Friday, May 11, 2012

Little House in the Big Woods: Chapter 1 (part1)

This week, we started reading Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I had anticipated us reading one chapter per week and doing activities to go along with the story, but...this was a long chapter, full of a lot of information.  So, we will contiue this chapter's activities next week as well.
The story begins with Laura describing where she lives.  She describes her house, which is a log cabin.  We built a log cabin.  This actually was more difficult for Arin than expected, so it ended up being mom building a log cabin and that wasn't nearly as much fun as you might think.  We bought skills sticks (popsicles sticks made for building) and followed the directions included to make a barn, which we called a cabin :)

Laura described her house, the inside and outside.  Arin and Ella drew pictures of their house.   Then, Arin described her house to me, including details like house color, what the house is made out of, number of bedrooms, color of the walls, number of stories, etc.
Ella's drawing

Arin's drawing
We talked about different kinds of houses.  Laura lived in a log cabin, we live in a house, and we worked on an apartment themed map lesson in her Evan Moor Daily Geography book.
Laura described the place where she lived, nothing but woods and the wild animals that live there for as far as the eye can see.  Arin described where she lives...neighborhood, paved roads, near lots of other houses, close by family members, stores and restaurants, etc.  We also worked on a neighborhood worksheet in her geography book.
The story is set in the state of Wisconsin.  I purchased Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We started this curriculum by learning about Wisconsin.  I read facts to Arin about the state, she colored a worksheet (included in the curriculum), located the state on a map, and learned the name of the capital.

Little House in the Big Woods starts in the autumn, with Laura's family gathering food and preparing for the winter.  Arin worked on fall themed worksheets in her Evan Moor Daily Science book.
Laura mentions several different animals that have their homes near her home.  Arin's science workbook had a section on animals and where they live.  Love it when her workbook pages fit in with the books that we are working on.  Thanks Michelle for this idea :)
Laura mentions several different animals, both wild and domestic, that live near her.  If I remember correctly, she names about 15 different animals, including ones such as wolves, bears, horses, pigs, wild cats, otters, foxes, and a domestic cat and dog.  Arin started her animal journal this week, using these animals. This was by far the most time consuming portion of this unit study this week.  First, I downloaded (from the different animals mentioned in the story (or at least the ones that I could find pictures of).  Next, I wrote a simple fact about each of the animals on an index card.  Arin used this for her copy work.
We also added artwork for each animal. Here are a few samples of the process, plus the finished journal pages.

Arin drew a wolf, using the instructions found here.

I gave the girls a lesson in symmetry and Arin attempted her first symmetrical drawing.

And some times it just made sense to add a coloring page of the animal as the artwork for that page of the journal.
Check back next week for more of our learning activities from the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods.


Melissa said...

LOVE the animal journal!!! And you're making me want to read Little House in the Big Woods again :)

Eddie said...

I love this! I'm just starting the Prairie Primer with my 11 year old for the summer and the almost-5 sidekick wants to tag along...I'll be following from now on because your ideas will be perfect to include him in! Thanks for sharing.