Module C – Lessons 61 to 70


Click here for Lesson 61
Click here for Lesson 62
Click here for Lesson 63
Click here for Lesson 64
Click here for Lesson 65
Click here for Lesson 66
Click here for Lesson 67
Click here for Lesson 68
Click here for Lesson 69
Click here for Lesson 70
Lesson 61 – Short / Long (Vowel) Reflex-Builder

NEW WORDS: Abe’s, Aggie, Bates, Cary, Coney, Connie, Danes, Danish, Finn, Hattie, Heidi, Hugo, Janine, Katrina, Maddie, Pate, Patrick, Rhodes, Rog, Rogers, Romans, Rome, Sirius, Whitman, abs, ag, app, arg, atom, atomic, barge, beware, boardwalk, bon, bons, cape, caper, chef, club’s, cod, code, con, despite, dune, fate, file, fink, freaks, granola, kale, knight, locate, mate, meteor, meter, moped, nape, noodles, pane, paninis, pills, poet, ripen, robe, rogue, sergeant’s, shark, sire, smokes, sobe, squad, wage, wary, werewolf, whine  

Don’t mope. Get off your moped. Bring that mop!

That’s my pal. He’s holding a big pail. He looks pale.

I met Jane, Jan, and Janine.

Wow! Al ate it all.

Will this train fare get me far?

I hear her over here.

Vic works with the Vice Squad.

He eats cod while working on his computer code.

Tim is never on time.

The Sergeant’s got on a baseball cap and a cape. And he’s starting on a new caper.

Mr. Bates has bats in his attic.

Dad grew up in Dade County.

He can hit the ball to a great height.

I did not write that note.

Skinny Bonny is bony. That’s despite eating lots of bonbons.

Pip smokes a piping hot pipe.

I’d be a rat-fink to rate that show as “good” to you.


That poet wrote an odd ode.

Maddie! That made me mad.

Kit is there with his kitten. He likes to fly his kite.

Don’t “but” me. Get your butt climbing up that butte!

Connie likes to eat an ice cream cone on the boardwalk on Coney Island. And she looks for con men.

I hope that bunny can still hop.

You’d look cute without that bad hair cut.

Hugo! Give me a huge hug.

She was in pain. So, she threw a pan of paninis through the window pane.

It would wear me out, and make me weary, if I were a werewolf.

Phil! Please fill the file cabinet with these papers.

Whit turned white as a sheet. He saw the ghost of Mrs. Whitman!

Sam looks just the same.

This hotel is too hot.

Rod rode the horse fast down Rhodes Road.

That man on Main Street has hair like many a lion’s mane.


I was taking a nap. My cat licked the nape of my neck.

Abe’s abs look like a six-pack.

Sire! I’m your serious new knight. Sir Sirius.

Cary! I care well for my carrot-colored car.

Ben! How have you been?

I ate at a new place. It’s called the Atomic Atom.

I bade the bad man, “Good-bye!”

Dan’s parents are Danes. And they love their dandy daily coffee and Danish.

Hattie! I hate this hat.

Sit down. I’ll tell you about the new work site.

Aggie entered Ag School at a young age.

It’s your lucky fate to not be fat.

Kate, Kat, and Katrina! I can’t locate my cat.

How many teeth can a baby teethe at once?

A large pirate on a barge yelled, “Arg!”

Don came down from the sand dune. He said, “I’m done with my hike.”

Bea! How would you be if you were a beaver who’d been stung by a bee?


The poor woman takes piles of pills each day.

Rom likes to roam around Rome. It’s because he likes Romans.

An ape can’t develop a computer app!

Heidi hid there once. But she doesn’t know where to hide next, to be well-hidden.

The dog will bite on this bitter bone for a little bit.

Don’t whine. I think this wine will win the ribbon at the show.

Beware! I’m wary that they might declare war on us.

You can have this candy cane.

Dom is amazed at the beauty of this church dome.

Holly yelled from a fox-hole. “Holy smoke!”


I met her at a parking meter. It was at the Meteor Club’s swim meet.

Patrick Pate has a sister named Pat. She freaks out when she hears a patter on the roof.

Rip the skin off of this ripe banana. Soon, it will over-ripen.

Chef Finn! Some shark fin soup is fine to start with.

See that sweet dog by the red wagon? He’d rather wag his tail than wage war with his neighbors.

I saw her sob into her sobe noodles.

We were playing chess on the mat. I said “check-mate” to Matt.

Pete got a new pet.

Stu fixes a great beef stew.

My Gran eats whole grain bread and granola.

Cal got a phone call while eating his kale.

Sid! Whose side are you on?

Wad that up! Do it before you wade over to the boat.

Rog Rogers is a rogue.

Put these cloths next to your clothes.

Sally! Sal found a good sale on sea salt.

Rob ran into a robber. He had gone outside in his bath robe to feed the robin.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Lesson 62 – Mount Rushmore Presidents

NEW WORDS: Abraham, Abraham’s, Italian, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lincolns, Martha, Monticello, Potomac, Roosevelt, Rushmore, Theodore, Thomas, Thomas’s, Vernon, acquired, alley, appointed, approved, battled, borrowed, colonists, cowboy, critical, dauntless, declaration, defeated, document, elect, engrave, escarpment, esteemed, exercised, explored, eyeglasses, farmworker, flags, fragments, handwritten, hatchet, invent, invented, inventor, invested, measures, monarch, nation’s, nearsighted, oval, pennies, ranches, resided, rules, sixteenth, sizable, soldier, splitter, studied, surveyor, titled, tutor

Chapter One: Four Great Presidents
The president is the leader of the United States. Four of our greatest presidents are honored at Mount Rushmore. That’s in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s a huge mountainside. Their faces have been carved in stone there.  Who are these four men? George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Theodore Roosevelt. Abraham Lincoln.

It took over fourteen years to engrave their faces into the rock. Workers blasted huge fragments of rock off the escarpment. They did that to make four head shapes. The men who carved the stone were dauntless. They had to hang from ropes, high above the ground. They used special tools. They carved the eyes, noses, and mouths. The noses on the faces are taller than a person!

How does one get to be president? In the U.S., the people elect, or choose, the president. In some countries, people don’t get to choose their own leader. You’ve heard about kings and queens. How do you become a “monarch?” Usually, your mom or dad was a king or queen. But it’s not like that in America. The people of the U.S. have the right to vote for you.


What kind of person should the president be? Most people say this. He or she should be honest, smart, fair, and brave. Who can become president? Can a farmer become president? Yes! George Washington was once a farmer. Can an inventor become president? Yes! Thomas Jefferson was an inventor. How about a store clerk? Yes! Abraham Lincoln worked in a store when he was young. And how about a cowboy? Yes! Theodore Roosevelt once worked as a cowboy.

The president of the U.S. works in our nation’s capital. That’s Washington, D.C. He or she lives and works in a sizable building. That’s the White House. You may have seen it on T.V. You may have seen it in magazines or newspapers. It’s very large, with many rooms.

The president helps to run the country. The president works from the “Oval Office.” That room is shaped like an egg. The White House has its own bowling alley. And it has a movie theater. When presidents travel, they can take a helicopter. They take off right from the lawn of the White House!


Chapter Two: George Washington
There’s a story about George Washington as a young boy. We know that the story isn’t true. But it’s a good one to tell, anyway.

It goes like this. George was six years old. He was given a hatchet. George cut down his father’s favorite cherry tree. His father was angry, of course. But George said, “I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the tree.” His father was happy that his son was an honest boy.

George grew up. He became a surveyor. That’s a person who measures big pieces of land. You do that in order to make maps. George loved this job. It’s because he could go off exploring. George explored Virginia. He acquired land there.


George married a lady named Martha. They lived in Virginia. They lived on a large farm named Mount Vernon. That’s on the Potomac River, close to Washington, D.C.

George was appointed to be the leader of the American army. The American army battled the British army.

George was an esteemed leader. The American army defeated the British. Thus, the United States became a free nation.

The United States needed its first president. The people chose George. They knew that he was an honest man, a hard worker, and a good soldier.

Because George Washington was our first president, he has been titled the “Father of Our Country.”


Chapter Three: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was born in Virginia. That was many years before the U.S. became a country. Thomas had six sisters and three brothers. The family resided on a large farm. Thomas didn’t go to school. A tutor, or teacher, came to his house, and they read together. Many people today visit Thomas’s childhood home.

Thomas was seventeen years old. He went to the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He was a hardworking student. He learned many languages. These included Italian, Spanish, and French. His favorite subject was math. Thomas became a lawyer after his college years.

Thomas planned and built a family home in Virginia named Monticello. The word “Monticello” means “little mountain” in Italian. Thomas lived at Monticello with his wife, Martha, and their children.


Today, many people visit Monticello to learn about Thomas’s life. Thomas liked to invent things. He invented a machine that could make two copies of a handwritten letter.

Remember when lots of colonists were mad at King George III of England? They wanted to be freed from British rule. Thomas wrote the Declaration of Independence. This was a very important document. It was sent to the British king, George III. It explained why Americans were going to fight England for their freedom.

The Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776. That was our very first Independence Day. That’s why we call the Fourth of July holiday our nation’s birthday. American flags, fireworks, and parades all help us to celebrate and honor our country.

Years later, Jefferson became the third president of the U.S.


Chapter Four: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is the third Mount Rushmore president. He was born in Kentucky in a small house made of logs. This log cabin had only one room, one window, and a dirt floor. Abraham’s father made him a bed from logs and dried corn leaves.

Later, Abraham lived in Indiana. There were very few stores where the Lincolns lived. The family had to grow their own food. They had to make almost everything they needed. They chopped down trees for firewood. They made their tables, chairs, and spoons out of wood.

Abraham was often called Abe. He learned how to read and write. He made a pen from a turkey feather. He used berry juice for ink. Abe had few books of his own. But his family had a Bible. Abe read it over and over. He taught himself many things by reading.


Once, Abe borrowed a book from a neighbor. At home, he stored it between the logs of the cabin near his bed. But water came through the logs. That soaked the book. Abe was sad. He went to his neighbor and told him what had happened. The neighbor asked Abe to do some chores for him. Then he gave the book to Abe. The book was “The Life Of George Washington.”

As a young man, Abe lived in Illinois. He was strong and tall. He worked many different jobs. Abe worked as a log splitter, and as a farmworker. He became a clerk in a store. Once, he walked a long way to give back a few pennies to someone who had paid too much. He became known as “Honest Abe.”

Abe really wanted to be a lawyer. He studied hard to become one. He worked for the Illinois government and helped to write state laws.

Abe did a very good job in the government of Illinois. His friends suggested that he run for president. Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth president. That was during a difficult time in our history. That was when southern states fought northern states in what we call “the Civil War.”


Chapter Five: Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was sick a lot when he was a boy. So, Teddy hardly ever went to school. Instead, teachers came to his home to teach him. That sounds pretty lonely, doesn’t it? However, Teddy said that he was a very happy child.

When Teddy was fourteen years old, he received his first gun. He went hunting with his friends. But he could not see things that were far away. He was nearsighted. Teddy needed eyeglasses. Many years later, he wrote about his eyesight. He’d had no idea how beautiful the world was until after he got his glasses.

Teddy exercised and grew up to become a strong man who loved being outdoors. He started working in the government in New York. A few years later, he invested in two ranches out west. He wore cowboy clothes and rode horses to round up his cattle. He also hunted bison.


Teddy went back to New York City. He became the head of their police force. Then Spain and the U.S. went to war against each other. Teddy Roosevelt joined the army. He was the leader of a group of soldiers called the “Rough Riders.”

Teddy Roosevelt came to see how critical the land is to all living things. Once he took a trip into the mountains. There he saw forests filled with plants and animals. He worried that someday they would all be gone.

Teddy Roosevelt became the twenty-sixth president. He made new rules for forest areas in America. On this special land, people could not harm trees or animals.


Lesson 63 – Poems And Rhymes

NEW WORDS: Eden, Lawrence, Welshman, ages, approaching, astray, bathe, beauteous, bridges, brink, cleverest, comforter, dismay, dripping, earthen, errors, eternity, expecting, faintly, faithful, flown, frosted, ghosts, green’s, headlong, horsey, hosts, jumpity, knot, laughter, moments, nakedness, nigh, overtops, pepper, plight, plumed, possibly, princes, river’s, ruddy, russet, scanty, seventeenth, shivering, situation, taffy, taffy’s, tartine, thrushes, thum, trudged, twill, virtue, wandered, wintry

Grasshopper Green
Grasshopper green,
Too quick to be seen,
Jump like a Mexican jumpity bean!

Grasshopper high,
Grasshopper low,
Over my basket of berries you go!

Grasshopper low,
Grasshopper high,
Watch it, or you will end up in a pie!

Poem By Nancy Dingman Watson

The Robin
The north wind does blow.
And we shall have snow.
And what will the poor robin do then?
Poor thing!

He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing.
Poor thing!


The Rainbow
Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas.
But clouds that sail across the sky,
Are prettier than these.
There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please.
But the rainbow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from Earth to sky,
Is far prettier than these.

Poem By Christina Rossetti

Hi-Ho Horsey!
Hop, my horsey, leap and spring,
And a little song I’ll sing.
Over stick and stone you go,
Never tired and never slow.
Hop, hop! Hop, hop!
Gallop-a-trot! Hop, hop!
See how green’s the meadow grass.
Flowers are springing as we pass.
Birds are singing, “Oh, Hi-Ho!”
All along the way we go.
Hop, hop! Hop, hop!
Gallop-a-trot! Hop, hop!
There’s our house now through the trees.
Hurry horsey, if you please.
Mother’s waiting, mother dear!
Whoa, my horsey. Now stop here!
Hop, hop! Hop, hop!
Gallop-a-trot! Hop, hop!


How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain as big as she.
Can you imagine what YOU’D do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?

Poem By Aileen Fisher

A Sneeze
If you sneeze on Monday,
You sneeze for danger.

Sneeze on a Tuesday,
Kiss a stranger.

Sneeze on a Wednesday,
Sneeze for a letter.

Sneeze on a Thursday,
Something better.

Sneeze on a Friday,
Sneeze for sorrow.

Sneeze on a Saturday,
Joy tomorrow.


Two Little Kittens
Two little kittens, one stormy night, Began to quarrel, and then to fight.

One had a mouse, the other had none. And that’s the way the quarrel had begun.

“I’ll have that mouse,” said the biggest cat. “You’ll have that mouse? We’ll see about that!”

“I will have that mouse,” said the eldest son. “You shan’t have the mouse,” said the little one.

I told you before, ’twas a stormy night, When these two little kittens, began to fight.

The old woman seized her sweeping broom, And swept the two kittens right out of the room.

The ground was covered with frost and snow, And the two little kittens had nowhere to go.

So they laid them down on the mat at the door, While the old woman finished sweeping the floor.

Then they crept in, as quiet as mice, All wet with the snow, and cold as ice,

For they found it was better, that stormy night, To lie down and sleep than to quarrel and fight.


The Sheep
“Lazy sheep, pray tell me why,
In the pleasant fields you lie,
Eating grass, and daisies white,
From the morning till the night?
Everything can something do,
But what kind of use are you?”

“Nay, my little master, nay,
Do not judge me so, I pray.
Don’t you see the wool that grows,
On my back, to make you clothes?
Cold, and very cold, you’d be,
If you had not wool from me.

True, it seems a pleasant thing,
To nip the daisies in the spring.
But many chilly nights I pass,
On the cold and dewy grass.
Or pick a scanty dinner, where,
All the field is brown and bare.

Then the farmer comes at last,
When the merry spring is past,
And cuts my woolly coat away,
To warm you in the winter’s day.
Little master, this is why,
In the pleasant fields I lie.”

Poem By Ann and Jane Taylor

Taffy was a Welshman.
Taffy was a thief.
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a piece of beef.

I went to Taffy’s house.
Taffy was not home,
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a cooking-bone.

I went to Taffy’s house.
Taffy was not in.
Taffy came to my house,
And stole a silver pin.

I went to Taffy’s house.
Taffy was in bed.
I took the cooking-bone,
And flung it at his head!


There was an old dame called Tartine,
Had a house made of butter and cream.
Its walls were of flour, it is said,
And its floors were of gingerbread!

Her bed she did make,
Of white frosted cake.
And her pillow at night,
Was a biscuit so light!


Ladybug, Ladybug
Ladybug, ladybug,
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire,
And your children are gone.


My Teddy Bear
A Teddy bear is a faithful friend.
You can pick him up at either end.
His fur is the color of breakfast toast,
And he’s always there when you need him most.

Poem By Marchette Chute

Bee! I’m Expecting You!
Bee! I’m expecting you!
Was saying yesterday,
To Somebody you know,
That you were due.

The Frogs got Home last Week,
Are settled, and at work.
Birds, mostly back,
The Clover warm and thick.

You’ll get my letter by
The seventeenth. Reply,
Or better, be with me.
Yours, Fly.

Poem By Emily Dickinson

Little Things
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean,
And the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages,
Of eternity.

So our little errors,
Lead the soul away,
From the paths of virtue,
Into sin to stray.

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our Earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above.

Poem By Julia A. Carney

“Auntie, where are you going,
And what do you carry, please?”

“I carry ducks and geese and ducks,
And geese and ducks and geese!”


Jungle Journey
Through the jungle an old woman wandered, Her journey was crooked and far.
So, being afraid of the jungle beasts,
She rolled in a large earthen jar.
Cried Thomas, the Tiger, “Where are you
Cried Lawrence, the leopard, “Where are you from?”
But all that the bouncing jar would say, was,
“Thump, thump-ah! Thump, thump-ah! Thum!”


The Story of Johnny Head-in-the-Air
(Notes: “nigh” means “very close; approaching.” “Plight” means “in a bad situation, possibly even dangerous.”)

As he trudged along to school,
It was always Johnny’s rule,
To be looking at the sky,
And the clouds that floated by.
But what just before him lay,
In his very way,
Johnny never thought about,
So that everyone cried out,
“Look at little Johnny there,
Little Johnny Head-in-Air!”

Running just in Johnny’s way,
Came a little dog one day.
Johnny’s eyes were still astray,
Up on high,
In the sky.
And he never heard them cry,
“Johnny, mind, the dog is nigh!”
Down they fell, with such a thump,
Dog and Johnny in a lump!

Once, with head as high as ever,
Johnny walked beside the river.
Johnny watched the swallows trying,
Which was cleverest at flying.
Oh! what fun!
Johnny watched the bright round sun,
Going in and coming out,
This was all he thought about.

So he strode on, only think!
To the river’s very brink,
Where the bank was and so, so steep,
And the water very deep.
And the fishes, in a row,
Stared to see him coming so.
One step more! Oh! Sad to tell!
Headlong in, poor Johnny fell.
And the fishes, in dismay,
Wagged their tails and swam away.

There lay Johnny on his face,
With his nice red writing-case.
But, as they were passing by,
Two strong men had heard him cry,
And, with sticks, these two strong men,
Hooked poor Johnny out again.
Oh! you should have seen him shiver,
When they pulled him from the river.
He was in a sorry plight,
Dripping wet, and such a fright!
Wet all over, everywhere,
Clothes, and arms, and face, and hair.

Johnny, he will never forget,
What it is to be so wet.
And the fishes, one, two, three,
Have come back again, you see.
Up they came the moment after,
To enjoy the fun and laughter.
Each popped out his little head,
And, to tease poor Johnny, said,
“Silly little Johnny, look,
You have lost your writing-book!”

Poem By Heinrick Hoffman

Robin Redbreast
Goodbye, goodbye to Summer!
For Summer’s nearly done.
The garden smiling faintly,
Cool breezes in the sun.

Our Thrushes now are silent,
Our Swallows flown away.
But Robin’s here, in coat of brown,
With ruddy breast-knot gay.

Robin, Robin Redbreast,
Oh, Robin dear!
Robin singing sweetly,
In the falling of the year.

Bright yellow, red, and orange,
The leaves come down in hosts.
The trees are Indian Princes,
But soon they’ll turn to Ghosts.


The leathery pears and apples,
Hang russet on the bough,
It’s Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,
Twill soon be winter now.

Robin, Robin Redbreast,
Oh, Robin dear!
And what will this poor Robin do?
For pinching days are near.

The fireside for the Cricket,
The wheat-sack for the Mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle,
And moan all ’round the house.

The frosty ways like iron,
The branches plumed with snow.
Alas! in Winter, dead, and dark,
Where can poor Robin go?

Robin, Robin Redbreast,
Oh, Robin dear!
And a crumb of bread for Robin,
His little heart to cheer.

Poem By William Allingham

Bed In Summer
In winter, I get up at night,
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see,
The birds still hopping on the tree.
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Poem By Robert Louis Stevenson

Winter Time
Late lies the wintry sun in bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head.
Blinks but an hour or two, and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise.
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit,
To warm my frozen bones a bit,
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore,
The colder countries ’round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap,
Me in my comforter and cap,
The cold wind burns my face, and blows,
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod,
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad.
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Poem By Robert Louis Stevenson

Lesson 64 – Stories Misc:

Snake On The Loose

NEW WORDS: Cheshire, Elle, Elle’s, Elvis, Gollum, Roo, Rooby, Sean, Sean’s, Smeagol, Spock, accuse, acolyte, aid, assured, astute, attempt, bandaged, barely, blueberry, boxed, brainer, breathed, brightened, c’mon, celery, charity, chime, chortle, coiled, comment, composed, conceal, confirm, cornered, corralled, courageous, credit, crestfallen, crouched, demanded, demeanor, difficulty, disbelief, display, doughty, drama, drawled, elder, entrap, envisioned, eureka, exhaled, fascinating, finders, fired, flinched, flustered, forked, furious, furrowed, furtive, giggled, gonna, goosepimply, grasp, guilt, guilty, hallway, handling, hissed, huffed, injure, inquiry, keepers, kid’s, lashed, latch, latched, leapfrogged, leapt, logic, losers, lunged, mentor, mired, mulled, mummy, namby, nearing, newborn, nimbly, noisome, nonchalant, nudged, obviously, pamby, peeked, pensive, perused, phone’s, piped, placid, pondered, pouted, previously, privacy, proceed, promising, pronto, provided, pulsating, pyramid, queried, recognized, refocused, rejoined, response, revolting, rockin, routes, rudimentary, rundown, sacrifice, saluted, sarcastic, scaly, scaredy, scariest, scooted, shrouded, siblings, sighting, skirted, skittered, slither, smarts, snakey, stat, stress, stumbled, surveyed, sweating, thoughts, towards, trooper, trusty, unhinged, uptight, utter, utterly, valiant, wager, weepers, weepy, whisked, withdraw, witnessed, witty, wriggled


Chapter One – The Escape 
Elle scampered down the hallway. It sounded like a stampede. She was out of breath. She found Sean. He was in front of their upstairs loft TV. She cried out. “Sean! Help!”

He glanced up. “What, Sis?”

She barked, “It’s Pete. I can’t find him!”

Sean scowled. “What do you mean? Your pet snake got out of his cage? No way.”

Elle looked guilty. “Well. I was playing with him. He slid out of my hands. Then he fled the room.”

Sean said, “You’re not to let him out of his cage in the house! You know that! Go catch him! He’s YOUR beast.”

Elle whined. “But I can’t find him. I’ve tried. I’ve tried HARD! I don’t know where else to look.”

Sean huffed, “Good grief. I’ll help. But I won’t touch his slimy, scaly hide.”

Elle laughed. “Thanks. But don’t be a scaredy cat. Pete’s safe to humans.”


Sean said, “Look. I can’t help it. Snakes are revolting. That’s all there is to it!”

Elle sighed. “Sean. Pete’s just a black snake. He couldn’t injure a flea.”  

Sean pushed back. “I know. But they’re noisome. We’d best find him fast. You don’t want Mom to get home first. You’d be in massive difficulty.”

Elle said, “Right! Let’s start searching. STAT!”

Sean entered the hall. He bellowed, “There he is!”

Pete was still. He was coiled up. He was smack in the middle of the long hall. He stuck his forked tongue out. Back and forth it went. He had a naughty look on his face. It was like, “I dare you!”

Sean said, “What a creep! I know his thoughts.”

Elle said, “Tell me. What’s he thinking?”

Sean replied, “He’s a rogue. He wants to say this. ‘Bet you can’t catch me, kids’!”


Chapter Two – The Plan
Sean nudged himself forward. But Pete darted away. He moved nimbly. Elle cried, “He’s heading to the guest room. Come on!”

Sean stayed still. “Elle! Stop a sec. We need a plan.”

Elle cocked her head. “A plan?”

Sean said, “Yeah. No one can come to our aid. It’s just you and me. It’s a test for our trusty brains. We have to master how to catch a snake. And we have to do it all on our own.”

Elle sputtered. “You mean, ‘think this through first’?”  

Sean nodded. “Of course. Perfect. Not, ‘ready, fire, aim.’ But, ‘ready, aim, fire.’ You can’t just launch into something. It’s like you said. You must think it through, first.” 

Elle smiled. “That’s good logic. All right. You’re the big brave elder brother. Show me the way. Be my mentor. TEACH ME! What should we do?”


Sean rolled his eyes. “Okay, my acolyte. We proceed slowly but surely. Let’s do a room-by-room search.”

Elle saluted. “Right! And we do this when we go to each room: we shut all the doors. If he’s there, he can’t get out. Cornered!” 

Sean grinned. “Now you’re thinking. Superb job!”

Elle went on. “And we do this when we’re done with a room: we shut the doors when we exit.”

Sean said, “Exactly. That way, the sneak can’t get back in. We’ll have covered our backs. The goal is rudimentary. We block off all escape routes. Then he’s ours. We’ll own him!”

Just then, Elle yelled out. “Look! He’s gone into Mom and Dad’s bedroom.”

Sean moaned. “That’s NOT promising news. That’s the LAST room we want him in. Quick, then. You know what to do. Sprint on in. I’m right on your heels.”


The kids skittered to their parents’ bedroom. Elle slammed the door once they were in. 

Sean barked, “Bathroom first! I wager he’ll try for the toilet.” 

Elle said, “Sean! Pete couldn’t climb up into the toilet.” 

Sean howled with laughter. “Duh! Just a joke.” They crowded into the bathroom. They shut the door behind them. 

Elle said, “Maybe Pete’s in the tub, taking a bath.” Now they both started to chortle. The chase had actually become kind of fun.

Sean called out, “Here, snakey, snakey!”
Elle giggled. “We have more smarts than you do. We’re gonna get you!”


Chapter Three – Fifty Bucks
Sean said, “Okay, Elle. We’ve perused every crack and corner. We’ve been quite thorough. No Pete, yet. He’s not in the bathroom.”

Elle said, “Let’s slither on to the bedroom, then.”

“Very witty,” replied Sean. “So funny I forgot to laugh.”

The two kids entered the bedroom. Elle closed the bathroom door. Then she asked, “Where would a snake conceal itself?”

Sean said, “That’s an astute inquiry. I bet he’s behind, or under, something.” 

Elle rejoined, “Like a sweater box under the bed. That’s where the best monsters withdraw to. They’re under the kid’s bed. All the time.” 

Sean fired back, “Or behind the curtains. Somewhere in the long shadows.”

It was only a week till Halloween. Elle was in the trick-or-treat spirit. She became a bit goofy. She put on her scariest voice. “ROOBYROO!” Sean flinched. “They were shrouded by the elongated shadows of the pyramid. The snake hunters could barely see. They didn’t know that the mummy was just behind them. It started to raise its bandaged arms. It crouched down to bound towards them.”


Sean got goosepimply. He pouted, “That makes me uptight, Elle! So, now YOU look under the bed. Not me! But first, let’s take a gander at any area that’s open.” Sean circled the room. He looked under the desk. He peeked beneath each chair. No sign of Pete. “Elle? Can you check under the dresser?”

Elle laid down on the floor. A couple of seconds passed. She said, “Nothing. But wait. There’s something under here.” She stretched her arm back to the wall. “Whoa!”

Sean asked, “What is it?”

Elle stared at her newfound treasure. She piped up. “Cool. It’s a fifty-dollar bill. Hot dog! Finders keepers, losers weepers. I’m rich! I’m wealthy!”

Sean pushed back. “No way! That’s not YOUR money.”

Elle whined, “Not fair. I found it.”

Sean said, “Elle. Look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t you care about being honest? You didn’t earn it. You didn’t work for it. You didn’t get it as a gift. Ya’ know what they do in my friend Tom’s family? They might find money, like in a parking lot. They give it to charity. They know it’s not theirs. So they put it to proper use. Deal with it, Sis. That’s Mom’s and Dad’s money. And you know it!”


Elle hissed at Sean. “I bet they don’t know that it’s lost. They won’t miss it.”

Sean held his ground. “Elle. That’s obviously crazy. It’s theirs. It’s not yours, PERIOD. Now let’s get back to the problem at-hand. Let’s snag a snake!”

Elle gave in. “Oh, all right. Here. Give it to them.” She handed Sean the fifty bucks.

Sean said, “I’ll hold on to it. But we’ll both give it to them. And I mean at the same time. That way, you can’t accuse me of keeping it for myself.”

Elle said, “Okay. But now I’m crestfallen. Let’s get back to the hunt. That way, I can take my mind off of the money. It was almost mine. I was like Gollum, in Lord Of The Rings. ‘MY PRECIOUS! MY PRECIOUS!’ So close! Yet so far!” Sean gave Elle a stern look. Elle refocused on the hunt. “Now, you’re such a coward about the shadows, Mr. NambyPamby! So, I’LL check beneath the bed.”


“Just do it, Smeagol!” quipped Sean. They were both big Lord Of The Rings fans.

Elle knelt down. She lifted the bedspread. “I’ll pull out one box at a time. He’s not behind this one. Not behind that one. Oh! There you are, Pete! You furtive sneak!”

Sean asked, “You see him?”

Elle was about to confirm her sighting. But then, without warning, Pete turned away from her. He scooted out the opposite side of the bed. He went between Sean’s legs. Sean screamed, “Ha! You’re boxed in, you creepy-crawly reptile.” 

Sean mulled over their scheme. They SHOULD be fine. The closed bedroom door would wall Pete in. But as Sean turned around, Elle heard him yip. “Yikes! Elle! I heard you slam the door when we came in here. But the door didn’t latch. There’s a crack in it. Pete just got back out to the hall. All he needed was a one-inch opening.”

Elle responded, “Well, at least he’s stuck upstairs. And now we have two rooms closed off.”

Sean wasn’t so assured. He demanded, “Explain, ‘he’s stuck upstairs’.”

Elle answered him. “Well, surely, snakes can’t go down, stair-by-stair, can they? CAN THEY, SEAN? Uh-Oh!”


Chapter Four – Snake Food?
Elle screeched! “Move fast, Sean. After him!” She was getting up from the floor. She crawled over her parents’ bed. She leapt onto the floor running. She poked her head around the bedroom door. She immediately witnessed more bad luck. 

Pete was nearing the top of the stairs. Sean dove towards him. “Ouch!” he yelled. He hit the wood floor hard. He slid a few inches. His hand reached for Pete. But he just couldn’t grasp him.

Elle leapfrogged over Sean. She went after Pete, now. But it was too late. The two siblings stared at each other. They were in deep trouble. Pete the snake COULD go down the stairs, after all.

They surveyed the stage before them, both furious. They were mired in a state of disbelief. Pete wriggled down to the first floor. How he did it wasn’t pretty. But he DID make it down. They heard, “Clump, clump, clump.” Pete landed at the bottom. He whisked himself around the corner. They couldn’t see him anymore.


Elle breathed in deeply. She then exhaled. “Well, you BOTH looked goofy there. But I’ll give you some credit. ‘Sir Sean, the steadfast and true!’ It was doughty how you lunged after him. That was a valiant attempt. But you weren’t graceful at all. You looked like a newborn deer, trying to walk.”

Then, Elle looked downstairs. There was their empty front hall. She yelled down the stairs. “And Pete?! You looked like a giant ‘Gummy-Snake’. You were bouncing around, all over the place. You sounded like Santa’s reindeer, prancing on the roof.”

Both kids were silent. They calmed down. Sean offered this comment. “Hey? You know what? It’s a shame that Pete’s not a mouse.”

Elle asked, “Why would you think that?” 

Sean said, “Well, we’d put cheese out. Mice love cheese. Put some out, and they’re easy to catch in a trap. What foods might Pete like?” 

Elle became sarcastic. “Let’s see. A lettuce and onion salad?” She paused. “With some celery and bacon bits? And a glass of orange juice?” She thought some more. “And maybe some blueberry pie? Yeah! With vanilla ice cream.”


Sean groaned, “So humorous of you.” 

Elle lashed back. “Well, that was dumb. You can’t entrap a snake with food. C’mon, Sean. Get serious! What’s the new plan?” 

Sean said, “Of course. Right. We’ve got to catch Pete, pronto. We’ll have to …” And then they heard a pulsating chime. It was Sean’s cell phone!

Elle freaked. She became unhinged! She screamed, “Who is it? Is it Mom? Is it Dad?”

Sean was sweating. He looked at the phone’s display. He recognized the caller. “Oh, great. Just what we were afraid of. Mom.” Elle gasped. She threw her hands to her head. Sean answered the phone. He tried to level his voice. He tried to be nonchalant. Slowly, he drawled, “Oh, hi Mom. What’s up?”

Her answer couldn’t have been worse! “Hi, Sean. I left work early. I’m about two minutes from the house. I was lazy this morning. The trash bins are still blocking my spot in the garage. Can you move them? Then I won’t have to get out of the car.”


Sean winced. “Oh, sure Mom. No problem. See you in a bit!”

Then Elle saw Pete. He skirted into the kitchen. A light bulb went off in her head. She cried, “EUREKA! Sean! Take care of the trash bins. I’ve got Pete.” Sean couldn’t utter a response. Elle darted past him too quickly. She stumbled into the kitchen. She slammed the door behind her.

Their Mom was in the house a few minutes later. Sean was shocked by Elle’s calm demeanor. She was utterly composed! She was calm, cool, and collected. She looked as guilt-free as the previouslyflustered kids at the very end of The Cat In The Hat. It was as if there’d been no stress in the household, at all. Sean tried to talk to her. Elle nodded her head, “NO!” She held her fingers to her lips. Her lips puckered. She meant, “SHH!”

Their Mom went up to change clothes. Elle whispered, “Follow me!” They both went out to the back yard. They needed privacy for their conversation.


Sean queried, “What’s the deal? How can you be so placid? Where’s Pete?”

Elle provided the rundown of what had transpired. “A thought came to me. I realized this. If I could close the hall door to the kitchen, Pete was trapped. So, I shut it. This time, I made sure it latched! Now, I knew I couldn’t catch him. He’s like The Flash. Way too quick for me. I envisioned this: Mom would come in. I’d still be on the chase. NOT GOOD! So, it was sacrifice time. I had to let Pete go.”

Sean asked, “What do you mean?!”

Elle explained. “The back door. It was a no-brainer. I opened the back door! I grabbed a broom. I banged it on the floor. Pete freaked. I herded him toward the door. I corralled him. He saw his exit. Out he went. Pete’s gone. He’s never to be seen again.”


Sean said, “Well, you’re holding up well. I’m amazed there’s no weepy drama here. You don’t look like you’ll even cry. Surely, you’ll miss him. But I won’t!”

Elle smiled. “Look! I’ll find a new black snake. They’re a dime a dozen! Pete’s easily replaced. And I’ll have fond memories.”

Sean responded with surprise. He said, “Wow! You’re a brave trooper! And what you did was brilliant. You’d never have a snake in the house again, if Mom had seen you chasing Pete INside! So, you’ll get a new black snake. No harm! No foul! Great plan. What will you name it?”

Elle became pensive. She pondered things for a moment. Then her eyes brightened. She furrowed her forehead and eyebrows. She looked like Mr. Spock, on Star Trek. “Hmm! Fascinating! How about, ‘Elvis‘?”

Sean grinned like the Cheshire Cat. “Now that’s a rockin‘ good name! Fantastic choice, my courageous snake-handling sister!”

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)
Exploring And Moving To America 

Lesson 65 – Part One 

NEW WORDS: Americas, Christopher, Columbus, Columbus’s, Cuba, Europeans, Ferdinand, Genoa, Indies, Isabella, Maria, Nina, Pinta, San, Salvador, Taino, adventurer, believed, cabins, captains, cinnamon, diary, islands, monarchs, pineapples, pirates, rails, refrigerators, risky, robust, rulers, spices, stocked, swords, unload, voyage, voyages

Chapter One: Christopher Columbus: A Young Adventurer
Let’s meet Christopher Columbus when he was a boy. He lived in the city of Genoa, Italy. He loved the sea. He had a younger brother. They spent lots of time at the dock watching ships sail in and out. They watched the sailors hard at work. They would unload huge boxes that were filled with silk cloth and spices. The brothers dreamed of being sailors, too!

Christopher turned fourteen. He got a job on a ship. He carried messages from the captain to the sailors. One year later, he was hired as a ship’s helper. He soon got a bigger job, and he became a sailor! His dream of adventure at sea was coming true. During that time, his brother had learned to make maps. Together, they hoped to sail far away.

Back then, people didn’t know about all the continents and oceans. Some thought that the Earth was flat. They worried about a ship sailing too far across the ocean. They thought the ship would fall off the edge! But others believed that Earth was round. Columbus was one of those people.

Why did people want to go on long voyages then? The main reason was that people wanted to trade. They wanted to buy and sell such things as spices and silk. Those things could not be found in Europe. And trade could also make people rich!


Chapter Two: Christopher Has An Idea
In Columbus’s time, there were no refrigerators. So, it was hard to keep food fresh. Europeans often ate food, especially meat, that was NOT fresh. People used spices to help make that food taste better. Cloves, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg all helped to do this.

Many of these spices could only be found in a faraway part of the world. This region was called “the Indies.” Today, that’s Asia. A voyage to the Indies and back was long and dangerous. You had to sail part of the way across water. Then, some people had to carry goods on camels. This would be across hot deserts, and many times, they were robbed, or they might get lost. They might even run out of water.

Christopher had an idea. What if the Earth was round? Maybe he could sail west around the world! Maybe he could reach the Indies that way. It might be a shorter trip than heading east. The whole trip could be made by ship. They’d sail across the Atlantic Ocean. There’d be no need to go across hot, dry deserts. Plus, many more spices and other goods could be carried on ships than on camels.

Today, we know what happens if you sail west across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe. You reach North and South America. But Christopher didn’t know this. Then, many people thought there was nothing but ocean if you sailed west.


Chapter Three: Christopher Sails West
Christopher needed someone to believe he could sail across the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second largest ocean on Earth. So, for many years, he planned his voyage. He also searched for someone rich, since this risky adventure would cost a lot. Finally, he got his chance. He met King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the rulers of Spain. He told them his idea. Maybe you could reach the Indies faster. Why not sail west across the Atlantic?

The Spanish monarchs listened with interest. They DID want to find an easier way for ships to get to the Indies. They wanted to trade their cloth, glass, and tools. They wanted spices, silk, jewels, and gold, in return. Spain would be rich if the plan worked.

The King and Queen decided to pay for the trip. Now Christopher could start his great adventure! He was given three ships. They were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Each ship had a captain. Columbus was the captain of the Santa Maria. The three ships were small, but they were robust enough to sail across the stormy waters of the Atlantic.


Chapter Four: The Voyage West
Columbus found sailors who wanted to go with him to the Indies. They loaded the ships. There was enough food and water to last a year. And they stocked up on many things they could trade. They also took firewood, cooking pots, medicines, fishing lines, swords, and guns. They were ready! They set sail across the wide, blue ocean. No one was sure of what they might find. There might be pirates. There might be sea monsters. What if things went wrong? No one could help them.

They kept busy. They cleaned the decks. They fished in the sea. Each day, two or three sailors cooked a meal for everyone on their ship. At night, they slept on the deck. There were no beds. Only the three captains had their own small cabins. On stormy nights, the men tied themselves to the ship’s rails. That way, they wouldn’t fall into the sea.


The ships sailed for weeks, but they did not find any land. The men were afraid. What if the Earth really was flat? Would they soon sail right off the edge? What if they ran out of food and water? The crews asked to return home, but Christopher was sure that his plan would work. He stayed firm.

One day, there was a good sign. Small birds flew by the side of the ship! The sailors knew that small birds often flew near land. Then, a sailor spotted something. “Land! Land!” he shouted. It had been almost two months. The crews were glad to see a sandy beach and beautiful green trees. They had found an island. In his diary, Christopher wrote down the date. It was October 12, 1492.


Chapter Five: Exploring The Americas
The island they found was home to the Taino. These were a people who lived and farmed on the island. Christopher named it “San Salvador.” He placed a flag in the sand. Christopher met some of the Taino. He called them “Indians,” because he thought he had arrived in the Indies.

The sailors spent a few months exploring other islands. That included Cuba. The Taino lived on these islands, too. These new lands had palm trees and white sand. Christopher and his men collected many things to take back to Spain. This included gold, tobacco plants, pineapples, and wild turkeys.

Christopher arrived back in Spain. He was a hero, and the king and queen were quite pleased with him. They said they’d pay for more ships. That way, he could sail back across the ocean. Christopher led four more voyages. They always looked for gold, spices, and jewels.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)
Exploring And Moving To America

Lesson 66 – Part Two 

NEW WORDS: Elizabeth, George’s, Mayflower, Parliament, Plymouth, Squanto, barrels, concerned, crow’s, enslaved, farms, fences, gardens, hammocks, leaked, machines, necessities, noticed, owners, pilgrims, protested, rights, settlers, signed, slavery, slaves, worship

Chapter Six: The Pilgrims Search For A New Home
Then a hundred years passed. Now, another group of Europeans set off. They were going to what is today the United States of America. Their story is different from that of Columbus. Let’s meet them and find out about their adventures.

Elizabeth stood with her parents. They were ready to board a ship. It was named the Mayflower. They were leaving Plymouth, England. They were to sail to America. Elizabeth, her parents, and friends were known as “Pilgrims.” The Pilgrims were making this trip for an important reason. They wanted to live in a place where they could worship God in their own way.

The Mayflower was loaded with necessities. There were things that the Pilgrims would need for the voyage, and for when they arrived. There were axes and saws for building homes. There were hooks and lines for fishing. There were seeds for gardens. There were warm clothes for the winter. There were also barrels of water, dried meat, vegetables, biscuits, and cheese.

The Mayflower set sail, leaving England behind. Elizabeth explored the ship. She noticed one thing fast. It was crowded. Below-deck was dark and stuffy. In the darkness, she saw that there were hammocks for people to sleep in. Everyone knew the trip would be long and dangerous. But still, Elizabeth was excited!


Chapter Seven: On Board The Mayflower
She spent much of her time exploring the ship. She watched as sailors pulled on ropes. They raised large, cloth sails. The sails would puff out in the wind. Then, the ship would move faster over the waves.

Soon, the weather changed. Strong winds blew. Tall waves crashed against the ship. Rain leaked in below-deck. Everyone’s clothes and beds got soaked. The ship tossed from side to side. The Pilgrims were scared that the ship would sink. Elizabeth was no longer excited to be sailing to their new home!

Long weeks went by, and they all tired of looking at the sea. They tired of living in such a small space. People were getting sick, too. Then, early one morning, a sailor up in the crow’s nest cried out, “Land! I see land!” The Pilgrims rushed up on deck to see. Their voyage was almost over!


Chapter Eight: The Pilgrims Work Hard
After landing, some of the Pilgrims set off first. They were charged with finding a good place to settle. They chose a place they called Plymouth. They named it after the town they had left behind.

Elizabeth couldn’t help but wonder about her new home. Would there be strange creatures in the forests? Would the Wampanoag and other Native Americans welcome them?

The Pilgrims had arrived just as the weather was turning cold. They needed to build homes as quickly as they could. They worked hard cutting down trees. They would use the wood to build their homes. And more than the cold concerned them. They were worried that they might run out of food. To stay warm, the women and children stayed on board the ship.


That first winter was rough, and many of the Pilgrims became sick and died. It was a sad time for them. But springtime came. Many of them could move into their new homes. It would soon be time to plant crops. Then they would have more food to eat.

Then one day, a man came to visit the Pilgrims. His name was Squanto. He was a Native American. Squanto could speak English. Even though the Pilgrims had settled on Native American land, Squanto helped them. They planted crops, such as beans, corn, pumpkins, and other vegetables. Thanks to Squanto, the crops grew well. Soon it was time to harvest them. And it was time to celebrate.

The Pilgrims had a feast of Thanksgiving. They invited their Native American friends. It was quite a feast. They ate deer, turkey, corn, and baked bread. They gave thanks for all of this food that they had. Then they enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games.


Chapter Nine: American Independence
Many years passed. The Pilgrims and other settlers lived happily in their new home. Many of these settlers were from England. So, they were happy to follow some English laws. They also made some of their own rules about how to live in America. But things began to go wrong.

After a time, King George III and his Parliament in England passed new laws. These laws seemed very unfair. The settlers became angry. Some people protested. American leaders decided to hold a meeting. They tried to plan on what to do next.

These leaders wrote a letter to King George III. They explained why they felt that the laws were unfair. The letter was called the “Declaration of Independence.” It explained that the Americans wanted to make many of their own laws. They did not want to follow all of the laws made by the king.

King George III didn’t agree with the Declaration of Independence. So, he sent his army to fight the Americans. The Americans had a great leader named George Washington. He helped America defeat King George’s army. Today, we celebrate America’s birthday on July the Fourth. That’s the date that the Declaration of Independence was signed.


Chapter Ten: Taken To America
There is another story about moving to America. This is the story of people from parts of Africa. They were forced onto ships and were taken to America. There, they became enslaved workers. This is a very sad story. But it is one that we must NEVER forget.

People from Africa were taken to America. They were forced to work on large farms. They were slaves, so they were not free. They did not have rights. Enslaved workers were not even paid for the hard work they did. Americans today are not proud of this awful time of slavery.

Most of the farms where the slaves worked were in the southern part of America. There were no machines to do the hard work. Enslaved workers did it, instead. They worked hard in the fields. They planted and picked crops. They carried water. They fixed fences. They took care of farm animals.

Enslaved children couldn’t go to school. They couldn’t learn how to read and write. Families were often broken up. Farm owners even sold children or parents! Many people in America knew that slavery was very wrong. They knew that America could not be truly free until everyone was free. But it took time, and another war, before enslaved workers would win their freedom.

Today it is very important to remember the many African-Americans who never got the chance to be free.


Lesson 67 – Poems And Rhymes

NEW WORDS: God’s, afterward, airs, almighty, argued, balanced, beheld, bleat, brightens, brimful, certified, curtsied, dangling, darkest, deceitful, downy, efforts, elephone, elephop, eletelephony, entangled, farmhouse, fasted, foe, foxglove, gladness, glowing, grant, howe’er, incessantly, instructed, lark, maimed, mattered, mentioned, muscular, mused, neighed, ointment, outstretched, pigtail, pigtail’s, promises, seeming, shilling, slack, smoothed, somersault, sorrowed, sound’s, suet, sunned, supple, swiftly, swore, telefunk, telephant, telephee, telephone, telephong, tragic, unbroke, uncommonly, vain, veiled, violent, whim, wiles, wrath, yore

Good Night and Good Morning
A fair little girl sat under a tree,

Sewing as long as her eyes could see.

Then smoothed her work, and folded it right,

And said, “Dear work. Good night! Good night!”

Such a number of rooks came over her head,

Crying, “Caw! Caw!” on their way to bed.

She said, as she watched their curious flight,

“Little black things. Good night! Good night!”

The horses neighed. And the oxen bellowed.

The sheep’s “Bleat! bleat!” came over the road,

All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,

“Good little girl. Good night! Good night!”

She did not say to the sun, “Good night!”

Though she saw him there like a ball of light,

For she knew he had God’s time to keep,

All over the world, and never could sleep.

The tall pink foxglove bowed his head.

The violets curtsied and went to bed.

And good little Lucy tied up her hair,

And said on her knees her favorite prayer.

And while on her pillow she softly lay,

She knew nothing more till again it was day.

And all things said to the beautiful sun,

“Good morning! Good morning! Our work is begun!”

Poem By Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton

Answer to a Child’s Question
Do you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove,

The robin and thrush say, “I love. And I love!”

In the winter they’re silent. The wind is so strong.

What it says, I don’t know. But it sings a loud song.

But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,

And singing, and loving, all come back together.

But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love.

The green fields below him. The blue sky above.

That he sings, and he sings, and forever sings he,

“I love my Love. And my Love loves me!”

Poem By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Young and Old
When all the world is young, lad.
And all the trees are green.
And every goose a swan, lad.
And every lass a queen.
Then call for boot and horse, lad.
And round the world away.
Young blood must have its course, lad.
And every dog his day.
When all the world is old, lad.
And all the trees are brown.
When all the sport is stale, lad.
And all the wheels run down.
Creep home, and take your place there.
The spent and maimed among.
God grant you find one face there.
You loved when all was young.

Poem By Charles Kingsley

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though. 
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near.
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.

Poem By Robert Frost

A Tragic Story
There lived a sage in days of yore.
And he a handsome pigtail wore.
But wondered much, and sorrowed more,
Because it hung behind him.

He mused upon this curious case,
And swore he’d change the pigtail’s place.
And have it hanging at his face,
Not dangling there behind him.

Says he, “The mystery I’ve found.”
I’ll turn me ’round!”
He turned him ’round.
But still it hung behind him.

Then ’round, and ’round. And out and in.
All day the puzzled sage did spin.
In vain, it mattered not a pin.
The pigtail hung behind him.

And right and left. And ’round about.
And up and down. And in and out.
He turned. But still the pigtail stout,
Hung steadily behind him.

And though his efforts never slack,
And though he twist, and twirl, and tack.
Alas! Still faithful to his back,
The pigtail hangs behind him.

Poem By William Makepeace Thackery

The Eagle
He clasps the crag with crooked hands,
Close to the sun in lonely lands.
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls.
He watches from his mountain walls.
And like a thunderbolt, he falls.

Poem By Alfred Lord Tennyson

The Arrow And The Song
I shot an arrow into the air.
It fell to Earth. I knew not where.
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air.
It fell to Earth. I knew not where.
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak,
I found the arrow, still unbroke.
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Poem By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Father William
“You are old, Father William,” the young man said. “And your hair has become very white. And yet you incessantly stand on your head. Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son, “I feared it might injure the brain. But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before, And have grown most uncommonly fat. Yet you turned a back somersault in at the door, Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his gray locks, I kept my limbs very supple. By the use of this ointment, one shilling the box. Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth. “And your jaws are too weak, For anything other than suet. Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak, Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law, And argued each case with my wife. And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw, Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth. “One would hardly suppose, That your eye was as steady as ever. Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose. What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,” Said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs! Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff? Be off, or I’ll kick you downstairs!”

Poem By Lewis Carroll

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant.
No! No! I mean an elephone,
Who tried to use the telephone.

(Dear me! I am not certain quite,
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk,
Entangled in the telefunk.

The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee.
(I fear I’d better drop the song,
Of elephop and telephong!)

Poem By Laura Richards

All Things Bright and Beautiful
All things bright and beautiful.
All creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful.
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens.
Each little bird that sings.
He made their glowing colors.
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain.
The river running by.
The sunset, and the morning.
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter.
The pleasant summer sun.
The ripe fruits in the garden.
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them.
And lips that we might tell.
How great is God Almighty.
Who has made all things well.

Poem By Cecil Frances Alexander

A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend.
I told my wrath. My wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe.
I told it not. My wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears.
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole.
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Poem By William Blake

A Guinea Pig
There was a little guinea pig,
Who being little, was not big.
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he ate.

When from a place he ran away,
He never at the place did stay.
And while he ran, as I am told,
He never stood still for young or old.

He often squeaked, and sometimes violent.
And when he squeaked, he was never silent.
Though not instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.

One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim, and fairly died.
And as I’m told by men of sense,
He never has been living since.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Lesson 68 – Part One

NEW WORDS: Delilah, MacDonald, Sadie, absolutely, abundance, accidentally, accumulated, additional, alfalfa, appeased, assists, assortment, baas, bales, bingo, boisterous, bottling, calves, considerable, contingency, contraptions, contrasted, convey, crucial, depart, doubtless, equipment, escaped, experienced, farmstead, feisty, finishing, gate’s, generally, generates, grange, hamburgers, hayloft, homestead, hoses, implements, ingredient, introduce, laboring, majority, males, meats, milking, modest, moos, mows, nourishes, occasionally, oinks, operate, originates, pastures, pitchfork, pitching, plentiful, produces, prominent, provides, recall, requires, resembles, sightsee, significant, silo, silo’s, squeezes, squirts, starving, stash, steaks, supplies, teat, teats, tractor, typically, udder, udders, unlatched, unpredictable, variety, vigorous, woofs, yogurt

Chapter One: Old MacDonald Has a Farm
Hello! Let me introduce myself. I’m Old MacDonald. I have a farm. You might already know that. That’s because my farm is one of the most well-known farms around. My farmstead is quite prominent. A few years back, someone made a song about it. The song is about the animals on my farm and the noises they make.

One thing’s for sure. My farm is a boisterous place. I have an assortment of animals here. Each one makes a different sound. Here are a few of the animals I take care of. Do you know the sound each one makes? We have “moos, oinks, clucks, and baas.” That’s just to name a few. We also have “woofs!” This is my dog Bingo. There’s a song about him, too. Maybe you can recall it. It sounds a little like the song about me.

“There was a farmer had a dog.
And Bingo was his name-oh.
And Bingo was his name-oh!”

Bingo assists me here on the farm. Mostly, he keeps me company while I’m out laboring. But occasionally, Bingo helps in other ways. Here’s an example. Yesterday, I accidentally left a gate unlatched. One of my sheep escaped. Bingo chased the sheep back inside.


As a farmer, I have many crucial jobs to do around our homestead. It’s hard to say whether one job is more important than another. But what if you were able to ask my animals?! They’d tell you this. Taking care of them is the most significant thing that I do.

After all, farm animals don’t take care of themselves. The cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep need a farmer. The farmer provides them food, water, and shelter. After all, they’re farm animals. They weren’t born to live on their own in nature. They need help. Excuse me, while I use my pitchfork. I’m pitching a little hay to one of my cows. She’s starving, as always.

This is my barn. It’s a good animal home when it’s cold or rainy outside. I bring my animals into the barn for shelter. I also stash away my tools and other equipment in the barn. As you can see, I have a lot of implements and contraptions. There are many jobs to do on the farm. Each job requires its own tool.

I keep hay for the animals. It’s up in the hayloft. And that’s my tractor right there. I love to ride through my fields on my tractor. Let’s take a ride!


I grow most of the animals’ food here on the farm. There are pastures full of green grass for the cows and sheep. I also plant and harvest crops of corn and wheat. Can you see it out in the fields? I feed most of these crops to my animals.

Farm animals are big eaters. So, I must have an abundance of feed on hand. That keeps them healthy and appeased. I store additional supplies of feed for the animals in my silo. A silo’s like a giant can. This silo is full of dried corn. I’ll use the corn to make feed for my cows in the winter. That’s because there’s less grass for them to eat out in the pasture.

By the way, this is my wife. Meet Mrs. MacDonald! I have three children, too. Their names are Delilah, Sadie, and John. You can see our farmhouse in the background. This farm wouldn’t run smoothly without Mrs. MacDonald and the children. It takes a whole family to operate our modest little grange!

This might surprise you. Our farm is small contrasted with others. Sure, we have many different types of animals. And we grow and harvest a considerable variety of crops. But we don’t have nearly as much land as some of the other farms I will show you.


Farms are important. Most of the food we eat, from hamburgers to carrots to French fries, originates on a farm. Many kinds of fruits and vegetables come from farms. We also get milk, cheese, ice cream, and eggs from farms. Which of those foods do you like?

Bread, cakes, cereal, and crackers don’t come straight from farms. There are no farms with cookie trees or bread bushes. But the things you need to make bread and other foods come from farms. All kinds of meats come from farms, too.

Well, I have lots of work to do. I need to feed the rest of the animals. And I must water the crops. But first, I’ll fix this gate’s latch. That’s so the sheep doesn’t get out again. After finishing my work, I’ll keep my promise. I’ll take you on a tour. We’ll go see some other farms. You’ll learn more about farming and farm animals.


Chapter Two: With a Moo, Moo Here
I’m done with my day’s jobs. Let’s sightsee at some farms. We’ll depart for Farmer Brown’s place.

What’s the first thing you think of on farms? Cattle may come to mind. This is Mr. Brown’s cattle herd. I have just a few cows. He has a whole herd.

Female cattle are “cows.” The majority of cattle in this shot are cows. They’re like most farm animals. They spend their days standing around eating. That’s fine. In fact, that’s great! That’s absolutely what farmers want cows to do. The more they eat, the better!

Baby cattle are “calves.” A calf resembles its mother. They’re just smaller. Cows typically give birth to one calf each year. They’re like all mammals. This mother cow produces milk inside her body. The calf nourishes itself with the milk each day. That will change when the calf grows up. It will eat grass and other types of feed.


Look at the cow in this shot. You’ll see a large pouch on her belly. It’s near her hind legs. This is the cow’s “udder.” That’s where she generates and stores milk. The udder has four teats. Her calf will suck on one of those teats. It will drink milk when it’s hungry. Sometimes, the mother can’t make enough milk for her calf. Here’s what the farmer does in that case. He’ll feed the calf milk from a bottle.

Males, or father cattle, are called bulls. They are generally larger than cows. Bulls don’t make milk. A farmer has lots of cows. But they have just one or two bulls. Bulls can be unpredictable. Even an old, experienced farmer like me needs to be careful. Bulls can get feisty!

Cattle spend their time out in the fields. They graze on fresh, green grass. Grass isn’t always plentiful. So, some farmers use their extra fields. They grow grass, alfalfa, and other grains. For all of these, they can turn it into hay. Hay is dried grass. Cows and other farm animals can eat that. It’s good to have that as a back-up. It’s smart contingency planning.

The farmer lets these plants grow in his extra fields. Then he mows it down. He pulls a machine with his tractor to do that. Then he uses another machine to gather it up. That’s how you make hay bales.


You can store the hay bales in the field. Or, you can convey them to the barn. That keeps them nice and dry. They’ll be there for cattle to eat in the winter. That’s because there’s not much grass in the winter.

Some farmers give cows feed made from corn. And that’s not corn on the cob! People eat what’s called sweet corn. Farmers grow a different kind. It’s called “field corn.” It has lots of uses. It can be used for animal feed. Or, it can be an ingredient in lots of foods we eat.

Calves aren’t the only ones who drink cow’s milk. People drink it, too. Lots of you drink milk each day. It’s used to make ice cream, too. And it makes other dairy products. These include cheese, butter, and yogurt. So, cows’ milk is also helpful to people. That’s we have dairy farms.

People get a cow’s milk by milking the cow. Here’s how you do that. This girl squeezesteat on the udder. She gives it a vigorous tug. With each tug, a bit of milk squirts into the bucket. It will take her a while to fill it. Her hands and arms will doubtless be sore and tired. Over time, she’ll get used to it. She’ll build her muscles.


On modern dairy farms, machines are used to milk cows. You hook hoses up to the udders. Then the machines do the work. They pump the milk out of the udders. There’s a name for the building where the cows are milked. It’s called the “milking parlor.”

Fresh milk is accumulated twice each day. A truck comes to the dairy farm every other day. Often, the milk will go to a bottling factory. Then, it will be sold to a grocery. One day, it ends up in your frig.

Not all cows are dairy cows. Some farmers raise beef cattle. Beef is the word for cow meat. Here are some beef products. Roast beef, steaks, hamburgers, and beef stew.

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Lesson 69 – Part Two

NEW WORDS: Charlotte’s, Wilbur, affectionate, aggregates, anxious, awakening, barbecued, barter, boars, commonplace, comparison, consists, conveyor, deluxe, descriptions, earring, enclosure, favorites, fenced, fling, foraged, grunts, hopefully, incubators, litter, litters, loin, messy, miraculous, nametag, naturally, nesting, nocturnal, omelets, pellets, perching, pigsty, poached, predators, primed, rainwater, releases, reputation, roost, scamper, scoops, simultaneously, situate, skunks, sloping, smarter, snort, snorts, squeals, straighten, strips, suited, sustenance, traded, transparent, utilize, wallow, wallowing, wattle, wattles, weasels, white’s

Chapter Three: And a Cluck, Cluck There
Old MacDonald here once more. This time we’ll talk about chickens. I have a few chickens. But some farmers have LOTS of chickens. Chickens are birds. But they don’t really fly.

They’re like other birds in most ways. They have feathers, feet, beaks, and wings. But chickens can’t fly. They CAN flap their wings. And, at times, chickens can get a few feet off the ground. They might even get to the top of a shed roof. But chickens’ bodies aren’t suited to fly.

Some farmers let their chickens out in the yard. They peck around the ground for insects, seeds, and food. They tend to stay close to home. That’s as long as there’s food to be foraged. There’s no need to be anxious that they’ll run away.

Chickens need help from the farmer. That’s how they get the food they need. The farmer feeds them special pellets. It’s called chicken feed. Or, he can feed them dried corn, wheat, or oats.


Chickens live in a “coop.” Sometimes they’re there just at night. Sometimes it’s all day. A chicken coop is not a deluxe shelter. It consists of a small building. The chickens make their nests there. That’s where they roost, or sleep, at night.

The coop has a fenced-in dirt yard. Why’s there an enclosure? It’s to keep animals out. Let’s face it. Chickens are tasty. And they can’t fly. They’re easy prey for lots of animals. Who would like to eat them? Owls, foxes, raccoons, weasels, and skunks! Those creatures are “nocturnalpredators. That means they hunt at night. So, farmers make sure that the chickens are locked up. They should be in the coop each night. That’s before they go to bed.

Female chickens are “hens.” Hens lay eggs. People love to eat eggs! What goes on in most farms? The farmer collects eggs from the nests. That happens each morning and evening. On other farms, the hens lay their eggs in cages with sloping bottoms. So, the eggs roll out onto a conveyor belt that aggregates them. The farmer and his family eat the eggs. And they may barter or sell them to others.


Eggs have hard shells. Crack the shell to break open the egg. This releases the yolk and white. Egg yolk is yellow. Egg white is transparent. But it turns white when you cook it. Eggs are great for breakfast. They can be fried, scrambled, boiled, or poached. Omelets are yummy, too. Eggs are also used to make other foods. This includes cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

This hen laid several eggs. Now she’s sitting on them. What if the farmer does not collect the eggs? The hen will keep sitting on them. That keeps them warm and protected. This is called “nesting.”

The hen sits on the eggs for about twenty-one days. Then, something miraculous happens. A chick is born. It will utilize its beak to crack open the shell from the inside! What’s gone on for these twenty-one days? The chick has gradually grown inside the egg. All this time, it has used the egg yolk and white as its food. Within a few hours, the chick will be fluffy and yellow. On some farms, the eggs are hatched in incubators. These machines warm the eggs like a mother hen.

Hens are good mothers. They naturally know to situate themselves on eggs to keep them warm. And they know how to raise baby chicks. They’ll even sit on other hens’ (or even other birds’) eggs! Chickens are unlike cows and pigs in one big way. Chickens don’t produce milk to feed their young. After the chicks hatch, they quickly learn to scratch and peck. Soon, these chicks will be primed to peck the ground. They’ll find food for themselves.


Male chickens are called roosters. The farmer usually has only one rooster. Roosters don’t lay eggs. This rooster has a red comb on top of his head. It’s like the comb on hens’ heads. Here’s another comparison. A rooster has a larger “wattle” than a hen. This is a flap of bare skin. It hangs down on a bird’s throat. Roosters have larger wattles than hens.

Roosters are famous for perching on fences. Some can flap or scamper to the top of the barn. You’ve heard them loudly crow, “cock-a-doodle-do!” Roosters are alarm clocks for farmers. They often crow simultaneously with the sunrise. And awakening early is just fine for farmers. They know that “the early bird gets the worm.” Roosters continue crowing, from time-to-time, all day long. But they don’t crow “cock-a-doodle-do” at night.

Farmers don’t raise chickens just for their eggs. Many folks eat chicken. One of my favorites is fried chicken. But some folks like to eat roasted chicken. Barbecued chicken is great, too.

What’s a commonplace food for many kids? Chicken fingers! Of course, chickens don’t really have fingers! Chicken fingers are strips of cooked chicken meat. You eat them with your fingers.

Well, that’s “all things chicken.” My birds are getting hungry now. So, I’d better go fling a few scoops of feed into the coop.


Chapter Four: Here An Oink, There An Oink
I also have pigs on my farm. Some farmers raise lots of pigs. They’re like cows and chickens. Pigs depend on farmers for sustenance and habitation.

It’s feeding time. The farmer walks to the pig’s feeding trough. He dumps a bucket of feed into it. What’s the trough like? It may be a long, narrow, wooden bowl or steel pan.

Sometimes, pigs are called hogs. Call them what you like. It’s a known fact that pigs like to eat a lot. Some grow to be over 200 pounds! Pigs eat grass, grain, cheese, and vegetable scraps. They’ll eat pretty much whatever you feed them. (For some great descriptions of what pigs eat, here’s a tip. Read E.B. White’s classic, Charlotte’s Web. You’ll meet Wilbur the pig. His descriptions of what he’s eating are hilarious!)

Now here’s one for you! Some farmers use their pigs to help at harvest time! They help with the corn, bean, and turnip crops. They root around with their pointy snouts. That helps till the soil. The pigs even eat the weeds! That’s what I call smart farming.


What do pigs do when they’re not busy eating? They like to lie around in a cool spot. The farmer might let his pigs outside in a pasture. They’ll put their pointed noses to good use. They’ll make holes in the ground where rainwater collects. They become puddles. They make a nice, cool place to lie on a hot day. The pigs often wallow in the puddles. And they stir up plenty of mud. You see, pigs don’t sweat like people do! So, the mud helps keep them cool in the hot summer. It helps keep the bugs away, too.

Cows moo. People say that pigs go “oink.” But if you ask me, pigs have their own language. Listen to their grunts, snorts, and squeals. I hear that when I go near the pigpen. They sound like they’re having a conversation! “Pigsty” is another word for “pigpen.” But this might surprise you. Pigs really aren’t dirty or messy. So, what if someone says that your room looks like a pigsty? Straighten them out. Let them know that pigs actually don’t like their homes to be dirty.


Yes, they do have a reputation for being dirty, lazy, and greedy. That’s because they snort and eat a lot. And because they spend so much time wallowing in the mud. But here’s the real story. Pigs are intelligent, friendly creatures. (And I think they’re kind of cute!). Some folks say that pigs are smarter than dogs. But don’t tell that to my dog, Bingo! Some folks say that pigs make good pets. They are affectionate. And they like to play.

Here’s a new pig fact. They’re actually quick animals. When they need to, pigs can really move. I’ve owned lots of pigs in my life. I’ve learned the hard way. It’s really hard to catch a pig if it gets out of the pen.

Male and female pigs have different names. This is a male pig. They’re called “boars.” That’s not an earring in his ear. Each pig has a tag with a number. That way, the farmer can identify it. It’s like his nametag.


Female pigs are called “sows.” This sow has given birth to piglets. Sows give birth to litters of between six and twelve piglets each year. Pigs are mammals. So, pigs produce milk for their young. Sows do not have udders like cows. But they do have lots of teats. Hopefully enough for every piglet. What if the mother pig can’t produce enough milk? Another sow might have extra milk. The farmer may move one of the piglets to her.

Farmers raise pigs for their meat. Meat that comes from a pig is “pork.” It’s used to make products like bacon and sausage. You can also buy ham, pork chops, and pork loin. These are popular foods. You can roast, grill, or fry them.

Pigs are valuable animals. In some parts of the world, each family may own a pig. It can feed a whole family for a month or more. And, the sow may have a litter of piglets. The family waits till they’re grown. They can then be sold or traded in the market. That gets them money to buy food or other important things.

How would you like to get a pig of your own? Do you have room for one at your house?

Core Knowledge (R) Independent Reading 

(Review guidelines for publishing Core Knowledge (R) materials at the bottom of this page-view. This lesson is a “READ-ALOUD” Core Knowledge (R) passage that has been rewritten to be at a lower-grade independent reading level complexity than the original, largely by shortening and simplifying sentence structures while maintaining the richness of the text content.)

Lesson 70 – Part Three

NEW WORDS: afford, babysitter, broccoli, calories, challenging, contributes, coyotes, differently, discussed, edible, firmly, flock, imbedded, leads, mashed, minerals, occasion, processed, radishes, rams, razors, responsibilities, rhyme, shaggy, shearing, sheepdogs, sheeps, shepherds, spaghetti, tastier, unusual

Chapter Five: Everywhere A Baa, Baa
Old MacDonald here. You may remember this. I have sheep on my farm. The sheep say “baa, baa” here, and “baa, baa” there.

Up the road is my neighbor’s farm. You hear “baa, baa” all over it. She has a large flock of sheep. That’s right: a “flock.” Birds aren’t the only animals that travel in flocks. Sheep do, as well.

You might know something unusual about the word “sheep.” You have one cow, or a herd of cows. You have one pig, or a herd of pigs. You have one chicken, or a flock of chickens. But you have one SHEEP, or a flock of SHEEP. Did you get it? What do you call more than one sheep? The same word. SHEEP! You don’t need to add the “s” sound to the end of the word. Look at it this way. You would not say “a flock of ‘sheeps‘.” “She has a flock of SHEEP.”

A female sheep is called a “ewe.” It sounds the same as the word “you.” For instance, “How are YOU?” The words “you” and “ewe” sound the same. But they’re spelled differently. And they don’t mean the same thing.


A male sheep is called a “ram.” Farmers treat rams like they do roosters. They don’t keep many males in the flock. My neighbor has one or two rams. The rest of her flock is female.

A baby sheep is called a “lamb.” The ewe often has twin lambs. Baby lambs feed on their mother’s milk. The ewe may not have enough milk for two lambs. So, the farmer feed one of the lambs milk from a bottle.

So, you know all of this now. Farmers raise animals for milk, eggs, and meat. Sheep are mammals, like cows and pigs. They give birth to live young. And they make milk to feed their babies.

Some farmers raise sheep for milk. That’s used to make cheese. Some people raise sheep for meat. But most farmers raise sheep for their “wool.” That’s the fur that grows on their bodies. Wool is an important material to people. Sheep’s wool can be turned into yarn. It’s then woven into warm clothing or blankets. Look at this shot. Can you find the person who’s wearing a wool sweater?

Sheep lead simple lives. They spend most of their time grazing in the field. The farmer lets them out to graze each morning. He leads them back to their safe pen at night.


Sheep tend to stay with their flock. There is safety in numbers. Sheep don’t have to worry about small animals. Raccoons or skunks don’t sneak up and eat sheep. But sheep aren’t as big as cattle and pigs. And they’re certainly not fast. So, sheep farmers must protect sheep from larger predators. Coyotes and wolves might hunt sheep for food.

On occasion, a sheep does stray from the flock. It might be looking for some tastier grass. Sheep are valuable farm animals. They’re worth lots of money. The farmer cannot afford for them to wander off.

My neighbor hires a shepherd. He helps watch over her flock. The shepherd’s job is to lead the sheep out to pasture. He then will watch over them. It’s kind of like being an animal babysitter. He makes sure that sheep don’t wander off or get eaten by other animals. The shepherd’s job has big responsibilities. The shepherd must stay alert. He must be on the lookout for predators. What if a sheep starts to wander? The shepherd can catch the sheep with his “crook.” That’s a long wooden stick. It has a hook on the end. Then he leads the sheep back to the flock.

Shepherds sometimes need help themselves! Larger flocks are quite challenging. Dogs are trained to help care for the sheep. Dogs who work with sheep are called “sheepdogs.” They run after sheep that try to wander away. They chase them back to the flock. Sheepdogs are also good at chasing away predators.


The sheep eat grass. They grow thick coats of fuzzy wool all year round. You give them time to grow long, shaggy coats of wool. Then, the farmer gets out her shearing clippers. These are like electric razors that a barber uses to cut hair. The farmer uses the clippers to cut the wool off of all her flock’s sheep. She does this in the springtime. With warmer weather, the sheep no longer need a thick coat of wool. Winter will come around again. But the sheep will have grown new wool. That will keep them warm during the cold weather.

The farmer is careful when she shears the wool. She cuts it off in a way that does not hurt the sheep. The wool that she cuts off is called the “fleece.” The majority of the fleece comes off in one big piece.

A farmer might sing while shearing the sheep. It might be this old nursery rhyme. Do you know it?

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
And one for the dame.
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.


Chapter Six: All Kinds Of Crops
You’ve been learning lots about farm animals. From my farm, we’ve discussed cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep. I take good care of my animals. I give them food and shelter. I protect them. I get milk, eggs, wool, or meat from them.

I’ve mentioned this before. I plant and harvest wheat and corn crops. I feed some of that to my animals. I raise a number of additional crops. Some of them are cucumbers, beans, and carrots. We keep some for ourselves. We sell some to others.

Look at this shot. It shows foods that different farmers grow. Can you name the fruits and vegetables that you see here? I don’t grow all of these on my farm. Grocery stores buy fruits and vegetables from lots of farmers. So, when you go to the store, you have lot of choices.

Where will you find these at the store? They’re in the produce section. Most produce is grown on farms. They’re brought to the store after they’re harvested.

There’s a nice thing about vegetables. They’re healthy for you. And, you can eat as much as you want! They’re very low in calories. And they’re full of vitamins and minerals. Those are good for you. And what a broad choice you have. Carrots, green beans, cabbage, celery. Green peppers, lettuce, broccoli! I love to eat veggies. I hope you do, too.


You should eat at least two or three fruits each day. Did you know this? Tomatoes are fruits. They’re not veggies! I like to pick fresh tomatoes. Then I eat them like an apple. Mmm! So good!

One crop that I grow is field corn. Most of it is for feed for my animals. But I also grow sweet corn. I sell some of it at the local market each summer. Lots of folks like to eat corn, too.

My neighbor grows potatoes on her farm. This shot shows a crop of potato plants. Look closely. Do you see any potatoes? Nope! That’s because potatoes are part of potato plant’s roots! So where are the potatoes? Well, roots grow beneath the soil, right? So, the potatoes are underground!

All plants have roots. Roots take in water and nutrients from the soil. And they keep plants firmly imbedded in the Earth. And that’s even through wind and rain. Not all plants have edible roots. But potato plants do! At harvest time, farmers dig the potatoes out of the ground.

How do you eat potatoes? Baked? Mashed? What other foods are ways to prepare potatoes? How about potato chips and French fries?


Carrots, radishes, and beets are all root vegetables, too. How do farmers harvest them? Yes. They dig them up, too.

What else is grown on farms besides fruits and veggies? I happen to grow wheat. Some of that is food for my animals. People also eat wheat products. But we don’t eat it “raw,” like animals do! Wheat gets harvested. Then it gets processed. That puts it into a form of food that people like to eat. Some farmers grow other grains. These might be rice or oats.

Do you eat cereal. You’re likely eating wheat, oats, or rice grains! Look at a cereal box. Find out what kind of grains are in it.

Sometimes the grain is made into flour. Flour is then used in different recipes. It contributes to foods like bread, muffins, and cookies. It also turns into spaghetti! I’m proud to grow crops that become food for you.

Click on this link to move forward to Module C, Lessons 71 – 82



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