Thursday, December 29, 2016

Complete Story List - Waldorf First Grade Capital Letters

I'm going to take a brief break from my Main Lesson Book Photography Project to say that I've finally finished my list of stories for Waldorf First Grade Capital Letters! There are LOTS and LOTS of resources for using Grimm's fairy tales to teach the letters, and I'm happy to share the traditional story list with anyone who asks, but I wanted to come up with a creative way of doing the stories using picture books which I already had on my shelf. I was looking for some unusual choices for the letter illustrations, and some fun creative follow-up ideas for the stories I picked.

Here is the web page with all of the details on this main lesson block!

my merry little jumping juggling jester
which I painted years ago, when I was first learning about Waldorf

It also includes ALL of the links to the traditional resources as well, and lots of photos of the traditional illustrations. But here are my choices, first in alphabetical order, and then in the combinations which I will use for them. The web page includes all the stories which go with each letter and links to all the books I'm choosing, so I don't feel like I need to repeat that here.

  • A - Asparagus
  • B - Bubbles
  • C - Cave
  • D - Door & Den
  • E - Elephant
  • F - Feather
  • G - Goose
  • H - House
  • I - Icicle
  • J - Jump & Joy
  • K - King
  • L - Ledge
  • M - Mountain
  • N - Net
  • O - Otter
  • P - Parrot
  • Q - Queen
  • R - River
  • S - Shooting Star
  • T - Tower
  • U - Underground
  • V - Valley
  • W - Worm
  • X - Xylophone
  • Y - Yak
  • Z - Zucchini

Story and Activity Combinations:

    #1 - Worm + Underground

    #2 - Tower + Bubbles

    #3 - Yak + House

    #4 - River + Net

    #5 - Otter + Shooting Star

    #6 - Mountain + Elephant

    #7 - Feather + Goose

    #8 - Xylophone + Parrot

    #9 - King + Queen

    #10 - Ledge + Valley + Cave

    #11 - Icicle + Jump/Joy + Door/Den

    #12 - Asparagus + Zucchini

I would do this over two main lesson blocks, combinations 1 through 6 in one block and combinations 7 through 12 in the second block.

Please, as always, feel free to share any comments in the comment box and I will be sure to respond!


Looking back at this old post, I've realized that I have some newer ones that go with it very well.

See How Waldorf Teaches Capital Letters (October 14, 2019) for my detailed lesson plan notes from

    Tue, Oct 1 (L - Ledge, D - Dragon)

    Thur, Oct 3 (R - River, N - Net)

    Mon, Oct 7 (V - Valley, C - Cave)

    Thu, Oct 10 (M - Mountain, E - Elephant)

    Fri, Oct 11 (W - Worm, U - Underground)

You may also be interested in the post Shopping List for Capital Letters Block (March 25, 2020) which gives a summary of the artistic and hands-on projects I like to do for this block and all of the supplies needed.

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

MLB Pages - Human Physiology

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

Again, all of my (extensive) notes on teaching this block have already been compiled on the website. We broke this into two blocks but included it all in one MLB. I have mixed feelings about this and probably wouldn't do this again. I think it's discouraging to go back to a book you started and complete it. Leah did this for Norse Mythology and it was fine, because it was saying what came next in the story, but when it comes to notes and diagrams it just made Natalie feel like the thing was going to go on forever and I think it made this block even more fatiguing.

Note #1: We did use Montessori nomenclature for this. I loved it and thought it was fabulous!!!! I also used several great books full of science experiments and listed all of the books and all of the experiments on my Human Physiology page. In fact, I compiled every single thing into a PDF which you can download for free and write all over, including charts listing every experiment and all the supplies needed and an extra column for your prep, where you can write down anything you need to buy.

I suggest you use the public library for the books (Blood and Guts was our primary text) and spend your money on the Montessori nomenclature. The Human Anatomy package is $100.00 and includes BOTH The Great River and Human Physiology Complete Set.

Note #2: Lots of Waldorf resources talk about breaking this up into part in 7th grade and part in 8th. I think it makes sense to do the whole human body at one time. But, again, all I'm trying to do is share my notes in case they are helpful and you should always use your own best judgement knowing, as you do, your own child and your family's situation.

Note #3: I had Natalie create analogies for each part of each system of the human body, and we used the overarching analogy of "The Great River" for the entire body. (This is a Montessori lesson, sometimes called The Sixth Great Lesson.) Natalie was asked for each component, what else does it look like? what else does it remind you of? In other words, what is an analogy for the form and what is an analogy for the function? She also did several small research projects and created a book within her book. I photographed it all.

Click on any picture to enlarge it and scroll through the pages with ease.

You can see Natalie had become more comfortable with drawing freehand by this point in the school year.

watercolor painting of neurons

her idea... to write the facts about teeth on small tooth shapes

one of the best parts of MLBs is seeing how creative your children are!

the function of the pituitary gland reminds her of TDS and pH test kits... you can see the influence of the hydroponics here... and it's a great analogy!

"The Pancreas, Insulin, and Diabetes"

when Leah's best friend was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, Natalie went straight to her MLB, found this page, and explained to us all what diabetes is and how insulin works

Natalie interviewed my mother-in-law, who has stage 3 kidney disease

she was soooo proud of her cross-hatching; we got the cross-hatching drawing lesson by Rick Tan on Etsy

Here's a great picture from the beef heart dissection ($11.08 from the butcher):

We also dissected a turkey neck and a beef shin bone and examined a dead deer head, mouth, teeth, and tongue.