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Little House in the Big Woods Reading Activity

Subject Area: Language Arts

Grade Level(s): 5-6

Duration of Activity: Three weeks

Description of Activity:

The students will use text and technology to access information about history as seen by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her book Little House in the Big Woods. The students will read the book, research facts related to the book, and give their interpretation of the events in book.

Objectives:

  • Students will read Little House in the Big Woods and answer class discussion questions pertaining to the story.
  • Students will ask questions and support their answers that will connect prior knowledge to information found in text.
  • Students will view a letter written by Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Internet.
  • Students will write letters to future children about today's world.
  • Students will write book reviews of Little House in the Big Woods.

Materials/Equipment:

  • Computer(s) with Internet access
  • Several copies of Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Microsoft Word or other word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (optional) or other presentation software

Prerequisites (skills or background needed):

  • Students will need to know how to access the World Wide Web.
  • Students will need basic knowledge of Microsoft Word or other word processing software.

  • Studetns will need basic knowledge of Microsoft PowerPoint or other presentation software.

Procedure

Day Chapter Activities
1 Chapter 1
"Little House in the Big Woods"
2 Chapter 2
"Winter Days and Winter Nights"
3 Chapter 3
"The Long Rifle"
  • Answer Chapter 3 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Begin reviewing the PowerPoint presentation as a test review on this day.
  • Take turns typing paragraphs on the computers and adding clip art.
4 Chapter 4
"Christmas"
  • Answer Chapter 4 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review the PowerPoint presentation as a class.
  • Finish descriptive paragraph activity from days 2 and 3. These will be assessed using a teacher-created rubric.
5 Review previous chapters
  • Use the PowerPoint presentation to review the chapters.
  • Take a written assessment using questions taken directly from the PowerPoint presentation.
6 Chapter 5
"Sundays"
7 Chapter 6
"Two Big Bears"
  • Answer Chapter 6 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Brainstorm ideas for a letter to children in the future. Play music heard on the radio today and relate it to what might be heard in the future.
8 Chapter 7
"The Sugar Snow"
  • Answer Chapter 7 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review PowerPoint presentation as a class in preparation for a test.
  • Finalize letters and type as word processing documents.
  • Bring photographs relating to the ideas expressed in the letters to students in the future.
9 Chapter 8 "Dance at Grandpa's"
  • Answer Chapter 8 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Share photographs relating to the ideas expressed in their letters.
10 Review all previous chapters
  • Take written assessment based on questions from the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Student letters will be assessed using a teacher-created rubric.
11 Chapter 9
"Going to Town" and

Chapter 10
"Summertime"

  • Answer Chapter 9 and 10 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review PowerPoint presentation as a class.
  • Begin writing individual book reviews of Little House in the Big Woods. Put notes on note cards for arranging in order later.
12 Chapter 11
"Harvest"
  • Answer Chapter 11 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review the PowerPoint presentation as a class.
  • Continue making note cards about the important parts of the story. Students should separate the story cards into "beginning," "middle," and "end" components of the book. Finished reviews should include comments regarding whether or not the student enjoyed the story and comparisons between themselves and characters in the book.
13 Chapter 12
"The Wonderful Machine"
  • Answer Chapter 12 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review the PowerPoint presentation as a class.
  • Begin the book reviews using the note cards as a guide. The PowerPoint presentation may be used a as a means of keeping the order of the events in the story in mind.
14 Chapter 13
"The Deer in the Wood"
  • Answer Chapter 13 questions as a class.
  • Add information to the perpetual PowerPoint presentation.
  • Review the PowerPoint presentation for the test.
  • Finish the book reviews.
15 Review all chapters
  • Review the book using the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Take the third written assessment.
  • Complete book reviews will be assessed using a teacher-created rubric.

Teacher Component:

  1. The teacher should create the first slide of the PowerPoint presentation before class begins in order to save class time. Students can select the background color and transitions.
  2. The teacher will bookmark the Web sites to be used in the students' research. These can be placed in Netscape Bookmarks or in Internet Explorer Favorites. In Netscape placing the site URLs in the Personal Toolbar Folder will create links directly from the opening page of the browser. The same thing can be accomplished in Internet Explorer by placing the URLs in the Links folder.
  3. The teacher will facilitate learning by guiding the students through the novel.

Student Activities:

  1. Students will participate in class discussion.
  2. Students will access the Internet and view a letter written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  3. Students will write a letter to children of the future.
  4. Students will write a book review of Little House in the Big Woods using word processing software.

Accommodations:

  • Students will read sections of the book as partners.
  • Students will be allowed to write their book reviews on paper if they are not comfortable with technology or the technology is not available.

Extension Activities:

  • Students can go on a scavenger hunt for photos based on items discussed in the book. They can use search engines for their search such as www.yahoo.com, www.altavista.com, or www.ask.com.
  • Students can create PowerPoint presentations, creating two slides for each chapter that tell what happened in that chapter. The Web can be used to find photos to go in the PowerPoint presentations. Note: If the presentations are to be posted to a Web site, students must be certain the photos are in the public domain or obtain permission to use them. Fair Use guidelines do not apply to things posted to the Internet. Students should be asked to provide the name of the Web site and its URL for each picture taken from the Web. This can either be done on the page with the image or on a separate slide at the end of the presentation labeled "References."

Integration:

  • Language arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Assessments:

  1. Use the vocabulary quiz for each chapter located at: Little House in the Big Woods
    http://gardenofpraise.com/bgwoodt1.htm
  2. Use the comprehension quiz for each chapter located at: TeacherFeatures.com
    http://www.teacherfeatures.com/units/little_house/little_house.htm

URLs:

The last three links are search engine sites used in searching the Web for information about a topic.

Curriculum Frameworks

Mississippi:

Fifth Grade & Sixth Grade

  1. Communicate for a variety of purposes through different forms of writing using processes of reading, writing, listening, and viewing for an expanding audience. (R, W, L, V)
  2. Speak coherently and listen effectively to exchange ideas and opinions for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  3. Complete projects and tasks in an organized and coherent manner.(R, W, S, L, V)
  4. Read, listen to, and view multimedia sources to select and use information.(R, W, S, L, V)
  5. Discover the history and inherent beauty of cultural expression in language and literature. (R, W, S, L, V)

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Use keyboards and other common input and output devices efficiently and effectively.(1)
  2. Use technology tools for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.(3,4)

TerraNova:

02 Basic Understanding (Level 10-21/22)
Demonstrate understanding of the literal meaning of a passage through identifying stated information, indicating sequence of events, and defining grade level vocabulary.

Write responses to questions requiring literal information from passages and documents.

03 Analyze Text (Level 11-21/22)
Demonstrate comprehension by drawing conclusions ;inferring relationships, such as cause and effect; and identifying theme and story elements, such as plot, climax, character, and setting.

Write responses that show an understanding of the text that goes beyond surface meaning

Link and Feedback to Author(s):

Jan Easley, Houlka Attendance Center, Houlka, MS
janeasley@hotmail.com

Teresa Moore, Houlka Attendance Center, Houlka, MS
mccullochteresa@hotmail.com

Handout 1:
Recommended Titles
Word Acrobat
Handout 2:
Self-Assessment Checklist
Word Acrobat
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