Thursday, January 28, 2021

Stone Fox

Several years ago, the boys got interested in my Book Club meetings and decided that they, too, wanted to have a Book Club. We dubbed it Boys' Book Club (so creative!) and asked a friend to join us for the first meeting. We met a few times following that, but when the pandemic hit last year it definitely got put on the back burner. The boys and I have continued to read together, but we didn't do another "Book Club" until we began reading Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner this month.

I knew NOTHING about this one going in. Generally, they're books that I've read before (I'll share more about our Book Clubs in another post), but this one stumped me. It kept coming up as a good read aloud and that's what the boys chose. I knew that it was a book about dog sledding, but beyond that I was clueless.

The first thing we did was to head off to the library for books about dog sledding and winter. We found plenty! Our favorite was Togo by Robert Blake. We haven't seen the movie and I had NO IDEA what the story was about, but it was so good! A diptheria epidemic emerges in Alaska in 1925 and it's the true story of a man and his team of dogs who helped delivered the serum needed to control it. The dog that became famous from the story is Balto, who got the serum to the location it was needed, but Togo's team (and Leonhard Sepppala) was the team who traveled the longest to get it where it was going. We also checked out Sled Dogs Run by Jonathan London, Dogteam by Gary Paulsen, and Wind-Wild Dog by Barbara Joose.

Next, we read the book, chapter by chapter, over the course of about two weeks. It is a quick, short book, but we just did one chapter at a time. We also read our picture books to supplement AND I found several movies and documentaries to add in so we could learn a little more about something we knew NOTHING about.

We have already enjoyed Iron Will, a movie about dog sledding that I watched over and over in my childhood. We've found several documentaries about dog sledding that have been interesting. James watched a movie called Kayla earlier this week. Togo is going to be on our list for Friday night!

The culmination was an Escape Room that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. My only job here was cutting the pieces out and monitoring the boys as they put it together. They LOVED this. It was SO FUN. The average time to finish said 45 minutes, but mine easily finished and "escaped" in under 25 minutes. I will look for these again in the future. This one had a section on plot, characters, vocabulary, and solving the secret message. It was easy entertainment for a rainy afternoon.

We started a new book last night that I'm working on activities for. I hope to finish that one sometime in February and share here. I'll also try to go back and compile our other books we have done previously. It's an EASY way to read together as a family (even if there's sometimes grumbling!)  and squeeze in some learning. I love it SO much. Hopefully we will be able to have friends join us again soon...although we are nearing middle school and our time is limited on this, I know!!!

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