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Mentor Text Lessons to Warm Up Your Winter


Welcome Friends!

Thanks so much for stopping by on your way through The Reading Crew's blog hop! We hope you'll enjoy the ideas and resources we've shared in celebration of the arrival of 2017!  May they warm up your reading plans this winter!


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House book series . Her family stories of her pioneer life as "Half Pint" with Ma, Pa, Mary, Carrie, and Jack the bulldog were my favorites as a young girl.  I share them every year with my second graders as part of  our Social Studies unit about artifacts and traditions from long ago.

My students are always intrigued and interested in discussing how their lives today differ from those of the Ingall's children, and our study of the picture book adaptation of Wilder's Winter Days in the Big Woods serves as a great springboard for skill-building lessons on comparing and contrasting, as well as persuasive writing.





Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


Winter Days in the Big Woods chronicles the daily chores and tasks that the Ingalls family had to do in order to survive in their little house made of logs in the woods of Wisconsin.  While Pa hunts for fresh meat to eat, Ma and the three girls gather vegetables from the garden, churned butter, and bake bread.  At night, they cut out paper dolls by the fireplace while Pa tells stories or plays happy tunes on his fiddle.  





Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


Prior to sharing the story aloud, I show the picture of the picture of log cabin featured on the last page of the book to my second graders and read them quote above.  Afterwards, I encourage them to imagine or visualize in their minds what the outside and inside of the little house looks like.

I then ask them to draw pictures of their ideas, as well as pictures of what the outside and inside of their own home looks like.  This activity helps them connect their real-life experiences to the text, and make predictions about what types of artifacts and customs from long ago they will learn about in the story.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.





Once students have completed their visualization illustrations, we check our predictions using a projectable slideshow created by my dear friend Emily over at Curious Firsties.  It is the perfect way to take your students on a virtual field trip back in time!  It is FREE in her TpT shop, and you can find it {HERE}.

Her mother is the owner of the historic artifacts featured in this fabulous collection of photographs!

Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


I use Emily's Powerpoint presentation to spark a group discussion about what my students would find if they traveled back in time to the inside of a log cabin like the one where Laura Ingall's Wilder's family lived.  We explore the meaning of the word "artifact" and come up with a working definition and list of synonyms on chart paper before playing a guessing game I call "Guess The Artifact!"   This helps us recognize and identify the similarities and differences between the pioneer tools and the tools we use today.  





During my first read-through of Winter Days in the Big Woods, I stop and ask my students to reflect on the activity the Ingall's family is doing, and give examples of the household chores they are responsible for every day.  After the second read-through, I introduce either a pocket chart or Hula Hoop Venn diagram and this set of past/present/both picture and vocabulary cards.  Students then work in a large or small group to categorize them and discuss how they are the same or different.



Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.



Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.






Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


After we have read the story twice, I ask students to choose an old artifact they liked from either the book or the Powerpoint, and create a poster comparing it to it's modern day companion.  I ask them to brainstorm the pros and cons of each object using the graphic organizer above, before they create a literary poster with illustrations and a written persuasive paragraph.





Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


This "WANTED" poster activity helps students synthesize what they've learned and present the information in a fun and creative "commercial" format.  Students can either draw and color the illustrations or print off online images.




No lesson in my classroom would be complete without a song to enhance the story, and a list and lyrics for early American folk tunes that Pa plays on his fiddle can be found on the 
following websites!





Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


These two books from the My First Little House series are also winter-themed, 
and make wonderful read alouds as well.


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


You also might like to include some of the folk art and craft projects from this Pinterest board
in your thematic study of pioneer life.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share my story!  Continue to hold a song in your heart and teach your children well.  I hope that this post has provided you with some new ideas that you can use in your classroom.  

Be sure to click {HERE} to find both the literary poster freebie and 
the compare/contrast Venn diagram resource in my TpT store!


Primary grade students will love comparing and contrasting their life today to that of pioneer children using Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a mentor text.


Before you move on to check out the other great posts, lesson ideas, and freebies from the
bloggers listed below, don't forget to note my secret word!  

You will need it to complete your giveaway entry!

It is.....

SNOW

Just imagine the thrill of winning all of these great mentor text titles to use in your classroom! 



PIN FOR LATER 





Jennifer Reynolds
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2 comments:

  1. I would so love to be a student in your classroom! I love the lessons in this activity and how everything works together so well. Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea
    This Literacy Life

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is so much in this post to love! The "Wanted" poster...LOVE THAT IDEA!!! And you know I am a huge fan of these books. There is so much to learn from them. Can't wait to share your post with my teammate, so that we can start planning to add this into our Laura Ingalls unit. (And thanks for using my Powerpoint!)

    ReplyDelete

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