View Full Version : Basket ideas

06-04-2007, 12:07 AM
Hi everyone! I am new to the message board, but have been teaching FIAR at our homeschool co op for 2 years. I saw mention of using a basket filled with items relating to each book. I have been trying to find a list of suggested items on the message board to no avail. Can anyone help?? :roflol:


06-04-2007, 07:49 AM
Here is a list from Volume 4 that I think is actually in the archives:

Roxaboxen- black pebbles, cactus, Arizona flag or postcard, sticks, white stones, plastic lizard

The Raft- popsicle raft, Wisconsin flag/postcard, mini fishing pole, crayons, toy bird (or other animal from book), plastic hamburger, snorkle and mask

Mailing May- stamps, toy train, Idaho postcard/flag, small suitcase, $1.55, label (like of May's coat-with the address)

Snowflake Bentley- paper snowflakes, plastic butterfly, single use camera, encyclopedia, an old negative

Gullywasher- sombrero, chili peppers, popcorn, toy horse, dried corn

Arabella- see Jane's suggestions in manual.

Higgins Bend- fish, fishing pole, potato, gummy worms, old sock, fish bait, popsicle raft, plastic bullfrog

Cowboy Charlie- cowboy hat, stars, Indian stuff, Montana and Missouri postcards/flags

Grass Sandals- chopsticks, oriental brushes, plastic frog, banana (plastic), sandals, cherries (plastic)

Albert- red bird, nest, bird eggs, maple leaf, berries (plastic), playing cards, radio, plastic beetle

Hickory Chair- hickory nut, lilacs, little chair, old Bible, braille

Hatmaker's Sign- replica or picture of Declaration of Independence, Tricorn or various hats, pictures of B. Franklin and T. Jefferson

Pumpkin Runner- small pumpkin, Australia postcard/flag, toy jeep, picture of hot air balloon, dog, running shoes, toy sheep

Angelo- pigeon, Rome picture/postcard, feather, nest, linguini

Hanna's Cold Winter- small toy hippo, paprika, straw, picture of cog train

For the other volumes I think the I have just saved things as they came up and they aren't saved in the archives. I will try to consolidate a list!

06-05-2007, 01:17 PM

i haven't seen or heard of a list per se, only when folks mention a cool find - like peter rabbit during easter time - tons of stuff at target & folks posted. Or the cool wood models from michaels etc. see, now you have more reason to be active on the boards!!

06-05-2007, 01:46 PM
I guess I dont get this basket idea. Can someone please explain it to me? Why would you have a basket? How do you or do you incorporate it into school?


06-05-2007, 01:53 PM

I don't personally do baskets. It is too much of a hassle for me personally. Some people do it as a way of building excitement for the unit, or just because it is something they like to do. And, sometimes people do "extras" that would be fun to do as a basket. Like for Wee Gillis oatmeal packets might be part of the basket so you could have your morning oatmeal, just like gillis. Sometimes it's a related craft or activity.

hope that helps

Heather W
06-05-2007, 02:29 PM
This is from a thread that I copied and made into a word document. It has bunches of lists and general ideas from various people.

Book Baskets

Amber on the Mountain
Book – Rumplestlskin, quilt or needles, clay, stationary and stamp, lace, paper and pencil, grass cuttings
The Bee Tree
Books, honey, bee, flowers, goose, bicycle, 1900’s car, goat, diaper, glass jar
Andy and the Lion
library card, lion, pliers, newspaper, Africa, washbowl, hairbrush, thorn?, circus stuff, sculpture or clay
Mirette on the High Wire
Wire, French Flag, feather, potato, sheets, copper pot, eggs or omlette recipe
Salamander Room
Caterpillar, Salamander, leaves, stuffed frog, boulder/rocks, insects, birds, mushroom
Make Way for Ducklings
Nest, can of beans (Boston baked beans), Turtle, book about Boston, swan, peanuts, bicycle, mallard, yellow duckling, policeman symbols, eggs (easter or hard boiled), whistle, telephone, 1940’s car, boat, boston street map, feather
Pennies, harmonica, American Flag, lemons, Brio train engine, ice cream cone, doctor stuff, partially whittled wood and pocket knife
Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car
1900’s motor car, stuffed animals, dirt, bridge, tire, English flag
Gramma’s Walk
Feather, lighthouse, sand and rocks, twig with leaf on the end, shells, shovel and pail, stuffed animals or paper plate animals – Rabbit, seagull, and otter
Night of the Moonjellies
Money, seashells, Mustard and ketchup pouches, sea glass, sand, hotdog bun, chef’s hat, straws and napkins, hot chocolate, popcorn, toy boat
Henry the Castaway
map, dog, Venezuela & Columbia flags, crocodile, canoe, shark, kittens, buried treasure, flashlight, bird
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
Apple, cinnamon, butter, eggs, salt, small suitcase, boat, leopard, airplane, sugar, chicken, cow, flags – Italy, France, Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica, pie crust, measuring cup
Tale of Peter Rabbit
English flag, rabbit, brass button, cat, wheelbarrow, scarecrow, pie dish, shoe, gardening tools; vegetables from play garden
French flag, toothbrush, mice, tiger, flowers in vase, miniature eiffel tower, candy, bread
Storm in the Night
Dog, cat, spectacles, umbrella, bell
The Story about Ping
Chinese flag, baby yellow duck, boat, rice cake, rice, fish, basket
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Steam shovel, boats, trains, airplane, cars, toy sky scraper, dump truck, Newspaper, mail, cart and horse, fire symbol, telephone, ladder, coal
Warm as Wool
Wool, covered wagon, log cabin (Lincoln logs), spinning wheel,lamb, sock of coins
Cranberry Thanksgiving
Cranberry, yellow bowl, turnip, pea, pumpkin, captain’s hat, bread pan, turkey, pilgrim/indian, pirate chest
Katy and the Big Snow
Tractor/snow plow, police and fire symbols, stamps, train, telephone, doctor stuff, airplane

We got back into school today! Our first book of the year is The Bee Tree. I set up a little display on top of our bookcase last night ...jar with a bee inside, a wooden tree from our block box, a plastic goat from the Noah's ark animals, a picture of a violin and a bicycle taped to blocks so that we could "see" them, and of course our jar of honey. The boys were very curious about the display and that sort of whetted their interest in the book.
At the end of our first reading, the boys found an index card taped to the back of the books that read:
"Mary Ellen found treasure in a book. You'll find "Back to Homeschool" treasure if you look: Where Mama and Papa Bear sleep at night."
It took the boys a few minutes of thinking to figure out that Mama and Papa Bear were just Mama and Daddy , but then they were off to our bed. PIllows and blankets went flying every which way! There were 4 more clues to follow. Each one started off with my little rhyme before the actual clue was given. The last clue said what the treasure was ...ICE CREAM at Sonic. So after lunch, we all piled in the minivan to go get some ice cream, which was so nice on such a hot August day. And my boys were extra thrilled because all those boys and girls who had to go to public school couldn't go get ice cream treats after lunch. Joel asked this afternoon if we could do another "chase" tomorrow when we read the book, so I guess they thought it was great fun!
We also colored Michigan flags, Michigan maps and found the St. Joseph's River. There was also a bit of math and some handwriting to round out our day. All in all, it was a wonderful first day of school.

Not sure if this what you're referring to, but when we rowed Madeline I created a display on our front hall table. This was a "Look, Don't Touch" kind of deal, meant to pique their curiosity and create excitement.
First I stood the book on end (like they display at the library). Then I leaned a Madeline doll, her trunk and dress up clothes against the wall. I created my own VERY simple French dictionary using a large font, clip art from the Internet, etc. I used some words from the story as well as other common French words. I had a travel brochure from Paris showing pictures of the Eiffel tower, etc. I also had the Madeline video, a few non-fiction books about France from the library, and a menu that I typed up showing a French meal we would eat later that week (I don't have the FIAR cookbook, so I had to come up with my own menu). Also made a construction paper french flag.
I often create "displays" when we have a subject of interest, not just for FIAR books. It is fun to do and my kids always enjoy discovering the newest one. The fact that they are not allowed to immediately grab everything off the display makes it more intriguing. Once everyone has had a chance to see it and think about it, then they are free to examine each item on their own. When I first started creating displays, I typed a little notecard that said, "Look, Don't Touch!" (That's leftover from my old days of teaching ps
I think the trick to be consistent with these is to keep them simple - and it also helps to have a good place to put these!
We have only done them for Volume 4 books so far:
The Raft: I premade one of the popsicle stick rafts, a card with a map of Minnesota on it (from our Borderlines game), a homemade mini fishing pole (made from a dowel, spool of thread and a "bobber" made of a white pony bead with half colored red - my dh actually made this! ) and one of those mini "mushroom" birds.
Roxaboxen: For the base I used a cork tile - about 12"X12", three mini cacti, the Arizona card from our Borderlines cards, a small gold cardboard box with some black pebbles in it and the Arizona postcard from my set of 50 States postcards.
I think we could have kept these simpler - but they were a lot of fun to pull together. We've recently changed where we're schooling, so I'll have to find a new spot to start these up again!
First of all - Charity, were did you get these 50 states postcards? Those would be great! What are borderlines cards?
Now for our ideas. Well, I try to mostly just find things around the house, and I try not to MAKE anything. We have a breakfast tray, and I put my items on that, it is small so it keeps me from going overboard, plus it is easily moved and it almost looks like a stage. Many times at the end of the week DS puts on a "show" of the story using some dolls or stuffed animals and the display. I have bought a few items at Hobby Lobby very cheaply, wooden old fashioned car, wooden boat. They are fairly cheap anyway, and I just wait for them to go on sale. My intentions have exceeded my actual actions. I wrote down ideas for 20 books, but have only actually got around to doing it about half the time. I try not to put any pressure on myself, so if I don't have time I don't worry about it.
Lately I have been trying something new. If I don't do a display, then towards the end of the week I ask DS what he would put in a display and sometimes it is just a discussion, and sometimes we actually make a display together.
On the display I put any supplemental books we are going to read, if we are going to go on a field trip and it is somewhere I can get a flyer for, I put that out. I have a few flags that I put out if it is the right country or it is a patriotic story (Lentil). At Christmas someone on this board told us about some National Geographic flashcards of 'places' (available at Target for 3.99), so for the future I will use any of those that are appropriate (Great Wall of China,etc.)
I let DS touch and examine everything, but he can't remove anything from the display. However, sometimes during the week he will think of something he wants to add to it.
Most of the items I put out are 'main themes' of the story, but every once in a while I will put something in that is a little more obscure and I ask DS to figure out why it is there. For example for Lentil I put out an ice cream cone and a toy stethescope. He had to remember that they were building a hospital and they celebrated with ice cream.
I wanted to post some specific ideas, but that is all my computer time for now. Later I will post another reply with information for specific stories.
I can't wait to read others ideas as well.
I imagine all of your children are delighted with such preparation and excitement for a book unit.
Victoria, what a great idea to now and then put a more obscure item in your display and allow for that wonderful "time of discovery" when your child figures out why the item is included!!! I love that. The thinking skills, synthesizing information and process of discerning symbolic meanings are all so valuable--and besides--it's fun!!!
Blessings to you all as you educate and create lasting memories
--Yeah, Jane, like the hippos you used in your Hanna display at the conference!?!
That is a wonderful twist! My kids have enjoyed looking at the displays after we've read the book the first time and noting the reason for each item included.
Victoria - "Borderlines" is a card game that you can find at toy stores or teachers' stores. There are US and World editions, I believe and playing the game teaches which states (or countries) border eachother. And the postcards came from the Post Office. I don't know if they would still have them or not. They're based on the 50 States stamps that were out a year or two ago. Really neat!

Heather W
06-05-2007, 02:36 PM
That is WAY too much text and for some reason it won't let me edit it out of there. I was going to just keep the original list and save the rest to be emailed out.

I've tried several times now to delete the bottom part and/or clean it up for you and it gets hung up when I hit save.

Sorry! I was just sharing the ideas I had saved.

06-05-2007, 10:26 PM
Well, Heather, I'm glad I read and printed your post before you figure out how to edit/delete it!

06-06-2007, 07:46 AM
I liked all the extras in your post too Heather!!!! Some great ideas and variations of the basket idea. Thanks!

Here is a list of the books by volume that don't have teaser basket ideas listed for them. Maybe if anyone has any ideas they can post them and we can fill in the blanks!

Volume 1
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear
Glorious Flight
Grandfather's Journey
Pair of Red Clogs
Papa Picollo
Rag Coat
Stopping By the Woods
Very Last First Time
Who Owns the Sun

Volume 2
All Those Secrets of the World
Barbar- To Duet or Not To Duet
Down, Down The Mountain
Follow the Drinking Gourd
The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
Harold and the Purple Crayon
New Coat for Anna
Mrs. Katz and Tush
Owl Moon
They Were Strong and Good
Three Names
Wee Gillis
When I was Young in the Mountains

Volume 3
Andy and the Circus
Climbing Kansas Mountains
Daniel's Duck
Duchess Bakes a Cake
Finest Horse in Town
Little Nino's Pizzaria
Little Red Lighthouse
Miss Rumphius
Paul Revere's Ride
Truman's Aunt Farm
Wild Horses of Sweetbriar

Heather W
06-06-2007, 08:20 AM
I thought the information in the post was great too. Too bad it doesn't LOOK better!

Obviously, I didn't clean it up when I copied and pasted into the document in the first place.

Sorry for the headaches while reading though!

06-07-2007, 12:45 AM
I think this is such a neat idea. I have slowly gathered things that I thought would be fun for the books in BFIAR and now need to start on the FIAR titles. I am still a little confused about where the basket comes in.

Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!


Ashleigh in TN
01-20-2008, 11:01 PM
stars (out of yellow construction paper),
rice (for the discussion about what people grow on plantations),
cotton balls
salad oil (since it said cottonseed oil was used in alot of salad oils - actually we just had olive and canola, but it won't look any different to them)
a compass
a little piece of railroad from a toy train

Kendra AU
01-21-2008, 03:01 AM
I usually fill our basket with the books we'll read, or hope to read, during the week. I usually line the basket with a bit of material that matches our theme.. Like, for Ping I had duck books, China books, Asia books, Yangtze river books, Panda books, orangutang books (we're working on a mammal chart), and of course our Ping book. I lined the basket with material that had chopsticks, fortune cookies, and boxes of "chinese take out". The kids thought the material was the coolest part. :lol:


01-21-2008, 10:02 AM
I usually line the basket with a bit of material that matches our theme..


I have been trying to gather fabric/material that matches the books too! I have been buying 2 yards of fabric when I find a good deal with the intention of making FIAR pillowcases to match each book. I will line the basket with the pillowcase then my DD can put the pillowcase on her bed for the week we are rowing the book. If I find smaller renmants that would work I was thinking of making cloth napkins that she could use for the week we are rowing ( I have to find a serger though!)

Because we are really still doing BFIAR I have time to look for fabric. I probably have fabric to make pillowcase for 1/4 of the books right now.

So fun!

Julie Y
01-21-2008, 10:50 AM
I think this is such a neat idea. I have slowly gathered things that I thought would be fun for the books in BFIAR and now need to start on the FIAR titles. I am still a little confused about where the basket comes in.

Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!


Kristina, I think the idea is to set the basket out in a prominent place, like in the living room, to catch the attention of your children and to pique their curiosity. If they see a basket on the table and start looking through the items and say, "what's this here for?" you can answer, "those are all things that make me think of our FIAR book this week." Then, when you read the book, they will be curious and interested to figure out how each item goes with the story.

It's like a store window display, y'know?

Shannon 8540
08-22-2009, 10:41 PM
Just a thought...this time around I'm going to send my KIDS to collect items that correlate with the story, rather than doing all of that myself. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Julie in FL
08-23-2009, 05:01 PM
This is such a NEAT thread!! Thanks everyone for the wonderful ideas. I will definitely be printing this out. We are new to hs and FIAR, so this REALLY helps me out. My dd is 4 and I'm thinking we will start with Harold and the Purple Crayon from vol.2 and then do Ping, after that I'm not sure what we will do next.:)

Susan in Kentucky
08-23-2009, 05:05 PM
I think this is such a neat idea. I have slowly gathered things that I thought would be fun for the books in BFIAR and now need to start on the FIAR titles. I am still a little confused about where the basket comes in.

Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!

I am just starting this year and I am not using a basket but rather a hutch/table that DH bought with a matching table & chairs for our school room. My plan is to place items on the table and shelves that will relate to the book in some way.

Susan in Kentucky
08-23-2009, 05:11 PM
Here is a list of the books by volume that don't have teaser basket ideas listed for them. Maybe if anyone has any ideas they can post them and we can fill in the blanks!


Would you be offended if I started a new thread just for ideas? I had thought about doing it abouta week ago but never got around to posting. I just don't want our good ideas to get lost in this thread.:clap: