Paddle To The Sea is such a fun way to learn North American geography and so much more. If this is the first you have heard of the classic story, let me tell you just a bit more…
The story, written from the viewpoint of a canoe that was made by a Native American boy, starts up north in Canada. His journey takes Paddle, the little canoe, through wilderness adventures as he travels to the Great Lakes.
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Students learn about wildlife native to forests, streams, marshes and ponds. There is much opportunity to expand learning by researching topics described in the tale. Readers can learn about saw mills and the iron milling businesses, to name just two. We found videos about the logging business and iron ore mining that further enrich the learning experience.
The children in our home-school group made their own soft air-dry clay canoe sculptures while hearing the Paddle to the Sea book read to them. At the end of each session, we broke into small teams using a big map of Canada and the northern part of the USA.
The children located and labeled the various landmarks named in the story (Lake Nipogan and the Apostle Islands, for example.) Then they opened their laptops and found videos about sawmills, iron mining and the fishing industry on the Great Lakes. A multimedia approach to learning makes it so effective and FUN.