Chapter 6: Moving In

Teacher's Guide Chapter Author: Michael Papushak, 3rd grade teacher, Laura Dearing Elementary School, Clark County School District

Chapter Overview:

After Pa and Mr. Edwards complete the construction of the walls, the Ingalls family is now ready to move into the house. Pa is anxious to get inside because of the wolves he has heard in the distance and wants his mind set at ease with his family safe and sound inside solid walls. As the women prepare the inside of the house, Pa works outside putting on the canvas roof. The completed house gives the Ingalls family time to reflect in this chapter about their new life out on the prairie. They felt at home and thought that they could never feel crowded. Overall, their feelings were enormously positive. As for the fireplace, a solid roof, a floor, and other furniture, Pa said that they must wait until he helped Mr. Edwards and built their horses a stable. After completing their chores and ate dinner, the family, as they do every night, sat for a while around the campfire chatting and reminiscing. As the chapter comes to a close, the children are put to sleep and Ma and Pa enjoy each others' company for a little while longer and tidy up a few things outside. Then, Ma and Pa join the others inside for a night of well deserved rest.

Chapter Themes:

  • snug and safe in a new home
  • new beginnings
  • chores for everyone
  • appreciation for a place to call home/ a home to live in
  • bravery and mental toughness
  • role of women- working as hard and long as men
  • perseverance
  • Cleaning a prairie home
  • “Settling In”

Chapter Activities

  • Language Arts
    • Activity Idea 1: Synonym and Antonym Hunt
      • Students in this activity will work in pairs to make a web map using unknown words from the chapter (e.g. canvas and scalawag). On their web map, the unknown word will be placed in a circle in the center of the paper. Second, students will research using a dictionary or other source to find a synonym for the unknown word. This is placed in a circle toward the upper left of the web. An example sentence using the synonym will be placed in a circle in the lower left part of the word web. Then, students will find an antonym for the unknown word and put it in a circle toward the upper right portion of the web. Finally, students will make write a non-example sentence using the antonym they found.
      • Standards Addressed
        • identify and use knowledge of synonyms and antonyms to expand vocabulary and understand text [1.4]
        • develop vocabulary through meaningful experiences (e.g. interactive activities and examples/ non-examples) [1.12]
    • Activity Idea 2: If I were Laura... Diary Entry
      • In this activity, students will independently write a diary entry pretending as if they were Laura on her first night in the new house. Students will need to use as many vivid verbs and adjectives in the diary entry as they can, just as the author does throughout the chapter. Students can then share their diary entries with the class if they so choose possibly as a part of their speaking/ listening assessment.
      • Standards Addressed
        • write responses to literature, drawing upon experiences through the use of journals and learning logs [5.5]
        • share writing with others, listen to responses, and consider making revisions to drafts based upon reader responses [6.9]
  • Mathematics
    • Activity Idea 1: Wood Chip Problem Solving
      • As Pa was chopping the logs to build the house, large amounts of wood chips went flying and then later had to be picked up by Laura and her sister. In this activity, students in groups will construct and have other groups solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and estimation math problems involving the collection of these chips. An example problem could be one like the following: If Laura picked up 20 chips and dropped 6 on the way to the fire, how many chips does Laura have now?
      • Standards Addressed
        • formulate own problems; use various approaches to investigate and solve problems [6.3]
        • generate and solve two-step addition and subtraction and one-step multiplication problems based on practical situations using paper and pencil, mental computation, and estimation [1.31]
    • Activity Idea 2: How far is Independence?
      • Towards the end of the chapter, Pa tells the family that they are about 40 miles away from the town of Independence, Missouri. In this activity, students will work in pairs or small groups to convert the distance of 40 miles to other units of measurement, both customary and metric units such as feet, yards, kilometers, etcetera. After completing their conversions, groups can share their results and processes of solving their conversions with the class.
      • Standards Addressed
        • solve problems involving measurements [3.13]
        • use a variety of appropriate strategies to estimate, compute, and solve mathematical and real world problems [1.32]
  • Social Studies
    • Activity Idea 1: Indian/ Pioneer for a Day
      • Laura, and pioneers for that matter, seemed to be very curious about how the Indians lived. In this activity, students will be able to pretend they are living like the Indians or Pioneer(either at home for a night or in the classroom) and do various chores or other activities. A few examples might include: no use of technology, wash clothes, spread them out to dry, writing with certain utensils, etcetera. The goal here is for students to realize and reflect upon the major differences in the way that we live today as compared to pioneers and Indians of the past.
      • Standards Addressed
        • identify Native North American life prior to European contact (e.g. food, clothing and shelter) [4.5]
        • describe the lives of pioneers from diverse groups [4.10]
    • Activity Idea 2: "Inside the Little House" Diorama
      • In this activity, students will work in small groups or pairs to construct a diorama using a shoebox of the inside of the Ingalls' house. Students will have access to a variety of materials such as yarn , cloth, cotton, wood among many other possibilities to help in their construction. Students can then display their dioramas and invite other classes to a gallery walk and answer questions about their projects.
      • Standards Addressed
        • create a visual model to illustrate the results of a geographic inquiry [3.42]
        • compare different ways in which people modify the physical environment [3.31]
  • Science
    • Activity Idea 1: Moon Phase Tracking
      • In this activity, students will track, sketch, and describe the moon's phases over a period of time such as a 2 or more weeks. After the set period of time, students will share and compare their drawings, observations, and results with their classmates.
      • Standards Addressed
        • describe how the components of our solar system (planets, moon, sun) appear to move through the sky (4th grade) [3.9]
        • know that there are cyclical patterns of observable objects in the sky (Nevada Standard) [E5B4]
    • Activity Idea 2: Oreo Cookie Moon Phases
      • In this activity, students will show the different phases of the moon by biting the insides of Oreo cookies. After biting off the appropriate amount of cookie for each phase, students will then glue or tape the cookies to construction paper and label the moon phases as per the inside of their Oreo cookie. Students can then share their projects with other classmates and/ or classes.
      • Standards Addressed
        • describe how the components of our solar system (planets, moon, sun) appear to move through the sky (4th grade) [3.9]
        • know that there are cyclical patterns of observable objects in the sky (Nevada Standard) [E5B4]
Historical Overview of Chapter Themes

One of the major themes in this chapter is how the Ingalls family shows so much appreciation for their new home and life on the prairie. The home was the center of the pioneers' life. Families were usually large with many children. Boys when they got older worked in the field and had to learn a trade and sometimes worked with other pioneer families. Girls helped with the loads of housework. Neighbors often helped each other during harvest and many other times too.
After working hard all day every day, there was a small amount of time for families to have some fun. In the summer, children climbed trees if there were any, and swam in lakes and streams. Picnics were also a summer pastime. Dancing, singing, and card playing were favorites that were done year round as the first two were evidenced in this chapter. Sometimes pioneers would sit by the campfire and listen to stories. In July, Independence Day celebrations were very special. Everyone prepared for days for the celebration.
Although life on the prairie was at times very tough, the pioneers lived day to day with a positive view about life and their futures. They were so very thankful for everything that had and everything they worked for. We can look to the pioneers' way of life and the hardships they faced and reflect upon our own lives. We too should be grateful for what we have and desire to work hard to get things we want in life.

Additional Resources

1 comment:

Stharris said...

I really liked your teacher's guides to this chapter. The palns were straightforward, well thought out, and very detailed. I hada difficult time finding science connections to my chapters, yet you found great ones - the students' will love the oreo cookie moon phases! Thank you for your hard work in putting a lovely teachers' guide together for this chapter.