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Fly Homer Fly Free Unit Study

Fly Homer Fly

Author: Bill Peet

Summary: This story is about a pigeon that learns the value of friendship and that the grass is not always greener on the other side.


Literature Based Unit written by Christina Harris


Social Studies: Relationships-Friendship

Explore the stages of the developing friendship between Homer and Sparky.  Talk about your child’s friendships.  Why does he/she like a particular friend?  Is he/she developing any new friendships?  Has your child ever been angry towards a friend?  Why and what happened in the end-did they become friends again or are they no longer friends?  What makes a lasting friendship?


Social Studies: Emotions-Anger

Anger: Find the pages in the book where Homer gets angry.  Why is he angry?  Has your child ever been angry?  What were the consequences of Homer’s anger?  What were the consequences of your child’s anger?  Could Homer or your child have done anything different when he/she got angry?


Fear: Find the pages in the book where Homer gets scared.  Why is he scared?  Has your child ever been scared? What did Homer or your child do to get over his/her fear?


Language: Moral of a Story

Discuss with your child what a moral is.  All of Bill Peet’s books have some moral to the story.  In this book, does Homer realize that “the grass is (or is not) always greener on the other side?” 

List of other Bill Peet books you may want to read some this week (you could use them to extend this lesson by determining the "moral of the story" or you could simply read them and enjoy them!)
Capyboppy by Bill Peet
Farewell to Shady Glade by Bill Peet
The Wump World by Bill Peet
The Whingdingdilly by Bill Peet
The Kweeks of Kookatumdee by Bill Peet
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head (Sandpiper Books) by Bill Peet
Kermit the Hermit by Bill Peet
Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet
Buford the Little Bighorn by Bill Peet
Randy's Dandy Lions by Bill Peet
Pamela Camel by Bill Peet
Ella by Bill Peet
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet


Language: Vocabulary

ramshackle(page 1): rickety, tumbledown

fabulous(page 9): incredible, marvelous

perilous(page 48): dangerous

invention(page 53): a creation of the imagination

invisible(page 55): incapable of being seen

competition(page 58): rivalry, contest


Language: Choosing a Title

Bill Peet chooses his title with much thought.  Can you find out why he picked the title for this book?  Notice how this title ties in with the climax, drama, and excitement of the book.  What would be another good title for this book?


Language: Literary Classics

Explain to your child that a copyright date is usually when the book was first published.  Look in this book for the copyright date and note how many years ago this book was published.  This makes it a classic.  Look for other copyright dates in Bill Peet books.  Most have been around for many years.


Art/Math/Science: Make a Mobile

On page 51, there is a picture of the sparrows transporting Homer.  Find a coat hanger.  Look on the internet or in bird books for pictures of sparrows and pigeons.  Copy these pictures.  Count how many sparrows and pigeons are on page 51.  Color the correct number of pigeons (1) and sparrows (7) for a mobile.  Talk about the differences/similarities between sparrows and pigeons (i.e. both are birds-similarity, differences-colors and sizes). Based on the picture on page 51, put that many sparrows and pigeons on your coat hanger mobile and hang from your ceiling.


Art/Science: Bugs/Insects

Look at page 2 and page 58 of the book.  Draw some pictures of the bugs/insects that you see.  See if your child can classify all the bugs/insects.  What might Homer be eating?  Can you find some of the bugs/insects that Homer was eating in a bug/insect book?


Math: Counting

Count all the chickens in the chicken yard on page 3.  Count all the pigeons on page 26 and 27.  Count all the vehicles on page 12 and 13.  Count all the vehicles on page 54 and 55.  Now subtract the total amount of vehicles on pages 54 and 55 from the total amount of vehicles on page 12 and 13.


Science: Smog

On page 14 and 15, Sparky and Homer are talking about the smog in the air and how it affects Homer.  Talk to your child about air pollution and how it can hurt animals, birds, and humans.  On page 55, Sparky tells the other sparrows what the “something invisible” is…”something called fresh air!”  Talk about how your family and child can protect our environment and keep our “fresh air.”


Science: Safety and Crisis Thinking

On page 44-51, Homer finds out why he is not safe in the alley.  Discuss the importance of learning how to be safe.  What should your child do if he finds himself alone with no parent in sight?  Talk about what to do in a crisis-calm down, don’t panic, think, what should be the next step to get safe?


Home Ec: Make applesauce raisin bread (recipe is taken from Sunset Cookbook of Breads)



1 egg, slightly beaten

1 cup applesauce

¼ cup melted butter or margarine

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup seedless raisins

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts


In a bowl combine the egg, applesauce, melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, blending well.  Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in the raisins and chopped nuts.  Put batter into a well-greased 5 by 9-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Cool and frost with light powdered sugar frosting, if you desire.  Makes 1 large loaf.