The Long Winter is definitely one of my most favorite of the Little House series. Little House in The Big Woods is a very close second...Farmer Boy comes in 3rd. I love winter. I am a definite northern gal! Despite the tragedies that often come with hard winters, it is still my favorite season.
Here is a great lapbook from HomeschoolShare for The Long Winter.
The winter of 1880-1881 was one of unrelenting, paralyzing winter cold. Here are some general notes to study:
Blizzard of 1880-1881
nice South Dakota History notes, with mentions of the hard winter
Black Hawk...Sans Arc Lakota
an interactive Winter Storm Timeline
a National Weather Meteorologist researches The Long Winter
Somer activities suggested during this reading include selecting a handwork project and completing it by the end of the story. With the holiday season coming for most families, perhaps stretching thpre ojects out longer and crafting gifts would work better. Handwork is what occupied some of the cold winter months for pioneering families, though the winter written about here was more about survival than handwork. Some projects could include crafting mittens, hats and scarves for the family, crreative projects like cross stitch samplers, embroidering pillowcases or handkerchiefs, etc. Here are some links to spark your creative juices:
NeedlePointers.com site with free patterns and ideas
AllCrafts site of needlework patterns, including learning to do tatting.
NeedleworkPlace has lots of photo's to give you ideas...redwork, tea towels, etc.
Antique Pattern Library has some nice links
Crazy Creek Quilts has some great Redwork pattern and project notes
Raggedy Scrappin has some cute Primitive designs perfect for embroidery
Or craft some autumn and winter pincushions, ornaments...whatever you want to use them for...and have some fun crafting afternoons using up your scrappy stash (c'mon now...admit it...we all have a scrap stash...right???)
These neat thread and pin fabric caddies sell great at farm stands...and make great gifts for the handcrafter and stitcher you may know. They not only hold thread spools, but work just as well for embroidery floss cards, too.
Maybe crafting a set of clothespin dolls for play-time during the reading would make some little fingers happy...make the whole family, or create your own cast of characters, and enjoy some creative narrations from our stories!
As always, We Love The Prairie Primer blog has a great collection of links and notes to pad out your reading adventures!
During this reading, take time to discuss basic and extreme winter precautions for your family. Make a plan for extreme events, such as a blizzard that cuts your power or transportation for days or even weeks. Discuss ways your family is prepared...food, heating, etc. and put together an emergency travel kit for your vehicles. You can access ideas and lists of supplies thru your local Red Cross.