Five in a Row
Provides a Great Beginning
Five in a Row uses high caliber children's literature to provide the basics in social studies and character, language arts, math, science, and art.
FIAR (Grades PK - 3) can be used as a stand-alone curriculum for preschool or can be supplemented with phonics and math for older children.
It's called Five in a Row because you spend five days a week - one for each subject area - using a particular children's book as the theme.
Any reference materials you need to do the lessons is provided right in each volume (there are 4) so you have the background you need to teach.
There are tons of hands-on activities and projects to choose from each day, using the literature selections as the jumping off point. A varying difficulty in the projects makes this course easy to use with different ages.
Very little teacher preparation is needed. You need to obtain the books that go with each volume and you are ready to start.
For your convenience, you can purchase almost all of the FIAR books as well as the curriculum itself in
The Homeschool Companion's Amazon aStore. They are grouped with the volume with which they are used to make it easy for you to get everything you need in one place.
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For those volumes that are out of print and not available anywhere else, the Lamberts are now offering digital versions which you can read more about and purchase here
The above link also includes a digital planner for FIAR which can be downloaded and printed.
Each volume also includes teaching tips for using this popular curriculum, instructions for creating the manipulatives, a sample planning sheet with a blank, reproducible lesson plan sheet, a literary glossary, and story disks.
Here is a listing of the 4 volumes and the books used with each one:
- The Story About Ping
- The Rag Coat
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
- The Glorious Flight
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
- Grandfather's Journey
- Cranberry Thanksgiving
- Papa Piccolo
- Clown of God
- Storm in the Night
- Katy and the Big Snow
- Night of the Moonjellies
- Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening
- Three Names
- Owl Moon
- A New Coat for Anna
- Mrs. Katz and Tush
- Mirette on the High Wire
- They Were Strong and Good
- Make Way for Ducklings
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car
- Miss Rumphius
- The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
- Follow the Drinking Gourd
- Harold and the Purple Crayon
- When I Was Young in the Mountains
- The Bee Tree
- Paul Revere's Ride
- Truman's Aunt Farm
- Duchess Bakes a Cake
- Andy and the Lion
- Daniel's Duck
- The Salamander Room
- Climbing Kansas Mountains
- Amber on the Mountain
- Little Nino's Pizzeria
- Grass Sandals
- Higgins Bend Song and Dance
- Pumpkin Runner
- Snowflake Bentley
The Story Disks are used on a world map to track the places you have visited in the literature. There are ready-to-color disks at the back of each volume.
Also available is the Five in a Row Christian Supplement which provides several ideas and outlines for 175 Bible lessons corresponding to each of the 55 stories covered in the first 3 volumes of FIAR.
For your eager young learners (ages 2-4) Jane Lambert has written Before Five in a Row. Similar to FIAR, this book provides mini-FIAR style lessons. Each unit is built around a simple children's storybook. This book is different in that it is not structured around a week and is divided into 2 parts.
The purpose of the first part is just to offer an array of activities for each book that help lay the foundation for future learning. Some activities are subject related, such as Bible, science, math, language arts and art; others are centered around various skills such as learning shapes, sequencing, colors or problem solving, and the rest are geared to specific topics like relationships, birthdays, contentment, etc.
The second section is stuffed with activities that help develop reading readiness and motor skills or that focus on the arts. There are also activities to help you take advantage of teachable moments at bedtime or bathtime or even in the kitchen.
Here are the books used in Before FIAR:
- Blueberries for Sal
- Goodnight Moon
- The Runaway Bunny
- Caps for Sale
- The Snowy Day
- Prayer for a Child
- The Big Green Pocketbook
- The Carrot Seed
- Angus Lost
- Katy No-Pocket
- I Am an Artist
- Play With Me
- The Little Rabbit
- Ask Mr. Bear
- Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
- We're Going on a Bear Hunt
- If Jesus Came to My House
Many can be found in THC's Amazon aStore
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For children in Grades 3-7, who have outgrown the FIAR unit studies there is Beyond Five in a Row which uses outstanding chapter books, lessons, and activities to study history, geography, science, language arts, fine arts, and human relationships for a full semester.
Here are the books used with each of the 3 volumes:
- The Boxcar Children
- Homer Price
- Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor
- Betsy Ross: Designer of our Flag
- Sarah, Plain and Tall
- George Washington Carver
- Helen Keller
- The Cricket in Times Square
- Neil Armstrong - Young Flyer
- Marie Curie and the Discovery of Radium
A newer (2001) addition to the FIAR family, Above and Beyond Five in a Row is for families who love the FIAR format and want to continue to use it during the junior high years.
Centered around one book Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, this first adventure takes from one to three months to complete, depending on how you use it, and covers several core subjects... although math, spelling and grammar will require other teaching materials. Jane says more adventures are in the works!
Another fun addition to this versatile curriculum is the Five in a Row Cookbook. Written by FIAR author Jane Lambert's daughter, Becky, it's a collection of recipes that add another hands-on dimension to the lessons. For example - to correspond to the lessons which use The Story About Ping, recipes are presented for the Yangtze River area of China including egg rolls, fried rice, and egg drop soup.
Most recipes are easy enough for mother and children to make together. The recipes in this book go with the lessons in FIAR Volumes 1, 2, and 3, as well as Beyond FIAR Volumes 1 and 2.
The final book offered by the Lamberts is Five in a Row Holiday Through the Seasons
For nineteen holidays, you will learn the origin and history and stories associated with it. There are original activities and crafts including table decorations, gifts, and games.
Appropriate books, songs, quotes, and movies are suggested and recipes are included to round out the fun!
FIAR no longer distributes their products to resellers but you may still find some of their products and many of the books they use through THC's Amazon aStore... click on the FIAR link under the Multi-Subject category:
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Have you used FIAR with your children? Please consider taking a moment to tell us how you liked it... or didn't like it. Other moms want to know! Just use the form below. Thanks for sharing!
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