Thursday, May 28, 2015

Island Ponies Part 1

June 18, 2013
Two of my favorite things in this world (outside of my family!) are horses and the seashore. I was blessed to have been able to grow up spending my summers by the sea. The beach we lived near was very close to Assateague Island National Seashore. I used to love to go watch the ponies graze and wander around the island. Back then there were few people that gathered at Assateague so it really felt like I was in a different world and time. 

Every year in July we'd hear all about the annual Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague. Because of my love for these animals and the beautiful sea, it is no surprise that I was very excited when my daughter's book club a few years ago chose Misty of Chincoteague. I quickly jumped on board to volunteer to lead that discussion. Now that another daughter and I are part of a new book, I chose once again to read and discuss Misty. 

 For both book club events I had the kids make a little mini "island" in a jar. 

Here is how to create it....

Gather together:
~ a glass votive jar 
~ a plastic toy pony (you can buy them in bulk like this)
~ some sand and a few decorative mini seashells. (both can be found at a craft store if you don't live near a beach)
~ acrylic paint in blue, green, and maybe some brown and yellow for more details in the sea grass
~ a couple of small paintbrushes
~ superglue

{NOTE! If you are doing this project for a large group of children, reverse the first 2 steps and have the ponies glued into the jars ahead of time}

First, have the children paint some waves and sea grass around the entire jar.

Second, superglue the pony into the jar.

Once the jar is dry and the pony is set, have the children add sand to their jar.

Finally, place a some seashells in the jar.

Now they have their own little "Misty"!

 In the story, Paul received a candy bar from his grandfather before he headed out with the men for the roundup. Then when he brought in the Phantom and the colt the men cheered for Paul and gave him candy bars. Candy bars were so rare back then for the Beebe family so this was significant. To tie in to this theme, the last time I led the discussion, I typed the questions up and cut them into strips (1 question per strip). Then I wrapped each question around a mini Hershey Bar. The kids were able to keep the candy bars after they answered the questions. I ran out of time this time and couldn't do this step. I'm guessing the moms were really okay with that!

And finally, to keep with the beach theme, I purchased some salt water taffy at a nearby Cracker Barrel to share with the children.

In addition to the book club, I ventured off into an entire unit study (with my own kids) about wild ponies up and down the Eastern Seaboard. We also enjoyed an ocean unit. I will share those things with you in part 2 very soon!

For now, I hope you will enjoy Misty as much as I have.
God bless, 

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