Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 1: Week 6

Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 1: Week 6

Wow! It’s the end of the first quarter ALREADY?


Pull out your Junipero Serra Fun Pack and complete the activities for Week 6!  Did your kids like this printable? What was their favorite part?

Download the Father Junipero Serra Fun Pack

Learn more about the California Missions, see pictures and maps at


  • Learn skip counting by 12’s this week!  Two of my favorite foods come in 12’s: eggs and donuts!  When you’re at the grocery store this week, have your students practice their skip counting on the egg aisle.
  • If your church is one that gets donuts for their parishioners after mass, let your student volunteer help set up this week.  Tell them to make sure they practice their skip counting by 12s!

Language Arts

  • This week students learn there are three types of verbs: helping, action, and linkingHelping verbs are verbs that help the main verb in the sentence by extending their meaning. Linking verbs link a subject to the part of the predicate that describes it. (Hint: If you can replace the verb with “is” and the sentence still makes sense, it is probably a linking verb!) Action verbs are the easiest to find, as they describe an action that the subject is doing.
  • Rainbow Verbs– Grab 3 highlighters (use primary colors: yellow, pink/red, and blue) and highlight verbs in a newspaper (magazine, church bulletin, coloring book with words, etc) according to the type of verb they are. For example, helping verbs- yellow, linking verbs- pink, and action verbs- blue. Some verbs can be both linking and helping verbs– for those highlight with both highlighters- you’ll mix colors and create orange!
  • If you have having trouble with linking verbs and helping verbs look at this document from Utah University I found:

Helping and Linking Verbs


  • You’ve listened to Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on the Organ (either on the CD or youtube link in previous posts), now listen to it performed by an orchestra:

YouTube- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor Orchestral Version

  • Learn some music terminology this week and either have a discussion (for the little ones), or have your students write a paper using these terms.
  • Timbre (pronounced TAM-ber)- The difference in sound between two instruments playing the same note at the same loudness. (i.e. how a guitar sounds different from a piano)   Listen to the sounds of various instruments.  Name the instruments you hear in Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Does it sound different than when it was played on the Organ? How so?
  •  Tempo– The speed or rate of the music. Is it fast or slow?  Does it have some fast parts and some slow parts?  How does the tempo add to the interest of the piece?  Would it be as enjoyable to listen to if it all had the same pace?
  • Dynamics – The loudness or softness of the music. Is it loud or soft?  Does it get loud suddenly or gradually?  How does the change in loudness affect the way the music sounds to you?  Do you expect the changes or are they surprises?
  • How do these aspects of music affect the mood of the piece?  Now that you’ve thought about them individually do you have more appreciation for the musical piece? Does it change the way it makes you feel when you listen to it, or what it makes you think about?
  • Repeat this activity if you want, for other Bach pieces that you can listen to at the Saint Paul Orchestra site.


  • This week students learn about the Constitutional Convention of 1781.  I can’t say I love reading about the Constitution but fun books can help.  I highly recommend this book: Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution, by Jean Fritz.  It tells the story of the drawing up of the Constitution as well as includes a copy of the Constitution in the book along with notes to clarify what was meant by parts of it.  The illustrations are fun too!

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution  

( Using this link to purchase this book helps CSH continue it’s mission)

  • Have your students memorize the Preamble.  Make sure you teach them what each phrase means (or meant at the time) so they can understand what they are memorizing.  Then, illustrate the preamble with this Preamble Book Printable:

My Preamble to the Constitution book

  • The Constitution established 3 branches of government: Executive, Judicial and Legislative.  Each branch has its own duties and responsibilities.  Students should learn which branch does what jobs, and use that knowledge to complete this printable on the three branches of government.  Color the tree page, and color the bushy leaves in the second page.  Cut out the bushy leaves with government positions and duties, and glue them onto the correct branches of government on the tree page.

Government 3 branches tree Printable

Here’s a completed Government Tree

  • With George Washington, we start a very long line of Presidents of the United States of America.  Get your students excited about presidents by beginning a collection of President Cards! (Almost as cool as baseball cards right?)  Check out this link to PBS kids for your own president card collection.  Print them on cardstock and laminate!

PBS Kids Presidential Trading Cards

  • Create a Presidents Lapbook!  Check out this Lapbook, with FREE printables for all the presidents, and presidential information!  Start the Lapbook this week and print the George Washington Flipbook.  As we go through American History, add the Presidents that are in office during each week’s  timeline.

Presidents lapbook link

  • Another great book for your collection is this one on George Washington in the series: The Childhood of Famous Americans.  I would recommend it for 2nd graders and up to read alone, or you can read it out loud to your younger students.  It does a good job of describing what life was like for George Washington as he grew up, the games he played, the jobs people had, and the terminology used.

George Washington: Young Leader


A fun book to go with your study on North American Waters this week is Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C Holling.  Follow Minn in her adventures down the Mississippi over 25 years.  She has to watch out for natural dangers like waterfalls as well as encounters with hunters.  Oh yea, did I mention Minn is a snapping turtle?  This is a wonderful book for your students in 2nd grade and up to read themselves, or you can read it aloud to your younger ones.  The book has really nice pictures and maps in the margins, and full-page pictures to keep even the little ones entertained.  (It is not what I consider a ‘picture book’ though).  If you love Holling C Holling books, you can also purchase a map that goes with this book to fill in as you read.


Beautiful Feet Map for Minn of the Mississippi

Here is our map colored in with the states and capitals labeled.  You can also add the details of Minn’s Journey on the map as you read, draw Minn, or anything else creative you want to do with it.  It’s a nice and large cream-colored map that is easy to color and write on.  My only complaint is that the lines (for state borders) don’t extend to the edge of the map, so coloring those edge states can be confusing (where do I stop coloring?).  As you can see, I just took a brown marker and extended the lines.  I’ll post an updated picture in the future after we’ve read and added some more details of Minn’s journey to the map. We bought 1 map for the whole family, but you could get each student their own if they’re going to be territorial about it. (pun intended!)

P1000246 (783x1024)

I recommend Paddle to the Sea (another Holling C. Holling book) when we get to the Great Lake States. If you love this map and book combo, you may want to consider purchasing the Maps and Books Pack from Beautiful Feet Books, which has four books (Minn of the Mississippi, Paddle to the Sea, Seabird, and Tree in the Trail), the maps for all four books, and geography through literature guide.  The price may steer you away, but these are books all your children will want to read, and you can either laminate the maps so they get several uses or just purchase map packs for the future kids.  (Beautiful Feet Books does not pay Catholic Schoolhouse anything for your purchasing of these products- if you do decide to purchase them you can say that they were recommended by us, and that may help us establish a relationship for the future)


  • Here’s a fun Venn Diagram to compare Insects and Arachnids (spiders!). If you’ve never done a Venn Diagram, write the words for insects in one circle, arachnids in the other circle, and terms that apply to both creatures in the overlapping section of both circles. Add it to your science notebook:

Venn diagram insects vs arachnids-Printable

  • Check out the Oxford Museum of Natural History’s Learning Zone on Invertebrates.  You can click the invertebrates on the wheel to learn more about each of them and see pictures.  It’s pretty neat!

The Learning Zone by the Oxford Museum of Natural History

If you’ve missed it check out all the previous weeks of Animal Lapbook building with these links:

Animals Lapbook Part 1

Animals Lapbook Part 2

Animals Lapbook Part 3

Animals Lapbook Part 4

 Animals Lapbook Part 5

Did you miss week 5? Check it out here!

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