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Author/Illustrator: Robert Duvoisin
ISBN: 0394808657
Summary:  In a charming tale set in a farmyard, Petunia the silly goose believes she has become wise just because she finds a book

Literature Based Unit Study written by Heidi Jasper and Denise Gregson
Lapbook by Ami Brainerd


Community Helpers Simple Fold
Farm Animal Analogies
Taking Care of My Teeth Shape Book
Helping My Community Fan Book
Tooth Care Chart
Snow Goose Tab Book
Ida and Her Chicks Pocket
Barnyard Sayings Book by Wende
Emergency Action Plan Wheel
More Than, Less Than Hotdog Book
Hotdog Book Instructions
Vocabulary (with definitions)
Vocabulary (blank)

First Aid Basics Sidy by Side

Wisdom Scroll Shape Bible Verse Book
Label the Parts of a Tooth


Links for more minit books
Animals on the Farm Barn from Kizclub
How Many Farm Animals
Animals in the Barn Book
Farm Animal Word Book
I See Farm Animals Circle Shape Book

Ideas for older students
Make a migration map for the Snow Goose
Do a Bible study on pride and include minit books on what pride is and what the Bible says will happen to those who are proud


Petunia heard Mr. Pumpkin say, "he who owns books and loves them is wise."   What does it mean to be wise? Wisdom is the ability to see beneath the surface of things; it is also defined as someone who has good judgment. 

The Bible speaks a lot about wisdom.   Spending some time reading and discuss the words of the following verses with your student.

Proverbs 4:5-7
Proverbs 2:6
Proverbs 1:7
Proverbs 19:8
Proverbs 2:10-12
James 1:5

Lapbook Component:
Wisdom Scroll Shape Bible Verse Book

You may also want to take some time to explain the words of Mr. Pumpkin.  What does it mean to "love books"?   How does that make someone wise?

Discuss pride ( too high an opinion of one's own ability or worth : a feeling of being better than others).  How is Petunia prideful? 
Read the following verses.  How do they apply directly to Petunia?

Proverbs 11:2 "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." 
You may want to choose one to be your Bible memory verse for the week.

Social Studies

Though the story is fictional, the animals still live in a sort of community.  What is a community?  The word community comes from a  Latin word (communis) that means "common, public, shared by all or many."  What do the animals have in common in the story of Petunia ? (they live together, know each other, and work together, etc.)

In a community every person has a part to play and members are interdependent to some degree. To have a sense of community a person must feel that they belong to that group of people and feel a responsibility to contribute toward the group.  A neighborhood is usually considered a community though not all communities would be geographically contained.

Which “communities” is your child/family a part of?  (list could include church, neighborhood, homeschool co-op , extracurricular community)

Try the following activity with your family/group (note:  the bigger the group the better the illustration will work):

Sit in circle facing each other.  One person holds a ball of yarn, holds the end and tosses the roll to another person in the circle. That player catches the ball,  holds the new end and tosses the ball to another person.  Play continues as long as desired until a complicated web is formed.

This activity will show how members of a community are connected to each other and that what one person does will effect the others in the community.

It was prideful of Petunia to think that if she were wise she would be able to answer any question and help in any type of situation.  This is why community is so important.  There are different people with different expertise or training in our community.  It is helpful to know who to go to with which question.  Would you call the librarian if your house is on fire?  Would you ask your local grocer what would be a good book for researching about toads?  Would you go to your local police station to buy some lettuce?

If you have studied the FIAR vol. 1 title Katy and the Big Snow you could review the Social Studies lesson on Running a City.  (A larger city may be broken down geographically into various smaller communities.)  You may also like to take a large piece of butcher paper and draw your city or neighborhood on it.  If you have to, hop in the car and take a look around to observe things you may easily forget to include.

Make a list with your child of different vocations/types of people in your community that help people and determine which problems or questions each might be able to help with:

Your list could include:

Town Officials
Public Works

Lapbook Component:
Community Helpers Simple Fold

This would also be a good time to review about of dialing 911 and dealing with other emergencies.

Brainstorm ways that you could contribute to your community as a family or as individual – e.g. picking up litter, visiting elderly, bringing welcome gifts to new neighbors, keeping the community center clean etc.

Lapbook Component:
Helping My Community Fan Book


Language Arts

Classic Story

This book is a classic from 1950.  A classic is a book that has survived the test of time.  You may want to explain this to your student by making (or using what you already have) a time line.  Let your student place your date of birth, his date of birth, and the "birth" of this book on the line.   The visual representation will help him understand what a classic is.  Mention other classics you have read/rowed; you may even want to place them on the time line as well.  Time-Line to Print from FIAR Circle

Discuss Italics, list some from the story (or let your younger student simply point to italics--the leaning words).  Depending on your student's level of interest/ability, you may want to lightly discuss this topic or go in-depth. 
Italics are used to distinguish certain words from others within the text.  We use them for
1. emphasis
2. words as words (the word cat..., There were four ands and one the in that sentence.)
3. reproducing sounds (actual sounds not just onomatopoeias... grrrr! --but not growled; bzzzzzzzzzz -- but not buzz)
4. titles (books, journals, magazines, plays, long poems, etc. But NOT articles within a book, journal, etc.)
5. names of vehicles (but not brand names -- Titanic, Challenger  but NOT Corvette or Boeing 747)

Word Find
Down on the Farm Word Find

Many idioms, phrases, and sayings are derived from farm words.  Choose a few of these farm animal sayings/phrases and discuss the meanings with your student.  

Cows & Bulls
~like a bull in a china shop- to act rudely or clumsily in a delicate situation
~take the bull by the horns- to face and tackle a difficulty without shirking
~bull-headed- to be stubborn
~till the cows come home- something that won't be arriving for a long time

Chickens, Eggs, & Roosters
~he acts like a banty rooster- someone who is proud
~don't count your chickens before they are hatched- don't assume you have something until you really have it
~like a chicken with its head cut off- someone who is acting in a wild, crazy manner
~chicken out- back out from fear or lose one's nerve
~I'm not a spring chicken- I'm getting old
~a good egg- a good natured person
~walk on eggshells- be very careful

~silly goose- a lack of wisdom or good sense; a fool
~wild goose chase- A vain pursuit of something, which, even if attained, would be worthless.
~goose egg- a zero
~what’s good for the goose is good for the gander- what is good for one person is good for another
~goose bumps- the bumpy condition of the skin induced by cold or fear
~all his geese are swans- he constantly exaggerates the importance of a person or thing
~cook someone's goose- to spoil someone's plans or chances at something (usually by revealing secret information)

~horse feathers- lies, false stories
~a one horse town- a small town
~straight from the horse's mouth- from the real source
The age of a race-horse can be guessed by looking at its teeth. So no matter what any one says on how old the horse is, one can tell by looking in the horse's mouth.
~you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink- you can offer someone something but you cannot insist that they take it
~horsing around- joking around
~hold your horses- just wait a second

Sheep and Goats
~separate the sheep from the goats- to distinguish the good from the bad
~old goat -a cranky old man
~to get someone's goat- to bother someone
~a wolf in sheep's clothing- someone who pretends to be someone they aren't
~black sheep of the family- most troublesome member of the family

Lapbook Component: Barnyard Sayings Book by Wende

Make a list of the farm animals found in this story.  For an extra challenge, make it into a memory game by not letting your student open the book.

wise- the ability to see beneath the surface of things; someone who has good judgment
meadow- an area of moist low usually level grassland
precious- of great value or high price
proud- too high an opinion of one's own ability or worth : a feeling of being better than others
opinion- a judgment about a person or thing
singed-  to burn slightly (usually in reference to hair or fur)
pliers- a tool; small pincers for holding small objects or for bending and cutting wire
forlorn- sad and lonely; hopeless

Lapbook Component:
Vocabulary (with definitions)
Vocabulary (blank)


Look through the story again and determine which illustrations are humorous (and why). 

Make an illustration in the style of this book
Draw with black ink and color in with colors used in the story (red, yellow, blue, green).  If you are making a lapbook, you could glue the finished picture to the front of back cover.


Skip counting by 3s
Teach your child to skip count by 3s (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.).
Count by 3's Penguin Manipulatives

Story Problems
Use the chicks and Ida to do some hands on math!  Make up some oral story problems for your student to solve.  Example:  Ida has nine chicks.  Two are eating and the rest are playing.  How many are playing? 

Lapbook Component: Ida and Her Chicks Pocket

More than, Less than
Teach your student what more than and less than mean using the illustrations in this book.  "Are there more or less chicks than what Petunia added up?  Are there more or less animals on page ___ than on page ___?"  You can do this multiple times using many different pages.
If your student is ready, you may want to show him the symbols (more than <, less than >, equal to =). 

Lapbook Component:
More Than, Less Than Hotdog Book  *your student should write <, >, or = in each blank
Hotdog Book Instructions


Snow Goose

Petunia is a white goose-- a snow goose.

~Snow Geese are migratory animals; they move from one location to another.  It breeds in the Arctic tundra, then migrates south to spend winter in southwestern British Columbia (Canada) and the United States of America.

~Medium-sized goose (25-30 inches long)
~Black patch on bill edges, the "grinning patch" or "smile."
~Two color forms
White morph: White all over, except for black wing tips. (This is the most common.)
Blue morph: White head and front of neck, body dark gray-brown.
~Pink Bill
~Pink Legs
~Dark Eyes

Eggs & Nests
~Nest is a scrape in the ground lined with down feathers and materials from plants such as grass. 

~Eggs are creamy white and usually lay 4-7 eggs in a clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). 
~When an egg hatches, the gosling is covered with down and eyes are open.  It leaves the nest within 24 hours of hatching with the ability to swim and feed.

~aquatic plants and grains

Lapbook Component:
Snow Goose Tab Book

Snow Goose Print-out from Enchanted Learning

Health-First Aid
Many of the animals in the story end up with band-aids for their bruises.  Discuss safety and the importance of safety rules with your student.  What are some of the rules in your house that help prevent accidents? 

Only teach as much of this as you are comfortable with (depending on the age and maturity of your student)

Teach your student the Emergency Action Plan.
-staying calm helps to allow the observer of the accident to stop, think, and act accordingly in an emergency
-get an adult or call 911
-make sure it's safe to go near the injured person (no fire, watch for traffic, electrical wires, and broken glass)
4.  GIVE FIRST AID (see below)

Lapbook Component: Emergency Action Plan Wheel

First Aid Basics
1. Gently wash the wound
2. Put on a bandage, or some object to suppress blood flow
3. Wash your hands
4. If bleeding doesn't stop, get additional help

1. Completely and carefully wash the wound area
2. Control any bleeding
3. Try to identify the animal.
4. Tell an adult immediately.
5. Do not worry about the well-being of the animal, your well-being is much more important.

1. Remove the stinger by scraping it with your fingernail
2.  Wash the area with soap and water, and put ice on it

Bruises are not serious injuries in most circumstances.  Just place a cool cloth to remedy pain or swelling.

1. Try to keep the person calm.
2.  Remind the person to keep coughing (as long as they can cough, they can breathe!)
3.  If he can not cough, do the Helimach maneuver.
        Stand behind the person and make a fist with one hand and put it just above the navel (bellybutton)
        Grab the fist with your other hand and pull up and in quickly
        Repeat until the person can breathe

Lapbook Component: First Aid Basics Sidy by Side

Farm Life/Animals
Read a book on farm life.  Help your student research a particular farm animal. 
Farm Animal Craft/Book from Kizclub

Health: Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common disease.  To help you student understand the causes and implications, this activity uses vinegar and egg shells (in simulation of teeth decomposition).

Place an egg shell in a container.  Explain to your student that tooth enamel is made of calcium just as the egg shell is.  Pour some vinegar in the container (which represents the results of food, candy, etc. left on our teeth), enough to cover half of the shell.  Put a lid on the container and let it sit for several days.  Observe for several days and make note of the changes.  Eventually the acid will eat holes in the egg shell in the same way that tartar/plaque (caused by not brushing) will cause damage to teeth.

Discuss the different ways your student can take care of her teeth
1.  Brushing (at least twice a day and always before bed)
2.  Flossing (followed by a rinse of water)
3.  Going to the dentist for professional cleanings twice each year

Lapbook Components:
Label the Parts of a Tooth
Tooth Care Chart
Taking Care of My Teeth Shape Book

Tooth Print-out
Label a Tooth from Enchanted Learning

Extra Ideas

Field trip to a farm with different animals

Visit the dentist (and learn what we really should do if a tooth aches)

Act out pages 18-19 by stacking objects of various sizes and letting them topple over

Visit your local Red Cross to learn more about First Aid