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November 15, 2005

Little House in the Big Woods

This morning Emma and I began reading the Little House books, beginning with Little House in the Big Woods. Harrison has one chapter left in Narnia. The book was a birthday gift last year, so it has taken approximately 11 months to read. Emma has not shown much interest in Narnia. The language is a little too complicated and there are too many characters built up over time. I think she will love the Little House series. I sure did, and still do.

As a third grade teacher, I did a whole unit on Little House in the Big Woods, beginning in November. The first chapter is a wonderful introduction to life on the frontier. The setting is vividly described and the family is introduced. Pa is hunting and butchering. Mary and Laura play with their dolls. Mary has a lovely rag doll, but Laura only has a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief. Emma leaned inc close and whispered, "If I knew that girl, I would give her one of my dolls." The girls also help Ma and Pa fill the attic, cellar, and shed with food for the winter. Ma has a different job for each day of the week -- washing, ironing, mending, churning, cleaning, baking, and resting.

In all of the Little House books there are sections of informational and detailed instructions or explanations. If we lived out in the woods I could use the books as reference material. Emma was fascinated with the description of churning. In my classroom we always made butter for our harvest party just before Thanksgiving. Since I happen to always have heavy whipping cream on hand, Emma and I made butter this morning.

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My mom gave me the old fashioned butter churner from my Grandma. Since we only wanted a small amount of butter I used a canning jar instead. I worked up a pretty good sweat shaking that jar, but we finally managed to produce butter and buttermilk.

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The butter is especially yummy on saltine crackers!

Posted by jennifer at 11:24 AM


Or, in Emma's case, butter is especially yummy without anything else at all. I have to admit that I don't even find this home-made butter appealing...

Posted by: jdroth [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 16, 2005 02:22 PM

JD...you MUST try it. ...especially with saltines. Even the pickiest students of mine have loved it.

Posted by: Judy at November 18, 2005 05:40 PM