Archive for September, 2014

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

Friday, September 19, 2014 @ 04:09 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy


With my determination to study more novels this year still firmly intact we just finished the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling (originally published in 1941). This is an adventure that starts north of Lake Superior on Lake Nipigon. An Indian boy crafts a canoe with an Indian sitting in it. On the bottom of the canoe he writes “Put me back in the water. I am Paddle-to-the Sea.”

The story follows the canoe’s adventures as it travels through the lakes. The book not only has full colored illustrations on the right hand page but also gray scale images on the left hand page which add a lot to the information being read about. At the end of the book there is a double page map showing Paddle’s journey which really lets you imagine the magnitude of the trip. Paddle-to-the-Sea gets stranded a few times but when people rescue him they always read the bottom. At one point Paddle gets a brand new paint job with a new ‘plate’ on the bottom along with fresh ballast. Each place he visits, whoever finds him adds that name to the plate. One winter he lives with a lady close to Montreal who keeps him safe until the St. Lawrence River unfreezes again in Spring.

Does he make it to the ocean? Yes, but I won’t tell you the ending as I don’t want to ruin it 🙂

This book is VERY educational as along the way you will learn about different animals, the shapes that the Great Lakes remind folks of, the amazing amount of industry that was up there not to mention the fascinating fact that although fresh water, the lakes are in some ways very much like the ocean with huge waves, beaches, lighthouses and ship wrecks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for every family’s library.

Want to do a more in-depth study with your children? Julie, over at Butterflies and Barefoot Lasses created a a wonderful set of FREE printables to compliment this book. As you can see below there is quite a variety and we did not do them all! Using these printables you will cover history, science, geography, writing etc. We did the book in 8 days – reading and studying a few chapters each day but you could easily draw it out longer.


The only thing I switched out was the map. I wanted one with a little more detail so took a FREE one from (scroll down the page to find the USA and Canada one) and cropped it to just have the north eastern US and Canada. Worked really well.

Your library will probably have this book but if not you can purchase it from Amazon or on Ebay.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)


Teach your child the story of the Erie Canal

Monday, September 15, 2014 @ 04:09 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy


Recently we have been studying the book, Paddle to the Sea, a true classic which I will share more about later in a separate post. Today, as Paddle had now made it to Lake Erie, I thought it would be perfect timing to study the building of the Erie Canal. I have to admit that the prompting to study the book The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness was not my own but came from Lauren Hill over at Mama’s Learning Corner. Lauren studied this book with her children and created some FREE worksheets as well as sharing some wonderful You Tube links all of which you can find here. All I had to do was purchase the book as our library did not have it.

The kids learned a lot this morning about how canal locks work and also enjoyed the song in the back of the book sung by Bruce Springstein. (See Lauren’s page.) Did you know that the Erie Canal was the longest canal in the world at 363 miles and had 83 locks! Now we just have to make sure we visit a working lock on our travels somewhere. Can you see a canal boat trip in our future?

Happy studying,