In a strange way my method of searching for living books for the topics in volume 1 chapter 3 reflected one of the themes itself. For example one of the people introduced in this chapter is Helen Keller who lived in a world of silence and darkness. As I groped through bookshelves, book lists and websites searching for living resources I felt lost and unable to find the source or two that would energize our academic studies. I indeed felt shut-out. Oddly enough when I was browsing among my personal library for the third or fourth time I finally saw The Story of Helen Keller in the Reader’s Digest Best Loved Books for Young Readers. It was an, “I-didn’t-know-I-had-that-book” moment. The veil began to lift.
I returned to my internet hunt with more hope. A favorite online resource, www.mainlesson.com offers a lovely collection of classic e-books written for children on a whole array of subjects. But the general topics of this unit were not readily apparent in the “subjects to browse” lists. But at mainlesson.com I found two works that will enrich this Weaver unit. First, the book, Great Inventors and Their Inventions, by Frank P. Bachman has several valuable chapters for this study, especially for those who use the Supplement. (Also available through Amazon.) Gutenberg, Morse, Bell, Edison and Marconi are all covered in Bachman’s easy to read style. Then I discovered, Granny’s Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne. (Also available through Amazon.) She, a blind Irish poet and author, wrote some fanciful children’s stories that the younger crowd will enjoy, especially “The Greedy Shepherd”. Since one of the objectives for grade 3 is an introduction to poetry, I looked for one of her poems in my Illustrated Library of World Poetry
and found, “O The Pleasant Days of Old!”
Fanny Crosby is one of my favorite heroines. Although her physical eyes were scarred and blinded she was gifted with a spiritual insight that still illuminates many hearts with her songs. Hymns may not be thought of as poetry but many of them begin that way. I like hymns because the melody makes it easier to memorize sacred poetry. Biographical information about Fanny Crosby and a long list of her hymns can be found here. I would like to sing a few of her melodies as we open our school day especially since one of the Bible lessons emphasizes that language should be used in praising God.
Another interesting part of this unit shows the wide variety of accents and languages that exist in the U.S. It was fun to uncover some poems and tales that highlighted differences in speech that exist across America. If you have some Brer Rabbit stories on your shelf pull those down. If you don’t, you can find nine tales here. One poem I uncovered in Favorite Poems Old and Newselected by Helen Ferris, is sure to add some giggles. It is called, “Leetla Giorgio Washeenton”, by Thomas Augustine Daly.
The objectives for the 3rd grade look to be a lot of fun. Although the Supplement work is a bit more demanding, these resources will make it a bit gentler.