Sunday, 17 May 2015

Introducing: Living History Tables ~ History in Chronological Order!

Over some time now, our history lessons have focused on living books gathered around a historical topic. Out of this have evolved our Living History Tables, a visual buffet of delightful options from which we choose and pick, according to our interests. One thing then usually leads to another, and as our knowledge grows, so does our thirst for and enjoyment of it! We've come to call our display of topical books Living History Tables. Living, because it always feels like we are travelling back in time! 

These tables will now become a part of our library days as well. We are moving through history in chronological order and our current table is about Prairie Pioneers. Cowboys will follow soon (after all, the homesteaders were not the only ones trying to tame the wild West!), followed by The Railroads and Plains Indians

After that we will slowly be moving ahead into modern times.
And eventually we will start again at the very beginning!

Not only history alone can be found here, but science, technology, art and artists, music and composers, literature, poetry, crafts and geography are all included as well as they pertain to our topics. 

To us, this has been learning at its best. We are not merely scratching the surface by following a history book that shows us only snippets of events. Instead, this kind of learning is leading us into a deeper, long-lasting understanding, pointing us back to a Creator, and is giving us a true appreciation of the world around us.

I will introduce each new selection here on our blog, as we move along. You might just want to jump onto the wagon and hold on to your hat!

More Prairie Pioneers

More great books about Prairie Pioneers!

~ Wagon Wheels, by Barbara Brenner
Based on a true story, this is a suspenseful tale for younger readers. Especially the encounter with the Indians is - oh my ... well, I won't tell!

~ Dakota Dugout, by Ann Turner
"Talking brings it near again, the sweet taste of new bread in a Dakota dugout, how the grass whispered like an old friend, how the earth kept us warm."

~ Dandelions, by Eve Bunting
Gently depicts the lonesomeness of prairie life. Sad and touching.

~ Train to Somewhere, by Eve Bunting
From the mid-1850s on, the orphan train went westward, many farm families in the Midwest took in children who sometimes fared well there, sometimes not so much.

~ New Hope, by Henri Sorensen
Exquisitely illustrated! If, on the way west, the axles on your wagon break, well, why not start a new town right there? About immigrants from Denmark.

~ Value of Sharing: Story of the Mayo Brothers, by Spencer Johnson
Will and Charlie Mayo grew up on the prairies where their father worked as a frontier doctor. They eventually became doctors themselves. Their famous clinic is still based in Rochester, Minnesota. Some more interesting (and inspiring) books about these two famous brothers are Will and Charlie: Boy Doctors, by Marie Hammontree and Frontier Surgeons, by Emily Crofford

                                                 Our backyard soddie

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Top Ten Picks ~ Prairie Pioneers

Here are our top picks on pioneers, especially the prairie pioneers!

What You Know First, by Patricia MacLachlan
Beautiful, poignant book about the love of a little girl for the prairies. Not actually set in pioneer times, but it lets us take a glimpse into prairie life. The wide prairies are a special place of their own; when we moved from the prairies in Manitoba to Ontario, we, unfortunately, didn't think of taking some prairie dirt along : ).

All the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan
Depicts poetically a family's love for the land surrounding them - "Where else," Papa says, "is soil so sweet?".

(Today, hearing the birds singing outside in the warm, balmy sunshine and the bells chiming from a nearby church, this small southern Ontario town is the place I love best.)

~Sod Houses on the Great Plains, by Glen Rounds
Very fun and educational! The author himself was even born in one!

~ Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And, of course, the entire series!

~The Little House Cookbook, by Barbara Walker
Well-researched and so engaging that it is hard to put down. Scrumptious recipes, too.

~ Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink, and its sequel Magical Melons.
Carol Ryrie Brink is one of my favourite children's authors! Caddie Woodlawn was her grandmother.
If you are ever in Wisconsin, you may want to visit the house where Caddie and Tom and Warren once lived.

~ Prairie Primer, by Caroline Stutson
Not just for younger kids - the large illustrations render such a wonderful impression of pioneer life.

~ Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson
On the frontier in Texas, in a wild and beautiful land! A beloved, classic children's story about the stray dog that was called Old Yeller. Especially wonderful for boys.

~ Frontier Home, by Raymond Bial
Interesting photos and text show various aspects of pioneer life.

~ Story of the Homestead Act, by Conrad Stein
The run was on - for as little as an application fee!

COMING UP:  Runner-ups (more great books!) and the crafts they inspired us to create!