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Rogers Historical Museum  
 
A to Z in the Ozarks

Story Box Descriptions

(Recommended for grades K-2 & ESL)

 

 

The A-Z in the Ozark program is a series designed to enrich basic learning in the classroom.  Each of the 26 history lessons can stand alone or be used together.  In addition, the lessons and activities often cross the boundaries of other curriculums such as math, science, and language arts.  They can be used to supplement phonics programs, and are designed to be used by the teacher.  The following gives a brief overview of each lesson.

 

A - Aviators:  Students learn about the famous aviators from the Ozarks and the machines they flew.

 

B - Beavers:  Students learn details about the beaver, including how they make their home from logs and limbs.

 

C - Candles and Cabins:  Students learn the process of candle-making.  Discussion includes what types of dyes were used in the mixing of primary colors to make secondary colors.

 

D - Diamonds in the Dust:  The lesson reviews the five regions of Arkansas as well as various minerals that are derived from each region. 

 

E - Eagles and Elephants:  Students review geography as they learn about the time that the train brought the circus to Rogers.

 

F - Frogs and Fiddles:  The sound of the fiddle is enjoyed as students listen to the music Froggy Went A’Courtin.

 

G - Gourds and Geese:  The wanderings of a little goose lead to observations of the crops growing in the garden.  Students will see that silhouettes of both gourds and geese are similar. 

 

H – Hats and Hatters: By reading Boss of the Plains: The Hat that Won the West by Laurie Carlson, students will learn the history of the Stetson Hat and how it came to replace the many different hats worn by early settlers and travelers.  An account of a local hatter, James Ricketts, is also given. 

 

I - Itse Selu:  Green Corn Festival:  The book entitled Itse Selu by Daniel Pennington celebrates the Cherokee harvest festival.  This holiday celebrated two things:  the successful corn harvest and the beginning of a new year.

 

J - Jams and Jellies:  Various types of berries are reviewed and students learn about making jelly.

 

K - Kettles in the Kitchen:  Old fashioned cooking methods and cookware are studied.

 

L - Logs and Loaves:  Students learn about life in a log cabin by reading Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Laura is given pieces of dough to shape into bread and cookies.  Real images of the bread baking process are featured in the book Food for the Settler by Bobbie Kalman.

 

M - Mountain Music:  In addition to the storybook Turkey in the Straw by Barbara Shook Hazen, recordings Ozark Folk Music and Mountain Dulcimer are included so students may hear the song “Turkey in the Straw,” as well as the many other instruments found in the rural landscape of Arkansas.  A dulcimer is also included with this box.

 

N - Needles and Nests:  Students learn that the pine tree is native to Arkansas and look at the various types of nests that birds of Arkansas make for homes.

 

O - Opossums and Outhouses:  The outhouse seemed like a palatial home to the opossum.  In addition to the story students look at different types of outhouses.

 

P - P is for Peanuts:  The story of the peanut and the life of George Washington Carver are presented.

 

Q - Quilts:  Students explore the process of making quilts using the book My Grandmother’s Patchwork Quilt by Janet Bolton and have the opportunity to observe several quilt blocks.

 

R – Roosters, Hens & Chicks:  Students look at an early morning wake-up call from the perspective of the rooster.  They will also learn how a baby chick hatches.

 

S - Strings and Straw:  Using the book Haystack by Bonnie & Arthur Geisert students look at haystacks from before baled hay was used, and observe how string was used in the life of early settlers.

 

T - Tops and Toothpicks:  Students observe different types of wooden tops and toys, and the wooden toothpicks once manufactured in Arkansas.

 

U – Ulysses’ Underwear:  Students enjoy hands-on observations of old fashioned undergarments after enjoying the adventure of Zachary the Zebra in the book Underwear by Mary Elise Monsell.

 

V - Vera’s Vittles:  The term “vittles” is introduced and students learn how families moving west fed themselves by trapping, hunting, harvesting food from the forest, and growing crops when they finally settled in an area.

 

W - Wool and Weaving:  Students look at the process of bartering and how involved making a winter coat can be when you go from raw material to the finished product.

 

X – X Marks the Spot:  Students will learn about maps through books and activities.  Box includes historic maps of our area as well. 

 

Y – Yams & More:  A discussion about general stores and all the wonderful things that can be found within. 

 

Z - Zoe’s Zinnias:  Students consider moving to Arkansas.  In her garden, Zoe plants mysterious seeds, and each day as she tends to them she remembers the grandparents she left behind.

 

All 26 boxes are rotated to participating schools, to be used at teacher discretion.  Boxes are rotated through school libraries during the school year.  Boxes that are not currently on rotation are also available for individual check-out.

 

 

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