Light Comes to Shadow Mountain

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Description

Explore the beautiful Appalachian region of the United States of America with Cora Tipton and her family during The Great Depression. In this unit, students will learn about electricity, electrical circuits and the electric grid, herbalism, depression and mental health, and journalism.

This unit is ideal for students ages 8-12, but can easily accommodate younger or older students.

What will my students learn?

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain is a highly adaptable unit study. Each student’s learning objectives will depend on the activities and topics you choose to explore. These are just a few of the available learning opportunities:

  • Explore Appalachian culture through:
    • Language
    • Recipes
    • Music
    • Stories
  • Participate in Appalachian nature studies about:
    • Bees
    • Stars
    • Constellations
    • Herbs
    • Nocturnal animals
  • Practice mapping skills as you:
    • Locate and explore the Appalachian region and culture from the 1930’s to modern times.
    • Track Amelia Earhart’s last flight around the world, and explain what you think happened to her.
  • Identify Appalachian herbs and preparations through:
    • Scavenger hunts
    • Plant talks
    • Creating herbal preparations
  • Understand the impacts of The Great Depression by:
    • Exploring initiatives like the Rural Electrification Administration set in place by FDR.
    • Studying source images through a guided picture study.
    • Watching original film footage from the 1930’s.
    • Comparing and contrasting life from the 1930’s with today.
  • Demonstrate mastery of adjectives including the use of strong vs. weak adjectives.
  • Develop social and emotional skills through:
    • Exploring big emotions.
    • Discussing what depression is like.
    • Practicing empathy and caring for others.
    • Creating a set of tools to strengthen mental health.
  • Examine electricity by:
    • Discovering how circuits work.
    • Explaining how the electrical grid is connected.
  • Gain an understanding of the human body through:
    • Exploring the basic functions of the lymphatic system.
    • Practicing basic first aid for burns.
    • Exploring the functions of the human eye.
  • Plus more!

Unit Components

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain by Toni Buzzeo

It’s 1937, and the government is pushing to bring electricity to the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It’s all Cora can think of: radios with news from around the world, machines that keep food cold, lightbulbs by which to read at night! Cora figures she can help spread the word by starting a school newspaper and convincing her neighbors to support the Rural Electrification Act.

Activity Box

Make hands-on learning easy with this Light Comes to Shadow Mountain activity box. Use it as a stand-alone resource to keep learning on weekends or during summer break; or pair it with the Adventure Guide to make hands-on learning activities easy and open-and-go.

What’s in the box?
  • Light Comes to Shadow Mountain by Toni Buzzeo, a hardback book
  • Jack Tales: Folk Tales from the Southern Appalachians, a paperback book of Appalachian Jack Tales
  • Two Reporter’s notebooks with press passes and pens
  • Herbal Kit including everything needed to grow your own calendula plants and to make an herbal salve. (You will need to provide 4 oz of olive oil.)
  • Herbal Roots Zine: Calendula (mini printed version plus PDF)
  • Electric Circuit Kit which includes everything you need to create three different paper circuits
  • Embroidery Kit with enough supplies for 2 handkerchief projects
  • Six Recipe Cards that make it easy to try some of the Appalachian dishes from Light Comes to Shadow Mountain
  • An exclusive letter from the author, Toni Buzzeo

Adventure Guide

Bring Light Comes to Shadow Mountain alive as a full unit study with science, history, language and writing activities, and more. Just add a math curriculum for a complete homeschool experience.

Download a free sample of the first three lessons here (digital version with clickable links).

Download a free sample of the first three lessons here (print friendly version).

What’s included in the Adventure Guide?
  • An easy open-and-go two-page spread for each lesson with:
    • Watch it – a video selection
    • Do it – two no or low prep activities that correlate with the reading 
    • Herbs to Note – keep track of new herbs along the way
    • Think and Consider – deep discussion questions that encourage higher-order thinking
    • Vocabulary List (more vocabulary activities are available in the optional Language Guide)
  • Explore More activities for deeper learning across all subjects
  • Information Center with additional books, websites, unit studies, and more to dive even deeper into topics of interest
  • Planning pages and sample schedules to make getting started easy.
  • Master Book List with all of the book recommendations arranged by target age group

The Adventure Guide is a digital resource. In your online account, you will be able to access a digital version of the Adventure Guide with clickable links as well as a printer friendly version.

Ticket to Learning Consumable Resources for Light Comes to Shadow Mountain

This document contains printable activities, worksheets, and step-by-step resources to complement the activities in the Adventure Guide. Most activities are available at multiple levels and styles to accommodate individual learning needs.

Print Upgrade for the Adventure Guide

We know that printing curriculum can be expensive and time-consuming. As a convenience, we offer a printed version of our Adventure Guides. To keep costs low, we do not print all of the appendix. Adventure Guides are printed on premium paper, spiral-bound in-house, and priced at cost*. We hope that providing this service will make your homeschooling experience easier and more affordable.

*Because we are not a printing company, our printed materials sometimes have minor imperfections such as a few ink smudges or slightly curled edges.

Language Guide

Filled with vocabulary, spelling, handwriting activities, and more, this guide will help you take your language arts instruction to the next level.

Download a free sample of the first three lessons here.

Download a free sample of the Vocabulary Game Card Pack here.

What activities are in the Language Guide?
  • Reading Comprehension Pages: If you’re assigning Light Comes to Shadow Mountain as an independent reader, these pages will help make sure your student understands the content. These pages can be completed orally or as written work. Most questions are different from the discussion questions in the Adventure Guide, but some important questions may be repeated.
  • Vocabulary Worksheet A: Includes all the vocabulary words for a given lesson as they are used in Light Comes to Shadow Mountain. Students will fill-in-the-blanks with the correct words. Page numbers are listed to make checking answers easy.
  • Vocabulary Worksheet B: These practice sheets give your students a chance to interact with words in a variety of ways. All of the activities are designed to create a deep understanding of the words, making it easier for your child to incorporate them into their everyday vocabulary.
  • Word Work: Gain a better understanding of a word’s meaning and spelling by discovering its parts, defining, illustrating, and using it in a sentence as well as exploring synonyms, antonyms, and word families such as verb tenses or singular and plural noun forms.
  • Grammar: Several activities are included to aid in mastery of the grammar concept being taught: adjectives. These are different from and in addition to the grammar activities found in the Adventure Guide.
  • Copy, Cover, Write: Some students like to pair vocabulary with spelling. This activity can help. There are two different versions of this worksheet. Choose the one that’s best for your child’s writing size.
  • Handwriting/Copywork: There are four levels of handwriting and copywork pages for each passage. Choose the level that best suits your learners. You can extend learning with the passages by noting spelling, grammar, and punctuation patterns.
  • Vocabulary Game Card Pack: This printable resource is included with your Language Guide as a separate downloadable file. It provides many opportunities to learn and review vocabulary. The Vocabulary Game Card Pack includes several game ideas, but feel free to modify these and create your own games and activities as well.

While this unit is jam-packed with activities across all subject areas, you may need a more robust science or history curriculum to meet local homeschooling requirements or individual needs. We recommend that you only use one or two of these additional resources per student.

What are the recommended resources?

Science

Explore Light and Optics by Anita Yasuda

Ages 7-10

Light is a major theme in Light Comes to Shadow Mountain. Explore optics, sunlight, colors, the human eye, and more with this engaging, full-color, activity-packed resource.

Electricity by Carmella Van Vleet

Ages 8-12

As Cora desperately tries to find a way to bring electricity to Shadow Mountain, readers may have questions about how electricity works. This resource, published by Nomad Press, answers those questions and more as it helps children understand the function and importance of electricity in our past, present, and future. Each lesson contains multiple hands-on activities.

History

Nellie Bly and Investigative Journalism for Kids by Ellen Mahoney

Ages 9+

Cora, the main character in Light Comes to Shadow Mountain, wants to be a journalist. Her hero is the famous journalist, Nellie Bly. Journalism plays a HUGE role in our story. Dive into the history of investigative journalism as this resource explores not only Nellie Bly, but also famous historical journalists such as Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, Ida B. Wells, and Upton Sinclair. It also looks at some modern journalists you may have heard of and includes twenty-one hands-on activities.

The Great Depression for Kids by Cheryl Mullenbach

Ages 9+

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain takes place in the middle of the Great Depression. Because the Rural Electrification Act is part of FDR’s New Deal, bringing electricity to Shadow Mountain is a possibility. The Great Depression for Kids gives a bird’s-eye view of the Great Depression from the Roaring Twenties until World War II. It includes twenty-one activities to help children relate to this important time in history.

The Great Depression by Marcia Amidon Lusted

Ages 12+

This is a perfect resource for bringing older or more advanced students into this family unit study as they compare and contrast the United States today with what it was like in the 1930s. You can use this to build American History credit hours for a high school student or as additional challenging reading (and activities) for a middle school student.

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Language Guide: Digital

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Language Guide: Digital

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