Lesson 5: The Raft

Day 2

Reading and Questions
Materials: The Raft by Jim LaMarche
Pick up where you left off reading yesterday. Stop on the page where the boy is sketching the crane. It ends with the sentence "And she tacked it on the wall on top of one of her own sketches." Ask your child these questions.
  1. Who comes down to the river? Do you think the boy is happy to see her? Why or why not?
    Grandma; answers will vary
  2. What does Grandma show the boy when he takes out the raft?
    She shows him how to hold the pole and push the raft.
  3. What animals does the boy see when he is on the raft?
    Birds, raccoons, turtles, foxes, a buck
  4. What does the boy ask his grandma for?
    a sketch pad and pens
  5. Do you think the boy is beginning to feel differently about Grandma's house than he did at the beginning of the story? Why or why not?
    Yes, he is enjoying his time. He likes the raft and the animals that come to it.

Activity 4: Decorating the Raft

Materials: acrylic paint or permanent markers, paintbrush*
Discuss what pictures were on the raft the boy found. Discuss that each picture represented an animal and that quite possibly a story went along with each animal.

Tell your child that she is going to paint three symbols on her raft. These symbols should signify something important in her life. If someone found her raft, the person should learn something about her. The drawings should be simple, and she should practice drawing them on paper before drawing on her raft. She can create her images using permanent markers or acrylic paint — either will work well on wood.

Activity 5: Sketching

Materials: pencil, sketch pad or blank paper
Discuss that the boy decided he wanted to sketch the blue heron with the crab in its beak. Maybe he wanted to sketch the bird because he didn't want to forget the heron or the time he spent with it on the river. Explain to your child that many artists like to sketch scenes in nature. Give your child a sketch pad or just a blank piece of paper. She can go in your back yard or you can take her to a city park, to a local nature park, or to a body of water if you have one nearby. Encourage her to find something interesting to sketch.