I looked at Apples to Oregon last year and decided that the book will be incomprehensible for daughter due to many cultural references. But since then we listened to unabridged Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie audio books, and I thought that Apples to Oregon will make a lot more sense now. However, it turned out to be “one time read”. Anna listened to the story, but didn’t ask any questions and didn’t ask to reread the book since. We also read The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki that had the same theme of spreading apples across the country on pioneer trails. Unfortunately, Anna didn’t connect to the story at all, maybe because of illustrations where one spread was done in black-and-white, and the next one in color. As an extension activity we pulled her United States puzzle. My plan was to look at the states between Iowa and Oregon (or between Massachusetts and the West coast for Appleseed story), but Anna had other ideas. She first threw all the pieces around the room and swiped them back together. Then we played for a little bit the game where each of us randomly picked one piece of the puzzle and put it back on the map. I was a little surprised that she did know where to put her pieces even though I’ve never seen her playing with the puzzle. Then she ended up with Oklahoma, and she started talking excitedly how Oklahoma looks like a pan with a long handle. Suddenly the game shifted into pretend cooking in Oklahoma pan where I would pretend to smell various dishes, and Anna would inform me what she had in mind. She found this game very funny and entertaining, especially since all her dishes had pepper as one of main ingredients and I complained that her dishes are too spicy.
I told the story to my husband when he came home in the evening and commented how Anna doesn’t seem to care for US geography. And he told me the funny story from their flight to New Jersey:
- Anna (after boarding the plane): It says here, “Life vest is under the seat”. Why do we need a life vest on the plane?
- Papa: Well, sometimes planes have to have an emergency landing in water.
- Anna: But what if there are sharks?
- Papa: Do we fly over the ocean?
- Anna: I don’t know. Show me the map.
- Papa (pulls out the flight map): Do you know where we are?
- Anna: Umm… Yes. Here is San Francisco where the Golden Gate Bridge is. And here it says Monterey, that’s where we went to the aquarium. And here is Sacramento, our capital.
- Papa: How do you know that Sacramento is our capital?
- Anna: Because my puzzle said so!
- The passenger in the next seat: Excuse me, but how old is your daughter???
Come and share your adventures in time and space at History/Geography Exchange at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.