The Glorious Flight
The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen is one of those Five in a Row books I was unfamiliar with and not terribly motivated to pick up, but it turned out to be a wonderful “row,” and I’m glad it’s part of our family library. I know it’s one Ian’s going to go back to time and again. I have to confess, it’s one of the few times we’ve actually managed to re-read the book every single day.
We did several of the lessons in the Five in a Row manual (Vol. 1). I love being able to just introduce ideas like Roman numerals. I wrote out 1, 5, and 10 on a whiteboard, and then we talked about how to make the other numbers mentioned in the book. He caught on more than I thought he was going to, which was great. I know he probably won’t remember, but having this introduction will help the next time we touch on the subject.
The same was true of our GeoPuzzle of Europe. Ian loves puzzles, and just mentioning the name of each country as we put it together will help him build familiarity. (I love that the pieces are shaped like the countries so almost every one has its own piece.) We talked about other stories we’ve read that are set in Europe, and he loved pointing out the things he knew.
We watched several fascinating videos about flight. The one most related to the book was A Daring Flight from Nova, which went into much greater detail about Louis Bleriot’s determined attempts to build a flying machine in the years leading up to his flight across the English channel. I highly recommend this one, especially for older rowers. (Even at 5, however, Ian really enjoyed it. We broke it into two segments and he did just fine with it.) A more age appropriate recommendation is the Reading Rainbow episode “Bored – Nothing to Do!” about two boys who works to build an airplane. (We also liked the Reading Rainbow episode “Hot Air Henry,” which has clips of various flying machines that failed. It cracked my boys up and they kept watching that part over and over!) We also liked the Bill Nye the Science Guy episode on “Flight” we found at the library. I wasn’t sure if it would go over well with my crew or not since it said it was for grades 4 and up. However, it seems to have been designed for kids with short attention spans, so Ian did fine with it and asked for “the next one.” I guess he thought it was like watching a series on Netflix. (Elijah watched parts with us but said it was “too long.”) Ian enjoyed it so much he watched it twice over two weeks, along with another DVD we borrowed: Eyewitness DVD: Flight.
Overall, this book made quite an impression on Ian. The videos we watched really brought it to life for him, and he loved looking at old photographs of Papa Bleriot’s various planes. We only talked a little about the Wright Brothers through the week, but he remembered them from the videos and was excited to see a model of one of their gliders when we visited the California Science Center‘s exhibit on flight at the end of our “row.” And any time we come across a picture of a bi-plane, it’s a big deal now! We finished out our study with a family movie trip to see Planes, and he loved pointing out things he’d learned about. I know he’s going to have a great time when he gets to go along with Daddy to the small local airport where Daddy sometimes does some mechanical work!