Social Studies: History-- Appaloosa
In the second
paragraph on page 11, Patricia tell us that Apache is Mrs. Mack's horse
and she is a strawberry Appaloosa. Ask your child if he/she knows how
the Appaloosa got its name. [Early settlers referred to this spotted
horse as "a Palouse horse" as a reference to the Palouse River which
runs through Northern Idaho. Over time the name became
"Appaloosa."] Find the Palouse River on a map of Idaho and show it
to your child.
The Appaloosa was
introduced to North America in the early 1700's by Spanish explorers and
quickly spread across North America. The Nez Perce Indians bred them in
large numbers and to be fast, sturdy and sure-footed. This careful
breeding aided the Indians in buffalo hunting and in war. The
three-color spotting pattern helped to camouflage the horse and to break
up the horse's outline among the trees, making it difficult to see from
began flooding into the Nez Perce reservation, conflicts soon arose and
the Nez Perce war of 1877 broke out. The Appaloosa helped the Nez Perce
Indians elude the US calvary for many months before being captured.
Many of the Appaloosa were killed in this battle and the breed was
nearly forgotten about until recently. The Appaloosa is now one
America's most prized breeds and was adopted as Idaho's official state
horse in 1975.
The Appaloosa is the fifth most popular breed. An older child may wish
to explore the other four popular breeds by reasearching and writing a
paragraph on each [Quarter Horse, Paint, Thoroughbred, and Arabian].
Make your own spots on
this Appaloosa coloring page or color
this Appaloosa in the style of Native Americans in days of old.
Language Arts: Literary Device-- Similes
Note: Begin this
lesson on Monday
Have your child
copy the following passage from the story. Younger children can take
the whole week to copy it - one line each day. Older children should
copy the entire passage each day. For the younger child just mention
how the sentences start with a capital letter and end with a punctuation
mark [period]. With older children, discuss the use of similes in this
example. Similes are used to compare two unlike things. [The word
danced is compared to the sun's movement and a bright copper penny is
compared to Penny's coat color]. Ask your child if he/she can tell
you a sentence of his own that uses a simile.
"Her tail was short, but she held it as if it had
been "set" up for a fancy horse show. She stood there almost
motionless, As the sun danced through the leaves of the overhanging
tree, her coat shone like a bright copper penny."
italics are used in a sentence
to emphasize a word. That means the iltalic word tells the reader this
word is important and to say it a little stronger. That is how Patricia
chose to use italics in this sentence of her story. Ask your child if
he/she can find the italic word in the sentence at the bottom of page
32. Have him/her practice reading the sentence aloud a couple of
times. Be sure he/she emphasizes the italic word in it.
"It was at that moment that I realized that Mrs. Mack
chose to be in Dogpatch with her horses and these kids."
Language Arts: Autobiography
In this story,
Patricia is telling us a true story from her childhood. When you write
a true story that is about yourself it is called an autobiography. Ask
your child if he/she would like to write a brief autobiography of a
Language Arts: Horse Vocabulary
review the words briefly before reading the story. Print the words on
small index cards - word on one side and definition on the other. Use
them like flashcards.
filly -------- a young female horse under four years old
horn ---- the big hard bump at the front of the saddle
usually made of
leather and fits over a horse's head and ears; when the reins are
attached to it, a person can control the direction of the horse
---- a fenced in riding area for a horse
------- the horse's shoulders
---- a barn
comb ---- a plastic or rubber brush used to bring the dirt on a horse to
------ the leather straps attached to the bit
colt ----- a young male horse
hitching post (or rail) ----- what you tie the horse to while putting
the saddle on
within the barn or stable where the horse eats and sleeps
Art Appreciation: Medium
varying her use of sketchy pencil outlines and water colors, Patricia
has created different depths of memories from her past. Look carefully
at the pictures and you will notice she does not color everything in,
but selectively decides what to color. Ask your child if he/she would
like to draw a favorite memory and paint it in selectively like Patricia
Art Appreciation: Viewpoint
page 17 together and notice how you are looking up at Pat on the horse.
Patricia chose to draw the picture as if you are standing on the
grounding looking up at Pat so you can feel just how big an animal Penny
Appreciation: Painting Horses
Mrs. Polacco mentions two horse colors in this story - bay and
buckskin. There are others too, like dun, pinto, palamino and flea
bitten grey [page 7]. Arenít these neat names to describe the colors of
a horseís coat? Penny is featured on many pages in this story; she is a
buckskin. Ask your child if he/she would like to try and paint a picture
of Penny using just pencil outlines and water colors like Patricia did
in this story. Notice how Patricia used dark rich browns to paint Penny.
Horse Color Chart
Applied Math: Counting
many things in this story for you and your child to count together;
horses, shoes, fence rails, people, corn, patterns, etc.
Applied Math: Measurement Unit -- Hands
child how he/she usually measures something. [ruler, tape measure,
yard stick] Horses are measured in a unit called hands. They
have been since Bible times. The average adult male hand was
approximately 4 inches wide (not including the thumb) and so the hand
became a unit of measure equal to 4 inches. The average horse is about
15 hands high. Ask your child where he/she thinks you measure a horse
from. [You measure from the withers to the ground] Have your
child practice measures various things around the house in hands. Make
a chart of his findings. And older student doing multiplication could
convert various hands to inches.
Applied Math/Science: Speed-Gait
Pat rode several horses. Some walked,
some cantered, some trotted, and some galloped. Ask your child if
he/she knows the word used to describe all these words. [Gait. A
gait is the pace that a horse moves at. A horse has four natural gaits,
though some horses can do more.]
The four natural gaits of a horse are:
Walk --- the slowest pace, each foot steps
Trot --- a faster walk that is the horses
Canter -- a fast three-beat run
Gallop -- a full speed run [A horse can
gallop up to 42 mph in short bursts in order to escape predators]
Read the last two paragraphs of page 29 aloud and
look at the double page picture on the next pages. Have your child try
a gait while you guess which one it is.
Gait info at Wiki.
Speed is the rate of motion. We
can use math to help us determine how far a horse can move in a certain
amount of time. For example, if a horse cantered at 30 miles per hour,
how far could he travel in a half hour? A half hour is half of an hour.
So if we divide the speed at which the horse is traveling (30 mph) by
2, we get that he traveled 15 miles in that half hour.
Create other story problems for your student to calculate distance.
You could also turn the problems around and have your student calculate
the speed. For example, if the horse traveled 15 miles in one-half of
an hour, how fast was the horse traveling?
Applied Math: Copyright
Have your child find the copyright and determine
how long ago this book was written.
Science: Horse Care
need a lot of care. Look at Patricia cleaning out a stall on page 15.
She looks tired. Ask your child if he/she thinks she has cleaned the
other two stall yet. And has she curried the two horses. It is
important to keep the horses stalls and the horses themselves clean as
they will easily get sick if you don't.
horses at Mrs. Mack's stable also need to be fed correctly. They need a
varied diet of water, grass, apples, hay, grains, nuts and root
vegetables everyday. They need 8-12 gallons of water each day and three
meals a day with lots of fiber [hay]. But not too much grain or the
horse will get gas or colic. Mrs. Mack cared about her horses and
surely made sure that the hay was of good quality - plenty of nutrients
and cut and dried properly. Ask your child to list what she thinks
Mrs. Mack's horse were fed each day. ? Did Pat, Nancy and Donnie feed
Mrs, Mack knew that horses liked to live in family
groups in large grassy pastures. That is why had a bigger farm she took
the horses to after the summer was over. There they could graze and run
and just be horses.
Science: A Horse's Senses
A horse relies on its five senses. Four of these
senses - hearing, sight, touch and smell are very sensitive. Much more
[Taste is the fifth, less sensitve, sense]
A horse can even see in two different directions at the same time. Ask
your child if he/she can do that.
Because Penny can hear and feel things that we can
not, she was startled and leaped to the left when a leaf blew in front
of her. [Penny probably heard the leaf blow across the ground in
front of her. She might have even smelled the leaf with her sensitive
membranes in her nose and lips].
Science: Body Language
together at the pictures of the different horses in this story. Ask
your student how we
can tell how the horse is feeling?
By paying close attention to their
ears, tails and body positions....their body language.
Our body language also tells other people how we feel. Act out
several emotions (sad,
angry, tired, bored, etc.) using
body language and see if your student can guess what you are feeling.
Now go back through the pictures and mention the
following causually as you look at the horses:
forward - listening, content [cover, pages 3, 13, 17, 27, 39, 40,
inside back jacket]
forward and huddled together - listening, cautious - [pages 1 and 7]
Ears pinned back
and pointing in two different directions - scared and attention divided [page
Ears pinned back,
front feet raised, nostrils flared and tail swishing- frightened
Horse lying down
and body limp - ill [pages 33, 35 and 37]
High neck and high
tail - excited, eager [pages 30 and 31]
Nuzzles or rests
head on you - friendly gesture, trusts you [page 21]
Nicker - friendly
greeting [pages 13, 17 and 20]
Nay or whinny - I
am hear-where are you [page 38]
Science: Facial Markings
Look at the
picture of Pal on page 18. Point out the wide white stripe down the
center of his face. Ask your child if he/she noticed if any of the
other horses at Mrs. Mack's stable has white on their face. [None!]
These markings have names.
Blaze - a wide
white stripe down the center of the face
Star - a white
patch between the eyes
Snip - a white
patch between the nostrils
Stripe - a long
narrow white strip down the center of the face
Bible: James 3
Pat worked hard to learn to ride. She had to
practice everyday and use several horses with different abilities as she
gained experience. People have to train to ride horses, but they
also have to train the horses. One way this is done is by
putting bits in horses' mouths in order to train
them; this is mentioned in the Bible in James 3:3. The verse is
comparing the taming of the horse to the "taming of the tongue" -- read
James 3:3-10 together and discuss. What is meant by "taming
the tongue" -- why is this something we have to work hard at in order to
practice/train it? What other things are compared to the tongue?
(bit in the horse's mouth, ship/rudder, forest fire started by small
spark, fresh water/salt water--from the same spring?, etc.)
JUST FOR FUN!
Ask your child if he/she likes sweet corn. Look
together at the picture on page 5 and briefly discuss how they are
really enjoying their sweet corn out on the porch. [Pat's brother,
Richie, is eagerly sinking his teeth into his corn. Look at Pat's plate
- she ate two! Her dad must have eaten even more because he is
stretched out and leaning back on the steps and he had to loosen his
belt.] Look closely at the sweet corn with your child, do think
they added butter?
Make some sweet corn together and enjoy it out on
the porch just like Pat and her family did.
Ask your child if he/she has ever
tasted molasses. Molasses is a thick syrup made by processing sugar cane
or sugar beet. Look at page 23 and discuss how Pat was thoughtful for
leaving a bag of molasses cookies each day for the trapeze artist
because she knew how sad he was. Bake some molasses cookies together and
put them in a bag and tie them with a nice ribbon and think of someone
to give them to.
Cookie Recipe (click link)
Field Trip: Riding Lessons
Consider signing your child up for some horseback
riding lessons. Just a couple or maybe the whole summer just like Pat
Go Along: Autobiography
Black Beauty by Ann Seawell
Go Along: History-Nez Perce Indians
Scrapper John-Valley of the Spotted Horses by Paul
Career Path: Veterinarian
Look for a book about veterinarians
or visit one in your area and let your student ask questions.