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For our English lessons, we are going to kick off this year with The Wild Robot. Not only that, I have actually gone full throttle and planned a compete homeschool literature study guide around it. I will be sharing these resources on this blog as we complete the chapters.
I am super excited to share this book with my year 3s and 4s (ages 7-9). In this post I am going to be sharing exactly why I chose this book. I am also going to detail a few of the activities you can expect in The Wild Robot study guide.
One of my top criteria for choosing a read aloud is that I enjoy it. Call me selfish but I don’t want to trudge through a book that I really don’t like just because it’s on some must-read classics list. I’m only going to transmit to my kids that I don’t really like it.
The Wild Robot is such an odd and original story, that as soon as I started reading it I was hooked.
Have a read of the blurb…
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….
Truth be told, I was hooked as soon as I saw the book. The illustrations are so pretty!
But, so as not to be accused of being shallow and judging a book by its cover, here are several more reasons why I have chosen The Wild Robot as my first read aloud pick for my Year 3s and 4s this year:
As you can tell, The Wild Robot is a fantastic book to share with your kids for your read aloud choice just for the depth in the story.
What really cinched it for me though is that even though it is written in such a simple style, it is packed full of literary gems and has a very beautiful writing style.
This makes it a perfect book to use as copywork and to use to teach our kids elements of grammar and writing techniques that pack a punch.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- good literature is powerful.
To understand why I say this, you might be interested in reading 5 Simple Charlotte Mason Ways to Incorporate Living Literature in Your Homeschool. In that post I explain how you can teach all of the elements of English from your chosen family read aloud.
If you wanted to learn a bit more about the background of how we approached English in our homeschool and how we progressed to this approach of using literature for our English lessons instead of using textbooks, have a read of my post 5 Products to Give Your Child a Strong Writing Foundation.
So what can you expect from The Wild Robot Homeschool Study Guide?
Throughout The Wild Robot study guide, I will be choosing passages that really pop. I am then we will explore what makes that passage good.
I kid you not, Peter Brown makes this so difficult! Almost all of his sentences can be used as model writing.
I chose extracts which I think contains an outstanding sentence structure, punctuation mark, grammatical element or literary device.
In The Wild Robot homeschool study guide, I discuss why this passage is worth zooming in on. I explain what elements in the passage our kids can use in our own writing to make it better.
Kids can use this passage for copywork to practice handwriting helping them to internalise the writing elements in that passage. You can also use the passage for dictation so your children can practice their spelling and punctuation rules.
I figured since we’re going to the trouble of explaining grammar, punctuation and literary element to our kids, it’s only fair to give them some opportunity to practice and apply the concept.
I am also including exercises and activities to practice and apply what we highlight from the text.
As we read The Wild Robot, I will be including vocabulary from the text for kids to learn. Of course you aren’t limited to using these. You can highlight and discuss any unfamiliar words with your child.
As a family try to use these words in your everyday conversations and writing.
I will also be including spelling rules and exercises to practice related spellings. I’m taking these largely from the Year 3 spelling program as outlined in the National Curriculum.
The part in the study guide that I’m most excited about are the writing activities. Peter Brown has such a simple yet effective writing style. This provides rich fodder for our budding writers.
I’ve provided activities where children can practice tools of the writing trade based on the text. This will give them opportunities to level up their writing.
Periodically, I’ve also included larger extended writing projects which will take longer than a lesson to complete.
Regardless of whether you decide to do the study guide activities or not, if you have children of the ages 6-9 years old, you should definitely consider selecting this book as your homeschool read aloud.
I will be posting The Wild Robot Homeschool Study Guide as we do them, so remember to keep checking back.
Any feedback or activity ideas to include in The Wild Robot Homeschool Study Guide will be welcome.
I hope this helps some of you out!