This post has an activity for color graphing with horses printable freebie. Make math activities fun with this color graphing with horses printable. The printable may be used with or without small plastic horses. I bought my own toys. The paper cubes have color words. This free printable on the blog on the free eMember page of resources. The sign-up is free by selecting the free radio button on the sign up page which makes the priced option disappear.
History of Horses in America
Before America was the industrial powerhouse it is today, it was an agricultural powerhouse. In fact, success in American agriculture nearly bankrupted England at one point. Downton Abbey fans will recognize the back story where Lord Grantham needed to marry an American heiress to save his family’s estate. But that is another story, told by someone else for another time.
Crop yields improve substantially with greater labor power and mechanization. A farmer who had only his own power to farm would yield far less per acre than a farmer with oxen or horses. Farmers with oxen and horses could grow a lot more per acre and invest less time. If mother nature cooperated, they could grow enough to feed their family and sell the excess on the open market.
Technology impacted farming in more fields than mechanization. Farming also benefited greatly from advances in metallurgy. Farm equipment used to be made of hardened wood (fragile), cast iron (heavy), or steel (expensive).
On an interesting historical side note, Damascus steel was an exception to metalsmithing prior to the Industrial Revolution. It was light and extremely strong, which made it highly prized. Sadly the secret of Damascus steel has been lost; the strength and weight of true Damascus steel is unparalleled. The name actually comes from the metalsmiths of Damascus although the actual metal is thought to be possibly mined from somewhere in what is now South India. But I digress, dear Reader.
Oxen are slow, and their very strength combined with their temperament sometimes made driving teams of oxen unsuitable for children and women. Note: I am not being sexist. I am making an observation that due to gender dimorphism, human women are generally less physically strong than human men. Interestingly in nature, there are creatures where females are the stronger and bigger of the two genders (peregrine falcons are an excellent example).
The third and most expensive option was horses. Pa Ingalls decided to take on the expenditure to buy a team of horses (Sam and David) when the oxen almost took Ma Ingalls over a cliff. Ma Ingalls could not stop the oxen when they ran away, Pa Ingalls was luckily able to turn the oxen before they all went over a river bluff. However Pa Ingalls decided rather than to risk a repeat episode, they were better off buying more tractable and faster horses.
For example, there is an enterprising man in the Upper Midwest who has shunned using destructive, modern machines in forestry and gone back to using two horses to work in a more sustainable and responsible manner. I.e. he can selectively thin out a forest rather than the indiscriminate clearing often found with solely mechanized forestry, This raises an interesting ethical and environmental point. Which method mimics the life cycle of the forest more? Which has a more beneficial impact on the forest ecosystem? But I digress again, dear Reader.
Horses were (and arguably still are) important livestock on working farms. Not only were they beasts of burden but they also were the swiftest means of transportation in the days before automobiles. Humans had only a few means of transportation before trains and automobiles. You had boats and ships (only if waterways were navigable), you could walk (very slow), or you could use horse transportation by either riding the horse or driving a horse in a wagon, buggy, carriage, or other wheeled means.
Horses today and in the past are classed by temperament and usage. There are hot-bloods, primarily Arabians and Thoroughbreds, which are not generally suitable for farm work. They are fast but not meant for farm work and thus have generally been the preserve of the wealthy and leisured. Cold-bloods are typically large, heavily muscled horses meant for hard labor, aka the typical draft horse. Warm-bloods are in-between the hot-bloods and cold-bloods and encompass a wide variety of uses, including saddle horses, hunters, and light draft work. Most farmers generally sought draft horses or heavier warm-bloods for use on the farm. A farm horse often found itself working just as tirelessly and as hard as their owners, if not harder.
So dear Reader, we have not only the early American farmers to thank for building a great country, but also their livestock. Especially the many horses of all sizes, breeds, and age. This is for you, Sam, David, Bess, Beauty, Starlight, and every other working horse in America.
How To Play Color Graphing
Color graphing of the more muted colors to learn how to read and write them is possible with toy horses. Either the color cube or the word cube could be used for rolling as best fits your child’s learning stage. Then, the horses are made available for use as objects for graphing. This page asked the children to look at the color of the mane only.
Click on these words to open the free printable here if you would also like to use it at your house. If no plastic horses are available, buttons or other objects could be used for recording.
You might also like other guest posts by i-Reid at this link.
Little Art City on the Prairie: Impressions of Faulkton South Dakota
Written by I. Reid, Gary L. Wilhelm, and Carolyn Wilhelm, Cover Illustrator Pieter Els
The beauty of the prairie and the loveliness of the area inspired the main author, I. Reid. Faulkton is an example of a city that refused to simply exist (and perhaps become obsolete) and turned to its arts council for ideas.
A Mom: What is an Adoptive Mother? Children’s Book
What is a mother? A mother is the same whether children are adopted or biological. In this story, the child has been adopted. It is written from the viewpoint of the child to help explain mother is the same in any family. Mom helps check under the bed for monsters, reads books, and watches movies with the girl. She does the same things every mother does. Visually, the images show a white mother and an Asian daughter. The main author, I-Reid, has previously written blog posts for this blog, and now she has written her first children’s picture book.
See my book review of Bunnicula at this link. There is a free instant PDF download educational printable at the link as well.
Here is a link to my informational post for parents to help them understand the ratings for Japanese Manga books.
Discussion questions for the movie and book, Howl’s Moving Castle (free instant download at the blog post)
My own review of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is towards the end of this post with a free literature unit supplement for teachers.
Experiments are fun, and this post tells about both the dancing dime as well as the dry ice experiments I described.
Critique of Two Books About the Champawat Tiger: Man-Eaters of Kumaon and No Beast So Fierce by I-Reid