site stats

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lessons From and On the Harvestman

One of our read aloud chapter this week was The Cheerful Harvestman from Among the Meadow People by Clara Dillingham. I really love how Dillingham weaves in moral issues in each of her chapters that also gives accurate information about the animal she is writing about. Her a"not-so-modern" phrases are a delight to my ears.

In this chapter on the harvestman, we learned the benefits of being good-natured even when teased by other, not to look down on others, how clever it is to "look dull" when others are gossiping, and be cheerful despite misfortune. The harvestman is really MY kind of guy!

For our "English lesson", this read aloud was followed by an oral narration and copywork.

And since we haven't any idea what a harvestman was, we went on the Internet to check it out. We learned that a harvestman is also known as a "Daddy-Long-Legs". Many people mistakenly consider them to be spiders. They are in fact not true spiders. Their head, thorax and abdomen are grown together; having no "waist". They are not venomous. They neither spin webs nor build nests. Instead, they lay their eggs in the soil or under rotting wood. Unlike spiders, they can feed on dead or living prey. Vegetable matter and even juices are also part of their natural diet.

I found a website that gave information that is simple enough for my boys to understand. (Many others had too many scientific jargon.) We read this webpage together and created a table that shows the differences between a harvestman and a spider.

Tabulating information from a given narrative is in my humble opinion a very important and necessary study skill to hone. As such, this little exercise, although quite unrelated to our other studies (We have not gone into zoology yet!), was nevertheless a valuable one.

At the very least, we SHOULD be able to tell a harvestman from a spider... IF we ever encounter one in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...