Lesson 4: The Long Rifle


Activity 1: Life in the Woods vs. Life Today

On the "Life in the Big Woods vs. Life Today" page (from Lesson 2), your child can record one thing that she learned about how life in the woods was different from her own life today.

Activity 2: Storytelling

Explain to your child that in the past, there were no TVs, movies, or video games. One thing that people did for entertainment was tell stories. Stories are an important tradition in all cultures. They let older family members share memories with younger family members. Share a story with your child about something that happened to you as a child. Tell it as if you were a professional storyteller!

Give your child a try at storytelling. Ask her to make up a story to tell the family about an adventure she had in the Big Woods. Discuss ways that storytellers make their stories more interesting (including vivid details, using exciting language, giving characters different voices, and using their hands and body when speaking.)

Let your child practice her story before sharing it with the family.

Activity 3: Capitalization Rules

Review the rules of capitalization. Your child should know that people's names and the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized. Discuss these additional capitalization rules:
  • Geographical place names (like cities, states, countries and the names of places like lakes or parks)
  • Days of the week and months of the year
  • Holidays (like New Years Day or Thanksgiving)
  • Titles of books, stories, songs, poems, etc. The first and last word in a title are always capitalized. Small words like and, or, a, the, and of are not capitalized (unless they are the first or last word of the title). All nouns and verbs in the title are capitalized, no matter how small they are (for example, "is" and "go" are small words, but since they are verbs, they are capitalized).
Choose one of the following options for your child to complete.

Option 1

On the page "Capitalization Rules" (Option 1) page, your child will rewrite each sentence and capitalize all the words that should be capitalized.

Answer Key:

  • The winter months, especially February, are very cold months in the state of Wisconsin.
  • Laura and Mary got bored sitting inside all day, but they did like to read the Bible.
  • Black Susan, the cat, likes to stretch out in front of the fire on cold days.
  • This chapter has a section called "The Story of Pa and the Voice in the Woods."
  • The family was getting ready for Christmas in the Big Woods.
Student Activity Page

Option 2

For this activity, your child will find a variety of words, names, and titles from the story. Using the page, "Capitalization Rules" (Option 2), she will write five sentences about the characters and events in the story. Explain that each sentence should contain at least two nouns that are capitalized. Not all the words in the list need to be capitalized, so your child will have to decide which ones do and which ones do not.

Here is the list with the correct capitalization:
  • Row 1: Laura, winter, panther, Jack, doll, Big Woods
  • Row 2: Jack Frost, Ma, Wisconsin, Christmas, Uncle Henry, "The Story of Pa and the Voice in the Woods"
  • Row 3: cows, owl, Black Susan, Mary, Grandpa, "The Long Rifle"
Student Activity Page