Chapter 10: A Roof and a Floor

Teacher's Guide Chapter Author: Randi Stover, 3rd grade teacher, Fong Elementary School, Clark County School District

Chapter Overview: There are two large undertakings in chapter 10; one is the roof and the other is the installation of the floor. Pa hauls wood back to the cabin for days and then has to split the wood with an axe to make planks. He borrows nails from his neighbor, Mr. Edwards,in order to build the roof. He builds the roof and floor single-handedly. While Pa adds on to the house, the girls perform their chores of washing dishes and babysitting baby Carrie. Ma fills her time by sewing a quilt and watching Pa complete their little house. The family celebrates their accomplishments by listening to Pa play the fiddle.Description

Chapter Themes: the benefits of hard work, how to fill the long days with chores and hobbies, and celebrating accomplishments.

Chapter Activities
  • Language Arts
    • Activity Idea 1 Reader's Theater
      • Description: in groups, students will be able to write and present their own reader's theater depicting life on the prairie for children.
      • Standards Addressed: language arts
        • Standard 1-5.3.4 write responses to literature drawing upon experiences
        • Standard 2-1.2.1 read aloud with fluency, accuracy, appropriate intonation, and expression.
    • Activity Idea 2 My Quilt
      • Description: students will be able to create their own patch for a class quilt
      • Standards Addressed:language arts
        • Standard 1-4.3.6 read and follow multi-step directions to complete a task
        • Standard 2-2.3.A1 interpret information in new contexts
  • Mathematics
    • Activity Idea 1 Create a Board Game
      • Description: students will be able to create their own board game that teaches about the life of a pioneer
      • Standards Addressed: mathematics, history, and language arts
        • Standard 1-4.3.4 compare, contrast, sketch, model and build two dimensional figures and objects
        • Standard 2-5.3.5B use everyday language to communicate strategies and solutions to mathematical problems
    • Activity Idea 2 Chores Survey
      • Description: students will create a survey using "Zoomerang," which lists the types of chores most third graders participate in at home. This survey will be completed by the entire third grade and graphed by the student creators of the survey.
      • Standards Addressed: technology, language arts, and math
        • Standard 1-5.3.1 pose questions that can be used to guide data collection, organization, and representation
        • Standard 2-5.3.5C investigate mathematical ideas and construct their own learning in all content areas
  • Social Studies
    • Activity Idea 1 Historical Fiction
      • Description: students will be able to write themselves into their own historical fiction short story. Individual stories can be gathered together and used to create a class book.
      • Standards Addressed: social studies and language arts
        • Standard 1-5.3.4 write responses to literature drawing upon experiences
        • Standard 2-3.3.7 identify stories, plays, poetry, and non-fiction selections
    • Activity Idea 2 Harvest Festival
      • Description: students will follow recipes that are authentic to the era and have a feast in honor of their accomplishments over the last few weeks
      • Standards Addressed: math and social studies
        • Standard 1-3.3.2 select and use appropriate units of measure, as well as, measure to a required degree of accuracy
        • Standard 2-N.5.B.3 describe the benefits of working with a team and sharing findings
  • Science
    • Activity Idea 1 Make an Instrument
      • Description: students will create their own fiddle from string and a cardboard box. They will learn to play at least one tune
      • Standards Addressed: science and music
        • Standard 1- P.5.C.5 explain that vibrations produce sound waves
        • Standard 2-N.5.A.5 use equipment safely to gather information
    • Activity Idea 2 Ring Around the Tree
      • Description: students will observe different samples of plant life underneath a microscope and create a list of distinguishable features for a variety of plant life
      • Standards Addressed: science
        • Standard 1-L.5.D.1Classify plants and animals according to their observable characteristics
        • Standard 2: L.5.B.1 compare and contrast various living things
Historical Overview of Chapter Themes: How Pioneers Spent Their Days

The life of a pioneer child was filled with both work and leisure. Some of their necessary jobs were: assisting with the cultivation of the land for crops, hauling water indoors for cooking and cleaning, as well as mending clothes, making quilts for their beds, and tending to animals. There were many enjoyable activities to occupy the children. They played with toys that made noise such as the buzzsaw, which is a toy made from a string and a big button. The string is tied in a loop with the button in the middle. You wind up the string, then pull the ends tight to make the button spin in the center. Another toy that made noise was the bullroarer. They would spin a piece of wood on a string high above their heads and the bullroarer would make a roaring noise. Pioneer children also played games that modern children enjoy today, like tag and ring-around-the-rosy. Children also enjoyed reading books, going on picnics, and listening/dance to the fiddle, harmonica, guitar, or banjo that their parents played. Choose at least one theme you've identified for the chapter. Do research on this topic and prepare an approximately one-page report on the topic. Write in a format that other teachers would find helpful when seeking background information about the historical content of the theme(s) from this chapter. The passage should provide information that goes beyond what exists in the book to help students gain a better understanding of the historical context of the chapter.]

Additional Resources



Christy G. Keeler, Ph.D. said...

I'm not sure the connection between learning about and making quilt squares is very strong. What about if you added information about the symbolism behind quilt patterns and had students find symbolism in texts?

I love the idea of using technology and including the entire school (at your grade level). This will be a great math lesson and you can tie it in with language arts by having students prepare scripts about their survey and delivering the scripts to other classes so they know about the survey.

DrummerGirl said...

The zoomerang survey is an exciting idea. I think this is a timely lesson in today's age of blogs and other online communication.