Frost on the Windowpane

Christine Coley
Margot Davidson
Hillside Education
Little House on the Prairie
Loose-leaf (binder-ready)
Number of pages: 
50 pages
Resource Type: 

"Art and Composition Activities for Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder"

This deceptively-simple supplement to Little House in the Big Woods packs a wallop of meaningful content into easy and fun art and writing assignments. Not only will it will help children understand the book better, but it provides full-fledged lessons in art appreciation and composition.

The bulk of this resource consists of "chapter activities" which generally include three segments:

1. "Discussion" - Simple discussion questions are intended to start conversations about the book and invite the child to compare their own life with Laura's life. Discussions such as these are excellent for reading comprehension, thinking skills, etc.

2. "Writing" - Assignments are simple and related to the story, suc as writing about a special gift you have received for Christmas. The unique thing about these assignments is that they each have a corresponding worksheet in the back of the booklet that help the child to collect his thoughts, organize ideas, and in the process learn to become a better writer.

3. "Art" - The simple art projects employ a process called "discipline based art education". Rather than simply assign a drawing based on the story, the child is presented with a famous work of art (such as Van Gogh's Bedroom by Vincent Van Gogh) which provides a good example of an artistic feature that they will use in their assignment. In the case of Van Gogh's Bedroom, the child sees how the artist made the picture three dimensional (simple instructions are included) and replicates that aspect of the painting into their own artwork (in this case a drawing of the attic). What a great way to apply art appreciation to the child's work (reminiscent of the Suzuki method in music). All of the artwork can be viewed online (websites are included) or purchased in postcard form from the publisher.

Rounding out the booklet are...

Activities before Reading, which includes projects about the four seasons and about the geography of Wisconsin

Activities after Reading, which includes instructions for making little books relating to the story, a three-dimensional diorama of a scene from the story, planning an evening "Little House Style", comparing the child's life to Laura's and some simple recipes.

I"m very pleased to recommend this very well-thought-out booklet as a worthwhile, family-friendly resource. Suitable for a wide age range, especially grades one thru five.

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