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12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

For February, there is no better book than Black Beauty.  It’s an easy read-aloud that pulls in young learners with its action and adventure and lessons on everything from how to care for a horse to how to practice kindness with all living things.

Anna Sewell’s timeless tale of a horse’s life is a brilliant book for teaching.  With almost no effort, your kiddos will learn the parts of a horse, what horses like to eat, how to treat horses, and lots and lots of lessons about friendship and human nature.

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

Teaching With Black Beauty

This is another book with which you can get creative.  (Are there any other kind?)  We did week-long lessons in science, art, and history along with the story.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Science

Learn about horses more in-depth.  Check out library books, find printables on the interweb, watch movies about horses.  Find a picture of a horse and let your kids label it with terms like mane, tail, withers, pastern, fetlock, hoof, and muzzle.  There’s a great vocabulary list for this at Habitat for Horses.

A big theme in Black Beauty concerns animal cruelty.  Have your children research the use of animals in drug and cosmetic testing.  How does it compare with the cruelty toward horses in the story?

Visit the Humane Society or another animal shelter.  Better yet, volunteer to help.

History

Beauty lived in a pre-automobile era.  Have your children research the ways in which horses were used before cars and other machines took their places.

Anna Sewell was an invalid when she wrote Black Beauty, and the novel features ill health as a reason Squire Gordon and his family must give Beauty up.  Have your children study 19th century medical practices and the types of illnesses that often caused people to move to new homes.

Art

This is a cool project because you can glue it together to make art or simply stick the felt pieces onto the background.  If you choose not to use glue, you can rearrange your project however and whenever you want and use it as a play mat.  Yeah yeah.

What you need:

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • 9×12″ green felt sheet
  • Felt in various other colors such as blue, yellow, pink, brown, white, and shades of green
  • Glue (optional)
  • Scissors

What you do:

There is a complete description of Beauty’s childhood meadow on the first page of the book.  Write out the description for your littles to follow.  It should look something like this:

Description of Black Beauty's Childhood Meadow

Now you can get started.

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • The 9×12 green felt will be the base of your meadow.  Using your scissors, round it up a bit to make it look more like land.  Along the right edge, cut a wavy line that will become the bank of the brook.

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

Cut a wavy line of blue felt and glue or stick it to the back of the meadow along the right edge to make your brook

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

Cut an oval out of blue felt for the pond

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Lay the oval on a piece of light green felt

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut out an oval about a half-inch bigger than the pond

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Glue or stick the pond onto the meadow

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut small circles from green felt, then cut a snip out of each circle to create lily pads
  • Glue or stick lily pads onto one edge of pond

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut small triangles from pink and white felt to make lily flowers
  • Glue or stick flowers onto lily pads

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut rounded tree shapes from green felt
  • Glue or stick tree shapes to one side of pond

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut a long wavy line from green felt to create a hedge
  • Glue or stick hedge onto bottom of meadow

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut another wavy line from green felt that is shorter than the left edge, leaving room for a gate
  • Cut a thin rectangle from brown felt to make the gate

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Finish up with another line of wavy green felt if you want more hedge

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut small and medium triangles from green felt to make fir trees
  • Glue or stick fir trees to side of pond

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut small circles from yellow felt to create meadow flowers
  • Glue or stick meadow flowers to meadow wherever you want

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.

  • Cut small circles from various colored felts to make pond bank flowers
  • Glue or stick flowers to pond bank

12 Months of Literary Activities: Black Beauty includes a kids' craft tutorial for a Felt Black Beauty Meadow and other teaching activities to accompany Anna Sewell's classic book.You’re done!  How cute is that?  And perfect for playing with little horses.

If want even more ideas for teaching with Black Beauty, head over to my Activities for Learning post and get some wonderful creative writing ideas plus so much more!

Also, if you missed January’s Activity for Winnie-the-Pooh, make sure you go look at that adorable Very Useful Pot.  And come back tomorrow, my friends.  We’ve got 10 months to go!

Love wins,

KT

Looking for more book activities?  Check out:

Story Time: The Valentine Bears - Crafts and activities to go with the picture book

Story Time: The Valentine Bears

Story Time: The Lorax - Crafts and activities for the picture book

Story Time: The Lorax

Activities for Learning has more than 75 activities for reading comprehension and fun for Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie Activities for Learning

A Year Down Yonder: Activities for Learning

A Year Down Yonder Activities for Learning

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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6 Comments

  1. I love how you incorporated art, history, and science all from the Black Beauty Book. When my kiddos were younger we never mixed the book we were reading with the other learning subjects – this is just WONDERFUL! 🙂

  2. that is a well done study on Black Beauty. good job. Will be pinning.

  3. I love this idea!! I will most definitely be putting this in our plans for February. My daughter loves horses but I would have never thought of this–this is why I love the blog post sharing we get to do on Facebook!!

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