Monday, September 22, 2014

Little House in the Big Woods

When the youngest sprout takes a nap, I have been taking the opportunity to snuggle up with First Sprout to read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (sometimes Second Sprout also joins us). I have been wanting to start a chapter book read-aloud for some time, and homeschooling gave us both the time and the requirement motivation. Over the summer, I pulled together a few classics and let First Sprout choose one. She was enchanted by the idea of living in a cabin in the woods-- farming and hunting for food-- and she chose Little House immediately.

As we read, we had some really great discussions about the descriptive language and the lessons that the author shares in the book. Some we agreed with, and others not so much, but it prompted some really wonderful deep reading/ listening skills in line with the rigor required by Common Core. I started trying to to record or re-create some of our discussion questions to line up with Common Core more purposefully. I also created some activities that tied in story elements (characters, setting, problem, events) at a first-grade level. I figure that we already cover these things by reading, so we might as well document them for the portfolio!

I also wanted to create some puppets that First Sprout could use to retell parts of the story. Not only does it allow me to check comprehension, but it is lots of fun too. The sprouts were so delighted that I will probably forevermore be expected to make puppets out of book characters.

Little House in the Big Woods puppets (from left-right: Pa, Mary, Laura, Baby Carrie, and Ma).
After a few days of pulling all of my resources together and aligning standards, I am proud to share a Common Core Aligned Book Unit for Little House in the Big Woods on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I am looking forward to creating more of these book units throughout the year, and I am trying to think about which books to use. Then I remember First Sprout will probably decide for me-- it looks like Catwings by Ursula K. LeGuin is up next. Until then...

Happy Learning!

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