We are reading Wind and The Willows together. This book is full of multi-subject opportunity. We are using it for science, geography, vocabulary, and (of course) language arts.
As I researched teaching ideas for the book I came across some amazing resources… most of the free!
- The one resource that was not free came from Reed Novel Studies. The cost ($7) is very reasonable considering all that you get. There are 61 pages total, of which, 48 are the student booklet. There is also, an answer section, short biography on Kenneth Grahame, assignment sheet, and a list of skills (from vocabulary to art). The direct link to the novel studies is here, however, I strongly suggest giving the entire site a thorough look. (Hint: There is a free novel study on the main page)
- I’ve considered not listing this resource here because the site does require a monthly subscription in order to view all the materials. There is some material available as a preview for no charge. The information presented is in-depth and offers analysis, theme, and character description I decided to include it. This is the only place I found this type of breakdown of the story elements.
Now on to the free links
- You can find a biography of Kenneth Grahame at The Literature Network. Here you can also find the entire text (including illustrations)… link goes to intro, the rest of the book is by chapter in the side bar. Special note: on the bio page is links to his other writings as well.
- Here is a pdf from Penguin Books. These “Teacher’s Notes” is a 3 page collection of suggestions for teaching and activities to go with the book. It also includes background information, a summary, and a short bio.
- A 12 word vocabulary list can be found here. There are also a few games (matching, crossword) that can be played to help remember them.
- Audio of Wind in the Willows is free on Librivox
- An in-depth study of the book aimed at 3rd graders can be found here (pdf). It is from Core Knowledge and references Colorado State standards. Here is the abstract from the front page.
This is a twelve-lesson unit designed to provide an enriching learning experience that correlates with the reading of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. This book is a fiction selection for third grade. Students will first research the author and contribute in writing a biography on him. They will use this information to write their own autobiography. While exploring the many adventures that this novel has to offer, students will learn about personification, rivers, comma use, adjectives, habitats, jury trials and poetry. The highlight of the unit is a cumulative reading theater activity based on two chapter selections from the novel. The final assessment will consist of a cumulative notebook of writing assignments completed throughout the unit, as well as a grading rubric for both teachers and parents to evaluate.
As a homeschooler, I wouldn’t go through it step by step and complete every activity. However, there are some great guidelines and activities there. It’s also helpful to look over and see that I’m not overlooking a possible learning point that my kids could benefit from. There are also links to other resources included in the unit.
- A shorter, but still thorough, unit study offered by learn4yourlife.com (which offers many other classical literature studies).
- If the 12 vocabulary words from above weren’t enough here are 59 vocabulary words with example sentences taken directly from the text. There are no extra activities to reinforce learning.
I hope this list gets you well on your way to studying Wind in the Willows with your kids. I look forward to sharing more book studies with you in the future.