Monday, May 18, 2015

Third Grade in Our Home :: Exams, Term 3

The last of my third graders' exams for this year!  I like Term 3 exams best because many of the books that get stretched out over terms (and even years!) are finished up, and the whole text is fair game for questions. ;) And I have been trying to stretch my young learners just a tad because they're showing signs that they're ready for more "Grand Conversation" discussions, so there are a couple questions here that ask for a comparison or a choice among options that takes a bit of thinking beyond simple narration.  A little novelty always keeps things fun!

As always, below are all the questions and then a sampling of answers.  And if this list looks intimidating, please keep in mind, I have two students answering, so they're often doing just half of each category, particularly for literature, history, and religion.  And the narrations at the end were all oral narrations that I audio-recorded and transcribed to share here.

If you're looking for questions to use for your own exams, check out the wonderful exam page over at AO!

The Questions

Sing your favorite song in Italian or recite your favorite Italian rhyme.
Choose one relative to describe in detail.

Recite one of the poems you memorized by Longfellow.
Tell me the story of Hiawatha.

Play your recital songs.

Physical Education:
Do ten burpees.
See how many pushups you can do without stopping.

Complete the following page from Challenging Word Problems.

Free Reading:
What was your favorite book read during free time this term?  What did you like best about it?
Draw a map for Crossbows and Crucifixes, showing the main house and the path down to the old town along the Sapey.
Draw a scene from St. Edmund Campion.  Describe briefly which scene you have illustrated, either in writing or orally.

Sing "Attende Domine."
Sing "Pull For the Shore" or "These Happy Golden Years" or "Highland Mary."
Recite the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Recite the Divine Praises.

Write the following sentence in your best printing: "Let the jungle listen to the things I have done."
Now copy that sentence in your best cursive.
Now identify what book that line is from, and describe its context.
Now choose you own quote and do the same thing!

Draw and label the five most important characters from The Jungle Book.  Who was your favorite animal character and why?
Tell me the story of Much Ado About Nothing or Hamlet.  You can look at our character chart as you explain the story.
Recite the lines you learned from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.  Who says them and what are their context?
How did Theseus escape the Minotaur OR how did Theseus fall by pride?
Tell about how Christian and Hopeful crossed the river.
Tell me about John Henry or Joe Magarak.

Describe the Union Jack and how it came to be OR about the sad day in Highland glen.
What do you know about Bonnie Prince Charlie OR how Canada was won?
Tell me the strengths and the flaws of the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers.

Choose one parable we read this term to tell me about.
Tell your favorite miracle of Jesus from the term, using the biblical language if you can.
Which was your favorite prayer from the devotionals section of our angels book?  Read it aloud in your clearest voice.
Draw and label the priest's vestments.  Describe their use and meaning.
What are some ways we can prepare ourselves each week to receive Holy Communion?
Describe purgatory according to Mother Loyola.  Describe heaven.
How does the description of heaven differ between First Communion and Pilgrim's Progress?

Tell me what you know about the desert: its people, its geography, its animals.
Fill in the map of Europe/Asia paying careful attention to spelling for all countries.
Tell me about the war between Genoa and Venice.  How did Marco Polo get taken prisoner?
What do you think was the most interesting sight of all his travels?
Draw a map of our backyard, labeling as many plants as you can.

Nature Study:
Sketch three wildflowers we saw this term from memory and describe where we saw them growing.
Sketch one new bird we saw this term from memory.  Tell me about its call if you can.
Draw a map of <local county park>, noting the presence of wildflowers and other natural features.

Complete your sketch of a human nose, as assigned by your teacher.

Music Study:
Tell me a favorite scene from Opal Wheeler's Handel.
Hum the theme from one of the Handel selections we enjoyed this term.

Picture Study:
Choose one of Georgia O'Keefe's paintings and describe it as well as you can.
Choose an item to paint up-close using O'Keeffe's style.

Some Answers   (For any written work, I spelled words for the children when asked.)

John Henry from American Tall Tales, by Vincent
First thing John Henry reached for was a hammer, and afterward, when he was old enough to talk, he said that he had been born with a hammer in his hand.  When he was old enough to hold a hammer, he practicing swinging it.  One day, he had a dream that he was working for a railroad company.  There was a war at that time, but when it ended, John Henry decided to be a railroad worker.  When he came there, he saw other men working, and also he saw lots of hammers lying by the fire.  He picked up one that weighed twenty pounds, but he thought it was too light.  Then he picked up another that weighed seventy.  Then he asked someone to hold the stake for him, but no one wanted to because they were afraid that he might hit them.  But a little man called Lee Willy offered to hold it.  The other ones jeered at him and asked if he wanted to be crushed to death.  Lee Willy just ignored them, and soon John Henry had a lot of stakes in the ground.  From then on, Lee Willy was John Henry's helper.  One day a man came to the captain and said that he had built a machine that could work much faster than his workers on the railroad.  But the captain said, "I don't need any machine with my John Henry."  But the other man said, "I'll make a bet with you: if John Henry can beat my machine, then I'll give it to you for free."  And if the machine won, the captain would have to buy his machine.  The  agreed for them to see who could dig the longest tunnel in a day.  Both of htem started.  At first Lee Willy was pale because the machine was ahead.  But then he told John Henry that the machine had to stop to fix a new drill because the other one had broke.  But then it started again, and Lee Willy said, "You're at least two inches ahead."  Finally there were only ten minutes left, and John Henry kept on going and told Lee Willy to sing him a song.  Lee Willy tried to sing as best he could with sweat dripping down his own face as he put in a new drill.  Finally a gun fired, which meant it was the end of the contest, and the judges ran forward to measure.  They came back and it was said that John Henry had beat the machine by four feet.  After that John Henry lied down and looked at the sky.  He said he would die with a hammer in his hand, and then he died.

Longfellow's "Hiawatha," by Vincent
Once there was a girl that had been knocked down from the sky to earth.  She then there bore a daughter and gave her the warning many times not to listen to the West Wind but to bend and play among the flowers.  But her daughter did not obey her and when she was laying among the lilies, the Wind came and wooed her.  She did not know that he was faithless, and he left her alone to die.  But before she died, she bore a son, whom she called Hiawatha.  And her mother took care of Hiawatha.  And she taught him many things and showed him the sky and the stars.  One day, he asked when he heard a owl hooting, "what was that?"  And she said that it was the owl.  And then Hiawatha began getting acquainted with all the animals and birds until he knew them all by heart.  One day a boa constrictor said to Hiawatha to go and shoot a red deer.  He took his bow and arrows and went into the forest, and he saw the tracks of red deer, but they was not here because they had left.  Then he heard the red deer coming, and one of them stopped uneasily, but Hiawatha's arrow was too quick for him, and he fell down in the middle of trying to leap.  And then he brought the meat and skin back to his grandmother, and she made him a cloak out of the skin, and the meat he invited all his friends to feast on.

How Canada was won from This Country of Ours, by Vincent
The French had possession of Canada and they also had possession of Louisiana.  Now the English wanted to continue their colonies out and they wanted to push the French out so they could spread farther and wider. There was a town in Canada which was protected by a great general, a French general, called Montcalm.  There was an English captain, James Wolfe, who was sent with one thousand soldiers to destroy Montcalm and win Canada and Louisiana.  He fought many battles with Montcalm, but Montcalm was too clever to be defeated.  James was getting hopeless because he was supposed to have soldiers sent to him but they did not come.  Finally he wrote a letter to his family saying he would try one more thing and he would either win Canada or die trying.  In the town there was a part that was not guarded strongly because the entrance was in cliffs and it was hard for the English to get up the cliffs.  A few boats went and got half of James' soldiers and they went back as quickly as they could to get the rest.  And then the soldiers climbed up the mountain and they took the French greatly by surprise.  General Montcalm came in the morning to see where they were (the English) and the battle was fought, and James Wolfe was wounded twice and then he got a shot that killed him.  The French general was also killed. But before James Wolfe died one of his friends told him to look, and he tried to raise his head, but he could not, and his friend said that the French were fleeing.  The English wrote a letter to the king saying that they had captured Canada and Louisiana.

Bonnie Prince Charlie from Our Island Story, by Gianna
Bonnie Prince Charlie was one of James' descendants.  He came to Ireland and hoped to win George's crown.  He wasn't as stern, grave, and melancholy as his father had been; he was exactly the opposite.  People crowded around him from all parts of Ireland, and a few from England.  They raised a flag and declaimed King George and claimed Bonnie Prince Charlie as their king.  The king said that he would fight Prince Charlie, and he said that it would be the next morning.  The next morning Bonnie Prince Charlie's men were up so early that they won the battle in five minutes, and they made up a song about him, saying that he could eat his breakfast in four minutes and win a battle in five!  Though he was loved  everywhere, he did not succeed in getting the throne.  He fled to France with the help of Flora Macdonald, who dressed him as a girl.  That story begins with him hiding on the beach, and she, with lots of trouble, made her way to him, bringing a girl's suit. He put this on and she called him her maid, Betty, and she went to her friend's house and asked if Betty and she could stay the night.  When Flora Macdonald's friend heard who Betty was, she quickly made the best rooms for Betty, the prince.  And when her little girl saw this great gigantic woman, she ran screaming to her mother.  So finally Flora helped Charlie to the beach, where he was to sail back to his father.

How Theseus Fell by Pride from Kingsley's Heroes, by Gianna
Theseus, when he had taken Ariadne away, forgot to take her home but left her on an island.  And he forgot to put up the white sails in the morning, so his father fell backward over the cliff and died, and so Theseus was the ruler.  He conquered a very many cities, and he opposed all enemies who came to take the throne and fought them well.  One day, he decided to go and fight Hades, the king of the dead.  He forced his way in with another friend, Hercules.  Hercules escaped but Theseus was chained to a rock, where he had to stay.  Hercules came back and released him, but when he died, his bones were not found on his beloved country but on another desolate, desolate island.  His people had thought him to be dead, so they had a new ruler, whom Theseus did not like.  When he came, they did not recognize him, and they told him to "go away, young stranger."  And so he went away, no longer king of Athens but just a man.

Some Thoughts

:: We don't usually narrate poetry at all, but since Hiawatha is a story poem, I thought it might be fun.  It was unexpected and the kids had a great time telling back.
:: I added a few mapping-as-narration exercises this time, just as I did in Term 2, and they were a good challenge but an interesting one.  Both of them enjoyed the mapping of literary places very much.  But neither of them gave a very detailed map of the nature study spot I asked about, which was a surprise to me--they got the general layout of the place correct, but they didn't add all the plants they know so well.  Their maps of our backyard were a bit better but still could have been more detailed.  I've been wanting to do more mapping for our nature study, and I think this might be a good time to start!
:: History and literature were remembered in great detail, as usual.  Biggest hit in that category: Shakespeare.  Their narrations were way too long for me to type up, but the stories have such a hold on their imaginations, term after term.  I'm looking forward to hitting the "real thing" in a few months.
:: They had a harder time with Marco Polo--I think all the sights started to blend together for them by the end of the book, even with our mapping exercises alongside.  They got a very good general sense of the vast differences in custom between East and West and the amazing riches and influence of the Khan, but distinguishing one city or people from another was a challenge--they remembered details from this and that and kind of mixed it all together.  We used Towle's version, but I think I may try something different when it's Cate's turn, just to see whether we like it better.

Later this week I'll share a quick peek at my kindergartener's final exam!


  1. I just LOVE reading these, Celeste!! :)

  2. What wonderful work. As always I am surprised at how much we cover...I am never sure it is enough until we have exams. One of the nicest things about big families is you have plenty of guinea pigs for new books...third time around for dd next fall and we will be using a third Marco Polo book as well. ;)

    1. That is one of the things I like about exams--it really shows me the breadth of their studies. And I am certainly thankful for the chance to go through these AO years multiple times and make adjustments! I'm hoping by the end of our schooling journey I'll be an expert. ;)

  3. WOW!! Excellent topics/level of discussion for 3rd graders!!! I'm impressed!! Looks like a super successful homeschool year to me! :) :) :) When will you begin planning out/getting 4th grade ready? I'm interested to see what you put together :) Your lessons all have such wonderful balance, keep it up!

    1. I'm getting our 4th grade work put together now to start in early July. We'll mostly be using AO's Year 4 plans with just a few tweaks. :) Thanks for the encouragement!

    2. I look forward to seeing your 4th grade plans :)

  4. Also...I should have added above your kids have BEAUTIFUL writing skills at such a young age!!! How did you teach them to paragraph-write. Great jobs on those!!

    1. Do you mean the narrations at the bottom? Those are just oral narrations that I audio-recorded and then transcribed. We haven't done formal written narrations yet, so if they had to write them, I anticipate they would be much, much shorter! LOL

    2. Yes those. Oh. I was going to say thats some might good writing for 3rd graders! It makes sense that you'd do that.

  5. This is so helpful since I just started with AO. I suppose you plan your exam as you go through the term using the AO exam as a guide. I'm bookmarking this to refer to later. Thanks.

    1. I always *plan* do do it that way...and then I get to the end of the term and realize I haven't written any questions yet! LOL Actually, I just sit down with the books and take maybe fifteen minutes to look through the chapter headings and pull some questions together. In these early years in particular, it doesn't take very long since the exams are mostly straightforward, "tell me about" kinds of questions. ;) For the Italian, nature study, and other non-book subjects, I do write them as we go if I think of one I'd like to include. Hope that helps!