Category Archives: Mike Mulligan

Language Arts for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Today we covered language arts for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. We looked at the copyright date of the book (1939) and discussed how this has become a classic book and that children have been enjoying it for over 70 years now! Elliot thought that was really cool. We read about Onomatopoeia and talked about personification again. When we discussed the elements of the story, we talked about how, unlike any of our other books so far, this one has two distinct conflicts.

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Science for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (sort of)

I had a great science lesson all planned out for yesterday and I have to say, it completely BOMBED. It was really the first time that has happened to me yet, so I guess after eight months of doing this, it’s not really too bad, but I was still disappointed. We were going to use steam from a teapot to try to get our pinwheel moving so that we could see how steam power works. I got Elliot all psyched up for how awesome it would be and he couldn’t wait. Then we tried it…….and nothing happened. I don’t think my teapot makes a good steady flow of steam, or something of that nature, because we couldn’t get it to effect the pinwheel in any way. I still tried to explain what was supposed to happen and at least he got to see what steam is, so maybe we got a tiny little tidbit of something out of it. Oh well, this kind of thing happens!

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Social Studies for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

We did our first reading of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel today and did our social studies portion. We talked a bit about stewardship and how Mike Mulligan did such a good job of taking care of Mary Anne and how that kept her working well through all those years. Elliot was quick to point out though, that Mike did not do such a good job taking care of himself because he smoked pipes! Such a good point. I tried to explain that back then, that’s something that lots of people did and they may not have known yet that it was bad for their health.

We also learned about the history of steam shovels, thanks to wikipedia. Through that, we learned about the Panama Canal, since it was primarily dug with steam shovels. We found the Panama Canal on our big map and Elliot now understands why it was so necessary for there to be a shortcut from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through Panama. I requested some more books about it from the library, so hopefully we’ll be able to learn even more about it!

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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

We’re moving right along! We’ve made it to our second to last FIAR book for our Kindergarten year. This week we’re beginning Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. We’ll learn about steam shovels and how they were replaced with gas, electric and diesel powered shovels. Going along with that, we’ll learn about other machines and inventions that have impacted the world we live in. We’re also going to review personification and onomatopoeia.

This is another one of those books where there is no specified setting, so we chose to place our disk on California. When we read Katy and the Big Snow and learned about Virginia Lee Burton, we found out she grew up in California (even though she was born and died in Massachusetts) so we thought it would be a good place for Mike Mulligan. Besides, our east coast is WAY too crowded with disks.

Our library book collection is a little weak this time around, though I am still waiting on a few more to come in. I was a little disappointed to find out they didn’t have any books on steam shovels or steam power. Thank goodness for the internet!

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