Little House on the Prairie

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by TeachtheWorld, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Apr 17, 2008

    My high reading group has started reading, Little House on the Prairie. I want them to do a lot of fun activities with this book. I remember reading this book when I was in third grade and our teacher had us make a log cabin for our individual project. Do you think this would be okay for 1st graders? I know that moms and dads would probably do most of the work, but I think it would be fun for them? Also, should I do it for a grade? If so, what rubric would I use?
     
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  3. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Apr 17, 2008

    I love Little House on the Prairie and all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Actually my last two vacations have been built around going to her houses in Missouri and then in South Dakota.

    I think that first graders would like making log cabins; I don't know if you should grade it though, except maybe as a participation grade. Or maybe you could tie a writing assignment to the log cabins and grade that.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 17, 2008

    Wow! Little House on the Prairie for a reading group in 1st grade? That is a 4th grade book. (4.8 in AR) I could see it as a read aloud, but for independent or guided reading?

    Why something so challenging? Even with our gifted kids, we don't start them in this series until third grade in reading groups. I would be worried that A) it is too hard for them to truly comprehend it and B) that it is WAY too long of a chapter book for this age level.
     
  5. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2008


    Actually, I read Little House books when I was in first.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Apr 21, 2008

    Look in the AtoZ store to download a very nice pattern to make covered wagons. I think it's still there.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 21, 2008

    I think you will find that to be the exception rather than the rule.
     
  8. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Apr 21, 2008

    I only have 2 in this group and they are loving this book. So far, they are able to comprehend it really well. We have very good discussion each day and I have no doubt that they are able to read this. I've never had students like these two before. They are in Reading Counts and are reading 3rd and 4th grade leveled books for that. Both students have passed every RC test that they have taken so far.

    "I think you will find that to be the exception rather than the rule." These students are definitely an exception. I wouldn't have them do this if they were not successful.
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Apr 21, 2008

    aww . . . I remember being in first grade and they had put me in the slow class because I was from the projects, and that was where all the project kids were put (hard to believe huh?). Anyway, the teachers and librarian didn't know what to do with me because I had read all the picture books. So I was allowed to move to the third/fourth grade shelves, and Little House was what I read. A turning point in my life, I will tell you! Of course, I did not read them all in first grade, but a few. That was when they moved me to the smart kids class!

    I can think of a million projects! The covered wagon - I actually made one with my mom to go with the book projects! A log cabin made out of painted paper towel rolls, make some corn pone - isn't that what they always ate? Or biscuits. Make a rag doll or make a doll out of a corn cob! Have a hoe down! Bring the whole class in on this! Wow! What a blast.

    Makes me want to go teach 3/4 just so we can do these books!
     
  10. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Apr 22, 2008

    Thank you for the suggestions. We're really having fun with this.
     
  11. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2008

    I read ALL of the Little House books in the first grade. So did my children.

    One of my biggest peeves about my children's elementary years (and they were not good years) was that our librarian actually believed the suggested grade/age levels listed for each book were legitimate.

    Exposing children to wonderful books makes them WANT to read them. The short, heavily abridged, limited vocabulary selections in my children's lower elementary readers were insulting to the intelligence of a child.

    Let the children who are ready read any level they feel they want to try. Pay no attention to age or grade levels. I read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "Gone with the Wind" in third grade, and the librarian tried to physically wrestle both of them out of my hands. She's still there at my old school, discouraging kids from reading. Sigh.

    Kids are a lot sharper than we give them credit for. Please, expose your students to the beauty and wonder and general coolness of Laura Ingalls Wilder - the REAL books, not those dreadful insipid money-grubbing individual chapters-sold-as-books, which are a disgrace to snakes when it comes to literature.

    My parents took us to all the Laura homes, too!

    Go to the official website and you can buy copies of Laura's photographs, as well as pretty much any and every other kind of souvenir. They take PayPal, too, which makes it even easier to buy online.

    Make butter and homemade bread. Buy berries and make jam. Make a green pumpkin pie. Explain to your kids about sourdough; make some and USE IT! Make boiled candy; it's just fudge. Talk about bulldogs. Talk about Nellie and how there have always been bullies and spoiled brats and how nobody likes them. Talk about Indians and how the early settlers believed the gossip and were often prejudiced before they even knew the truth. Talk about how hard it was for Pa to do all the outside work alone, as he had only daughters and no sons to help him. Talk about how difficult it must have been for Ma to leave behind her sisters and brothers and go with Pa to the unknown prairie. Talk about how all the little girls wore their hair in braids, and how the braids would 'catch' on their back buttons. Talk about going to school barefoot. Talk about using any old schoolbooks the family might have already owned; Laura and Mary used their Ma's old books. Talk about slates, and slate pencils. Talk about sitting perfectly still without moving even a toe, lest one be punished for fidgeting. Talk about how the students were turned loose for recess, without supervision, and allowed to run wild until called back by the teacher. Talk about what a huge deal getting hold of a newspaper was, to the settlers. Talk about how we track the whereabouts of our astronauts but how when a covered wagon left a settlement, those left behind often never heard of or from their loved ones again.

    First graders aren't stupid, and they understand far more than many parents and teachers allow them to discuss.

    Yes, there will be those that can't or won't understand, but they're the minority, not the majority. NEVER hold a child back because of the ability level of his seatmate. And you might be surprised - but you shouldn't be - at how much even a very slow child can understand if he is just exposed to it.

    I adore the Little House books. They are part of my growing up and therefore a part of my life now.

    AND, I loathe and despise that school librarian of my childhood.

    Get this: I used to have to send a note to school in order for my elementary children to be allowed to check out library books from the middle school section. Go figure!!!!! (Stereotypes and assumptions, anyone?)
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2008

    Why not let the kids create their own project? Or make a menu of activities that could be used for ANY book at ANY level- that way the kids who are reading high and lower level books can all have a 'fun activity' at the conclusion of their reading. Some ideas:
    *make a new cover for the book
    *write a book review
    *make a poster advertising the book
    *research the author
    *make a diorama (shoebox)
    *make a mobile
    *do a venn diagram compairing characters (or time period of book with now)
    *create your own project with teacher ok....
     
  13. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Apr 22, 2008

    ditto on what everyone else said - I bought Little House in the Big Woods at my first book fair in Kindergarten, so I was even younger when i started this book.
     
  14. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    May 2, 2008

    Wow. Thanks for the response Mamacita. I love the ideas. These two kids are loving these books. I've started reading the first one to my entire class during read aloud time and they hate it when we have to stop. I'm so surprised at how much discussion they are having with this book. It's so exciting to see their enthusiasm over reading. :)
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    May 2, 2008

    Wow, I guess I really missed out. In NY we weren't exposed to those books in school. Maybe it's a regional thing...but I would have read them i'm sure! I was the first student in Kindergarten to read and had to be set apart from the other students who didn't know their letters. I remember one elementary teacher giving me a copy of Little Women to read. My parents almost died when they looked at the length of the book! But I read it! The school librarians were great to.Always encouraging. Maybe I'll check the Little House books out now...thanks!
     
  16. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    May 3, 2008

    I read them on my own (in my free time) when I was in first.
     
  17. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    May 7, 2008

    It is amazing at how much a child can learn just because they are motivated to read a "grown up" book. They will push themselves and struggle at times but if they are self-motivated to read it, all it does it speed up their progress as a reader. many good readers are stunted in their growth as reader because they are told "it is too hard for you" and are kept at the same level their peers are versus encouraged to stretch themselves. I applaud you for having a reading group of only 2 students and allowing them to chose a book that will really stretch them. I only hope that the future teachers will do the same.
     

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