“They were so happy, they could hardly speak.”
Although we aren’t tucked away in a small cabin in the Wisconsin woods, I believe that this sentiment from Christmas in the Big Woods is exactly what we all still want, a couple hundred of years later.
The picture books of Little House in the Big Woods were new to our family this year– and I’m a little sad I didn’t discover them earlier! But better late than never, as they say.
The pictures in these excerpts from the chapter book are so great for little learners. My 4 year old and 1st grader love reading and re-reading these. I’m the Language Arts teacher for the primary grade in our Charlotte Mason-inspired co-op, and I included both Winter and Christmas books in the last couple of weeks to finish our semester up before our Winter break. They have been a perfect way to wrap up! In fact, our Pioneer Christmas celebration is this Thursday, and I’m so looking forward to it! (I’m thinking I’ll have a separate post, just for that!)
I created our some journaling pages for the class for both weeks, and I thought I’d include them as a freebie here! You’ll find activity pages, copywork, suggested spelling, and narration prompts for each picture book. Feel free to copy and use for your kiddos at home!
If you are looking for some guided time suggestions for the pages and the book, this is what we do at our co-op. 🙂
During the week at home, parents and their children enjoy the stories and fill out the sheets together at their own pace. Once we are all together, we read/review some poetry… and then jump right into the other 2 things per week: sharing our pages together and then the weekly literature-based activity.
For our Winter week, we borrowed from Ma’s Work Rhythm in the book… and since our co-op meets on Thursdays, we did the Thursday activity: butter churning! Each child got a chance at churning, and we watched the whole process of the cream turning into whipped cream before evolving into butter and buttermilk! They also observed how the closer to butter it becomes, the harder it is to churn it!
Last week for our Christmas day, we practiced our Poem Play that we will be performing for parents this week, shared our pages and showed off our stocking designs… and then went back to what we knew about the story to discuss how gifts were simple, handmade, and often made from ordinary things to create something new and beautiful. We then passed out brown paper bags, got some markers and crayons and ribbons, and used these few simple things to learn how to make gift bags! They are so simple and customizable… and are a perfect way to design gingerbread house and manger scenes as a gift bags to wrap small things or use to give away Christmas cookies!
Here’s a little snippet of the gingerbread house version I made as an example. I also made a nativity one in class itself, but cutting the back a bit shorter and makes the roof lower and steeper. It also turned out great!
The kids got so creative, decorating wreaths and snowflakes over their houses! Some even drew cats in Christmas hats in the windows.
I know that there are a lot of things to pull for our time and attention this time of year. Maybe you have the heart for all the Christmas things and 25 days of Winter Fun and Jesse Trees and a New book a day. Maybe you have the desire, but not the time or energy.
Maybe checking out these two books from the library, enjoying some free handouts and making memories around handmade, simple things is just what you need.
I hope this helps so much! ❤
Youtube read-aloud versions of the stories mentioned 🙂
Links to grab your own copies
(sidenote: those links are affiliate links, which means if you use them to purchase the books, I get a small “thank you” from amazon.)
Other Little House lovelies
If you like these free Little House resources, please visit the Little House section of my Etsy store. You’ll find things for older ages, a piano books of Little House music, and more!