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When an old man’s wife asks him to take a pig (el puerco) to roast at a party, he thinks she means the front door (la puerta). As he lugs the heavy wooden door to the festivities, he assists various animals and people and manages to collect a hat full of honey, a goose egg, a fish, and two watermelons. When he finally arrives, his wife is not angry about the confusion because the food her husband brings makes for a fine feast, even without the pig.

This funny tale serves as the basis for our The Old Man and His Door Unit Study and Lapbook. The study is crammed full of learning opportunities for your student: simple machines, Mexico, Spanish, rhyming words, folktales, honeybees, and more!

Thanks to Brandy Shutt for helping me write the lessons for this The Old Man and His Door unit study.

The Old Man and His Door Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the humorous book, The Old Man and His Door, by Gary Soto.

Here are some sample lessons from the The Old Man and His Door Unit Study:

Character Study: Kindness and Sowing & Reaping
Not only did the only man plant chilies and tomatoes, he also planted seeds of kindness. Can your student recall the times that the old man showed kindness? (to the crying child, to the goose, to the boy in the lake, and to the man moving the piano) The Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Does the old man reap kindness? How? (He receives a kiss, an egg, a fish, and a watermelon in return for helping others.) 

Genre: Folktale
A folktale is a story that is first passed on by word of mouth rather than by writing; it changes by successive retellings before being written down. It may be recorded by more than one person who has heard a slightly different version resulting in many different versions of the same tell. In these variations, the plot is the usually the same, but the setting, details, etc. change. The genre of folktale encompasses many other types of stories including fairytales, legends of all types, fables, tall tales. Is your student familiar with tall tales? Fables? Legends? 

Why would the story of The Old Man and His Door be passed down? Do you think someone invented it to prove a point? What is the message (or moral)? Do you think the story might have also been retold because it is humorous?

Have your student practice telling this story (in the oral tradition) this week. You may even want to let him present it to the family after a meal, or you could even record him with a video camera. 

You can grab a copy of the entire The Old Man and His Door Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

The Old Man and His Door Lapbook Printables

This unit study and lapbook combo includes a variety of printables:

  • Words That Sound Like Door and Pig Matchbook
  • Sowing and Reaping Flap Book
  • Simple Machines Tab Book
  • Flag of Mexico Simple Fold Book
  • Similes Shutterfold Book
  • Door Window Book
  • Listening Carefully Ear Shape Book
  • Counting in Spanish Flap Books
  • Mexican Food Tab Book
  • A Balanced Meal Circle Book & Pocket
  • Mexico Facts Mini-book
  • Spanish Words Flap Book

Lapbook Example

This lapbook was made with two file folders. If you are new to lapbooking, check out this How to Make a Lapbook post.

First File Folder (on the left)
Second File Folder (on the right)

How to Get Started with Your The Old Man and His Door Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the The Old Man and His Door Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Old Man and His Door, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Old Man and His Door unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of literature-based learning with The Old Man and His Door.

Get Your Free The Old Man and His Door Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free The Old Man and His Door Unit Study and Lapbook.

The Old Man and His Door Unit Study & Lapbook

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