Farmer George Plants a Nation
Calkins Creek, 2008, Illustrated by Layne Johnson
Grade levels: 3-6, Accompanying lesson plans target a variety of
age levels and offer educators flexibility in planning.
Farmer George Plants a Nation is a biography that crosses curriculum lines linking English Language Arts, History and Science. Washington was not only a general and the first president of the United States, but he was also a forward-thinking farmer who understood that America’s success would depend on farming the land properly and becoming self-sufficient. I contend that Washington’s efforts at Mount Vernon mirrored his struggle to create a free nation.
This book can be used to meet the following criteria:
National Education Curriculum Standards:
English/ Reading for Perspective
English/ Reading for Understanding
Developing Research Skills
Science as Inquiry
History and Nature of Science
Civics/ Values and Principles of Democracy
U.S. History/ Democratic Values
Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation
Common Core State Standards: Informational Text/Literary Nonfiction
Key Ideas and Details: An examination of Farmer George reveals that every double paged spread focuses on a Key Idea (i.e.: Washington was an inventor) that is supported by specific examples and quotes from Washington’s diaries and letters.
Craft and Structure: Primary documentation and illustrations support the main text, and create a parallel structure, which builds the author’s point of view that Washington’s efforts at Mount Vernon mirrored his struggle to create a free nation.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Along with other Class ACTS texts such as The Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McClafferty, and George Washington by Cheryl Harness, readers can examine books on the same subject. What is the Key Idea of each book? How are they different? Where does the material overlap, and why?
Farmer George can also be used as a mentor text for student research and writing, especially in the use of figurative language and narrative, and using primary document to support a main idea.