I had never read this story until we started studying it.  What a sweet picture book!  We used lots of printable resources from HomeschoolShare and Enchanted Learning for this lapbook, as well as lots of ideas that other homeschoolers shared online. Here are pictures of part of the inside of our lapbook.  (And yes, I just noticed one of Autumn’s beloved chick-fil-a sauce tubs made it into one of those pics!  lol.)

And now, in no particular order, some of the things we studied:

Science: Salt Crystals

In Venice: Birth of a City we learned how Venice began and gained wealth based on the salt harvested from the seawater marshes.  So we made salt crystals!  I was surprised by just how easy this was and how much A enjoyed it. We made several colors.


Art: Michelangelo

After reading about Michelangelo, we did an activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn did some “ceiling painting” using paper taped to the bottom of a card table.  She decided that this would have been a horrible job and that she does NOT like painting upside down at all.  (Gotta love the concentration though – watch that tongue!)


Social Studies: Venice

We read about Venice and also watched an A&E video on netflix streaming about the Canals of Venice.  Autumn colored this little mini-book, and we used it to record her narration of the history of the city.

Art: Drawing Cats

A google image search led to a kid’s tutorial for drawing cats.   Autumn drew TONS of them and then added Piccolo, Marco, and Polo to her lapbook.

Science: Eyes, Peripheral Vision

In the book, Piccolo sees the kittens as a blur from the “corner of his eye” so we used this as a jumping off point for discussion of peripheral vision.  We did a few activities related to this, as well as reading about how the eye works and identifying various parts.  (more on this later)

Language: Italian Words

Autumn had fun learning new words for colors, family members, numbers, etc. with this mini book.  Then we printed out a picture dictionary which she has enjoyed coloring.  She loves finding words in it, so we’ve used it to work on the most basic of dictionary skills as well.


The Fox and the Grapes

This fable is illustrated by Piccolo’s actions at one point in the story.  Autumn leaned the fable and moral and then colored the front of this mini book.  In our geography book, she was learning about volcanoes the day we did this lesson. Later, as I was gluing this into the book, I cracked up as I noticed that she had turned the background mountains into volcanoes.

Drama Cards

Autumn enjoyed this activity so much, that it may be one we add to other units.  Each card lists a different action word or phrase drawn from the story.  I read them aloud, and she acts them out.  Great entertainment! 😉

Gondolas and Gondoliers 

Autumn made this little gondola from a Crayola coloring page online.  Then made her own gondolier and several little cats as well (which I couldn’t find for the picture), so that she can play out the Piccolo story.

Language Arts: Vocabulary

We used vocabulary words from the story, as well as others we added from our rabbit trails.  Autumn illustrated each card.

Science: Cat Eyes

Using online resources, we read about the differences between cat and human eyes and then made a little flip book.  Autumn wrote most of it out herself, with a little help towards the end.


Geography: Italian Map Activities

Another printable activity sheet.  She identified various points on a map and colored accordingly.

History: Marco Polo

We found another animated video on YouTube which Autumn watched.  We then read a bit about Marco Polo and wrote a little report using notebooking pages from HomeschoolShare.

Art: Color Wheel

We both enjoyed making our own color wheels using watercolors. It’s fun to watch her do “magic tricks” changing the colors by mixing them.

Pussy Cat

Autumn memorized the classic nursery rhyme for this little mini.


Big Project – Eyeball Dissection!

I am forever grateful to have in-laws near by who can handle more of the gross science stuff than I can!  Autumn and her Aunt Miriam had a great day out with Autumn’s “Pop,” taking apart an eyeball.  (And I stayed far away!)