This unit study contains a list of resources and activities for you to use in your studies. Choose those that will best suit your students, time, and learning environment. My hope is that you will enjoy the process of learning and not feel constricted by the timeline or activities. I do recommend that you read at least one book aloud together from each unit as it is something you can experience and enjoy together. Make changes as they suit your needs and enjoy your time learning together!
Horses Unit for Grades 5-12
Pony by R. J. Palacio
Twelve-year-old Silas is awoken in the dead of night by three menacing horsemen who take his father away. Silas is left shaken, scared, and alone, except for the presence of his companion, Mittenwool . . . who happens to be a ghost. When a pony shows up at his door, Silas makes the courageous decision to leave his home and embark on a perilous journey to find his father. Along the way, he will face his fears to unlock the secrets of his past and explore the unfathomable mysteries of the world around him.
Gunner: Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson
Each book in the True Horse Stories focuses on a contemporary horse from a different part of the world, and each animal is, in his or her own way, a hero.
PBJ Decks Smokin Gun (Gunner) is an American Paint Horse, one of the many of Heather Lott Goodwin's herd, and a valuable show animal that won the World Championship Paint Horse title. When Hurricane Katrina passed over the Goodwin property, it took with it the fences, the cattle, and several horses. Heather and her family lived in their horse trailer for six weeks and considered themselves lucky to have safe, comfortable shelter. After the storm, they searched for the animals and recovered many of them. But three months passed before they located Gunner, a hundred miles away. They were told he was in terrible shape and should be put down. Nevertheless, Heather drove on washed-out roads to bring him home, starving, dehydrated, and blind in one eye. With the help of a vet and her mother, she nursed him back to health. Amazingly, nine months later, he was well enough to compete again in the World Championship Paint Horse Show. Gunner's story is a testament to love and to determination.
Welcome to Fantasy Ranch! Kick off your boots and pull up a chair for a game where all your dreams of owning a beautiful ranch with a stable full of horses can come true. Take real-life ranching to the tabletop as you choose from a wide variety of actual horses, hire highly skilled hands, and expand your property by laying claim to some of the most beautiful land in the west.
With 3 levels of difficulty, Fantasy Ranch is a great game whether you're a greenhorn or grizzled. So saddle up your dream horse, compete in the most thrilling competitions, and use your winnings to build yourself the perfect Fantasy Ranch!
Bonus Game! The Trail Ride:
Here at the Ranch, we know just how hard it can be to corral all of those younger buckaroos so we've included The Trail Ride where kids can either set out on their own or you can play with them. This game lets kids become the trail boss by making choices to compete in shows, raise foals, and buy and trade horses. With 3 skill levels, The Trail Ride can be played with children as young as 5 years of ages. It's a game that grows with your kid!
Herd Your Horses
Learn more about using games for learning here.
After playing your chosen game, write a short story bringing the game to life. For example, if you play Fantasy Ranch, the story should be about your ranch, the purchases you made, the horses you cared for and how the events went. Go into detail as if it really happened.
Write a book review for each book.
Illustrate your short story and turn it into a picture book. Share it with younger siblings, cousins, neighbors, or friends.
Discuss what is needed to properly care for a horse. Include a discussion about the expenses incurred.
Play the Fantasy Ranch board game (or other chosen game).
Discuss the game. What aspects were realistic and what parts are not?
Draw a horse and label its parts. You could use the how to draw video above.
Watch the horse documentaries above.
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