Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Very last first time

Last week, we read The Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Ian Wallace. This was published in 1985 but is certainly still worth a read and would be especially well placed in conjunction with learning about the Inuits and the Arctic.

This book features in the Five in a Row curriculum although we didn't follow the Five in a Row suggestions with this book.

This book is one of the most scary children's books I've read. The children didn't seem quite so bothered! The book tells the story of an Inuit girl who goes hunting for mussels on the seabed, under the ice, for the first time. The whole concept seems hair-raising! We watched a video clip showing this activity taking place. The children were so taken with this that we watched this every time that we read the book.

The story takes place in Ungava Bay in Canada so we found this on the map and listened to the Canadian national anthem.

There is plenty to discuss in this book including
  • polar bears
  • clothing for the ice
  • pointillism
  • safety
  • taking risks to obtain food
  • book titles.
We did the ice activities
ice blocks for building

 that I have already posted about to go with the book and made ice pictures complete with polar bear (idea from That artist woman.) I'm rather into substituting ingredients so having run out of white paint used white pastel for the polar bear which wasn't quite the same hence the rather faint bears.

We attempted to make an igloo from an egg box. All I can say about this activity is that it was a disaster-the pieces of egg box refused to stick and it looked nothing at all like an igloo.

We added a couple of  books about polar bears.
Big bear, Little bear by David Bedford and Jane Chapman

Ice bear by Nicola Davies

Very last first time is one of those books that we are likely to read again and again.

This is linked to Tuesdays Treasures.


  1. This sounds like a great book!
    btw if you're after more ice books we read some a while back

    1. Thank you for the link-I've been looking through and adding to my wish list!

  2. Hi Sarah. That looks wonderful. I will go see if our library has that book. Thank you for linking with me :)

  3. It brings back memories of when I rowed it with my older ones years ago. Time really does fly, doesn't it? We are both so blessed to be with our children so much during the short years of their childhood.

  4. Funny you mentioning ice activities I went to a friends house and they had lined up along their drive at least a dozen of ice balloons, they looked so pretty. I am going to try it next year:). I remember reading Big bear little bear to my kids. Will look out for the other book:)

    1. I like the idea of many ice balloons but it would need to be very cold. I don't think there is space for that many in my freezer!