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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book Grandmother’s Pigeon by Louise Erdrich.

Passenger pigeon hatchlings, thought to be extinct, are discovered in Grandmother’s room after she departs on a voyage to Greenland.

from Grandmother’s Pigeon at

This surprise story is the base for our free Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study. The lessons span a variety of topics including favorite books, fantasy stories, creating a nature collection, passenger pigeons, imprinting, the paintings of Paul Klee, and more!

Thanks to Sharon Jacksack for preparing this Grandmother’s Pigeon Unit Study.

Grandmother’s Pigeon Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study:

Geography – Continental Divide
Grandma skied the Continental Divide. What is the Continental Divide anyway? To folks in North America it is the main water parting of the continent, where the water will flow either mainly to the East or to the West. The divide runs along the crest of the Rockies, from British Columbia, through the United States, and continues southward into Mexico and Central America. It divides the continent’s principal drainage into that flowing eastward (to the Hudson Bay in Canada or to the Mississippi River) and that flowing westward (to the Pacific Ocean). Since every continent except Antarctica has a continental divide, can you find them all on the world map?

History – Sun Tzu
Grandmother had a model of Sun Tzu’s horse on her windowsill. Sun Tzu was a Chinese General who lived at 500B.C. He is best known for writing a series of essays on the “Art of War.” These essays are very interesting to read, and full of wisdom that translates to today. His most basic idea is that “All warfare is based on deception”. Another key Sun Tzu principle is that “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Personal Relationships – Grandparents
The opening page of the story sets up the kind of grandparent the children’s grandmother is. The love and affection as well as the awe they have for their grandmother shines through the words. As you read the book with your child, is there someone who they revere with the same sort of awe and affection? How would the story be different if that person took the place of Grandmother in this book? What sort of adventure would they go on? If it is possible, have your child call or write to their chosen loved one. It will brighten their day.

You can grab a copy of the entire Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the Grandmother’s Pigeon Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Grandmother’s Pigeon, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your Grandmother’s Pigeon Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab the free Grandmother’s Pigeon unit study.

Grandmother’s Pigeon Unit Study

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