1. Geography Poems Reread the poem which a child in great-grandfather's school wrote about the prairie. After discussing what the poem tells about a sky-scene on the prairie, invite students to write their own poems about a sky or land scene in their own region. Students can illustrate their poems and display them around the room.
2. Canine Characters Invite students to make picture panels with dialogue balloons that (1.) tell the book story from Three Name's point of view, or (2.) recount the adventures of one of their own household pets, should it come to school with them. After students have shown and read their picture panels to the class, discuss what is the same and what is different about the pets' adventures and observations at a long-ago school and at a modern one. Invite pairs of students to enact a conversation between Three Names and a today-pet, using the picture panels for ideas.
Tornado Time Review page 26 of the story, which tells about a tornado and its effects. Invite interested students to research tornadoes to find out how they are formed and where they usually occur. After students have presented their findings to the class, discuss threatening weather that typically occurs in your region (e.g., blizzards, hurricanes, rainstorms) and how people today try to protect themselvesas the students in the story doin these situations.
Each One Teach One Discuss why a one-room schoolhouse was sufficient for many communities in great-grandfather's time (smaller population). After reviewing the ways in which older students in one-room schoolhouses helped younger students (pages 1819), invite cooperative learning groups of five or six to decide what skill they could teach to students in the grades below theirs, and what they would like to learn from students in the higher grades. Group roles might include: two members to request a group visiting-time to the lower and upper-grade classrooms; two members to plan the way the group will teach a skill to younger children; two members to list the group's reactions to the teach-and-learn sessions and report about them to the class. Suggest various forms for the reports, such as two-column charts listing what was difficult and what was easy; picture-panels showing highlights of the visits; informal skits enacting humorous moments; taped interviews with the students in the upper and lower grades who participated in this activity to get their reactions to it. As a concluding discussion, invite students to tell about ways in which theylike the children in great-grandfather's schoolhouseboth teach and learn within their own classroom every day.