Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Third Grade in Our Home :: Exams, Term 1

As usual, some of the exam questions are my own and some are from the wonderful sample exam questions over at Ambleside Online.  I usually look at those first and then make changes and additions to suit our family.  And keep in mind that I have two children in Year 3, so they aren't both answering all these questions--I give them options.

The Questions

Translate the following sentence:  I like when I go on the swings and the slide.  I see the stroller on the sidewalk.
Describe three actions you do in the backyard using complete sentences.
Answer the following questions: "Che tempo fa in dicembre?  Che indossi?  Che tempo fa in luglio?  Che indossa la ragazza in luglio?"
Translate the following numbers into Italian: 92, 87, 63, 16, 58
Recite "Pioggia, pioggia vai via" or "Piove, la gatta non si muove."

Recite one of the poems you memorized by William Blake.
Besides the ones you memorized, what was your favorite poem that we read this term?  What was it about?

Play your recital songs.

Physical Education:
Do ten burpees.
See how many pushups you can do without stopping.
Do first through fifth positions of the feet in ballet, with accompanying arm positions. (for Gianna only)

Draw a circle with a diameter of four inches using your compass.  Then create a regular decagon within this circle using your ruler and goniometer.  
Then answer the following questions:
 - What is the measurement of each internal angle?
 - What is the length of each side?  What is the perimeter of the decagon?
 - What is the circumference of the circle? (for Vincent only)
 - What is the area of the decagon? 
Estimate the area of the circle.
See how fast you can do your 8s Wrap-Up.
Do the following long division problems, writing remainders as a fraction.

Free Reading:
What was your favorite book read during free time this term?  What did you like best about it?
Draw a scene from Men of Iron or The Little White Horse.  Describe briefly which scene you have illustrated, either in writing or orally.

Sing "Ave Verum Corpus" or "Come Holy Ghost."

Folk Song:
Sing "Dixie" or "Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night."

Recitation - Bible:
Recite the Last Gospel or Psalm 129.

Recitation - Prayers:
Recite the Confiteor in English or the St. Michael Prayer in Latin.

Write the following sentence in your best printing: "The queen went stumping along in one shoe of stone and one of skin."
Now copy that sentence in your best cursive.

Tell of Christian's experience in Vanity Fair or of his encounter with Talkative.
Tell your favorite part of The Princess and the Goblin.
Tell me the story of Pericles or The Merchant of Venice.  You can look at our character chart as you explain the story.
Tell me about Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill.
Why does Perseus embark on his dangerous journey, and what help does he get?

Tell me about one of the Marys: Mary I of England or Mary Queen of Scots.  How was each related to Queen Elizabeth I?
Tell me about the circumstances surrounding the departure of either Martin Luther or Henry VIII from the Catholic Church.
What does Renaissance mean and why is it called that?
Which of Michelangelo's projects did you like best?  Describe the commission, the piece itself, and his process of creating it as best you can.
Did the earliest settlers from Spain and France get along with the natives in America?  Why or why not?

Reading Skill:
Please read this passage aloud in your clearest voice.

Religion - Bible Stories:
Show me Capaernum on the map and describe, using biblical language if you can, one of the events in the life of Our Lord that took place there.

Religion - Angels:
How were angels involved in the life of Our Lord according to the biblical account?
What was your favorite story about angels from the Old Testament?  Tell me all you can about it.

Religion - Study of the Mass:
Share with me your favorite line so far from The Story of the Mass.

Religion - Catechism:
What kinds of mortification are asked of us?  How can mortifications aid us in the spiritual life?
Tell me the story of the wedding garment and what it symbolizes.
What is needed for a sin to be mortal?

Tell me about Tartary.  What animals live there, and what is the geography like?  Where is it on our modern map?
Fill in this map of America, paying careful attention to spelling for all the states.
Chart Marco Polo's journey so far on a map of the world.  Describe one of the sights he encounters along the way.

Nature Study:
Sketch and label three sea creatures we have read about this term from Pagoo.
Choose one of those sea creatures and tell me all you can about it.
What is plankton?
Describe the nicest walk you have had this term. What did you find?

Complete this warm-up activity as carefully as you can.
Sketch a cup showing its volume.  Note where your light source is coming from.

Music Study:
Tell me a favorite scene from Opal Wheeler's Bach.
Hum the theme from one of the Bach selections we enjoyed this term.
What is a "classic," as described by Thomas Tapper?

Picture Study:
Choose one of Monet's paintings and describe it as well as you can or sketch it.

Handicraft - Chores:
Clean the downstairs bathroom for inspection.
Mop the downstairs bathroom and laundry room for inspection.

The Answers

Just a sampling of answers here, for variety...

Christian and Faithful's experience in Vanity Fair from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, by Vincent
Christian and Faithful came to a city, and it was called Vanity Fair because there was a fair all year.  In this fair was sold vanities.  Christian and Faithful did not spend a single penny.  Some of the people were angry at them and they ended up telling the chief of the fair that he had said their thing was rubbish and vanity.  So Christian and Faithful were thrown into prison.  A voice told Faithful to be brave, and Faithful was the first one to be tried.  Ten witnesses were brought and witnessed against him.  Some said they could bear to see him no longer.  Some said he was a rogue.  And it was asked what death Faithful should have, and someone said hanging, and the chief said that wasn't good enough.  So they put him to the most horrible death they could.  First, they beat him with irons, and then they burned his body to ashes at the stake.  Meawhile, while Chrstian and Faithful were in prison, they had been talking with the other people about their faith.  The people were so happy about Faithful's death that they didn't much mind Christian, and he was able to escape with one of the men he had converted, whose name was Hopeful.

Pecos Bill from Stoutenberg's American Tall Tales, by Vincent
Pecos Bill came from a family that lived in Texas with twenty brothers and sisters. The family decided to move because Texas was getting a bit too crowded. When they did, Pecos Bill flew out of the wagon. But since they had so many children, it was two weeks before they noticed that he was gone. When Pecos Bill flew out of the wagon, he just sat there on the grass and watched a pack of wolves eating a dead deer. A female wolf gave him a chunk of deer. Pecos Bill had never eaten raw meat before, but he took a bite of it to please the wolf. He found it tasted quite good, so he toddled over and joined the other wolves. He kept on living with the wolves, and he learned how to howl like them. He kept on doing this until he thought he was a wolf.

One day, a cowboy came and he saw Pecos Bill. He asked Pecos Bill to come with him to the ranch, but Pecos Bill said he was a coyote. They kept on arguing until finally the cowboy made a point: he said that Pecos Bill had no tail like the other coyotes did. Sure enough, Pecos Bill had no tail, so he followed the cowboy.

Pecos Bill invented the lasso, and also the six-shooter. In those days there were many horse stealers, and Pecos Bil had to think of making a six-shooter. The cowboys asked him what it was, and Bill replied, "It's a gun that holds six bullets at a time." In those days, it was hard to keep your cow from running off. A cowboy had to just lie down in the grass, and put a noose down, and wait for the cow to step in it. So he made a lasso.

Pecos Bill once met a rattlesnake--he was riding a mountain lion then--and the cowboy he had first met went thundering on ahead because he was afraid of the snake. He heard Pecos Bill say, "Mr. Rattler, I'm going to make the poison come out of you, but I'll let you have the first three bites to make it fair!" And Bill did what he said: after the rattlesnake took the first three bites, he wound the snake up and made a noose out of him and beat him against a chain until all the poison came out. Once a cow was running away when he came near the ranch, and Pecos Bill just threw his lasso over it, and the cow was caught, so the cowboys began making more of them. Once when there was no water, Pecos Bill went out of Texas to find some water. He met a cyclone, and he threw his lasso around his neck and squeezed it until all the dust came out. Under the dust was all water.

One day he saw a girl riding on a huge fish. When he learned her name was Sue, he decided to marry her, and they had fourteen children, seven girls and seven boys. And the boys became cowboys and the girls cowgirls.

"The Merchant of Venice" from Lambs' Tales from Shakspeare, by Gianna
Once there was a man called Antonio. There was also a man called Shylock. Antonio was a man who lended money for free. Shylock was a man who lended money and then you have to pay him back and give him interest also. These were mortal enemies. You might as well expect that, as people would rather go to Antonio than to Shylock, who was the one who lended for interest.

Now, Antonio had a friend, Bassanio, and Bassanio was in need of money because he wanted to marry a girl called Portia. Antonio, who didn't have any money at the time, went to Shylock, and Shylock said that Antonio would have to pay him back by a certain time or else he would have to take a pound of flesh. And Antonio agreed, and so they had a bond. And so Bassanio got to marry Portia. And Graziano, Bassanio's servant, and Nerissa, Portia's maid, also got married. The girls both gave Bassanio and Graziano each a ring.

One time, Bassanio got a letter. Soon, his face turned pale. Portia asked him what was the matter, and Bassanio said that his dear friend, Antonio, had gone into prison because his ships had not returned, and the time when he should pay Shylock back was already at hand, and he had not paid him. And he also said that he must go to see his friend. "Shylock will cut off a pound of Antonio's flesh if he doesn't pay," said Bassanio. And so he went. Bassanio had taken Graziano with him. They both went to where Antonio was imprisoned.

Portia was quite disturbed on hearing her husband. So was Nerissa. Meanwhile, Portia and Nerissa had a plan. Portia had a friend called Balthazar. He was a clerk of the law. Portia dressed as him, and made Nerissa as her helper, and they too went to the place where Antonio was to be judged.

She went there and found Shylock waiting for Antonio. He was growling impatiently, for he wanted the time to come very soon when he would cut off Antonio's flesh. Portia went to him and asked him to have "Mercy, mercy, sir!" But he would not, though she asked him many times. Then she asked the judge, "Let me see the bond." And so he gave her the bond and she read it. Then she started thinking and turned to Shylock. "You mustn't let a drop of blood fall out. You cannot bleed him to death, you see. It says nothing about death in this bond here." Shlyock growled. "Go on," continued Portia, "go on, there's Antonio--you must cut off his flesh." "But remember," she added, "not a drop more than a pound." Shlyock knew that this was impossible. How could he not let blood drip if he cut out a pound?

Bassanio had some money ready--the money which Antonio should have paid. "Give me the money," said Shyock. "No, no," said Portia, "you must cut off his flesh." Shylock was soon discovered and the duke put him in prison instead of Antonio. And when his judgment came, it was decided that his money would go to the land.

The judge turned to Bassanio when Shlyock was gone and said, "Why don't you thank this kind lawyer for freeing your friend?" Bassanio had his gloves off, and Portia searched him to see what she wanted for her payment. She finally chose the ring that she had given him and that he had promised not to part with. He tried to say no, but he was reminded that the judge was there, and so he gave it to her. Meanwhile, Nerissa had been searching Graziano, and took his ring also. The two girls fled giggling that they would accuse their husbands of giving the ring to another woman.

When they got home, Portia asked, "Where is your ring?" "Ah," said Bassanio, "I had to give it to some young lawyer for saving Antonio's life." "Some young lawyer indeed? It was probably some woman!" "No, I tell you, it was an officer of the law." "No it wasn't," said Portia. Soon they were quarreling. Finally, Portia and Nerissa told who it really had been and the story was made clear.

Mary, Queen of Scots from Our Island Story, by Gianna
Mary was cousin to Elizabeth.  She married the King of France, but he died about two years after the marriage.  She sailed sadly back to Scotland, saying to herself, "Adieu, France, adieu!"  When she got to Scotland, she made war with Elizabeth.  Mary was put in prison by Elizabeth.  She stayed there a long time, and when she came out of prison to die, she looked old though she was really young.  After her death, her dog thought she was still alive and whined around her grave.

Some Thoughts

I really appreciate the opportunity that exams provide me to reconsider the ways in which I'm presenting the material and guiding their learning.
:: I switched to time-based penmanship this year (I used to assign 1-2 lines per day, now it's five minutes) and we're making the same amount of progress.  Good news there!
:: I feel like we have finally hit a stride with our Italian.  The children answered their exam questions in Italian with confidence, which was not the case in any other term.
:: We are still very much enjoying the Opal Wheeler biographies.  Even though I consider them supplemental and don't have my kids narrate them, they're still able to vividly recall scenes from the book when it comes to exam time.  And that has been a "peg" for them to hang the music we listen to on.  They are both story-loving children, so the addition has been good for us as a kind of history supplement that meshes with our music appreciation work.
:: They recited their Blake poems with ease, but they had trouble of thinking of others besides the ones they selected for memorization that impressed them.  That has never been the case for any other term, and they really enjoy poetry in general, so Blake was evidently not a favorite.
:: We spent this term training in new chores.  I am so happy to see their progress in this area!  It's such a blessing to our family.  But I think all of us (and the kids in particular--ha!) will be happy to move on to something more artistic next term.


  1. I love it when you share these. Inspires me to be diligent and purposeful in our narrations. Thank you.

    1. Thank YOU for reading, Patty. :) I always love seeing others' exams too.

  2. I'm so glad you shared this, Celeste. I'm going to be working on our first term exams on Thursday night and I appreciate seeing yours.

    1. Hope you guys have as much fun as we did, Amber! :)

  3. Like Patty, I truly love when you write these posts, Celeste. 1) I love your ideas and have framed our Y1 exams largely on what I have found here. 2) Reading your kids responses, seeing their drawings, etc is so incredibly inspirational and exciting. Thank you so much for sharing!

    PS - We love the Opal Wheeler biographies, too.

  4. Thank you for encouraging us to be more intentional and organized! :)

    1. That's part of why I like writing these up, Gina--they help keep me more intentional and organized too! LOL

  5. Celeste how much I love and am so thankful that you share your exams here! Since the first one I've done for my son,3 years ago, I spend sometime reading your posts about your exams! Interesting that my son wasn't crazy about William Blake as well! Thank you and thank you!