Tag Archives: Where the Red Fern Grows

Today’s Unschooling Lessons

So Chris finished his book today.  I love his mom’s suggestion that he read Where the Red Fern Grows.  He finished it and said it was great, sad but a really good book.  We spent a few minutes discussing the scenes that impacted him the most, and what touched him the most.  He was dying to watch the movie (which I said we would only do after he completed the book), so he’s already started it.  I just asked him to bring it in here so we can watch together, so we’re about to do that.  I hope that it will also spark a conversation about the differences between the book and the movie.

Small Rainbow

Our evening lesson

In the meantime, the photo that accompanies this post led to a 2-part discussion about rainbows.  First, we discussed how rainbows are a reflection off of the water’s surface.  We also discussed the mnemonic trick to remember the colors of the rainbow.  ROY G. BIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

We have the 2003 re-make, with Dabney Coleman and Dave Matthews.  Here are Chris’s reactions as we watch the movie (I’ve left out any of my own, these are all the ones Chris noticed):

  1. Opening scene, where our Hero saves the dog from a dogfight, Chris remarks, “but the book said there were a lot of dogs in the fight.”  Yes, that’s correct, there was.  🙂
  2. They skipped a lot of stuff, and in the book, the parents were a lot nicer.
  3. There were three sisters, not just two.
  4. The axe was a double-bladed axe.
  5. The house/homestead was not as he’d pictured it.
  6. When he gets the “man-size axe”, it’s still not double-bladed.
  7. They skipped the part where grandpa showed him how to trap the first coon.
  8. They skipped the part where grandpa showed him the scarecrow.
  9. The bet wasn’t $5, it was $2.
  10. The way the Pritchard boy dies… that’s not how it happened.  That’s definitely not how it happened.  He left his axe down there, and the big one (the bigger Pritchard boy) took the axe and tripped, but in the movie, it was his own axe, not Billy’s.
  11. When Billy said he’s never going hunting again, that never happened either.
  12. When Old Dan dies, that’s not the way it happened.  They killed the cat.
  13. Is that true?  About the red fern?

Since Chris asked about the red fern, we did do a google search.  The general consensus is that yes, there is an Indian legend that only angels can plant a red fern; however, I couldn’t find a good reference to the actual legend.  Since legends are passed down orally, it may simply take a little research to find it, so we will continue with that.  I think we’ll do a little research on the Ozark Mountains, Oklahoma, and lead into the Trail of Tears from here, but we’ll see where that goes.  Chris says he knows a little about it, but not much.  I wish I had more pictures from our trip to show him, but as I did most of the driving, I didn’t get to take as many photos as I would have liked.

Now on to our next book to read.  I’m going to try to find a resource that lists 7th/8th grade books that are read in public schools so that we can go from there.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment and suggest something (whether a book or a resource).  Thanks!!  🙂

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