Lesson 7: Among Friends


Reading and Questions
Materials: The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson, journal
Encourage your child to read Chapter 6 out loud. Encourage him to read with expression, giving the characters voices when he reads dialogue. Tell him that this makes it more interesting for those hearing the story. The following questions can be used for discussion and journaling when your child has finished reading Chapter 6.
  1. What do you think of the Gypsies?
    Answers will vary.
  2. Why did Suzy not want her house to have wheels and why did she not want to visit Provence?
    She wants to go to school.
  3. Why did Madame Calcet follow behind Armand as they walked to the Halles? Was it wrong of her to act this way? Why or why not?
    She was ashamed to be seen with a beggar. Answers will vary.
  4. Why did Madame Calcet not approve of the Gypsies?
    She thought of them as thieves and wanderers, not good people that she wanted to associate with.
  5. What did the children think of the Gypsies?
    They liked them and thought they were good, kind people.
  6. What did Suzy learn from Tinka? What did Tinka learn from Suzy?
    Suzy learned how to read signs that Gypsies used and Tinka learned how to write the alphabet.
  7. What does it mean to be a good citizen? Were the Gypsies good citizens?
    Answers will vary.

Activity 1: Meeting Characters

Your child can fill out any new information he learned about the characters on the "Meeting Characters" sheet.

Activity 2: Pack a Bag

Materials: large bag or sack
The Gypsies were more than willing to care for people who needed help. Review the fact that one of the themes in the story is to help people who are in need. At one point in the chapter, Armand says, "We are all God's big poor family, so we need to stick together and help each other." Discuss what this means. Explain that groups of people who live near and help one another are often referred to as a community.

Discuss the cycle of wants and needs, jobs, money, and goods and services. Review the fact that, without a job, people do not have money and are not able to purchase goods and services to meet their wants and needs.

The people in this story are poor and needy. Today he can think about how he can help the characters in the book. Give your child a large grocery sack. Tell him to pretend this is a sack he is going to share with Armand and the Calcet children. Encourage him to carefully select items that he would put in the bag. Remind him to think carefully about wants and needs as he selects items for the bag. Once he has filled the bag, let him explain his reason for each item. Ask him which character will benefit from each item and how the items meet wants and needs.

Activity 3: Vocabulary

Materials: note cards
Write each word listed below on a note card and its definition on a separate note card. Let your child match the words and definitions. He can use a dictionary if he needs help.

Words: descending p. 68, swift p. 72, pilgrimage p. 78, altar p. 87, fragrant p. 90, vanished p. 93

Give your child the list of sentences from the book with the missing vocabulary words on the page, "Vocabulary." Let him record the correct word in each blank. Next, ask your child to use each word in sentences of his own. He does not have to write his sentences but can say them aloud.

Activity 4: Apostrophe for Ownership

Materials: Punctuation Celebration by Elsa Knight Bruno, scissors (Option 2)
Read about the apostrophe in Punctuation Celebration. Today your child is going to focus on how an apostrophe is used to show ownership. Tell him that if one person or thing owns something, he adds an apostrophe and then an "s." If more than one person or thing owns something, he adds an "s" and then an apostrophe. For example:

The dog's toys = toys that belong to one dog
The dogs' toys = toys that belong to more than one dog

Choose an option for him to complete.

Option 1

For this option, your child will add the apostrophe to the words that are missing apostrophes. Not all sentences will need an apostrophe. At the bottom of the page, he will find three pictures. He will write a sentence about each picture that uses an apostrophe to show ownership in one of the words in the sentence.

Answer Key:
1. The man's hat blew away.
2. The birds were singing.
3. The brothers were fighting at the store.
4. The twin sisters' party was great fun.
5. The family's dinner was delicious.
6. I had to get a shot at the doctor's office.
(Answers for the bottom section will vary.)

Option 2

For this option, your child will add a word to each sentence and an apostrophe where it is needed. At the bottom of this page, your child will find words that can be combined to show ownership. Encourage him to cut out the words, combine two words that fit together, use them in a sentence, and add apostrophes where needed. One of the words will need an apostrophe to show ownership. He can write three sentences using the words provided.