You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, December 04, 2009

Lapbook for FDR and Leah's Pony - Great Depression and Dust Bowl

This lapbook was created for our 2nd and 3rd graders, but you could easily adapt it for older kids. Again Homeschool Share was my primary resource. Can you tell I love that site? :)

We began with the kids sharing interesting facts or quotes by FDR, and then we talked more about him as we filled in the mini books. I made index cards with a few of his more famous quotes for their quotes pocket, and we talked about the context in which they were spoken.

Then we read Leah's Pony. Well, I read part of it and started crying (What can I say; I'm a faucet face.) so Mrs C finished it for me. :) This is a wonderful, wonderful book. Everyone should read it. I may have my kids memorize it. Ok I won't, but it really is a great book.

Leah's Pony takes place during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. It tells the story of a little girl who sells her beloved pony so she can bid on her dad's tractor at the farm auction where her family's belongings are being sold to repay the bank.

So below clockwise from the top left we have a matchbook on erosion. Because of time limitations, I printed the definition, and the kids just needed to glue it in the matchbook.

The story also told about how the grasshoppers came and ate everything in sight. Next is a petal book to name some predators of grasshoppers. We talked about what a temptation to fear it must have been to witness the Great Depression; then the drought came creating the Dust Bowl; next came grasshoppers. Other areas like southern Ohio experienced terrible flooding. We wondered if some folks thought it was the end of the world. I had the kids write the reference to Psalm 72:12-13 on the petals with the book closed as a reminder of God's faithfulness.

Under that is a flip book on sacrifice. The flaps inside ask "What is a sacrifice?" "What did Leah sacrifice and why?" and "Who is the ultimate example of sacrifice?"

Under that is a matchbook on kindess. The kids wrote an example of kindess from the story and then ways they can show kindess. Most of those answers involved being nicer to siblings. :)

The larger petal book is about resourcefulness where the kids wrote examples of resourcefulness from the story as well as ways they can be resourceful. (recycling, planting a garden, etc)

Then they colored in the area of the US that was considered the Dust Bowl.

Under that is a vocabulary fan book.

Once they finished the lapbook, we held a 'penny auction.' I asked them each to bring in a special treasure and some pennies. As they were putting their lapbooks away, I gathered their treasures telling them I was the bank and foreclosing on their loans.

It was a hard concept for them to grasp at first. They wanted to outbid each other and 'win' back their friends' treasure. I re-explained that they were in all in the same boat. None of them had any extra money, and the pennies they held were the last ones they had in the world.
They began to get it after a couple of items were up for bid, but honestly it's a concept that is difficult for me to grasp. Most of us in our generation have been spared such devasting circumstances. I think the kids did a great job though, and hopefully they learned a bit about the Dust Bowl and FDR in the process.

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