This is the second part of the unit I did with my first grader and 3.5 year old on My Father’s Dragon. In Part 1, I shared about how we ate tangerines, did a fun tooth brushing activity, and made a graph of the animals on Wild Island. We finished up our unit with a few more activities.
If you’re not familiar with this book, you can find an intro to the story in Part 1. It’s such a great book to read aloud, and there are so many interesting things to do with this story.
Elmer Elevator sails to the Island of Tangerina, and then must cross the ocean rocks to get to Wild Island. I thought it would be fun to make our own ocean rocks.
I cut rock shapes out of tan colored felt, and the boys took turns crossing the living room from the fireplace to an armchair by hopping on the rocks. I rearranged the rocks each time to make it more interesting and also to adjust for the differences in their sizes – Gresham is a tall 6 year old, and Owen is a tiny 3 year old, so they needed their rocks to be different distances apart!
Retell a Chapter
One of my homeschooling goals this semester is for Gresham to improve his reading comprehension. I’ve decided that it’s not that he doesn’t comprehend what he is reading (or listening to). I think his comprehension is just fine. However, his ability to verbally express what he read or heard is the problem. He’s not a real “wordy” guy, so it’s easier to say “I don’t know” than to try to explain something. I decided to try having him retell one of the chapters in My Father’s Dragon. He chose the chapter where Elmer Elevator gives the crocodiles lollipops. I wrote down his retelling, and then he copied it, making sure to watch for spelling and capitalization. This was a helpful activity, and something that I’m sure we’ll do again.
Make a Map of Wild Island
Lately, Owen has been interesting in “having a map to roll up.” I’m guessing he means a pirate map. I thought that maybe a map of Wils Island would be close enough, and he did enjoy doing this!
The book has a map in the back, so I drew the shape of Wild Island with the river running through the middle of it on a brown paper lawn bag. Then the boys drew animals and landmarks.
Here is Gresham’s finished map:
I love using good literature as a basis for learning, and I’m starting to collect more ideas for literature units on Pinterest. Come follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!
JDaniel4's Mom Jan 18, 2013
His map came out so well!
Aleacia Jan 20, 2013
Great activities! The ocean rocks activity would be a huge hit here!
Mary Feb 3, 2014
The timing of finding this was perfect. We are currently reading My Father's Dragon. I know the children will love a few of these activities. Thanks for sharing.
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