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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare.

When Matt’s father leaves him on his own to guard their new cabin in the wilderness, Matt is scared but determined to be brave and prove that he can take care of himself. And things are going fine until a white stranger steals his gun, leaving Matt defenseless and unable to hunt for his food. Then Matt meets Attean, a Native boy from the Beaver tribe, and soon learns that people called the land around him home long before the white settlers ever arrived. As Attean teaches him more about his own culture, Matt must come to terms with what the changing frontier really means. 

Thanks to Janee’ Lowrance, Molly Boulter, Tara Mitchell, and Regina Clark for preparing this Sign of the Beaver unit study.

Sign of the Beaver Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this Sign of the Beaver unit study:

History: Log Cabins
Matt and his dad had built a log cabin to live in. Research log cabins. How were they made? What did they place between the logs? Why? Make a miniature log cabin from sticks outside. Make the roof removable if you want so you can make things for the inside like chairs and tables, or beds, a cook stove, clay food, however detailed you would like.

Genre: Fiction vs. Non-fiction
Is this book fiction or non-fiction? Who is telling the story? (Discuss point of view)
Maybe an older student would like to rewrite a part of this chapter and tell it from Dad’s point of view.

Language Arts: Descriptive Language
“It coiled around Matt and reached into his stomach to settle there in a hard knot.” This is very descriptive language. She could have just said, “Matt was nervous and scared.” Try describing a feeling you once had, or even a place you like to be using descriptive language. Remember to use your thesaurus.

Try writing the following sentences with descriptive language:

 1. She was sad.
 2. The puppy was excited.
 3. This made his father very angry.
 4. His mother was overwhelmed with her fussy baby.

Science: Bears
A bear had got into the cabin. Can you determine what kind of bear it was? Read more about bears and use the animal research notebook page to record what you learn. You could also write a short report on bears including information on their habitat, foods, care of young, lifespan, etc.

To access all of the lessons in this Sign of the Beaver Lapbook, subscribe to Homeschool Share’s email list using the form in this post.

Sign of the Beaver Lapbook and Notebook Printables

This file includes several printables for your student’s Sign of the Beaver lapbook or notebook.

  • Sign of the Beaver Book Information Notebooking Page
  • Descriptive Writing Activity Page
  • French and Indian War Notebooking Page
  • Treaty of Paris Notebooking Page
  • Farm Habitat vs. Woodland Habitat Venn Diagram
  • Animal Research Notebooking Page
  • Corn Notebooking Page
  • Mosquito Life Cycle Activity Page
  • Essay Stationery
  • Newbery Award Mini-book
  • Experiment Notebooking Page
  • Verbs & Adjectives Activity Page
  • Food Preservation Page
  • The Penobscot Accordion Book
  • Tribes of the Wabanaki T-book
  • Penobscot Religion Simple Fold Book
  • Penobscot Children Simple Fold Book
  • Penobscot: Life Through the Seasons Tab Book
  • Penobscot: Friends and Enemies Matchbook
  • Penobscot Diet Layer Book

How to Get Started with the Sign of the Beaver Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Sign of the Beaver unit study and printables:

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

Download Your Sign of the Beaver Unit Study

Resources to Compliment Your Sign of the Beaver Study

Bears Lapbook
Beaver Lapbook