Today I’ll be sharing with you one of the very first units I ever wrote for my kids. Well, actually, it was just for my older daughter because she was the only one schooling at the time. She was, and still is, a horse lover, so this remains one of her favorites of the units we’ve done.
You may recall me saying that I used to break the units down by subjects. Being one of my early units, this one is broken down that way. I started to edit it for this post and just list everything under “activities” rather than the various subjects, but I decided to leave it in it’s original form for two reasons. One, so that you could see how different subject areas can be covered in a unit and, two, so that you could see how many activities could easily fit under more than one subject area.
I hope you enjoy the unit!
By the end of this unit, the student should be able to:
* identify up to sixteen basic colorings of horse
* demonstrate knowledge of basic horse anatomy
* recognize the importance of horses in literature and art
* understand how horses have helped humans throughout history and how they are helpful today
“A Horse of a Different Color” by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
“A First Guide to Horse and Pony Care” (author unknown)
“Horses” by Peggy Roalf
“Leonardo da Vinci” by Diane Stanley
“Where the Wild Horses Roam” by Dorothy Patent-Hins
“Write a Book For Me: the story of Marguerite Henry” by David R. Collins
“The World According to Horses: how they run…” by Stephen Budiansky
“Leonardo’s Horse” by Jean Fritz
“My Kingdom For a Horse: an anthology of poems”
“The International Encyclopedia of Horses and Ponies”
“Once Upon a Horse: a history of horses…” by Suzanne Jurmain
“Transport: on land, road & rail” by Eryl Davies
“Leonardo da Vinci (VTC)”
“Spirit” by Dreamworks™
farrier, equestrian, breed, hand, canter, gallop, trot, walk, horsepower, mare, stallion, foal, filly, colt
* After reading the book “Write a Book For Me,” write an imaginative short story about a horse.
* After reading the book “My Kingdom for a Horse,” write your own poem about horses.
* After reading, “Justin Morgan Had a Horse,” speculate on and write a brief story about the origins of a real or fictional horse breed.
* After reading, “Where the Wild Horses Roam,” write an argument on the side of the ranchers or the wild Mustangs regarding to whom the land should belong. Then, offer solutions as to how man and mustang could live in harmony.
* Write a paragraph on the importance of the horse to the Native American and the relationship between the two.
* After watching “Spirit,” write a paragraph answering the movie’s question regarding whether or not the west was really “won.”
* Read two biographies, “Leonardo da Vinci” and “Write a Book For Me.” After reading both, note similarities between the two biographies. What is the difference between a biography and an autobiography? Write either a short biography or autobiography.
* Explore horses’ role in man’s history through the book “Once Upon a Horse. . .”
* Learn about the evolution of and a horse’s role in transportation through the book “Transport: on land, road & rail”
* Explore the role horses played in the lives of Native Americans and settlers of the American West.
* Read “Where the Wild Horses Roam” by Dorothy Patent-Hins and learn about the wild mustangs and the problems facing both horse and humans due to the herds roaming free today.
* While watching the video “Spirit,” make notes on the following: how wild horses were used by the Native Americans, how horses were used by the United States Army, the differences in how the Native Americans and the U.S. Army “broke” their horses, and the variety of ways horses were used in transportation.
* The student should be introduced to the fact the Leonardo da Vinci was not only an artist, but also a scientist. Read about his scientific theories.
* Watch the video “Leonardo da Vinci” in order to learn more about da Vinci’s scientific side.
* Study the basic anatomy of the horse and label a drawing with the parts of a horse.
* Compare the anatomy of the horse to other mammals, both similar and dissimilar and discuss why the horse’s anatomy makes it suited for the work is does now and has done throughout history.
* Study the different colorings and markings of horses and appropriately color and identify several blank drawings of horses.
* Create a journal of breeds which should include a description and basic characteristics for at least five different breeds, as well as facts about the breed’s country of origin and historical uses.
* Horses are measured in “hands”. Find out what the standard size of a “hand” is and estimate the size of various breeds of horses in equivalent feet.
* Find out where the term “hand” came from and when it began being used. Measure several objects in your house (or Mom, Dad or siblings!) in hands.
* Take a field trip to a stable and make a graph showing the different colors (or breeds) of horses that you saw.
* Make a Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting horses to another similar animal, such as a mule or donkey.
* After reading the book “Leonardo’s Horse,” create an original horse sculpture using Sculpty® clay.
* Illustrate the short story written for the language arts objective.
* Make a lapbook for the unit.
* Draw horses or color pictures of horses.
* Sketch horses seen on the field trip.
* Take an educational trip to a boarding stable to learn general information about horses, including their care and maintenance requirements.
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