Little House on the Prairie resources/unit study? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 11-08-2007, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, we are re-reading the little house books and I'm sure I remember many resources I came across last time that I just can't seem to find.

Does anyone have good resources, online or whatever, about

1) The route of their trip across the midwest
2) Books about Native American children in the same time/area
3) (more for me) the political background - I remember reading about this! Their stay on the Prairie coincided with a big forcible removal of Native Americans even further west...anyone have this info?
4) crafts etc...we have The Little House Cookbook, so we'll try some recipes from there, but I dunno, log house building, well digging? (kidding )
5) other stuff?

Thanks!

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#2 of 21 Old 11-08-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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#3 of 21 Old 11-08-2007, 10:37 PM
 
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We just finished reading the book and dd#1 loved it. It sounds like your dc is a little older than mine. DD#1 is 7 and I wonder what I can with her. So I'm just :.
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#4 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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There seems to be a map here: http://www.lauraingallswilderhome.com/history1.htm

There's curriculum items here, including activities:
http://www.hoover.nara.gov/LIW/

Have you also tried googling Laura Ingalls Wilder? I know there's other associations and museums dedicated to her.

Have you look for books on the Trail of Tears, westward expansion, pioneer life, and settlers? That might help for your other questions.
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#5 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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I was just asking my friend this today and she sent me a bunch of links (some are christian based)

http://www.easyfunschool.com/article1498.html - timeline
http://www.easyfunschool.com/article1499.html - geography

http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc - stuff you can buy

http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Using-Li.../dp/1557345392 - book


http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Using-Li.../dp/1557345392 - little house in the big woods info (animals, etc)


http://www.modestapparelchristianclo...ze_1_to_14.htm - making prairie dresses

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#6 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 02:19 AM
 
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I've heard good things about the Prairie Primer unit study. I know a couple of people who have used it, and they've all been happy with it.
http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
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#7 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 02:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
I've heard good things about the Prairie Primer unit study. I know a couple of people who have used it, and they've all been happy with it.
http://www.cadroncreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
We've used the prairie primer but have decided to put it away for now. I like it but DD (9 years) doesn't seem interested.
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#8 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 05:22 AM
 
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Here's Laura Ingalls Wilder's gingerbread recipe, with a note in her handwriting. Absolutely scrumptious. I don't think it's in that cookbook, but maybe... I used to make a gingerbread like this, usually from this recipe, for all my son's birthday parties, piled high with fresh whipped cream and topped with candles. It was delicious, beautiful, and kept the sugar jitters down.

I first got it at Almanzo's childhood home near Malone, New York. We had been traveling through the Northeast, and I noticed on the map that Malone was only 36 miles away from where we were on a highway. So we turned off and headed that way, hoping we might be able to find the Wilder homesite. We pulled into town, and found a pamphlet at the chamber of commerce bulletin board. Went to a phone booth and called the number of the Wilder home. No answer. Called again, and someone finally answered as I was about to give up. They were having their annual open house that day! We hurried over, and found guides in costumes doing tours - and that gingerbread was being served. I couldn't believe it - we actually got a guided tour inside Almanzo's house! :

We later toured all the sites except for the Wisconsin one, which I hear has been overtaken by modern encroachment. It's such an amazing experience to be able to walk around inside rooms you've spent so much time in through books - rooms that haven't changed much at all. It was kind of surprising at one of the sites to find that local kids seemed to have missed some of the enjoyment of the books - because they had been such a part of the school curriculum. Leave it to the schools to ruin a good thing...
- Lillian
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#9 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everybody! I googled a bunch last night also and came up with a few good links:

http://www.oyate.org/books-to-avoid/littlehouse.html - A critical look at the Little house book and their treatment of the Osage from a Native American perspective.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/P...0/prairie.html - a list of related topics, many of which seem to have expired, but some are cool!

http://americanindiansinchildrenslit...e_archive.html - a very thoughtful blog about NAs in children's lit, including a bunch or references/resources

http://lauraingallswilder.com/homesites.asp - links to local museums around the midwest celebrating Laura Ingalls Wilder

http://www.mahalo.com/Little_House_on_the_Prairie - big list o' crap that I haven't sorted through yet

http://www.kansastravel.org/littlehouseontheprairie.htm - pics of replica cabins they lived in and a pretty good map for their travels

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xp.../g35/home.html - a lesson plan that is eh, but includes a great! printable map, just click the text link

http://arkarcheology.uark.edu/indian...20Perspectives - an amazing site with history/stories of various tribes including the Osage

http://frodo.marshall.edu/~irby1/laura/index.html - a site of questionable authenticity but appealing for kids to use


When we first read LHOTP I had forgotten about the incredible racism in the book, so I was reading along and then had to abruptly stop! and actually censored much of the book as my ds was only four, and I wasn't ready/didn't feel like getting deeply into the history of violence and racism in our country (among other topics! like I said he was four so we had not discussed war, murder, racism, sexism, etc. He was a young four and had no clue about any the evil in life yet.)

This time, however, I feel he is more ready to receive an introduction to the actual history and realities of the time and setting.

What I am still looking for is a comparable book just telling about a Native American child's life in the days before the European settlers arrived. Not a scary or issue-laden book, but one with a main character he can relate to and want to pretend to be. Any suggestions?

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#10 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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#11 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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My memory is that the rascism was something Laura was herself criticizing by describing how her mother in particular felt and behaved - it was ugly, and I thought she showed that very well. And in showing that, I think she showed how otherwise nice people can have such unreasonable and twisted parts in their thinking.

I just thought of the books as windows into how people were and thought in that time, which is why they were so fascinating to me. It was really annoying at the time that when I tried to share with various people some of the interesting things described in the books, and they jumped to the conclusion that I was enchanted with that way of living and wished I could live in those days and wear a little bonnet .

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#12 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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True, but at least my kids are still in the stage of taking everything at face value, so if I want them to look at the book critically, I'm going to have to be the one to initiate the discussion.

I think that is one the the drawback of LHOTP, it is so accessible to very young kids who have not yet developed these types of critical thinking, so all they get is the whites = good, Indians = scary and bad message.

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#13 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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True, but at least my kids are still in the stage of taking everything at face value, so if I want them to look at the book critically, I'm going to have to be the one to initiate the discussion.
Oh, sure - and I think even simple natural reactions such as "Oh! ::::: How awful. What a shame she thought like that," etc., go a long way.... My son may have been a bit older - he was eight when we started them, and it was quite obvious to him how repulsive that way of thinking was.

- Lillian[/QUOTE]
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#14 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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This is just the thread that I needed thanks! My 4 year old is so obessed with the Little House books. We have read the first two twice and we are now on The Shores of Silver Lake. She is always pretending she is Ma or Mary or Laura...
She can't get enough!

Homeschooling Momma to DD 8 years old, DS 7 years old, DS born 03/11 by adoptionheart-1.gif , waiting for DD born 07/10 and two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband of 12 years.
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#15 of 21 Old 11-09-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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The audio version of the books is definitely worth listening to!
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#16 of 21 Old 11-10-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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I don't know if this is strictly relevant, but some of you might find it interesting: it's a bunch of articles written by Laura about farm life and related topics, for the Missouri Ruralist. She has some quite cute and historically-revealing things to say about beauty care and the women's vote, for instance.

http://www.pioneergirl.com/index.htm....htm&Bot_Frame

As for the racism, I think the books are by no means one-sided. Laura frequently expresses envy of the Indian children for their unrestrictive dress, freedom etc, and she and Pa seem much more sympathetic to the Indian cause/way of life than Ma. The bravery, knowledge and prowess of various Indian characters is documented, as well as a few 'scary moments'. (It's been a long time since I read the books, but specific examples--the Indian 'long winter' warning, an Indian who saved Pa's life in 'Silver Lake'... I think... and the Indian brave who outran the horse in Farmer Boy). And Pa does explain to Laura why the Indians are angry at being removed, and she agrees that it's unfair. I can see how it could be a problem when reading the books to *very* young children, but there's certainly lots of potential for discussion there--I'd say the LHOTP books have aged pretty well as far as racism goes.

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#17 of 21 Old 11-10-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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We're on our second time through the LH books. This time we got a running start, so to speak, by reading the books about Martha, Charlotte, and Caroline that other authors have written (WARNING: if you go to a bookstore to buy these books, the publisher decided to dumb them down, so the writing may well appear quite poor. We got them from the library in their original versions.)

It was interesting to read how the Indians had helped Caroline's family so much when she was young, and essentially kept them from starving. I'm pretty sure the book is based on real events in their lives. We've discussed how complex the relationships between the various groups were.

The Wisconsin Girl Scout council has a badge that's all about the prairie. It doesn't relate directly to the books, but still draws some science into the mix. I think I've located a place here in St. Louis that has some of the original prairie land preserved as it's been since the 1800s. Hurray! I'd love to go see what prairie actually looked like for the settlers.
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#18 of 21 Old 11-11-2007, 03:52 AM
 
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Water,
Great thread. My 7yo has just begun reading the series so thanks to all that provided info.

BTW Water I LOVE LOVE LOVE your sig. That was one of my favorite songs in high school!
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#19 of 21 Old 11-11-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
Does anyone have good resources, online or whatever, about

[...]
2) Books about Native American children in the same time/area
[...]
Did you look at Birch Bark House by Louise Erdrich? It has at least one sequel.
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#20 of 21 Old 11-11-2007, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did you look at Birch Bark House by Louise Erdrich? It has at least one sequel.
I have looked at these, and they seem very good, but much too mature for my 6 and 3yos. The appeal of the little house books, IMHO, is that they speak to very young children, and even when something bad happens (illness, death,) it is told from the viewpoint of a 5 or 6yo, so not with the same emotional intensity as a book written for olders.

I wish wish wish Louise Erdrich would write a book for the littler crowd! Similar to
Birch Bark House and The Game of Silence but speaking more to the early elementary years. Maybe I should email her and bug her about it

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#21 of 21 Old 11-13-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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Another link I ran across today: http://www.laurasprairiehouse.com/
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