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Prairie Primer, The
Reviews Index

Prairie Primer, The

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Publisher: Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum
Author: Margie Gray

List Price: $45.00

Ages: 9-11 Years

Reviewed By: Kelly Crespin

The Prairie Primer is a literature-based unit study that uses the "Little House" series as its foundation. It is designed for grades 3 through 6, but as is true with most unit studies, it can be adapted for younger or older children. The study was written to be used over the course of a year, but can easily be cut in half and covered over the course of 2 years. It covers a variety of subject areas including U.S. Geography and History, Science, Language, Health, Safety and Practical Living. In addition, The Prairie Primer has daily Bible readings and it emphasizes the Word of God.

There are 9 units - one for each of the nine "Little House" books. Within The Prairie Primer the book is divided into units, weeks, and days.

Each unit has a short introduction, an explanation of the General Activities you can do, biographies and autobiographies as suggested reading plus any optional Group Activities. Each unit covers four weeks. Within each week is a planning guide and suggested resources. Within each day there are a reading assignment and the day's plan divided into Comprehension Questions and Activities.

For example, The Prairie Primer starts with the book Little House in the Big Woods. There is an introduction that is like an overview of the book. The unit begins with an overview of the nutrition concepts to be taught, then gives an optional group activity and some general activities you can do throughout the unit. The book then continues with the Week One Planning Guide. This planning guide suggests you gather information on the following topics:
  • Bears
  • Growth and development
  • Manners
  • Light and prisms
  • Rust
  • Owls
  • History of guns
  • The mechanics of a gun
  • Gun safety
  • History of the song "Yankee Doodle"
  • Lungs and Breathing
  • Rabies
  • Louise Pasteur
  • Corn husk doll directions
The unit also suggests you gather the following items:
  • cracklings
  • a hog's bladder
  • corn cob
  • items to make homemade butter
  • pictures of a brindle bulldog
  • file box for memory work
  • 3x5 cards
...and so on. Lastly come suggested field trips and videos.

The Prairie Primer then goes into DAY 1 by giving you Reading Comprehension Questions and Activities under 12 subject areas (Literatures, Science, Psychology/Bible, Art, Manners, etc.). Next, DAY 2 information is given, then DAY 3 and DAY 4. The book suggests you save DAY 5 for catch-up and completing any activities you weren't able to finish during the first 4 days.

The Prairie Primer is definitely a one-stop resource for teaching anyone about how life was so long ago. The activities are very realistic and hands-on, which is wonderful for all kinds of learners (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). I will note that some of the items the book asks you to gather are a bit unusual and not the type of things you can pull together the night before the lesson is to begin. The book definitely requires teacher preparation of at least a few days to a week before the lesson is to be taught. I might even suggest gathering the hard-to-find items over the summer if they can be collected ahead of time. If the items (such as a hog's bladder) can't be gathered ahead of time, use the phone book and resources to find out where the difficult items can be located. This way, when they are needed, the locating has already been done. The book offers suggestions as to where to find some of the more difficult items.
More Information
Available From: Cadron Creek Christian Curriculum
Address: 4329 Pinos Altos Road, Silver City, NM 88061
Other Notes:

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Kelly Crespin
Kelly Crespin has her BS in Elementary Education and a MS in Gifted and Talented Education. She now homeschools her daughters, writes test questions for standardized tests, and runs scrapbookinghomeschoolers, which is a Yahoo Groups list for those who enjoy both pursuits - scrapbooking and homeschooling.
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