I decided to read books by Laura Ingalls Wilder this summer and see if it looks differently from an adult perspective compared to a child’s perspective. The first book was Little House in the Big Woods. What a neat trove of information I found in the book. I know many people roll their eyes when they think of these books but I think they were sweet and full of great stories that children of all ages would enjoy. I loved the books and I loved the TV series! I will be sharing topics and activities that can be done in the classroom that goes along with this book. If you think of any other activities that go along with a topic, please share!
1. Geography - this book takes place in Wisconsin. Students can identify Wisconsin on the map, identify bordering states, climate, population, topography.
2. Animals that live in the forest - this would be a great activity for young children. Some children might live in an urban area and have no idea what animals live in the forest.
3. Cooking venison - Look at the process then and now. Some people still eat venison. Look up recipes.
4. Hunting for survival vs. sport - they used every piece of the animal and didn’t waste anything.
5. Bears - talk about hibernation. What other animals hibernate? Why is hibernation important?
6. Preserving Meat - discuss about food safety and food handling.
7. Cooking hogs - talk about the process. Great activity for sequencing.
8. Butchering Time - time of the year it is done, what is involved, what is expected, what did they use the different parts of the animal for?
9. Playing dolls - compare then and now; make cornhusk dolls,
10. Every day chores - how do the chores differ from then and now; discuss if children should have required chores?
11. Making butter - have students make butter
12. Gun safety - What are the gun laws in your state? Talk about gun safety such as don’t touch guns unless you know how to use it. Maybe find a book that goes along with gun safety.
Picture from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder