Both my kids are really into the more classic children’s stories – Heidi, Gulliver’s Travels, Secret Garden and Black Beauty. They have been listening to audio versions of the stories while we drive to our different activities and then they have dived into reading the stories themselves over and over again.
They really do love their books and stories so I wanted to use this love for stories to work on some other English activities.
We have looked at Verbs, Nouns, Adverbs and Adjectives before and my oldest is fairly confident with them but I always like finding a good excuse to practice hunting for the different types of words. So we unrolled a large sheet of paper across our kitchen table (our kitchen table is not massive it seats 4 people) and I divided the sheet into sections and we wrote out a few headings. Then armed with their book they took it in turns to page through the story and find words that they thought fitted into each category.
I also purposely included Proper Nouns in this activity as the story of Black Beauty includes a fair number of names – names for people, horses and places. And yes spelling mistakes were made but we just crossed them out and tried again.
I really like this sort of activity as the kids found words that could fit into more than one category. In the story they have grooms who look after the horses (so the groom would be a noun) but my daughter was quick to point out that we could also use the word groom differently and then it could be a verb.
And although the kids and I talk a lot about the stories that we read, the characters and events that happen in the book we are trying to include more writing activities for my daughter. One of the ways has been comprehensions. But I have to be honest I don’t always download comprehensions for her, I often just type up a few questions and then she sits and writes out some answers for me. I actually find this easier because I can build the questions to include possible topics we have been talking about – like the bearing rein or building a story map. It is nothing fancy but I sometimes think we get so caught up in finding the perfect download when we could just open a word document and create something ourselves.
I have uploaded the questions here
There are numerous versions of the Black Beauty story. We used our Collins BIG CAT reader for all our activities.
It is a nice full version of the story, but written in a manner which allowed my 7-year-old to read along and join in (yes it does include some bigger more challenging words but nothing that I thought that was too complicated for him).
I also really liked the fact that they included a little summary at the end of the book (really fitted in well for us as we have been talking about story maps).
For more information about the BIG CAT readers have a look here – Collins BIG CAT Readers (we have used a number of them and so far have been impressed with the quality of all our BIG CAT readers).
You can also get Black Beauty from Amazon – Black Beauty: Band 16/Sapphire (Collins Big Cat)
We were given our copy of Black Beauty by Collins
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This has always been one of my favourite books…..love the story and the beautiful animals and their adventures.
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