Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

We have just spent the last 4 weeks working our way through a Peter Rabbit Unit Study. The girls LOVED it. (A friend has boys and they did not like the book, not sure if this is a boy thing) There was so much more we could have done but unfortunately it is time to move on to the next book.
We started by reading 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit every day for the first week - we used a couple of different books and compared the differences. The story was the original one but some of the pictures were bigger or brighter coloured. We even had a pop-up Peter Rabbit (that was Hubby's when he was little - so maybe some boys do like Peter Rabbit!). At the same time we read a page a day from Beatrix Potter's journal. I LOVED this book. My darling Auntie gave it to me for my birthday and it was perfect. Beautifully written and illustrated with lots of pictures and photos. In the back was included a copy of her original personal printing of Peter Rabbit which we read later in the month. This was a great opportunity for the girls to see how the book was edited and made shorter in order to keep the costs down when printing it.

After the first week we then read a different story each day. There were many that I had not read before and we really had fun with this.

The journal lead into a study on Victorian England and we used the Horrible Histories books from Scholastics for this. I read a small amount out of them and edited it as it was really a bit advanced for the girls. I was really impressed with the amount of information in these books and will be adding them to our library as I find them for a reasonable price. The activity books that go along with the books were also fantastic. For really young children I would probably just get the activity book. (These would also have made a good work box activity). The timing of this was good as we had just talked about convicts and being shipped to Australia in time to celebrate Australia Day. After we finished reading the journal we watched the DVD Miss Potter. I felt from what we had read this was well done.

We finished up by holding a Peter Rabbit Party. I will try to post photos of this later. (At the moment I seem to be having trouble posting photos). Each of the girls invited one friend to join us. So we sent out invitations (made using rabbit stamps). We decorated by putting as sign on the door that said "Welcome to Mr McGregor's Garden - No Rabbits allowed). We also used a Peter Rabbit soft toy in a small watering can as the table centre piece.
When each guest had arrived we made a paper rabbit ears crown then went outside and played a game of trying to sneak up on Mr McGregor without being spotted. If you were spotted moving you had to go back to the start. After this we had lunch.
The menu included - lettuce, radishes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, french onion dip (rather than eating onions!), fresh homemade bread and black berry jam, black berries and currants and current buns. (we watched the Homestead Blessings Bread making DVD and added currants to their cinnamon rolls, they were really delicious and so easy to make). After lunch the girls watched the animated DVD's of Beatrix Potter's stories. We had such fun and was a great way to start the year.

Using the FIAR 2 Manual I had planned out activities to do/discuss every day for the 4 weeks - some we did and some we didn't do in the end, it depended on the day. Homeschool share has a number of activities to go along with the activities in the FIAR manual. You will find them here. They also have a rabbit lapbook here.

I was lucky enough to get a Beatrix Potter Lapbook from Hands of a Child when I had a super membership (I highly recommend this membership it is really worth it). This lapbook was great - we used a lot of it in Zebra and Duckie's Lap n-Notes. The other we used was The Tale of Peter Rabbit Project Pack. If you are reading The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit as part of Sonlight P4/5 and would like to make a lapbook or notebook I think this was fantastic. It was perfect for Bunny (6) and Monkey (4)

I hope to revisit some of this study in July (28th) which is Beatrix Potter's birthday.

We made Lap n-Notes for this book rather than traditional lapbooks. You can view photos of our Lap n-Notes here

Bunny ear crowns here

Rabbit Trails:

Queen Victoria - Beatrix Potter grew up during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Notebooking pages for Queen Victoria can be found at activity page here (a choice of 4)

A Queen Victoria Notebooking page here at Homeschool Share.

Beatrix Potter -
A Beatrix Potter Paper doll can be found at

With the younger girls we also rowed 'The Runaway Bunny' at the same time. Homeschool Share has a Rabbit Lapbook which lends itself well to this trail. Bunny began some of this lapbook and we will add to it as we row more books about Rabbits this year. There is also more on rabbits at First-school.

More Peter Rabbit Links:
There are literally hundreds of things on the web for Peter Rabbit. There was so much more we could have done while studying this book. These are just a few of my favourites.

Lots at Making Learning Fun (Peter Rabbit Page - including masks) I found this link after we had finished the unit study but I will still be printing up some of the games and adding to the Peter Rabbit Folder for next time and also to our Rabbit Unit Study folder. This site also included lots of maths games that would be good fun to add to the work boxes.

Download an audio version of Peter Rabbit here. This works really well copied to an ipod and put into a work box.

Peter Rabbit @ the Virtual Vine

Carnival of Homeschooling - Peter Rabbit Edition
Added June 2010 - I found a link for a Peter Rabbit Garden at Michigan State University. When we get our own home with garden I am going to try to recreate this. The girls LOVED our Peter Rabbit Rowing and still pull out the books and toys.

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