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In the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Laura introduces us to Almanzo Wilder and shows us what life is like for him growing up on a farm in New York. We learn about his daily chores and see how much he wants to prove he is responsible enough to have his own horse. Give this book a read, and then try these three activities to help you explore the text further.
Lesson Plans for Farmer Boy By Laura Ingalls Wilder
After we finished out Little House in the Big Woods Lesson Plan we moved on to the next book in the series, Farmer Boy By Laura Ingalls Wilder. The kids liked this one and learning about old-time farming.
We also used the Guide for Using Farmer Boy in the Classroom (Literature Units). They have activities and worksheets for each chapter along with chapter tests.
The Wilder home still stands in Malone, New York and you can visit it and learn about Almanzo Wilder Childhood. We then took the virtual tour with Notgrass History since we couldn't visit in person.
After that, we did some fun crafts and DIY projects related to the book.
Here are 3 activities perfect for accompanying Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Activity One – Ice Smash and Stack
Metal cake pan
Tools such as small hammer and pick
Metal cookie sheet
Children in the late 1800s had to collect ice from the lake to fill their ice houses. These ice houses were used to keep food cold and fresh, so collecting the ice was an important job. Get a feel for how the children collected the ice when you give this activity a try!
1. Begin by filling a metal cake pan about ¾ of the way full of water.
2. Place the pan in the freezer. Allow it to freeze for several hours until it is frozen solid.
3. Once the water is frozen through, remove the cake pan and get out your tools.
4. Take the pan outside or place it on a towel since this activity might get messy.
5. Use your tools such as a hammer and pick (or screwdriver) to chop at the ice and remove large chunks.
6. Take the chunks and stack them up in the freezer as if you are preparing your own ice house.
Is chopping your own ice as easy as you thought it would be? Give this fun ice smash and stack activity a try and see if you would have been any good at it!
Activity Two – DIY Facts About Horses Book
Almonzo wanted his own horse so badly! Before a child should get any kind of pet, it is important to find out as much information as you can about the animal. Creating your own Horse Facts book is a great way to gather and compile this information.
1. Begin by compiling your facts. You can start by writing down the facts you already know about horses.
2. Use alternate sources to gather additional facts about horses. You can use library books, interview a vet, interview a farmer, or even head to the internet. Of course, Almonzo wouldn’t have had all these options, but luckily you do!
3. Fold your paper into smaller squares and staple the edge to create a simple flip book.
4. Use your markers to write your facts down into your newly crafted book. You can also draw illustrations as you wish.
Keep your Horse Facts book on hand so you can easily reference your horse facts and share your findings with others.
Activity Three – Almonzo’s Mini Garden
One of Almonzo’s chores was to help plant the yearly crops. With this craft, you can plant your own mini crop and see what life for Almonzo may have been like.
1. Begin by filling your plastic bin ¾ of the way full of potting soil.
2. Take your finger and make lines of holes into the soil.
3. If you wish you can drop a seed down into each hole (your small stones) and cover up with soil.
4. Place your faux plants in a row to show the sprouting seeds.
5. Use your mini gardening tools to tend to the plants and enjoy a planting sensory experience.
Kids can enjoy mimicking the planting process in their mini garden while also encouraging those fine motor skills!
As you can see there are many ways to enjoy Farmer Boy further through these hands-on activities. Give them a try and see what life was like for Almonzo and his family in a way that is fun and interactive!
Did you do any crafts when you read Farmer Boy By Laura Ingalls Wilder? I'd love to know how you studied the book or plan to!
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