Five in a Row

Five in a Row Book SetVisual, auditory and kinesthetic learners and teachers will all benefit from Five in a Row‘s variety of lessons and activities which are carefully laid out and available for you to choose whichever one fits your schedule for the day.  Expect to be ready to teach with as little as five minutes of preparation time. You’ll find everything you need to be an effective teacher at your fingertips- pronunciation guides to foreign words or phrases, background information on history, geography, art and science lessons, facts, figures, and activity suggestions for a wonderful variety of hands-on learning experiences.

Five in a Row was created by Jane Claire Lambert, a successful homeschool teacher with more than 17 years of experience.  To use Five in a Row, just pick one of the 70 books used in Five in a Row, locate the corresponding lesson plan in your teacher’s guide, read the story aloud each day during the week and use Jane’s suggestions and lesson plans to lead your children on a wonderful learning adventure. It’s that simple!

pingsampleimagewatermark - Page 001Five in a Row is comprised of 4 manuals.  Volumes 1-3 contain units that are all written at about the same level based on books at about the same level, and the units can be completed in any order. The units in Volume 4 are based on more difficult literature, cover more challenging concepts and designed to be completed over a two week period of time. Together, the four volumes of Five in a Row contain 70 unit studies covering Social Studies, Geography, Language Arts, Applied Math, Science and Art in a way that causes children to fall in love with learning.  We also offer a Five in a Row Cookbook (including recipes for Five in a Row Volumes 1-3 and Beyond Five in a Row) and Christian Character & Bible Supplement to complement your Five in a Row lessons. (These lessons are already included in the Five in a Row Volume 4 units.)  We recommend adding complete Math and Phonics programs.

Experience shows us that the most important educational lesson we can teach early learners is to fall in love with learning itself.

When children discover that learning is fun, both their job and yours becomes immeasurably easier! So gather your young learners around you and begin teaching the way you always hoped it could be: fun, spontaneous and enjoyable for both you and the student! Five in a Row provides a delightful gateway to the extraordinary, lifelong adventure of learning. Start loving learning with your child today!

Products on this page with a “Buy Now” button are hard copies that will be purchased from Rainbow Resources. Other products are downloadable and available in the Store.

Print Products

Volume Four Digital Units

Each unit – $9.00

  • The Tree Lady is a unit that includes studies in Social Studies (Geography and History) Language Arts, Art, Applied Math and Science. This unit uses a book called The Tree Lady, written and illustrated by H. Joseph Hopkins, as an inspiration and springboard for these studies.

  • Albert, by  Donna Jo Napoli, is a character piece. Follow this young man as he changes from being reclusive to living “free as a bird!” The lessons are captivating and cover bird study, facing fears, mathematics in baseball, watercolor and pantomime, symbolism in literature, living in the city and much more.
    FIAR Digital - Albert

  • In Angelo, by David Macaulay, Angelo wishes  there wasn’t a need, but when the situation presents itself,  Angelo does a magnificent job with bird rescue! Here is your chance to introduce Ancient Roman History as well as bird study, art, architecture, relationships, and much more.

  • Arabella, by Wendy Orr, is an unforgettable story of a boy’s love for his grandfather and the grandfather’s love for the boy. Told with sail boats, winds, clouds, storms, and model sailing ships, it will be a favorite! Lessons from this unit include: the geography of islands, sea lore, the art of story telling, lists, model ship building, knots and ropes, human body: blood cells, reefs, sun and moon, tides, and much more.

  • With its unit offered only as a digital product, The Bravest of Us All, written by Marsha Diane Arnold, is a story about a storm, but just barely. The storm is only the backdrop for a tale focusing on two sisters, each of whom have their weaknesses and strengths. It is an exciting, memorable story of love, courage and a sacrifice that provides a platform for lessons in weather, plants, windmills, drawing, poetry, farm life, circles, cylinders, velocity, and much more!

  • The lessons for this unit come from a wonderful children’s biography of (Charlie) Charles Russell, and include scenes from the Old West, cattle drives, explorers, Native American studies, art: sculpture, drawing, painting, panoramic views, and much more. Cowboy Charlie, by Jeanette Winter

  • Grass Sandals, by Dawnine Spivak, is the true story of a famous Japanese poet and his marvelous travels! This is a wonderful unit that will introduce poetry, Japan, art, and several science topics – zoology, botany and chemistry and much more!

  • In the manner of all good tall tales, Grandfather spins out explanations of how he has come to be the man he is. Lovingly warm and breathtakingly illustrated, this story will thoroughly entertain! The Gullywasher, by Joyce Rossi, covers geography and science of the southwest, cattle tales, tall tales, botany, art, and much more!

  • Hanna’s Cold Winter, by Trish Marx & illustrated by Barbara Knutson. A cold winter, starving animals and a town with a heart weave a story based on a true incident that will intrigue all of its readers. This unit covers elephants, Budapest, Hungary, World War II, first person point of view, famous features of your own state, the art of watercolor, hot springs, friction and much more!

  • The Hatmaker’s Sign, by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. Benjamin Franklin tells a story to try to mollify Thomas Jefferson, as Jefferson fumes over his own writing being changed! This is a perfect unit for the Declarations of Independence, Geography of Boston and England, of course Franklin and Jefferson, language arts activities, economics and much more!

  • The Hickory Chairby Lisa Row Fraustino, illustrated by Benny Andrews. As a boy, Louis has a special relationship. The events of that relationship involve a mystery which isn’t revealed until his an old man.  This unit covers grieving, architecture, museums, making a graph, acids and bases, human body: the eye, and much more.

  • Higgins Bend Song and Dance, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Brad Sneed is a fishing story – with a whopper of a fish! This unit explores tall tales, beginning business, the biome of rivers, buoyancy, astronomy, of course, fish, and more!

  • Mailing May, by Michael O. Tunnell, is a story of a little girl who finds herself in desperate times. Loving creativity rescues here and writes an amazing story of travel! This unit introduces American flags, Daniel Boone, stamp collecting, alliteration and hyperbole, weights and measures, the science of saliva and more!

  • The Pumpkin Runner, written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Brad Sneed. Set in Australia, Joshua, a man who loves pumpkins, runs a race that has everyone watching! This unit introduces Australia and hemispheres, the sports of running and rowing, truth and fable, variety in art, the metric system, buoyancy and much, much more!

  • The Raft, by Jim La Marche. One summer at the lake, a boy’s disappointment turns into discovery! This unit covers character relationships, history of television, creative writing, building a raft, North woods and lake wildlife, conifers and deciduous trees and more!

  • Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerren and illustrated by Barbara CooneyIn Roxaboxen, children take a real place and enormous imagination and create an incredible town of their own! This unit introduces the science of the desert, civics, third person point of view, grouping, skip counting, simple machines and more!

  • Snowflake Bentleyby Jacqueline Briggs Martin. From the time he was a boy, Willie loved snowflakes, but how could he capture them so the world could appreciate their beauty? This is a warm-hearted, true story of persistence and passion and Wilson Bentley triumphantly captures a snowflake in a photograph! This unit explores the science of a snowflake, photography, persistence, multiplication, butterflies, the hexagon, weather, grasshoppers, and more!

  • The Five in a Row Unit Study You’re On Your Way Teddy Roosevelt, by Judith St. George is a short unit study for Beyond Five in a Row age students. It is not as long or complete as typical Five in a Row Volume 4 or Beyond Five in a Row Units, and is only available in a digital format. Judith St. George writes a biography of the young Teddy Roosevelt that is exciting and fun and full of amazing subjects.. Your students will certainly remember their time with this unit when they meet Roosevelt again in their future history lessons, and will be happy then to learn more about this dynamic man.

  • Paper Lanterns is a unit that includes studies in Social Studies (Geography and History) Language Arts, Art, Applied Math and Science. This unit uses a book called Paper Lanterns, written and illustrated by Stefan Czernecki, as an inspiration and springboard for these studies.  This is a story of a small boy with a passion who is able to withstand obstacles, make a friend, and expertly learn a craft. He may be small in stature but he is large in character and talent!

    This study is a full length Five in a Row Volume 4-style unit, though it can be adapted to younger students as well. You will enjoy the story and all the bright illustrations of this special book as the FIAR lessons take you and your student in many different directions. 


  • The Tree Lady The Tree Lady
  • Albert Albert
  • Angelo Angelo
  • Arabella Arabella
  • The Bravest of Us All The Bravest of Us All
  • Cowboy Charlie Cowboy Charlie
  • Grass Sandals Grass Sandals
  • The Gullywasher The Gullywasher
  • Hanna's Cold Winter Hannah's Cold Winter
  • The Hatmaker's Sign The Hatmaker's Sign
  • The Hickory Chair The Hickory Chair
  • Higgins Bend Song & Dance Higgins Bend Song & Dance
  • Mailing May Mailing May
  • The Pumpkin Runner The Pumpkin Runner
  • The Raft The Raft
  • Roxaboxen Roxaboxen
  • Snowflake Bentley Snowflake Bentley
  • Teddy Roosevelt Teddy Roosevelt
  • Paper Lanterns Paper Lanterns

Notebook Builder

notebook-builderThis Notebook Builder was designed to make it easy for the busy homeschooling mom to do Five in a Row & Beyond Five in a Row the way they are intended to be done: to present information in bite sized pieces, encourage research in child-sized portions, avoid busywork, and develop a love of learning and exploration by providing a format for the child to share what is interesting to him! This digital component is comprised of over 100 printable pages that can be applied to any Five in a Row unit study, or any topic of study for that matter. We have included maps and our timeline templates as well! The pages do not contain book titles or character names, rather they offer a scaffold for bite-sized research and exploration that can be applied to any topic over a number of typical subject areas. Learn more and view a sample here.


Available and FREE to blog subscribers, each Five in a Row FOLD&LEARN™ provides the tools and resources that you and your child need to take each unit’s Five in a Row lessons from your manual and combine them with creativity to find new and unexpected learning treasures. There is any combination of games to play, artwork to look at, puppets to tell stories and much more. There are pages and pages of resources which your child can cut, fold, glue, paste, sort, stack, read, handle, talk about and share. Created in the style of a typical lapbook with content unique to each unit, but different in that how your child puts them together is completely up to him! There isn’t a right or wrong answer!

Book List

*Literature packages are not all inclusive as there will rarely be a day when every single title is available at the same time, but they offer a great way to get the majority of the books needed for each Five in a Row volume in one convenient package. (Manual not included in literature package.)

  • Volume 1 :: Buy Volume 1 Books Now

    The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
    Lentil by Robert McCloskey
    Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
    A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno
    The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
    Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky
    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
    The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen
    How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
    Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say Cranberry

    Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
    Another Celebrated Dancing Bear by Gladys Scheffrin-Falk
    Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley
    Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews
    The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola
    Storm in the Night by Mary Stoltz
    Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
    Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha
    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (with illustrations by Susan Jeffers)

  • Volume 2 :: Buy Volume 2 Books Now

    The Giraffe That Walked to Paris by Nancy Milton
    Three Names by Patricia MacLachlan
    Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf
    Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
    A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert
    Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
    Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
    They Were Strong and Good by Alice and Robert Lawson Babar
    To Duet or Not to Duet based on characters by DeBrunhoff
    The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf Down
    Down the Mountain by Ellis Credle

    Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
    The Tale of Peter Rabbit written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter
    Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car by John Burningham
    All Those Secrets of the World by Jane Yolen
    Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
    The Little Red LIghthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift
    Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
    Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
    When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant
    Gramma’s Walk by Anna Grossnickle Hines

  • Volume 3 :: Buy Volume 3 Books Now

    The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
    Andy and the Circus by Ellis Credle
    The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
    Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Ted Rand
    Henry the Castaway by Mark Taylor
    The Finest Horse in Town by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
    Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan
    The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia KahlAndy and the Lion by James Daugherty
    Daniel’s Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla
    Warm as Wool by Scott Russell Sanders
    The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
    Climbing Kansas Mountains by George Shannon
    Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston
    Little Nino’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour

  • Volume 4 :: Buy Volume 4 Books Now

    Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
    The Raft by Jim LaMarche
    Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell
    Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
    The Gullywasher by Joyce Rossi
    Arabella by Wendy Orr
    Higgins Bend Song and Dance by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
    Cowboy Charlie by Jeanette Winter

    Grass Sandals by Dawnine Spivak Albert by Donna Jo Napoli
    The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rose
    Fraustino Hanna’s Cold Winter by Trish Marx
    The Hatmaker’s Sign Retold by Candace Fleming
    The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane
    Arnold Angelo by David Macaulay