Grade 1: The Wise Enchanter and a Giveaway!

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This whole block was like a fairy tale. Everything we did seemed enchanted. And the best part? I didn’t plan any of it. It all just kinda happened. I knew I was onto something magical when I showed Jude the cover of The Wise Enchanter by Shelley Davidow. He had been asking me what we were going to do for his last block, and I told him we were going to read a story about the alphabet. When he saw the book, he looked at me with these big eyes and said, “It’s the prince. He grew up to be a wise enchanter.” I didn’t exactly know what he was talking about at first. Then I realized he was remembering the story I told him during his first letters block. It was a faux fairy tale about a prince and a wise woman who go on a journey. I had not realized how deeply the story and the characters had been for him. Quick to recognize a gift when I see one however, I said, “Yes, of course it is. We are going to see what happens now that the prince has become a wise enchanter.”

Jude loved this story from start to finish. It is about 4 children, all of whom are around 7 years old, who embark on a quest to rescue all 26 letters of the alphabet and therefore language itself. At the end of every chapter there is an illustration of each letter in picture form. After finishing a chapter, Jude and I would trace the letter with our finger. He was very solemn and ritualistic about this, and I just held that space for him. We took about 3 weeks to read it and created our own “magic book” similar to the one described in the story. I think The Wise Enchanter by Shelley Davidow would be perfect to read during the end of grade 1 or during the beginning of grade 2. It is a solid story full of adventure and magic, with a definite – but not overbearing – Waldorf influence.

And now for the giveaway! If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Wise Enchanter, leave a comment below telling me the best book you read this year. It can be either an adult book or one for a child – or both! I’ll announce the winner on Friday, June 14. Good luck!! And the winner is Amy! Over at Amy Learning to Love! I loved reading all the book suggestions and have added a bunch of them to our summer reading list. Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Resource:

  • The Wise Enchanter, Shelley Davidow

Projects:

  • Created a magic book of postcards including all 26 letters of the alphabet

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  • Created little alphabet cards with uppercase and lowercase pairs of letters to hang on the wall

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Click the image below if you would like to see all the blocks we have done for grade 1 this year.

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34 thoughts on “Grade 1: The Wise Enchanter and a Giveaway!

  1. Sounds like this was truly a magical learning experience. How lovely! I recently finished “In the Shade of the Banyan.” It was a difficult book to read at times, but I highly recommend it.

    • Love, love, love, love Anne! We read Anne of Avonlea this year and I can’t wait to read the next one next year. (You can see I dole them out like precious jewels!) Anne is always our read-aloud for February. Helps keep the winter doldrums at bay.

  2. Hi Stella! Love your recommendations, as always. Will definitely use this book for my last little homeschooler. Lately, I’ve been reading books that have been recommended for my middle schooler and I REALLY enjoyed Walk Two Moons and Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Avi’s The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle was wonderful, too. Happy summer reading to us all and Love to you, dear Stella!

    • Hi Sheila! Hands down, my favorite book of the year has been Astrid Lindgren’s The Children of Noisy Village. Not because it’s a super-fantastic book (though it is really sweet!), but because it completely and totally enraptured my reluctant-to-read second grader. We finished it in 2 days over Christmas (as a read-aloud), and a week later I caught him hiding under his covers, reading it to himself by flashlight. Love, love, love!

      • Hey Jen! I guess you are back from your trip. Maybe?

        I love that story about the flashlight. That is definitely how you know it’s a good book. My boys LOVE Pippi Longstocking, so we will have to check that one out.

    • You know, I’ve never read anything by Avi. (Wondering if I should admit that in public?)

      Yes, B will love The Wise Enchanter.

      Email you more tomorrow morning.

  3. Hi Sheila – my favorite book that I have read lately is The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma – a great book about how an intention can work in one’s life and about reading aloud. I LOVED it!!!

  4. My 13 year old just read To Kill a Mockingbird. This has always been a favorite of mine. I couldn’t wait until she was finished, so I could read it too. With my younger two, I just finished The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. It took us awhile to get through it, but we all loved it. Wise Enchanter is definitely on our list for this next year. Jack and I will start first grade this fall!

  5. I love that your son and mine are the same age! I get so much support and inspiration from your entries. We read Heidi and I absolutely loved it!

    • Good to know.
      Sadly, Heidi still languishes as the girl who never gets picked for kickball. Maybe we will read it this summer. I know I loved it as a child.

  6. Ooooh, this looks wonderful! I love your lessons. Favorite book? One I re-read with my group of 6th grade girls this year. Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards. It was a girlhood favorite and I read it every few years.

  7. I have just listened to The Secret Garden on CD while driving. I am quite taken with it as I was at an earlier age. I have been reacquainting myself with it in preparation for having a very bright student in my first grade class in the fall. She and I will probably read it together.

    • The Secret Garden has been on our shelf all year. It was the runner up for our afternoon read aloud twice, but never made the cut. Maybe we will get to it this summer. Isn’t that great, having a special book for a special student? Love that!

  8. Hmm…. We’ve enjoyed reading the Peter Pan trilogy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Three books that are “prequels” to Barrie’s Peter Pan. You learn how Peter and the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell, Wendy, etc. all came to be. Rich language, intriguing plot — although a plot driven, not a character driven, book — so not as a deep as some others. We’ve read 1 to 2 chapters a night. They are quite short and a nice thread throughout many nights — last night, we read chapter 90 of book 2.

    We have also Love the Collected Stories of Brambly Hedge. Beautifully and intricately illustrated stories about a mouse community living in a hedgerow in England. We’ve read through it several times. 4 stories, one for each season (lovely if you live in a place with 4 seasons and do seasonal waldorfy things) plus a couple of others.

    • We listened to Peter Pan last year maybe, and it bordered on too scary. I did find the language hypnotic. I also just learned/found out that Geraldine MacCaughreen (I waxed on and on about her version of Gilgamesh) was chosen to write to sequel. I have it somewhere, but haven’t tackled it yet.

      Adding Brambly Hedge to Jude’s line up next year. He loves Wind in the Willows, so I think he will enjoy these stories too.

      Love to you.

      • I’m not surprised that the audio book version was too scary. The first time the villainous Lord Ombra made his appearance, I changed my voice for narration — Gracie stopped me and said, “Can you just talk him in your regular voice. That’s too scary.” I think me reading it aloud, and possibly in short segments, made it not too scary. But I’m not going to try listening to it.

        I think we better try out Wind In The Willows. IT was a favorite of Papa growing up and Brambly Hedge is well read here. Thanks for the recommendation!

        Now, back to painting or any number of other things on my list of renovations.

        xoxpo

  9. Hi Sheila, bit late to this. Glad you enjoyed using “The Wise Enchanter” – we also used it for review in first grade and ds loved it. I had to change all the children’s names to his friends ;0).
    We read “The Hobbit” at the start of the year and it is really hard to top that one, in fact, dh has just finished reading it to ds again. Wonderful, wonderful stuff (such a shame the movie is rated M, why do they do that?). I also really enjoyed “The Indian in the Cupboard” by Lynne Reid Banks this year. Right now we are reading “Peter Pan in Scarlet” which you mentioned above. The writing is sublime!
    While I’m here I have to tell you to read “Momo” by Michael Ende. Don’t worry about the fact it’s on the Waldorf reading list for an older age. We read it when ds had just turned 7 and he loved it. Possibly my favourite children’s book……and that’s really saying something as we read a lot of very, very good books.
    Happy reading! Cathy xo

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