Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Horse Unit

Well we started our Horse Unit today. It seemed to go over well. I haven't planned it all the way through yet but I have got this first week or so thought out. I am taking ideas from this review I read from a blogger that I follow. Most of the books are Marguerite Henry books. We have actually read quite a few of them. We read Brighty of the Grand Canyon last fall. And the Misty of Chincotegue series of books were some of our favorites last year. But Marguerite Henry wrote so many more and they are all included on lists of books that kids should read. I read a few in my youth but don't remember many of them, so I am enjoying them too.

Before we even started today Sophie got out every stuffed horse we have in our house, we actually have many, so they could read along with us. The first book we are reading is The White Stallion of Lipizza. We made it through a number of chapters just to get the story going. We then read about Lipizzan Horses in our Album of Horses (this is a book from my childhood. I poured over this book when I was little and all the pictures are so familiar). I brought out Sophie's little white toy horse, which I believe is supposed to be a Lipizzaner horse. The kids pranced it around and figured out which of the ballet moves it was doing. We then went to YouTube and watched a few videos of Lipazzaners. The kids really enjoyed watching the horses do their ballet moves. I then had a coloring page for them to color of a Lipizzan with rider doing one of the airs. Sophie even gave drawing one on her own a try.

Over the next few days we will learn all about Austria, which is where this story takes place. I have a flag printout for them to color and a map of Europe for them to label. I also have the Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss to introduce to go along with our study of Austria. Maybe I will also have to show the Sound of Music so we can see those Austrian Alps.

We are also going to start going over the parts of the horse and how to take care of them. I have a bunch of books about horses in general to read and a few picture books with horses in them for us to read for fun.

But before this unit is over. I hope to also read Black Beauty which is the only book not by Marguerite Henry. This one will be good to read and go over all the different uses of horses and some English things like the Fox Hunt and such. King of the Wind is another on the list. We will get to study about arabian horses and Arabia. Maybe a bit about racing. If we haven't worn out Horses after these then we will also try Justin Morgan had a Horse (I actually don't know much about this one at all) or Mustang - Wild Spirit of the West (Sophie really likes mustangs) or even Born to Trot which is one I do remember reading as a kid.

There are all sorts of other things to study along with each of these books. It won't all be horses but they are the linking theme. I also splurged and bought some horse stickers which I hope will go into a lapbook. I also found a little sticker book that goes through the parts of a horse and all the tack involved in riding and care of horses. This is for the boys, or at least Henry to enjoy.

I hope the kids enjoy this unit. I have purposely keep it somewhat light. I know the kids just want to play but I need to feel like we are at least doing a little something each day. If nothing else we will read a bunch of really good books.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I love Austria and the sound of music- I loved when we read Black Beauty. Have a great week- this is an exciting one!