As I went about trying to find good books about New Hampshire for our geography lessons, I found a nice bit of Colonial American history and an amazing family story. This lesson also made for a great opportunity to work on order of events in a story as we read the almost 400-year history of the oldest barn in America.
Our source material: Tuttle’s Red Barn
sentence strips, is a true story about a family barn that has been in the family for over 400 years. It follows the family from when the first one came over all the way up to when the book was published in 2003 (give or take on that last year). That makes this barn the oldest barn in America, pretty impressive, huh?
I love the story and was talking with the other Mom about how cool it would be to visit there someday. She went home and looked up this family on the internet and we were both so sad to learn that it’s currently for sale because the next generation isn’t interested in taking up the family farm. Isn’t that sad?
Future Ticia Update: It did sell successfully in 2013.
Putting together an Order of Events lesson
My order of events lesson can easily be adapted to any picture book. Here’s how you can do that.
- Pick a picture book with obvious events over time
- Copy the pictures from the book (if doing this lesson with older kids write sentences)
- Cut them out and let the kids put the events in order
When I taught, this was a frequent activity to do with my students in first and second grade. I would scan the pictures and write the events on sentence strips. Then the students would match the picture to the sentence and they would put it all in a pocket chart.
Our lesson was a bit simpler. I took those same sentence strips I mentioned earlier and we glued the pictures on the sentence strips on in the order of events in the book.
It was a real struggle on some of the pictures to figure out where it went in the timeline. Some pictures were easy to figure out, if it had a car it was more recent, but there were many times it could have been in different places. We found ourselves double checking the book very often.
This was part of our New Hampshire lessons, which use the super awesome United States Geography pages, which you can get a coupon for when you sign up for my newsletter.
More great ideas for young kids
Originally published September 20, 2011