Monday, March 9, 2015

Farmer Boy - Novel Study Gr.3

Farmer Boy - Gr.3 Novel Study

Traditionally ,  in grade 3 my boys have read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie for their novel study. It's a great book that ties in nicely with Early Settlers/ Pioneers history unit.
This year I decided to switch it up and read Farmer Boy instead. I thought it would be more relatable to my boys.
Little House on the Prairie is a novel written by Laura Ingalls Wilder  of her account growing up in 1869 and their journey to settlement.

Farmer Boy is her telling of her husband, Almanzo's, childhood growing up in New York.

As an aside if you are reading this series with your children it would be well worth your effort to read through The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker. Not only is it a lovely cookbook in itself but it will provide you with very interesting information about the book series. I don't want to make my entry too long as I know you are likely visiting for the hands on activities but I can't stress enough how much I gained from reading it.

One of the reasons I so love this series is because it provides my boys with the opportunity to understand the value of hard work, obedience and strength of character. I find a vast majority of more modern books to be mostly focused on entertaining the young readers.

In our home I really enjoy the time spent reading aloud with my children. We lounge and take turns reading to each other. Sometimes this is simply followed by some discussion. Other times we do more hands on activities with focuses on different subjects that tie into the topic.

I'll break this down by chapters -

Chapter 1  School Days 

Chapter 2 Winter Evening 

Chapter 3 Winter Night 

"The Indians had popped it, but probably it wasn't very good. Probably they didn't butter or salt it, and it would be cold and tough after they had carried it around in a bag of skins."

"Almonzo looked at every kernel before he ate it. They were all different shapes. He had eaten thousands of handfuls of popcorn, and never found two kernels alike. "

"You can fill a glass full to the brim with milk, and fill another glass of the same size brim full of popcorn, and then you can put all the popcorn kernel by kernel into the milk, and the milk will not run over. You cannot do this with bread. Popcorn and milk are the only two things that will go into the same place." 

Almonzo's father mentions it was 40 below zero that chapter. Here in Canada we suffered through the coldest winter in recent history with weather hitting below even that ! In fact, the monthly report from Environment Canada stated:

"As of February 25, the February 2015 temperature anomaly over eastern Ontario and south-western Québec was never observed before since 1900 making it a 115-year return period event (1 case out of 115 years)."

Chapter 4 - Surprise 

Chapter 5 - Birthday 

Chapter 6 - Filling the Ice House 

Chapter 7 -Saturday Night  

Almonzo said his mother always braided the donut dough because it was faster. It would "flip" itself over in the hot fat, whereas the round ones would not.... of course we HAD to see if that was true....

Chapter 8 - Sunday

Chapter 9 - Breaking the Calves

Chapter 10 - The Turn of the Year  (Maple syrup, spring cleaning)

This chapter was so full of potential fun activities! We will check out the maple syrup festival in March and add it to our album.
Almonzo's mother used whiskey for her extracts. We only had vodka... strictly for cooking purposes, of course.
Here we have vanilla extract and orange extract.

Almonzo's father sold their potatoes to the man from New York. We thought this would be a fun way to use up some aging potatoes from our stockpile.
If you use only primary colours your younger kids will enjoy finding ways to make new colours !

Chapter 11 - Springtime  (planting) 

Chapter 12 - Tin-Peddler 

Chapter 13 - The Strange Dog 

Chapter 14 - Sheep Shearing
Chapter 15 - Cold- Snap 

 Another great thing about Farmer Boy is that it takes place over two years. If planting didn't fit into the springtime chapter there were other places to squeeze it in!
In chapter 15 the Wilder family works together to save the corn crop. We started our seeds and covered a science unit on learning to care for plants. 

Chapter 16 - Independence Day 

 "That's the noise that made the Redcoats run!" Mr.Paddock said to Father.

Pulling up memories from summertime in the Pioneer Village we visited.
 Their celebration talks about the town coming together to watch the parade. The anthem being sung, prayers said publicly.
We pulled up our memories of oldest brother , who is in the army cadets, taking part in the Remembrance Day parade to get a sense of that gathering.

Chapter 17 - Summertime

Chapter 18 - Keeping House

Chapter 19 - Early Harvest

Chapter 20 - Late Harvest

Chapter 21 - County Fair

Chapter 22 - Fall of the Year

Chapter 23 - Cobbler

Chapter 24 - The Little Bobsled

Chapter 25 - Threshing

Chapter 26 - Christmas

Chapter 27 - Wood-Hauling

Chapter 28 - Mr.Thompson's Pocketbook

Chapter 29 - Farmer Boy 

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