I chose “The Apple and The Arrow” by Mary and Conrad Buff for a history-related read aloud this week. Miss M and I are studying Medieval history right now with Mystery of History Volume 2, and this book fits right in with the time frame of the lessons we are reading right now.
Miss M asked me where the story took place before we started reading. I didn’t really know, but I made an assumption: “Oh, probably England,” I said. Wrong! As it turns out, I didn’t really know anything about William Tell other than he shot an arrow to accurately hit an apple off his son’s head. The story opens with young Walter Tell practicing with his crossbow in an Alpine pasture as his younger brother Rudi looks on. We’re definitely not in England for this story! 🙂 I quickly called Mr. E and Mr. K over to listen to the story as well — stories with weapons are usually a hit with the boys!
We read the story of the course of four days. Mr. E joined us for most of it and really enjoyed it, while Mr. K was scared off after hearing the bit about the apple being shot off of Walter’s head. I was pleased to find a longer read-aloud that Mr. E liked.
As we read the book, we learned that “The Apple and the Arrow” is the story of the birth of Switzerland as a nation and how the original three Cantons of Switzerland won their freedom from Austrian tyranny. The kids were curious if this was based on a true story — and I was curious too! We learned from Wikipedia that the story of William Tell is consider a folk legend in Switzerland. While some people believe it may be based on a true story, historians haven’t found a lot of evidence that point to William Tell as a true historical figure.
Bedtime Read-Aloud with Miss M: We stared “Little Women” this week. I wanted to try a challenging, classic read aloud for our bedtime story, but I think I aimed a little too high. Miss M was having a bit of trouble following the story at times, and I even honestly found it to be a little bit boring or tedious! However, Miss M really likes the general gist of the story, so we are going to switch to a “classic starts” version of the story as soon as I can get a copy.
Boys’ Favorite Picture Books This Week:
Chief Rhino to the Rescue by Sam Lloyd is a fun firefighter story
That’s How by Christoph Niemann is a delightfully funny book with predictable text with one child giving another child some fanciful explanations of how things work.
In Superhero Joe by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, an ordinary boy becomes a superhero (aka helps his parents) with the help of some super hero tools around the house. This one was a big hit especially with Mr. K, who has insisted we call him Super Joe ever since our first reading of this book.
I’m linking up this week with Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word!