim died. Oh, how her words became our. "I cried so hard I rocked that old log." Still makes me get teary-eyed. Her anger is genuine and her forgiveness inspires us. We read "Minna" as the boys call The Rag Coat every February now. I highly recommended it not only as a great homeschool book to row but also a precious book to give to an child who has lost a loved one, especially a parent.

  3. Christine, Thank you so much for sharing all of that. (((Christine))) Love you friend!


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