preschool reading: The Ox-Cart Man

Donald Hall. The Ox-Cart Man (1979).

Reading Strategy: Observing detail/illustrations
Note: This is an excellent book for picture study as Barbara Cooney’s stunning and detailed illustrations won the 1980 Caldecott Medal. I did not choose to begin it with a “Picture Walk” before reading as I wanted to avoid “spoiling” the fun of the story–but it would be a great book for developing that strategy as well. 

Coordinating Weekly Activities:

  • Make and drink apple cider
  • Read about/visit sheep and examine yarn and things made from wool
  • Buy potatoes, apples, turnips, and cabbages at the outdoor market
  • Together make recipes that use maple syrup: pancakes, maple chocolate milkshakes
  • Color, cut, and sequence “How a Pumpkin Grows” cards and think about the life cycle of plants
  • Collect and press autumn leaves and paste them into our nature notebook
  • Calendar work with the seasons of the year

Day One:
Read The Ox-Cart Man and discuss

Day Two:
View the illustrations in The Ox-Cart Man and list our ideas:
pp. 1-10 “How do we know it’s autumn?” (leaves, clothing, harvest, chimney smoke)
pp. 19-30 “How do we know it’s winter?” (snow, clothing, no leaves on trees)
pp. 31-end “How do we know it’s spring?” (green leaves/grass, flowers, sheep, gardening, clothing)

Day Three:
View autumn illustrations in The Ox-Cart Man and examine the trees
Sponge-paint red, orange, and yellow leaves on brown tree trunks

Day Four:
Read Donald Hall’s original poem (the basis for The Ox-Cart Man) together as we look at the illustrations

Day Five:
Reread/retell The Ox-Cart Man or read it with Daddy

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2 Responses to preschool reading: The Ox-Cart Man

  1. Pam Lowther says:

    Hey Betsy! Just so you know, I’ve been soaking up all of your homeschooling messages as suggestions for us too! I’ve been printing every book with activities, though I don’t know this one surprisingly. Will have to check it out!
    We’ve just started our own little journey of homeschooling, though not as structured and formalized as yours right now due to all that’s been going on here. Abigail thrilled to be doing school (she calls me “teacher Mommy” which just melts my heart) and is loving the time we have together, usually in the afternoon after a “rest time” since she is no longer napping and Noah still is. This allows us to have one-on-one time though I’m not sure what things will look like after baby arrives in May! How about for you with the not too long now arrival of your little man? I will look forward to hearing how life is able to adjust for you with 3 little ones. I must say I am somewhat nervous, though God gives strength for everything in our lives, including our quickly growing families!
    You truly are a gifted teacher, so please continue posting about what you’re doing. It is so helpful to me with not being able to think and prepare as much as I’d like right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Julia says:

    This series is so very good, Betsy. I, too, am printing these units for Naomi. I love a good book recommendation, and how wonderful it is to have accompanying learning activities!

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