Teaching

Departures from Curriculum | Benefits of the Bunny Trails

Does the picture above remind you of something you’ve ever experienced?

When I was teaching and then after I became a homeschool mom, this was (all too often) ME!

I was always looking for ideas to make learning more fun and develop and nurture a student’s love for learning. I quickly realized that taking a short departure from the curriculum was all it took!

Advantages in taking short departures from scheduled curriculum

What do I mean by a short departure? It’s simply adding a quick, short unit study or bunny trail spurred by something not in the curriculum.

By doing this you can:

  • – Provide a productive break from the curriculum routine
  • – Open a child’s mind to new interests
  • – Continue to provide structure within which students can develop valuable skills in writing, research, observation, reading comprehension, and critical thinking all while widening content area learning in areas like science, geography, history or even math.

Where can you get some ideas?

It can be as simple as a quick trip to My Teaching Library’s Calendar page! On My Teaching Library, I have place hundreds of historical events, observations, holidays, and more on the calendar. I’ve done so to give you some ideas to take little detours in learning!

One thing I learned while teaching is this…Sometimes the most valuable lessons or biggest improvements in a student’s skill set came from what I call a ‘bunny trail’ lesson or a departure from the curriculum.

Finding My Teaching Library’s Calendar page

To check out the MTL calendar, simply go to the home page, scroll down past the “Skills & Concepts to Teach” and keep scrolling until you see Educational Planning Calendar

Then click on the words, View Calendar!

Here are a few examples of what you can find…

Example #1

On May 1st, you’ll see that the first U.S. Postal Card was issued. So, where could you go with this?

Perhaps you could do a quick study on the U.S. postal service. The end product could be asking students to do a timeline of what they found, do an oral report or for older students, create a PowerPoint.

Another idea would be to take the year, 1873, and investigate what other events occurred in the U.S. or even world history during that same year!

Example #2

On June 2, 1924, the U.S. granted citizenship to all Native Americans. WOW, this could lead to so many ‘bunny trail’ possibilities such as…

  • – A study of citizenship and the benefits that come with being a U.S. citizen
  • – A study on the process immigrants must go through to become U.S. citizens
  • – The effects (intended or otherwise) of this act in 1924 on Native Americans
  • – A study of a specific group of Native Americans, perhaps from your region of the country
  • -Native American reservations in the U.S. today

I could go on and on!

Finding Resources

I wish I could tell you that My Teaching Library has every resource you’ll ever need for all your ‘detours’. I can’t. However, I’m working on it! LOL

You can always do a key word search to see if MTL does…and remember that if your first key word doesn’t bring up something, try multiple different key words.

What I can do right this moment is to direct you to products that can be used again and again in multiple ‘detour’ studies.

The first is MTL’s Graphic Organizers. This is a set of 80 organizers from Venn diagrams to timelines that can be used for almost any study!

Another product is Generic Vocabulary Terms – Definitions Worksheet. This worksheet can be used for any study where students may be learning new words.

MTL also has Mini-Book Templates! Younger students can use these again and again to make mini-books about things they study.

If you want students to write on a topic, why not have them use MTL’s Newspaper Templates for Expository Writing! These templates can be used across the curriculum, for any study and students love to be a reporter!

I do hope I’ve given you some ideas on how you can expand learning while taking short departures from curriculum!

Lynda

Animals, Science

The Sandhill Crane

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Gruidae
Genus:Antigone
Binomial NameAntigone canadensis

Whether stepping singly across a wet meadow or filling the sky by the hundreds and thousands, Sandhill Cranes have an elegance that draws attention. These tall, gray-bodied, crimson-capped birds breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America. They group together in great numbers, filling the air with distinctive rolling cries. Mates display to each other with exuberant dances that retain a gangly grace. Sandhill Crane populations are generally strong, but isolated populations in Mississippi and Cuba are endangered.

Migratory subspecies of sandhill cranes breed in the Northern U.S., Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Each winter they undertake long southern journeys to wintering grounds in Florida, Texas, Utah, Mexico, and California. En route, more than three-fourths of all sandhill cranes use migratory staging areas in a single 75-mile stretch along Nebraska’s Platte River.

Diet

Most sandhill cranes live in freshwater wetlands. They are opportunistic eaters that enjoy plants, grains, mice, snakes, insects, or worms.

Reproduction

During mating, pairs vocalize in a behavior known as “unison calling.” They throw their heads back and unleash a passionate duet—an extended litany of coordinated song. Cranes also dance, run, leap high in the air and otherwise cavort around—not only during mating but all year long.

Sandhill cranes raise one brood per year. In nonmigratory populations, laying begins between December and August. In migratory populations, laying usually begins in April or May. Both members of a breeding pair build the nest using plant material from the surrounding area. Nest sites are usually marshes, bogs, or swales, though occasionally on dry land. Females lay one to three (usually two) oval, dull brown eggs with reddish markings. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 30 days. The chicks are precocial; they hatch covered in down, with their eyes open, and able to leave the nest within a day. The parents brood the chicks for up to three weeks after hatching, feeding them intensively for the first few weeks, then gradually less frequently until they reach independence at 9 to 10 months old.

The chicks remain with their parents until one to two months before the parents lay the next clutch of eggs the following year, remaining with them 10–12 months. After leaving their parents, the chicks form nomadic flocks with other juveniles and nonbreeders. They remain in these flocks until they form breeding pairs between two and seven years old.

Subspecies

Six subspecies have been recognized in recent times, including:

  • Lesser sandhill crane, A. c. canadensis
  • Cuban sandhill crane, A. c. nesiotes
  • Florida sandhill crane, A. c. pratensis
  • Mississippi sandhill crane, A. c. pulla
  • Canadian sandhill crane, A. c. rowani
  • Greater sandhill crane, A. c. tabida

Behavior

Sandhill cranes are fairly social birds that usually live in pairs or family groups through the year. During migration and winter, unrelated cranes come together to form “survival groups” that forage and roost together.

Cool Facts

  • The Sandhill Crane’s call is a loud, rolling, trumpeting sound whose unique tone is a product of anatomy: Sandhill Cranes have long tracheas (windpipes) that coil into the sternum and help the sound develop a lower pitch and harmonics that add richness.
  • Sandhill Cranes are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance.
  • The elegance of cranes has inspired people in cultures all over the world—including the great scientist, conservationist, and nature writer Aldo Leopold, who wrote of their “nobility, won in the march of aeons.”
  • Although some start breeding at two years of age, Sandhill Cranes may reach the age of seven before breeding. They mate for life—which can mean two decades or more—and stay with their mates year-round. Juveniles stick close by their parents for 9 or 10 months after hatching.
  • The earliest Sandhill Crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida.
  • Sandhill Crane chicks can leave the nest within 8 hours of hatching, and are even capable of swimming.
  • The oldest Sandhill Crane on record was at least 36 years, 7 months old. Originally banded in Wyoming in 1973, it was found in New Mexico in 2010.

The above images were taken at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado during spring migration, March 2021. (Photo Credit: Lynda Ackert – All Rights Reserved)

Product Suggestion

Notebooking - Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane | Notebooking Pages

Students can use these pages to produce a beautiful report or project on these magnificent birds! Includes 5 notebooking pages (one with a North American map) and 1 coloring page.

My Teaching Library has a variety of other notebooking pages for birds! Here are a few:

To see all products to study birds, click here!

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Product Suggestions, Spring

Add some Spring Themed Lessons!

Spring officially arrived March 20th and depending on where you live, it still could be a few more weeks before the signs begin to appear. Here in the Denver area, it’s ‘spring’ one moment and snowing the next (giggle)!

Whether you are visibly seeing the signs of spring or not, I want to share resources with you that will be perfect to use this time of year: insects, plants, life cycles, butterflies and birds!

Insects

Plants

Life Cycles

Butterflies

Birds

Also, My Teaching Library has general spring resources as well!

Spring

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If so, be sure to promote each of these products to help you earn some SPRING CASH! Simply add your affiliate id as directed on your affiliate page to each link and start sharing!

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Fun Holiday Downloads, Holidays

Hop on over to get your Easter Resources!

To help you get ready, I wanted to share with you some great My Teaching Library resources designed just for the holiday. The first category I’ll share are considered neutral / non-religious (meaning their graphics will contain bunnies, chicks, eggs, etc.). The second category I’ll share are religious (meaning they will include graphics related to and or actual scriptures surrounding the Christian Easter story).

1st Category: Neutral (Bunnies, Chicks, Eggs, etc.)
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Color Words | Easter Practice Help your students practice valuable reading, writing and following directions skills with these Easter egg – color word themed pages! Students will be asked to read, trace and copy words and sentences, identify color words, unscramble and spell color words correctly and follow directions. Their creativity can also shine on the last 2 pages where they color two different Easter quilts!
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My Easter Friends Mini-Story Book Students will love creating their own Easter mini-book about fun Easter characters! Characters in the story: Easter Duck, Little Duck, Easter Bunny, Little Lamb and Easter Bear. Students will practice fine motor skills as the color and trace. Once complete, they’ll have a fun, little 18 page book to read and share!
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Easter Language Arts Unit | Vocabulary $4.00 Help your students learn and practice using new vocabulary words during March and April with a fun, Easter themed resource which contains a variety of Language Arts skills throughout including grammar, spelling, alphabetizing, using words in context, sentence writing and more. (Includes some differentiated activities)
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Easter Writing Paper Give your students beautiful stationary paper to use when publishing around the Easter holiday. This specific set is secular – with bunnies, eggs, and baskets. There are 21 different designs, each in color and in b/w and designed to use with a variety of ages as I’ve included a variety of pages with dashed-center lines as well as pages with single solid lines.
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Easter Word Challenge Here is a fun code puzzle where students must figure out the words (without text clues) to complete a crossword puzzle! Students are given 4 ‘clue’ letters and the rest will be for them to discover…using critical thinking skills and their knowledge of Easter related vocabulary. After the students have found the words and completed the puzzle, they are then asked to write a story using each of the words at least once.
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Easter Crossword Puzzle An Easter crossword puzzle which will give students a fun way to work with holiday related vocabulary: candy, basket, hunt, eggs, lamb, chocolate, Spring, April, bunny, flower, jelly beans and chick.
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Easter Early Learning Activities Help your young learners practice counting, fine motor skills and writing through tracing with this ‘Easter egg hunt’ resource with chicks, bunnies, eggs and baskets this March or April. Designed to teach Math and Language Arts skills to Preschool, PreK and Kindergarten, students will color, count and trace as they color pictures, count eggs, and trace numbers and a sentence on each page.
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Easter Cursive Handwriting Sheets Easter Cursive Handwriting Sheets includes 6 student pages to give students handwriting practice (cursive) with the letters of E-A-S-T-E-R (capital and lower case) and a few Easter related words!
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Easter Manuscript Handwriting Practice Provide your students with extra handwriting practice with these Easter themed (bunny and eggs) pages. Students will practice printing manuscript letters and words such as Easter, bunny, basket, eggs as well as two simple sentences: ‘The Easter eggs are in the Easter basket” and “The Easter eggs are dyed many colors.” Students will also love coloring the pictures!
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Easter Vocabulary Work for 1st and 2nd Grades Students will learn new vocabulary and practice handwriting, spelling, categorizing, alphabetizing, counting syllables, and creating plurals. There is also a word search puzzle! Studies have shown that word search and other word puzzles can help improve memory, focus, vocabulary, word recognition, pattern recognition, and overall mental acuity!
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Easter Mazes Here are 10 fun Easter mazes for your students!
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Five Colorful Easter Eggs Your preschool students will love Five Colorful Easter Eggs! Includes: A colorful story for you to read to your students, b/w student pages of the story for them to color the pictures and trace number words (and a few others as well), a set of items to use interactively with students and Math center materials!
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Easter Coloring Pages | Bunnies, Chicks and Eggs Here are 20 fun, Easter coloring pages with plenty of bunnies, chicks and eggs to color!
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Easter Egg Coloring Pages 10 different Easter egg patterns to color!
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The Egg Tree | Caldecott Book Guided Reading and Response This Reading / Literacy resource offers guided reading questions and student journal responses that will help students enjoy and appreciate the book and illustrations of The Egg Tree, written and illustrated (1951 Caldecott Medal) by Katherine Milhous. During this unit, students will be asked to give opinions, answer factual questions about the story, use critical thinking skills and be creative!
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An Enchanted Egg | Cross-Curricular Easter Unit Designed for 4th-6th Grades – Students will enjoy this engaging Easter resource that is centered around Faberge eggs! It begins with a fun story about a boy named, Neil and his ‘trip in time to Russia’. After reading students will complete several worksheets.
2nd Category: Religious
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Easter Writing Paper | Christian Give your students beautiful stationary paper to use when publishing around the Easter holiday. This specific set of designs are Christian based. There are 14 different designs, each in color and in b/w. Students will love publishing stories, essays, poems and more on these pages!
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Coloring the Easter Story (FREE) Free Easter coloring book!
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Easter Scriptures Workbook: Manuscript – NIV Help students learn the Easter story by copying scripture! This version of Easter Scriptures Copy Work and Handwriting Practice uses scriptures are from the NIV, New International Version. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages.
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Easter Scriptures Workbook: Manuscript – KJV Help students learn the Easter story by copying scripture! This version of Easter Scriptures Copy Work and Handwriting Practice uses scriptures are from the KJV, King James Version. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages.
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Easter Scriptures Handwriting by Tracing for Young Students Help young students learn the Easter story through tracing scripture. Both NIV and KJV scriptures are included in this version. This resource, Easter Scriptures Handwriting by Tracing for Young Students, is designed for students who would benefit from ‘tracing’ words instead of copy work. Each page has a scripture for tracing as well a place for the student to draw a picture reflecting the scripture.
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The Easter Story Scripture Cursive Handwriting Help students learn the Easter story with this cursive handwriting, copy work resource which contains important Easter story scriptures! It includes 2 sections: NIV using scriptures from the New International Version bible and KJV using scriptures from the King James bible. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages for each section (NIV and KJV)
Are you an affiliate?
If so, be sure to promote each of these products to help you earn some SPRING CASH! Simply add your affiliate id as directed on your affiliate page to each link and start sharing! Not an affiliate but want to be, you can register @ My Teaching Library’s affiliate sign up page.
Are you a My Teaching Library subscriber (Library Member)?
If so, you can download each and every product above at no cost!! Not a subscriber (Library Member) but want to learn more? Go to our membership page to learn more!
Fun Holiday Downloads, Holidays, March

St. Patrick’s Day Savings on Educational Resources!

Today only (March 17, 2021) get 17% off select products!

History of St. Patrick’s Day Mini-Book – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/history-of-st-patricks-day-mini-book/

Shamrock Shape Book Templates ~ A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Writing Project! – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/shamrock-shape-book-templates/

St Patrick’s Day Informational Text | Reading Comprehension – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-informational-text-reading-comprehension/

St. Patrick’s Day Analogies | 2nd-3rd Grades – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-analogies-2nd-3rd/

St. Patrick’s Day Analogies for 4th-5th – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-analogies-for-4th-5th/

St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Pages – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-coloring-pages/

St. Patrick’s Day Pot o’ Fun Activities – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-pot-o-fun-activities/

St. Patrick’s Day Riddle Coloring Pages – https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/st-patricks-day-riddle-coloring-pages/

These products are FREE for My Teaching Library Members. However, if you are not a Library member, at checkout use the code: March17Off (Valid only 3-17-2021)

Bible, Copywork, Handwriting

Easter Story Resources!

What is the Easter Story?

On Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate what is arguably the most important event in all of human history: Jesus rising from the dead. All of Christianity and all eternity hinges on the truth of the resurrection. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our faith is lacking in meaning and is just another interesting philosophy. But if the resurrection is true, then it is the clearest proof that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be – the Son of God and the Savior of the world. All of the evidence points to the truth of the resurrection, and the result is changed lives. Let’s dive into both the big and seemingly smaller events of the story of Easter, and understand how each is significant to the entire redemption story.

Helping Kids Learn the Easter Story?

My Teaching Library has 4 products to help you help kids learn about this most important event in human history! From the very young, (just learning to trace letters) to students who are learning to print and then finally for students who are learning to write in cursive. Also, so that you can preview these products, My Teaching Library is giving away a FREE Easter Story RESOURCE that will help you discover what you can expect with these products. This FREE RESOURCE can be used as is for some quick lessons. Once you see the value of what the other products will include and you decide to get one of more of the other products from which the free resource was taken, click on the product or products below you’d like to get!


Easter Scriptures Handwriting by Tracing for Young Students

Help young students learn the Easter story through tracing scripture. Both NIV and KJV scriptures are included in this version. This resource, Easter Scriptures Handwriting by Tracing for Young Students, is designed for students who would benefit from ‘tracing’ words instead of copy work. Each page has a scripture for tracing as well a place for the student to draw a picture reflecting the scripture.

There are 15 student pages and 15 scriptures. All scriptures are taken from the book of Matthew, chapters 27 and 28.

Easter Scriptures Workbook: Manuscript – KJV

Help students learn the Easter story by copying scripture! This version of Easter Scriptures Copy Work and Handwriting Practice uses scriptures are from the KJV, King James Version. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages.

Scriptures include: John 13: 1-5, John 17: 25-26, John 18: 1-12, John 18: 28-31, Matt 27: 15-37, John 19: 29-42, Matt 28: 1-8

Easter Scriptures Workbook: Manuscript – NIV

Help students learn the Easter story by copying scripture! This version of Easter Scriptures Copy Work and Handwriting Practice uses scriptures are from the NIV, New International Version. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages.

Scriptures include: John 13: 1-5, John 17: 25-26, John 18: 1-12, John 18: 28-31, Matt 27: 15-37, John 19: 29-42, Matt 28: 1-8

The Easter Story Scripture Cursive Handwriting

Help students learn the Easter story with this cursive handwriting, copy work resource which contains important Easter story scriptures!  It includes 2 sections: NIV using scriptures from the New International Version bible and KJV using scriptures from the King James bible. Students will be provided scriptures to copy as well as well as pages to draw pictures (about the scripture) AND write about (reflect) on the scriptures. There are 41 student pages for each section (NIV and KJV)

Scriptures include: John 13: 1-5, John 17: 25-26, John 18: 1-12, John 18: 28-31, Matt 27: 15-37, John 19: 29-42, Matt 28: 1-8

If you want even MORE EASTER themed products, you can view them in our EASTER category by clicking here!

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March

Top Picks for March Lessons!

Here are My Teaching Library’s Educational Top Picks for March

These first top picks are resources that can be used througout the month and have a March (St. Patrick’s Day) flare…

March: PreK-Kindergarten

March: 1st-3rd Grades

March: 4th-6th Grades

Next, since Springbegins March 20th, here are my top picks with aSpringflare…

Finally, here are my top picks centered around fun daily observances and historical events…

March 4th: National Grammar Day

March 6th: National Dentist Day

March 7th: Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone (1876)

March 10th: Daniel Boone began exploring Kentucky (1775)

March 14th National Pi Day

March 14th Eli Whitney received a patent for the cottin gin (1793)

March 16th Hawthorne published The Scarlet Letter (1850)

March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day

March 18th The Stamp Act was repealed (1776)

March 20th: French Language Day

March 21th: World Poetry Day

March 23rd U.S. Mint produced its first coins by press (1836)

March 25th: Tolkien Reading Day

March 30th: Alaska was sold to the U.S. by Russia (1867)

Freebies

Free Phonics Posters

For a limited time only, get these 10 phonics posters showing long and short vowel sounds for free!

Simply go to: https://myteachinglibrary.com/product/vowel-sounds-poster-set/, and at checkout use the code: freeposters

This offer expires: Feb. 28th, 2021


Looking for additional phonics resources for the classroom? Check out these amazing products:

Phonics Posters | Vowels 2

CVC -ad Word family | Interactive Phonics

CVC -ab Word family | Interactive Phonics

Mega-Phonics | Blends Volume 1

Mega-Phonics | Blends Volume 2

Phonics | Consonant Sounds

Beginning Phonics | Letter Sounds

Phonics | CVC Word Flip Book

CVC -at Word family | Interactive Phonics

Word Wheels | -ale -ame -ank – ash

Word Wheels | -ail -ake – ack – ain

10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 9th Grade, High School, Literature Connections

Pride and Prejudice – Why Teach this Novel?

Brief story overview: Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the arrival of the rich and eligible Mr Bingley, and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, in their village. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. It is an 1813 romantic novel of manners written by Jane Austen and follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness. Its humor lies in its honest depiction of manners, education, marriage, and money during the Regency era in Great Britain.

“I am amusing myself with Miss Austen’s [sic] novels. She has great power and discrimination in delineating common-place people; and her writings are a capital picture of real life, with all the little wheels and machinery laid bare like a patent clock.”

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Journal entry, May 23, 1839

So why have students read this 19th century novel?

I could give you several reasons that seem to be ‘literary learning’ in nature such as…

  • To study the author’s use of satire and irony as well as many other literary devices
  • The novel has a strong female protagonist and thus a study of her role would lead to rich discussion
  • The ability to make strong contrasts between characters and how Austen builds our knowledge of each
  • To find and study the many themes of the novel and how these themes relate to students’ lives today

…and while all of these would be true, that’s not what I’m going to do. Instead I’m simply going to highlight several ‘life lessons’ that can be learned while reading and examining the story and characters.

Lessons which can be learned while reading Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

1. It’s okay not to be good at everything.

Elizabeth Bennet, the novel’s heroine, is interesting not because she’s good at everything, but precisely because she isn’t. She and her eventual husband, Mr. Darcy, have a conversation early in the novel about what defines an “accomplished” woman.  Darcy indicates that such a lady would be able to play music, sing, dance, draw, speak several languages, and read frequently.  Rather than pretend she possesses these qualities—or feel ashamed that she doesn’t—Elizabeth accepts who she is.

Elizabeth replaces exhausting exceptionalism with passion.  There are certain things that she is passionate about—reading, her family, travel—that make her unique and, in fact, endear her to Mr. Darcy.

As you teach this novel, point out this fact to students to remember that it’s okay not to be good at everything and life is a learning process. Have them take time to reflect on (and try to discover) the passions and qualities that make each of them unique.

2. Don’t make snap judgments.

This is the obvious lesson of the novel—don’t judge the proverbial book by its cover.  This lesson is as important as ever in today’s society.  Remind students not to let their first impressions dictate how they feel about people, ideas or even activities. Don’t shy away from something because you fear it—try to view it from a different perspective. Ask them to allow others to surprise them! To keep an open mind as they might find that people may contradict the image they first presented to them.

3.  The importance of planning.

In this easily-readable novel, Ms. Austen underscores the importance of planning.  Pride and Prejudice as perfectly-structured a novel as ever was written: from the initial tension in Elizabeth and Darcy’s meeting to the disastrous anticlimax of the first proposal, the upward trajectory of Elizabeth’s feelings for the man she’d judged poorly, Darcy’s climactic saving of the Bennet family’s reputation, and his subsequent successful proposal of marriage to Elizabeth, the novel moves quickly and deliberately in precisely-plotted chapters.  Austen wastes no time with frivolous details: everything ties together; each scene has a purpose.

Ask students to take a page from Austen’s book as they plan both in school and in life.  Careful preparation can lead to great success!

4. A little humor goes a long way.

Despite the beliefs of some, Pride and Prejudice is not just Victorian chick book.  It’s a romantic tale with a marriage plot, to be sure, but it’s also a comedy.  From the sycophantic Mr. Collins to the drily sarcastic Mr. Bennet, the novel is filled with jokes, little nods from Austen to the reader.  The book is really funny.

Pride and Prejudice Novel Study
Complete novel study for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (196 pages). Includes:
– Author’s Biography
– Novel Introduction
– Characters and Themes
– Quotes and Analysis
– Teaching Guides dividing the novel into 5 sections w/
* Chapter Summaries, Thought Questions and Vocabulary
* Student Handouts
* Student Worksheets, Assessments & Keys
– Final Assessments

Pride and Prejudice Vocabulary Study
Complete novel study for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (196 pages). Includes:
– Author’s Biography
– Novel Introduction
– Characters and Themes
– Quotes and Analysis
– Teaching Guides dividing the novel into 5 sections w/
* Chapter Summaries, Thought Questions and Vocabulary
* Student Handouts
* Student Worksheets, Assessments & Keys
– Final Assessments

Pride and Prejudice | Assessments
Looking for only a way to test student reading comprehension and understanding as they read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? The resource will give you 5 quizzes for students to take while reading the novel and then after they have completed the entire novel, an essay assessment as well as a 20 question, multiple choice test. Answer Keys included!

Need a copy of the book itself?

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

If you’d like a FREE PREVIEW of what you’ll get if you download the Pride and Prejudice Novel Study, simply click here to instantly download a preview.

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Animals, notebooking, Science

Caribou or Reindeer? Learn about these majestic Arctic Animals!

Caribou or Reindeer?

The Caribou is a wild species of deer often called reindeer when domesticated. They are found in the arctic tundra regions of North America, Asia, Northern Europe, Alaska and Greenland. Caribou can also be seen in sub arctic boreal forests during migration where they take refuge in windy coastal areas from flies and mosquitoes. Typically in northern North America they are called caribou and in northern Europe and Asia are called reindeer. This is because the majority of these animal in Europe and Asia are domesticated.

FUN FACT: Caribou / Reindeer belong to a large group of hoofed ungulate mammals called artiodactyls which also includes camels and giraffes!

Caribou Habitat

Caribou habitats include arctic tundra regions, sub arctic boreal forests and mountainous habitats.

Caribou Description

Caribous are large even toed mammals that measure 4-7 ft (1.2 – 2.2 meters) in length and stand 4-5 ft (1.2 – 1.5 meters) foot at shoulder height. They can weigh between 130-700 lbs (60 – 318 kilograms). Their coats are short, thick and colored brown in summer turning grey in the winter. Their rumps and chests are white and they have blunt, hair-covered muzzles and short tails. Their legs are long and wide and they have flat hooves which act like snowshoes helping them walk on snow and soft ground. Caribou hooves are hollow underneath which enables them to dig snow when searching for food!

Caribous are the only deer species where both male and female have antlers but some females have no antlers. Males have larger and more branched out antlers than females which can extend in size to a little over 3 ft (1 meter). Their antlers grow directly from their skulls and are covered with a thin skin called a ‘velvet’. During the ‘rutting’ season, the velvet on the males antlers disappear. Males use their antlers to fight each other for access to females. Male antlers fall off after the mating season has finished and females lose their antlers during the birthing season. When a caribous antler is broken between April and August when in the ‘velvet’ stage, it loses blood flow to the antler and velvet.

FUN FACT: Caribou have 2 circulation systems in their bodies! The circulation through the legs is up to 50 degrees colder than the circulation system for the rest of their body. Caribous have hollow hairs rooted in a thick layer of fat also to conserve heat during freezing temperatures.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Artiodactyla
Family:Cervidae
Genus:Rangifer
Common NameCaribou (Reindeer)

Caribou Diet

Caribous are herbivores and their preferred diet is tundra plant matter including leaves, twigs, moss and lichen known as reindeer moss. When food is abundant, an adult caribou can eat as much as 13 lbs of food per day. When the caribou eats, the food goes down to the caribous first stomach, where it is mashed into small pieces called cud and stored to eat at the caribous next meal. Because caribous can eat large quantities of food they increase their internal heat production to prevent them from freezing in extreme weather conditions.

Caribou Behavior

Caribou undertake one of the most grueling animal migrations of any other terrestrial mammal. Herds of thousands of animals complete a round migration journey of over 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) visiting spring calving areas and summer and winter feeding grounds. During migration, herds of cows (female caribou) leave several weeks before the males, who follow with yearling calves from the previous birthing season.

Caribous move from region to region, forced on by seasonal availability of tundra plants on which they feed. Caribou frequently cross rivers and lakes during their migration travels. They are very strong swimmers using their wide hooves as paddles and their thick, air-filled coats help them stay buoyant and warm when swimming through the icy waters. In winter months, caribou move to sub arctic boreal forests where the snow covering is less than on open tundra. Here, they can use their wide hooves to dig and graze on the lichen beneath the snow.

Caribou herds can run very fast reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour while migrating. Herds of caribou tend to be larger during spring migration and smaller during autumn when mating occurs.

Male caribous fight during rutting season which can result in serious injuries such as cuts and bruises. The worst that can happen is that their antlers can lock together and caribou who cannot unlock their horns will starve.

Caribou are generally quiet animals, however, they may emit a loud snort. Herds of snorting caribou may sound like a group of pigs. Groups of cows and new born calves are particularly vocal as they constantly communicate with each other.

Caribou predators include wolves, grizzly and black bears, cougars, wolverines, lynx, coyotes and golden eagles.

Caribou Reproduction

Mating season occurs in autumn. Males fight for access to females. Two males will lock their antlers together and try to push each other away. The most dominant males can collect as many as 15 – 20 females to mate with.  A male will stop eating during this time and lose much of its body reserves.

Births take place in May or June the following year on inland calving grounds after a gestation period of 45 days. One calf is born each year with twins being rare.

Calves can run shortly after birth, however, large numbers succumb to predators, in particular, Grey Wolves who track down the migrating herds and stalk the birthing grounds looking for easy prey. The young are able to graze and forage but continue suckling until the following autumn and become independent from their mothers. Caribou become sexually mature at between 1.5 and 3.5 years of age. The life span of a caribou is around 15 years in the wild.

Caribou Conservation Status

Despite their large numbers, caribous are an endangered species. The caribou has a very warm very soft fur that is hollow, insulated and sheds water and snow. This valuable fur was traded for a lot of money in the 1800’s. The caribou population decreased because of over hunting until laws were passed to protect it.

Caribou are susceptible to and recover slowly from population declines because of their low rate of reproduction. The main factors leading to caribou declines are habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, as well as predation (from wolves and humans). Loss of caribou habitat, which is permanent, occurs when forest is cleared for agriculture. Habitat degradation means a reduction in the amount or quality of caribou habitat, as happens following such events as wildfires or timber harvesting, or through human disturbance.

Caribou Notebooking Pages

My Teaching Library offers Caribou Notebooking Pages for students to use when producing a report on these wonderful animals! Students will love using these pages and when they do, their study becomes cross-curricular!

Caribou Reindeer

As a cross-curricular unit, students will need to read (and research) the caribou, write a report, complete map work (geography) and learning about the life of this cute little squirrel (science).

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