Little House in the Big Woods

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Little House in the Big Woods (1872)

READ ALOUD: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

BOOKS: Checkout books about woodlands and forest animals at your local library. Wolves, Bear, Deer, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Rabbits, Wild Cats, Muskrats, Mink, Otter, Foxes, Owls, Panther (maybe a mountain lion)

READ ALOUD: Woodland Creatures (Usborne Young Beginners) by Emily Bone

BOOKS: Checkout books about pioneer barnyards and farm animals at your local library. Dog, Cat, Pigs, Cows, Horses

SUPPLEMENTAL BOOK: My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection

SUPPLEMENTAL BOOK: My Little House Sticker Book: A Day in the Big Woods

JUST FOR FUN:  American Girl Doll Kirsten and all her accessories and books. The doll is great for your child to hold onto while reading.

 

Chapter 1: Little House in the Big Woods

There is no My First Little House Picture Book, yet.

IMMERSION: Show pictures of Pepin, Wisconsin woods and the Little House in the Big Woods replica cabin. Listen to wolf howls. Show a picture of a brindle bulldog. Eat hickory smoked venison jerky.

FOODS: fresh venison, salted & smoked venison, fresh fish, salted fish, fresh pork, salted & smoked pork, brined pork (every part used: spare ribs, pig’s tail, hams, shoulders, side meat, belly, sausage, heart, liver, tongue, headcheese, sausage, lard), pork cracklings (fried pork fat – bacon fat), potatoes, carrots, cabbages, beets, turnips, onions, red peppers, pumpkins, variety of squashes, yellow cheeses, sage leaves, dried herbs: spicy herbs & bitter herbs, johnny-cake with pork cracklings, salt and pepper

CRAFT: Corn Cob Doll

MUSIC: There is no music mentioned in this chapter.

READ ALOUD: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (APL)

 

Chapter 2: Winter Days and Winter Nights

My First Little House Picture Book: Winter Days in the Big Woods illustrated by Renée Graef

“Each day had its own proper work. Ma used to say:

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.”

– Little House in the Big Woods

COOKING: Bake bread and ‘churn’ butter in a jar. Make a little pie in a patty-pan.

FOODS: bear, butter, buttermilk, bread (made on Saturdays!), cookies, patty-pan pie (mini pie)

CRAFT: Paper Dolls
My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection

MUSIC: Yankee Doodle

 

Chapter 3: The Long Rifle

There is no My First Little House Picture Book, yet.

IMMERSION: Watch a video of lead bullets being made. Talk about gun safety. Look at a jack-knife. Talk about knife safety. Listen to owl sounds.

BOOKS: Checkout books about owls at your local library.

FOOD: There is no food mentioned in this chapter.

MUSIC: There is no music mentioned in this chapter.

 

Chapter 4: Christmas

My First Little House Picture Book: Christmas in the Big Woods illustrated by Renee Graef

IMMERSION: Listen to sleigh bells.

Foods: salt-rising bread, rye ‘n Injun bread, Swedish crackers, baked beans with salt pork and molasses, vinegar pies, dried apple pies, cookies, cake, molasses snow candy, peppermint candy, pancake men, baked potatoes

CRAFT: Whittling (jack-knife/cutting knife, safety gloves/thumb/finger guards, sandpaper, and basswood)

CRAFT: Make a rag doll.

CRAFT: Make an apple with cloves.

MUSIC: Money Musk, The Red Heifer, The Devil’s Dream, Arkansaas Traveller, My Darlin’ Nelly Gray

READ ALOUD: Old Yeller
MOVIE: Old Yeller

 

Chapter 5: Sundays

My First Little House Picture Book: A Little House Birthday illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

IMMERSION: Snuggle on the couch and flip through the pages of a great picture bible for children. Your library probably has a few. Explore Pa’s ‘big green book’ – The Wonders of the Animal World. I found an article that states that this book is the one referred too.

FOOD: Five little cakes (for Laura’s birthday – one for each year)

MUSIC: Sunday hymns, Rock of Ages, Am I a Soldier of the Cross?, Pop Goes the Weasel, Uncle Ned

 

Chapter 6: Two Big Bears

There is no My First Little House Picture Book, yet.

POETRY: Learn this prayer poem:

“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

FOOD: Candy

MUSIC: Kitty Wells

 

Chapter 7: The Sugar Snow

My First Little House Picture Book: Sugar Snow illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

BOOKS: Checkout books about maple trees and making maple sugar/syrup at your local library. Here are some that we love:
Maple Syrup Season by Ann Purmell
Sugaring by Jessie Haas
At Grandpa’s Sugar Bush by Margaret Carney
Sugarbush Spring by Marsha Wilson Chall
The Sugaring Off Party by Jonathan London
Sugar on Snow by Nan Parson Rossiter
When Grandpa, When? by Terry Bouchard

FIELD TRIP: If you are lucky enough to live near a maple farm, go visit and watch how maple syrup is made. I took the kids to Vermont when they were little and we toured a farm and learned all about the process of making maple syrup. They was also a nice hike through the maple trees and a sweet goat from the farm served as a tour guide. That or he just liked us. It was so beautiful. The farm also made cheese; there were lots of women making cheese and we learned all that we could about cheesemaking while we were there. We might have taste tested about a pound of cheese too.

FOODS: maple sugar ‘cakes’, maple syrup, maple syrup on bread, cake of maple sugar

I ordered some maple sugar ‘cakes’ (little leaf shaped pure maple sugar candies) on Amazon. These are not the hard candies; they are pressed maple sugar.

MUSIC: Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines

 

Chapter 8: Dance at Grandpa’s

My First Little House Picture Book: Dance at Grandpa’s illustrated by Renée Graef

IMMERSION: Listen to army bugle sounds. Attend a square dancing demonstration or take a lesson.

READ ALOUD: Check out books about animal tracks and tracking at your local library.

FOODS: cold venison sandwiches, milk, hasty pudding with maple syrup, soft maple snow candy, pumpkin pies, dried berry pies, cookies, cakes, salt-rising bread, cold boiled pork, sour pickles, pancakes with maple syrup

MUSIC: Buffalo Gals, The Irish Washerwoman, The Arkansas Traveler

 

Chapter 9: Going to Town

My First Little House Picture Book: Going to Town illustrated by Renee Graef

FOODS: Candy, Store Salt, Store Sugar, Tea, Candy Hearts

Have a lakeside picnic just as the Ingalls family did on Lake Pepin. Pack a picnic basket with foods wrapped in brown paper: bread and butter, cheese, hardboiled eggs, cookies. Take calico pockets to fill with pebbles that you may find at the lake.

MUSIC: Home! Sweet Home!

 

Chapter 10: Summertime

My First Little House Picture Book: Summertime in the Big Woods illustrated by Renee Graef

Foods: cookies, honey, eggs, cheesemaking

 

Chapter 11: Harvest

There is no My First Little House Picture Book, yet.

There is no food mentioned in this chapter.

 

Chapter 12: The Wonderful Machine

There is no My First Little House Picture Book, yet.

BOOK: Hurry! by Jessie Haas

Foods: walnuts, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, boiled potatoes, carrots, turnips, stewed pumpkin with bread, baked Hubbard Squash, hulled corn and milk, cabbage and meat, beans, johnnycake, salt-rising bread, pumpkin pies, dried berry pies

 

Chapter 13: The Deer in the Wood

My First Little House Picture Book: The Deer in the Wood illustrated by Renee Graef

Foods: bread and butter

 

READ ALOUD: My Great-Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston

End of Book Celebration

Prepare a Little House in the Big Woods Dinner.
Menu: Fried Venison, Baked Beans with Salt Pork and Molasses, Cornbread with Cracklings (fried pork bits), Homemade Butter
Dessert: Maple Syrup/Molasses on Snow Candy
Dinner Music: Listen to songs from the book: Yankee Doodle, Buffalo Gals, Pop Goes the Weasel, Am I a Soldier of the Cross, Captain Jinks, Kitty Wells, Old Grimes

 

Live the Perissos Life! Blessings,

Jennifer Hale and Marty Hale

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