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The Prairie Primer:
A Literature ased Unit Study Utilizing The "Little House" Series
By Margie Gray
The Prairie Primer is my new favorite program! We are combining this wonderful study with TruthQuest Age of Revolution II for an exciting, meaty study. Prairie Primer is a unit study based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. The study is broken down into nine units based on the nine books in the "Little House" series. True to unit-study form, "Prairie Primer" is really an idea bank, leaving up to your imagination and creativity. Don't let this throw you! Here's how it works. Author Margie Gray starts each unit with detailed lists of the things you can study, do, or make, including any materials and supplies you will need. She then breaks the units down into weeks and days based on the chapters in the Little House books. On Day One she tells you to read chapter one in "Little House in the Big Woods." From there she suggests all kinds of activities covering history, science, Bible, Language Arts, crafts, and so on. Here's where your creativity comes in. She'll say that you should make a corn cob doll with your child. She doesn't tell you how. But, you have internet! So, you google "corn husk doll," download the directions, and proceed to make a doll with your student. In the first week alone she gives you dozens of ideas and studies. We chose just one each day: a mini-report on black bears, making homemade butter, diagramming a flint-lock musket, and so on. You could conceivably make this your sole curriculum for the year and actually do all of the wonderful projects and suggestions. We, however, are using it only as history (though much of what we're doing doubles as science, language arts, etc.). We are also creating lap books to go with our study. Geared toward students in grades 3-6, it is very easily adaptable for kids older and younger because of the activities. The grade level is based on the reading level of the Little House books. I am actually doing it with my 9th grade son, my 7th and 4th grade daughters, and my kindergarten-age son. Yes, there is plenty for both boys and girls, all ages, all tastes and styles. We are loving this book!
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