Author: E.B. White
Unit Prepared by: Wende
from Back Cover:
This is a 3-week
unit study, read at the rate of a chapter a day, by either the parent or
student reader. It can be used by K-4 students, with easy adjustments, in a
Topics covered this week are:
New York City
Parts of Speech
Books to Gather:
The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia or other book containing information about mice
Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn M. Branley or other book about the changing seasons
Supplies to Gather:
Copy of the Hippocratic oath
Ruler and/or yardstick
Craft supplies to make a bed for Stuart
Science (Mice) – Stuart is a mouse. Mice are rodents that have very sharp front teeth and long tails. They will eat just about anything, and while they are occasionally kept as pets, they are mostly considered a pest. Look up and read about mice in The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia or other book containing information on mice.
Science (Babies) - Compare and contrast baby mice and baby humans. How are they alike? How are they different? Use a Venn Diagram from http://eclectichomeschool.org/pdf/venn_diagram_graphic_organizer.pdf to demonstrate your answers.
Science (Flowers) – Stuart had sprinkled a bit of his mother’s violet water on him. Does your child know what a violet is? Violets are an herbaceous plant with alternate leaves. The flowers have five petals. The next time you are in a store that sells plants, look for a violet to bring home.
Social Studies (Occupations) – Stuart’s mother was worried about him because he wasn’t gaining enough weight, so she took him to the doctor. The doctor checked Stuart’s temperature, chest, heart, and ears. Discuss the job of a doctor and the Hippocratic Oath. If the opportunity arises, visit and interview a doctor.
Social Studies (Geography) – The Little family lives in New York City. Research New York City. Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River for the Dutch in 1609. Then in 1624 more pioneers came from Holland and built Fort Orange along the Hudson River. One year later, another ship came from Holland and founded New Amsterdam, which they bought from the Manhattan Indians. The English recognized this area as a good port for commerce, and captured the island in 1664, when it was renamed New York. New York is now the largest city in the United States with a population of over 7 milLion people. Order a free New York City travel guide at:
Language Arts (Vocabulary) – Have child look up words “worsted” and “solemnly” in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Math (weights and measures)- Inches are used to measure height, width, and depth. Ounces are used to measure weight. Degrees are used to measure temperature.
When Stuart arrived he was
only about two inches tall. Show child how big an inch is. How many inches
in a foot? How many inches in a
When Stuart was a month old
he had only gained a third of an ounce. If you have kept baby records, look
up how much weight your child
had gained by one month old. Explain that there are 16 ounces in a pound, and compare Stuart’s weight gain to your child’s weight gain.
The doctor took Stuart’s
temperature and found it to be 98.6 degrees. This is the same normal body
temperature as humans. Take your
child’s temperature and compare it to Stuart’s. Help child to check the outside temperature, the oven temperature, and the freezer
temperature, if such thermometers are available.
Math (fractions)- Stuart had only gained a third of an ounce. Introduce or review fractions with your child. A fraction is a part of a whole thing. Discuss fractions in daily life, through cooking, tools, etc.
Math (Roman Numerals) – Have child look at the chapter number, and then have him search out the rest of the chapter numbers. What does he notice about them? The chapter numbers are written using Roman Numerals. Romans were people who lived in Italy about 2,500 years ago, and they created a numeration system using straight lines, which could be written in any order because each numeral always stood for the same number.
I = one V= five X= ten L= fifty C= one hundred D= five hundred M= one thousand
Introduce or review Roman Numerals with student.
Character – Stuart is described as being helpful, agreeable, brave, and a good sport. Discuss these characteristics with your child, and how they make a person more likable and enjoyable to be around. Brainstorm ways you all can try to be like Stuart.
Arts and Crafts – Mr. Little had made Stuart a bed out of four clothespins and a cigarette box. Give your child some little boxes, craft sticks or clothespins, and some glue, and see if he/she would like to build a bed for a little toy animal.
Chapter 2 – Home Problems
Art (Music) – The keys stuck on the Little’s piano and Stuart helpfully stayed inside the piano while it was playing to push the keys back up. The piano is considered a stringed instrument because strings, usually made of steel wire, that are struck by hammers, produce the sound. Just for fun, listen to this sample of “Scarf Dance".
Language Arts (Poetry) – The Littles removed the words “mice” and “mouse” from songs and poems so that Stuart would not get upset or embarrassed. They rewrote “Three Blind Mice” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to eliminate the words “mice” and “mouse”. Have child rewrite a poem to exclude these words, such as “Hickory, Dickory Dock”.
Language Arts (Vocabulary) - Have child look up the word “belittling” in dictionary and use in proper context to show understanding.
Social Studies (Handicaps)
– Sometimes it is hard to be different. Discuss some of the problems that
Stuart the mouse encountered in a people sized world, and how his family
tried to help him through some of his problems. Can your child relate to
Stuart? Maybe watching a bigger brother or sister do things that he/she
isn’t capable of doing? Discuss some handicaps such as being short, blind,
deaf, etc. and how we can help handicapped people when we come in contact
Science (length of days)-When Stuart would wake up in the morning there was a pale light shining through the windows. In the wintertime, though, it was dark when he woke up in the morning. Does your child know why this happens? Day and night are caused by the earth rotating on its axis towards and away from the sun. But the axis isn’t straight up and down; it is tilted, so as the earth is also revolving around the sun, the amount of sun hitting the earth changes. So as we move from spring, to summer, to fall, to winter, the length of the time the sun hits different parts of the earth differs, making summer days longer than winter days.
Refer to Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn M. Branley for an informative experiment using an orange to demonstrate the earth’s rotation and revolution.
Health (Personal Hygiene)- Every morning Stuart would wash his face and hands, and brush his teeth. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” While we should most definitely praise and thank God for the wondrous body that He has designed, we should also do everything within our capability to take care of it. Review proper hand washing techniques, using soap, warm water, and a nailbrush. Demonstrate proper face washing, gently cleaning the eye and ear areas. And review the correct way to brush teeth.
Math (Telling Time)- Stuart woke up at five minutes past six. Take this opportunity to review how to tell time with your younger students. Have him/her record the time woken up for one week. See if it is usually later or earlier than Stuart arose from bed.
Health (Physical Fitness) – Stuart said, “As for exercise, I take all I can get”. He liked to do exercises to keep his stomach muscles strong. Do you and your children have a regular exercise routine? If not, why not start right now by tightening up those tummy muscles with some sit-ups or toe touches. Active bodies make healthy bodies! If you are looking for a more structured physical fitness program, homeschools are eligible to participate in the President’s Challenge.
Character (Boasting)- Proverbs 27:2 says “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth”. Stuart was praising himself, bragging that his stomach muscles were firmer than Snowbell the cats. He sure did get himself into a predicament bragging like that, didn’t he? He was trying to show off and got himself all wound up in the shade. The Lord does not want us to be proud or boastful. If we do good and right things, then people will notice, and even if they don’t, Jesus will. Instead of looking strong and firm, Stuart just ended up looking foolish. Share a time when maybe your boastfulness backfired on you, or ask your child if something like that ever happened to him/her.
Chapter 5 – Rescued
Science (Simple Machines) – Stuart’s brother, George, wanted to rip up the pantry floor to find Stuart. He inserted a screwdriver under the flooring and used it to pry up. He was using the screwdriver as a lever, a simple machine. Levers help your muscles as if they were stronger. Levers can be short or long. The longer the lever, the more “leverage” you have. Discuss levers with your student, as well as other simple machines such as wheels, ramps, pulleys, and wedges. As a riddle, see if your student can remember what simple machine Mrs. Little referred to Stuart as. She said, “I know he’ll get wedged somewhere.”
Language Arts (Vocabulary) – Have child look up words ”exasperated” and “idiotic” in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Language Arts (Creative Writing) – When the Littles found Stuart’s hat and cane at the entrance of the mouse hole, they thought he was a goner. Does your child remember from the last chapter how they got there? Only one knew how they got there, Snowbell the mischievous cat! At the end of chapter 5 Stuart said that everyone would have to draw there own conclusions as to how the hat and cane got there. Have your child pick one of the characters, Mr. Little, Mrs. Little, George, Stuart, or Snowbell, and write or narrate a short conclusion from their point of view as to how the hat and cane may have got there. Remember, only Snowbell knows the truth!
Language Arts (Parts of Speech)– Mr. Little called the Bureau of Missing Persons and gave them a description of Stuart. He must have used many adjectives to describe Stuart. Introduce or review adjectives with your student. Have student write a description of Stuart using as many adjectives (words that describe nouns) as possible.
Art (Drawing)- See if you or another student can draw an accurate picture of Stuart using just the description written in the language arts lesson above.
Topics covered this week are:
History of Parks
Fact or Fantasy
Colds and Illness
Books to Gather:
The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia or other books containing information about birds and cats
The Magic School Bus, Ups and Downs by Joanna Cole
Arabella by Wendy Orr
The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie by Beth Nadler
All About Animal Migrations by John Sanders
Supplies to Gather:
Street map of New York City
Ingredients for tapioca pudding (Chapter 8)
Math (Money) –Stuart had his own little dimes made out of tin foil. How much is a dime worth? How many dimes make a dollar? For your younger students, use this chapter to introduce or review the denominations of coins.
Math (Scale) – Once when Stuart attempted to carry a dime he had to roll it along next to him. He had told the bus driver that a dime came up to his hips, and that he was “more than twice as big as a dime”. Have your child measure a dime and draw a scale picture of Stuart. How tall is Stuart?
Social Studies (Geography) – With a street map of New York City, have student trace route that Stuart took. Find Fifth Avenue, Seventy-second Street, and Central Park. Review compass rose, and remind student of the wind that came from the west.
Social Studies (History) – Stuart took the bus to Central Park. Discuss with your child how Central Park came to be. More and more settlers came to New York City during the 1700’s and 1800’s, quickly building on all the land that was once open farmland. The city decided that a park should be built to preserve some of the land and decided to have a contest to see who could plan the best park. A man named Frederick L. Olmsted (1822-1903) decided he wanted to enter the contest. Olmsted had spent some time in Europe, where he observed and wrote about the wonderful parks in the cities. He used his experiences from Europe, and his knowledge of country life, to design a park where there would be places for all kinds of games, places for monuments, and hills, trees and woods to make it feel like a walk in the country. In 1857 Frederick L. Olmsted was appointed superintendent of Central Park, the first great metropolitan park in the United States. This park influenced the designs of many subsequent parks, including those throughout New York City, Chicago, and even the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Science (Wind) – Stuart repetitively talks of the wind coming from the west. What causes the wind? Air is made of tiny particles called molecules. As these molecules heat up, they expand, move faster, and spread out. When the molecules get cool, they contract, move slower, and stay together. So as the sun warms the air, the air rises. The cold air rushes in to take the place of the warm air. We feel this movement of air as wind. For further research, study the Beaufort Wind Scale to see what constitutes a fair breeze, moderate gale, or storm winds.
Language Arts (Gender) – There are some nouns that customarily take on a feminine gender, being referred to as “her” or “she”. Among them are ships, cars, and nations. Review this with your child as you read about the ships in the story.
Language Arts (Italics) – Stuart’s friend yelled out to him as he was sailing off in the pond, “Bon voyage, Stuart”. The words “Bon voyage” are printed in a slightly slanted style called italics. Italics are used to emphasize a certain word, indicate titles of magazines, newspapers, books, plays, films, the names of ships and aircraft, and in this case, to indicate a foreign word. Bon voyage is often said to people going on a voyage, meaning, “Have a good trip”.
Language Arts (Vocabulary) – There are many nautical terms that may be unknown to you or your children.
Sloop – a one-masted ship with one mainsail, a fore-and-aft rig, and a single jib
Schooner – a ship with two or more masts
Mainmast – the chief mast of a ship
Clipper bow – the forward part of a fast sailing vessel
Berth – a position or job
Prow – the forward end part, or bow of a ship
Helm – the steering apparatus of a ship
Headsails – front sail
Tramp steamer – a freight steamer that picks up a cargo wherever it can
Math – LeRoy offered Stuart $5 a week to steer his boat. Use this opportunity to review skip counting by fives. How much would Stuart earn in 4 weeks? In 12 weeks? In a year?
Science (Buoyancy)– Why do boats float? Discuss the term buoyancy, the capacity to float, with your child. When a boat floats, it pushes some of the water under it aside. The water around the boat pushes back. This force of water holds up the boat, letting it float. If the boat becomes too heavy, from something such as too many people aboard, or a large wave filling the boat with water, the weight of the boat is too much for the force around it, and it will capsize or sink. Read The Magic School Bus, Ups and Downs by Joanna Cole to learn more about things that sink and float.
Science (Air Pressure)– How could Stuart tell that dirty weather was coming? The first warning came when he noticed the barometer had fallen sharply. A barometer is device people have used for hundreds of years to measure air pressure. Air pressure is the weight of the air pushing down on the earth, and changes as the temperature of the earth heats and cools. Warm air has less weight, and doesn’t push on the earth as much as cool air, causing a barometer to drop showing low pressure, as Stuart observed. Low barometric pressure usually indicates that clouds and rain are on their way, while high pressure is usually indicative of clear and sunny skies. For further study, research the Italian scientist Torricelli, or find directions on the web to build your own barometer.
Science (Clouds) - The second indicator that bad weather was approaching was a dark cloud creeping over the sun. Clouds are an important part of the water cycle, in which the tiny water particles in the air are trapped together. Clouds bring moisture to the earth in the form of rain, sleet or snow. There are four kinds of clouds. Stratus clouds form in layers when air is forced to rise when passing over mountains. Cirrus clouds look like feathery wisps, formed very high in the atmosphere and are often formed of ice crystals. Cumulus clouds are the big puffy clouds that carry the most moisture. When many cumulus clouds gather together they form the dark, rain-bearing cumulonimbus clouds, which is what Stuart was observing in the illustration on page 42 of the story.
Social Studies (Occupations) – A policeman was sent for to control the crowd in Central Park. There are many types of Officers of the Law including local, county, state, and federal positions, as well as military positions. The role of a police officer is to protect the rights of the people within their jurisdiction. To become a police officer, education and training would include having a thorough understanding of the law, being physically fit, and learning other things such as criminology, forensics, and handling of weapons. If there is an interest, maybe your child would like to tour a police station, or interview a police officer.
Social Studies (Hobbies) – The dentist’s hobby was model boats. A hobby is a favorite interest. Some people collect things such as stamps, coins, or insects as a hobby. Or a hobby can be something that people do, like playing a sport, gardening, or some kind of art or craft. Discuss with your child different hobbies that they are already doing, or encourage something they might enjoy. A good go-along picture book involving model shipbuilding is Arabella by Wendy Orr.
Character (Manners)– The people in Central Park started pushing and shoving to see the little mouse in the sailor suit. The story even states, “People in New York like to push each other”. Whether or not that is a correct statement, people in large groups tend to forget their manners when they see others forgetting theirs. Your child may remember a time at the playground when someone pushed them, or jumped in front of them in line, and maybe they forgot their manners too. Good manners begin at home, and the best way to do this is to follow the “Golden Rule”. Jesus told us that we should treat others the way that we like to be treated. We can do this by being kind, considerate, polite, and helpful. Spend some time this week reinforcing good manners by setting an example of taking turns, not interrupting, playing fair, and sharing. Maybe the people in New York (as well as the rest of the world!) wouldn’t like pushing and shoving so much if they would just remember the Golden Rule.
Arts and Crafts – Make a fleet of ships out of wax paper
Science (Echo) - On the first page of chapter 8 it states, “the house often echoed with cries”. Echoes are repeats of sounds heard when sound waves are reflected instead of being absorbed. They are most common in confined areas, or near mountains. Have your child experiment with making an echo by screaming in the bathroom with the door closed.
Science (Tapioca) – Mrs. Little made tapioca pudding. Does your child know what tapioca is? It is a starchy substance that is used in puddings and as a thickening, which comes from the roots of the South American cassava plant. Why not make a batch of tapioca pudding to enjoy with your child?
Combine 1-quart milk, ¼ cup quick cooking tapioca, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Let stand for five minutes. Add 3 slightly beaten egg yolks, and bring to boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Stiffly beat 3 egg whites. Put 1/3 of the egg whites in a large bowl, and slowly stir in tapioca mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites, and refrigerate until cool. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg when ready to serve.
Science (Birds) – This chapter lends itself to an in-depth study of birds, of which many resources are available. If you are wanting to just keep it simple, you could look up Margalo in a field guide, using the description given – “a pretty little hen-bird, brown, with a streak of yellow on her breast”, to try to identify the bird. Does your child think that Mrs. Little was correct in calling her a wren, or George identifying her as a wall-eyed vireo? Have child look up and read about birds in The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia.
Science (Botany)– There are quite a few plants mentioned in this chapter, any of which can be researched and expanded upon. These plants that Margalo lived around may have supplied her with food and/or shelter.
Wheat – A tall cultivated grass, the seeds of which are used to make flours and cereals.
Fern – A flowerless plant with broad, feathery fronds.
Thistle – A plant with rough, thorny stems and prickly leaves, that bears yellow, purple or white flowers. Birds to make their nests often use the thistle down from the ripe flowers.
Meadowsweet – A wildflower favoring moist valleys, it grows about 18” tall with flower clusters of double white petals.
Science (Cat Eyes) - “Stuart saw two gleaming yellow eyes peering out from behind the sofa”. Has your child ever wondered why cats’ eyes glow in dark? A mirror-like tissue called tapetum lucidum is located behind the retina in the eye of a cat. When light hits it, such as the “faint ray of light from the street lamp outside”, it reflects light back into the retina. This helps the cat to see better at night, and also causes the appearance of glowing in the dark.
Health (Colds and Illness) - Poor Stuart got a cold. A cold can be caused by any number of viruses, but some things can make you more susceptible to a cold. Poor sleep habits, poor hand washing habits, improper diet, or exposure to sudden chill (like Stuart getting stuck in the refrigerator!) can all make you more likely to catch a cold. The symptoms may include sneezing, running nose, sore throat, or a cough. Sometimes a cold can get so bad that it turns into bronchitis, as it did with Stuart. The bronchial tubes that connect the windpipe and the lungs become inflamed, causing pain in the chest, fatigue, and a nagging cough. While there is no cure for the viruses causing the common cold or bronchitis, the best remedy is lots of rest and a large amount of fluid intake. Read The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie by Beth Nadler.
Language Arts (Vocabulary) – Have child look up words ”wrapper” and “descended” in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Social Studies (Oceans) – Stuart and Margalo flew over the Atlantic Ocean. Have child locate the Atlantic Ocean on a map. Can they find the other oceans on the map too? It shouldn’t be too hard as 71% of the earth is made up of ocean! The ocean is a huge topic to explore. Go on rabbit trails as the child’s interest strikes.
Science (Environment) – As you read this chapter, see if you can follow the trail of garbage.
House to garbage can to curb to Department of Sanitation truck to pier, etc.
What does your child think of all this garbage, the waste of 7+milLion people in New York City, being dumped into the ocean? How about all the garbage that is picked up by trucks and put into landfills, which are giant holes in the ground where the garbage is layered and mashed by heavy equipment? Discuss some possible alternative ways to dispose of garbage. While much of what Stuart spoke of in the garbage would most likely decompose in the ocean, maybe a better use of all the organic waste (ie: celery, egg, butter, orange pulp, banana peel, coffee grounds, etc) would be to make garden compost. And how about all those recyclables, such as glass, paper, aluminum, and plastic? Recycling saves energy, creates less pollution, and is a good way to deal with garbage. Many local recycling agencies offer free educational materials to teach about composting and recycling. Check your area.
Health (Fears) – Stuart was a little nervous about Margalo flying him high up in the air over the ocean. The fear of heights is called acrophobia. Some fears are a normal and sensible caution, but if a fear can’t be overcome by the reassurance of a parent or friend, it would be classified as a phobia. Through Margalo’s coaxing and “this or nothing” attitude, Stuart agreed to fly with her. Discuss with your child some fears he may have, and how to overcome them.
Character (Friendship) – Stuart and Margalo became fast friends. What makes a good friend? Proverbs 17:17 says: A friend loveth at all times. Stuart and Margalo like each other. They have concern for each other. They help each other, even if it might be scary or dangerous or stinky. Discuss with your child ways he can become a good friend, and what he should expect from others who call themselves friends.
Science (Cats) – Together with your child, research cats. While all cats have some basic features that are the same, such as a coat of fur, whiskers, padded toes and sharp claws, there are many different kinds of cats. Many varieties of cats are mentioned in this chapter including house cats, store cats, Maltese, Persian, Angora, tiger, and tortoise-shell. Look up and read about cats in The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia, or check out some books from the library.
Science (Food Chain) – Why did Snowbell’s friend suggest that Snowbell had much self-control to live with a bird and mouse? By God’s design, cats have a natural instinct and are equipped with the teeth to be meat eaters, including birds and mice. They are all part of the food chain. But cats aren’t safe from the chain either! What would eat a cat? Some birds, such as owls or hawks will eat cats, as will some carnivorous mammals such as foxes and coyotes. Discuss carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores (plant eaters) and omnivores (plant and meat eaters) animals. Have child make a flow chart following the food chain of things he ate during the day. Read about food chains in The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia.
Science (Migration) – When Margalo found the note about her possible demise, she decided to fly north, as that was what she felt a bird should do in springtime. Many animals leave their homes at certain times of the year, migrating to a place that is more comfortable and food can be found. Margalo may have known by the longer daylight or the higher temperatures that the cool north was the place to be in springtime. Discuss with your child the different animals that migrate, and some of the reasons (to find warm/cool weather, to give birth, to find food). An informative book to read on this subject is All About Animal Migrations by John Sanders.
Science (Spring) – Review what was learned in Chapter 3 about the earth’s rotation and the changing of seasons. It is now springtime in the story, the time from mid-March to mid-June. Talk with your child about the sights, smells, and sounds of spring. It may be enjoyable for your child to memorize this poem about spring.
“Spring” by William Blake
Sound the flute!
Now it's mute!
Day and night,
In the dale,
Lark in sky, -
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the year.
Full of joy;
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the year.
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily we welcome in the year.
Language Arts (vocabulary) – Have child look up word “delicatessen” in dictionary and use it in proper context to show understanding.
Language Arts (fact and fantasy) – Discuss what parts of this story could really happen, and what parts are fantasy. Could the birds really have written notes to each other? Can cats really talk to each other? Have child write or narrate a story about an animal including fact and fantasy.
Week 3 – Chapters 11-15
Topics covered this week are:
Books to Gather:
Supplies to Gather:
Magnet, needle, glass bowl, and cork to make compass
Model car snap kit (optional)
Different kinds of soda pop for taste test (optional)
Copy of the Ten Commandments (optional)
Chapter 11 – The Automobile
Language Arts (Vocabulary) – Have child look up words “pariah”, “jauntily”, and “streamlined” in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Language arts (Onomatopoeia) – As the Doctor was attempting to catch the runaway car there was a Pounce! Crash! Pounce! Crash! The author of the story used a poetic device called onomatopoeia, words that make the sound of the object they are describing. These types of words make a story interesting. Have your child be on the look out for more onomatopoetic words in other stories he reads.
Language Arts (Fantasy) – What could possibly be sillier than a mouse driving a car? Why, a mouse driving an invisible car! Has your child ever talked of becoming invisible? It is often a childhood fantasy to sneak around unbeknownst to the world. Have child write or narrate a story about something or someone becoming invisible.
Science (Compass) – One of the items Stuart took with him when he decided to run away was his compass. The needle on a compass always point north, so a compass is a useful tool to find what direction you are going. Make a compass with your child to show him how it works. Take a needle and rub it with a magnet, going in one direction only, fifty times. Place a cork or small piece of wood in a glass dish of water, and place your needle magnet on it. The needle will swivel and point north towards the North Pole, under the influence of the earth’s magnetic field. If you know what direction north is, you also know what direction south, east, and west are.
Science (Automobiles)- Stuart’s friend gave him a little car to drive. It is approximately six inches long, and is bright yellow with black fenders. We are told that it has a motor that runs on gas. Discuss with your child the need for a fuel to power a motor, and mention that some vehicles run on diesel fuel or electricity as well as gas. Is your child familiar with the parts of a car? Go for a walk around your car, identifying the fenders, radiator, hubs, headlights, and hood, the parts damaged on the Doctor’s little car. An older child may enjoy assembling a snap kit model of a car, learning much about automotive anatomy in the process. A younger child may enjoy making a paper model of Stuart’s car from: http://www.harperchildrens.com/hch/picture/features/stuartlittle/car.asp
Health (Safety)- Stuart’s running away may be a good time to review your child safety rules. It was not wise of Stuart to leave home without telling anyone. He could have been badly hurt, or worse. Discuss with your child the buddy system, not talking to or accepting any kind of gift from strangers, and about what to do if he does accidentally get separated from you. Make sure child knows his parents’ full names, as well as his phone number and address.
Health (Dental Care) –
Going to the dentist is usually not a fun experience, and if proper care isn’t
taken of your teeth, you could end up like Mr. Clydesdale, getting decayed teeth
pulled. Reinforce proper teeth care, brushing after every meal, flossing
regularly, and keeping sticky, sweet foods to a minimum.
Chapter 12 – The Schoolroom
Language Arts (Similes) – A simile is a comparison between two or more things using the words “like” or “as”. Stuart uses a simile to describe how important summer is by saying “it’s like a shaft of sunlight”. Ask your child to think of different similes to describe summer.
Math (Finances) – When Stuart went shopping he charged all of his purchases. Explain to student that to charge something is to take possession of a product or service, giving the promise to pay. He may have used a credit card to charge his purchases, where the credit company reimburses the store the amount of the purchases, and then he would owe the credit company the amount spent plus a fee for the service called “interest”. Or some smaller stores may have an “in-house” charge, where you could run up a tab at the store, promising to pay them back. Explain as much as the child’s interest warrants.
Character – Stuart was careful not to press the button on the car again, causing such havoc the previous day. He had learned from his mistakes. Maybe you or your child did something by mistake that caused injury or damage at one time. Was a lesson learned? Discuss with your child how it is a natural process of learning to make an occasional mistake, and how we should remember and learn from them.
Social Studies (Geography) – Using the street map of New York City referred to in lessons for chapter 6, have child trace route through Central Park to One Hundred and Tenth Street, then over to the West Side Highway, then north to the Saw Mill River Parkway. Review north, south, east and west. A handy way to remember that west is on the left and east is on the right is to remember it spells the word “we”.
Vocabulary – Have child look up words ”nimbly” and “abomination” in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Stuart said that the teacher, Miss Gunderson, was sick from “vitamin trouble”.
Discuss the vitamins mentioned, as well as others.
(Source used to create chart: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal)
|Vitamin||Source||What it does||What happens if you don't get it|
|A||liver, salmon, other fish
orange and yellow fruits and veggies
|prevents night blindness
needed for growth
skin, hair, nails, bones, teeth, gums
stunted growth in children
|C||citrus fruits and juices
|strengthens blood vessel walls
promotes iron absorption
promotes wound healing
helps control cholesterol
|D||fortified milk and butter
made by the body when
exposed to sunlight
|necessary for calcium absorption
builds strong teeth, strong bones
|Riboflavin||fortified cereals & grains
lean meats & poultry
aids adrenal function
sensitivity to light
nuts & seeds
green leafy veggies
proper nerve function
Social Studies (Laws) – Stuart tells the students what laws he would implement if he were King of the World. What is a law? A law is a rule made by the government that must be obeyed. It is against the law to drive faster than the speed limit. It’s also against the law in most states to drive a car without a seatbelt on. What other laws can you think of? Notice in the definition of a law it says, “that must be obeyed.” If you break a law, there are consequences. What are the consequences of driving faster than the speed limit? For not wearing a seatbelt? Also, discuss whether or not you think Stuart’s laws are good laws. If your student were King of the World, what laws would he construct? This is also a good time to discuss God’s law (you could introduce/memorize/study the Ten Commandments). You may also want to discuss kings.
Chapter 13 – Ames’ Crossing
Vocabulary – Have child look up the word correspondence in dictionary and use them in proper
Arts (Letter Writing) –
Practice your friendly letter writing skills. Make sure to include these five
parts: date, inside address, greeting, body, and closing.
(Play Store) –
Set up pretend store, selling soft drinks and candy bars. Set prices on
everything and let your student practice adding up the items and counting back
change as your purchases.
Just For Fun– What is soda? Soda is a drink made of water, sugar, and is carbonated. Some have flavors. List the different sodas offered to Stuart (sarsaparilla, root beer, birch beer, ginger ale, Moxie, lemon soda, Cocoa Cola, etc.). See how many you can find at your supermarket and have a taste test to see which one you like the best. Your student may also want to research the ingredients of soda pop and/or the history of soda.
Chapter 14 – An
Evening on the River
Social Studies (Problem Solving: Leaky boat)- Stuart tests out his brand new boat only to find that it has some problems? What was wrong with it? Stuart (a very smart mouse!) decides to fix the problems. How does he fix each problem? Problem solving is an important life skill to possess. Discuss some problems (major or minor) your student may be encountering in his life. Can you work on a plan to solve them?
Social Studies (Emotions: Self-Pity)- When Stuart finds his boat has been tampered with, how does he respond? He really gets upset, and he ruins his chance to make a new friend. It’s not wrong to be disappointed about something, but when we dwell on our disappointment, we can fall into self-pity. Self-pity is an over-indulged feeling of sorrow over your own sufferings. What might have happened if Stuart would’ve reacted differently? He might have had a much better day.
Language Arts (Vocabulary)
Have child look up words courteous and ballasted in dictionary and use them in proper context to show understanding.
Stuart suffers from a headache. What causes a headache? Stress causes
headaches as well as certain foods, dehydration, and changes in the weather.
Emotional factors such as depression, frustration, disappointment, and
depression are also associated with developing a headache. What do you think
caused Stuart’s headache?
Learn About Different Types of Headaches
– Many different river flora terms are mentioned in this chapter. If you have
a good nature handbook, allow your student to look up the following and read
about them together—spruce, moss, dandeLion, fern, water-lily pad. You
may even want to make a small River Flora book; your student can draw pictures
on the page as well as write some facts about each plant that she looked up.
Life Skills: Cooking a Meal
Stuart had a light supper of dandeLion milk and ham. Can your student make a light meal by himself? Encourage him to plan a simple menu (such as sandwiches, veggie sticks, and an easy treat) and to make supper for your family.
Chapter 15 – Heading North
Stuart talks to the repair man for awhile about the direction he is going, and
the repair man seems to think it's a good idea! Look on a map of your town
or state with your student. What lies north? Any exciting adventures? You may
want to plan a day to take a trip north with your student (you may have to do a
little research to find a fun spot to stop). Be sure and take your homemade
compass with you on your trip, so you can make sure you are heading north (and
for some compass practice for your student)! If you are willing to be
spontaneous, just hop in the car and drive north until you find somewhere good
to stop (maybe just a restaurant or a park).
Language Arts- (Creative Writing) Did your student like how this book ended? Discuss this. What was good about the ending? Did the ending leave your student wanting more? (Is this a good or bad thing for an author to do). The ending is indeed full of hope. What words does the author give us to make us think that Stuart may find his friend? Sometimes, authors let the readers decide what ultimately will happen. What does your student think will happen next? Let him write the next chapter.
Stuart Little Maze
Read about E.B. White, the author of Stuart Little:
student enjoyed this book, he may also want to read
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White