As I mentioned in a previous post, we are using Total Language Plus for language arts this year. One of the things the integrated curriculum does is provide extra "enrichment" options to supplement the language arts lessons. These enrichment activities could be in the form of a geography or science lesson, for example, or an art project.
Last week The Girls read the first two chapters of The Courage of Sarah Noble. The book is about an eight-year-old girl who travels with her father from Massachusetts to Connecticut, where he is going to build a house for their family. Sarah volunteers to go along to cook for her father. The rest of the family remains in Massachusetts because the youngest member of the family is an infant and not strong enough to make such a long journey through the wilderness yet.
There are many times on their journey that Sarah finds herself feeling afraid, and she has often to remember her mother's words as they were departing, "Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble." In the first chapter, for example, Sarah is sleeping outside with her father and is scared by all of the unfamiliar noises.
One of the TLP-suggested enrichment activities for this chapter was to sit outside at night and listen to the sounds. So, Saturday night, after we were done with our work for the day, we drove to a State Park and had a picnic dinner while we waited for it to get dark.
We had a great evening! As soon as it started getting dark, the picnic ground cleared out -- we were the only ones there. Unlike Sarah, we had a nice campfire to enjoy while we listened to the sounds of the night.
Sarah had heard an owl, a fox, and a wolf. We heard crickets and frogs and birds (and an occasional motorcycle and some fireworks in the distance). One of The Girls was a little nervous about the darkness, and I reminded her of how dark it was for Sarah and her father -- no lights, no campfire -- it was so dark Sarah couldn't even see her father sitting next to her.
In addition to our field trip exercise, we also enjoyed ...