Category Archives: social studies

Social Studies for Owl Moon

After our first reading of Owl Moon we had a lot of good discussion topics to cover. In the book, a young boy (or girl…it doesn’t say and it’s hard to tell) and his father go owling late at night. This was a very special experience for both of them. I asked Elliot to describe a special time he’s had alone with one of his parents. Without a second of hesitation, Elliot told me that his Boston/ New York trip with Josh was his most special experience. They certainly did get a lot of one on one time during that trip and made some great memories.
Then we talked about growth and maturity. The child in the book had to reach a certain age before he could be trusted to come along on the owling adventure with his father. We talked about how there are a lot of experiences in life that we have to wait for until we have grown in maturity. I asked Elliot to think about something he is looking forward to doing that he has had to wait for until he reaches the right maturity level for it and had him write about it.

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Social Studies for Three Names

We had a very simple social studies lesson for this book (which is nice for the last few weeks before Thanksgiving break…we’re all getting anxious to relax a bit). We learned that the prairie stretches all the way from parts of Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and in parts of Minnesota and Montana. We talked a bit about life on the prairie back when this story takes place and things that were common such as the one-room schoolhouse, horse drawn wagons, and outhouses. We started reading Little House on the Prairie during our read aloud time, which both of the kids have been really excited about since we finished Little House in the Big Woods last Wednesday. We were able to contrast the difference between the Woods of Wisconsin where they first lived to the prairie of Kansas where they were moving to.

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Social Studies for Miss Rumphius

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This has nothing to do with Maine or Miss Rumphius, but after noticing that Elliot had a thing for doing everything in rainbow colors today, I was reminded of a little art project I frequently did growing up. After we finished up with our Maine projects, I showed him how to do it and he loved it! He practices writing his name in cursive all the time, so he was really excited that he could do it all by himself without any help.
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Social Studies for The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Today we learned all about England along with Great Britain and the United Kingdom and what each one is comprised of (which is something even I get confused about sometimes). We learned that they are known for their farming and gardening, which helps us understand why this book took place in a garden on the English countryside. We took notice of some words in the book that are not as common to us here as they are in England (such as “fortnight”). We discussed how even though we both speak English, there are still some differences in the words we use.

We also discussed the relationship between Peter Rabbit and his mother and how she was wise and looking out for his best interest when she told him not to go into Mr. McGregors garden and how he was very unwise not to obey her instruction.

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Social Studies for The Story of Ferdinand

We’ve been learning about Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. I also showed Elliot where the Strait of Gibraltar is and he asked, “Is that where the Rock of Gibraltar is?” (He heard it in an audio book.) I assumed it was, but thanks to my trusty iPad being in such close proximity to us, we were able to find the Wikipedia page within seconds to confirm that it was and we even had a photo of it in a stack of printouts I had prepared for this book.

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Social Studies for The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

Today we read about New York City and learned about so many things such as the Hudson River, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Broadway, Chinatown, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the New York Botanical Garden, and the United Nations. Elliot is bubbling with excitement about his upcoming visit to “the big apple” and he has told me he wants to see EVERYTHING we’re reading about. Oh boy.

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Here he is planning out his day in New York and what he wants to see there.
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Social Studies for Mirette on the High Wire

Today we did our social studies portion of Five in a Row for Mirette on the High Wire. We read about France and Elliot did his first project for his notebook. We also talked about Niagra Falls, the Alps, Barcelona, and Naples (all mentioned in the book) and found them on our world map. We also learned what a boarding house is as well as what an agent does for someone who is an entertainer.

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Social Studies for Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

We did our first reading of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel today and did our social studies portion. We talked a bit about stewardship and how Mike Mulligan did such a good job of taking care of Mary Anne and how that kept her working well through all those years. Elliot was quick to point out though, that Mike did not do such a good job taking care of himself because he smoked pipes! Such a good point. I tried to explain that back then, that’s something that lots of people did and they may not have known yet that it was bad for their health.

We also learned about the history of steam shovels, thanks to wikipedia. Through that, we learned about the Panama Canal, since it was primarily dug with steam shovels. We found the Panama Canal on our big map and Elliot now understands why it was so necessary for there to be a shortcut from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through Panama. I requested some more books about it from the library, so hopefully we’ll be able to learn even more about it!

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Social Studies for Very Last First Time

Today we did some reading about Canada and Inuit people who live in the “Great White North”. This is quite a fascinating topic for both of us and luckily we have plenty of books to satisfy our curiosity.

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Social Studies for The Rag Coat

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