Monday, November 02, 2009

Making Toy Horses at Clear Spring School

Making children's toys was a common educational sloyd activity first popularized by Eva Rodhe in Gothenburg. These first grade students are making toy horses as part of an integrated learning social studies project. They are studying westward expansion. They will make the horse, a wagon, the contents for the wagon, imagine their traveling companions, write stories about their journey and even make the pens used to write letters home to family.


  1. Fantastic video Doug and I felt like I was right there while watching it! The horses were a great project for the first graders and they were on "wide open" working on them. I especially like how you correlate their woodshop projects with their other studies which brings things more full-circle and certainly helps ensure a much more thorough learning experience.

    Making the project an even more intensive learning experience I also like how you will extend the horse project to include them writing stories about the journey they will imagine on their horse and wagons. That is learning at it's best. It's hard to believe that such hands on teaching/learning methods are not more widely accepted by the education community.

  2. Dave, the correlation is done with the core classroom teacher, so it takes a lot of cooperation. We did this same project a couple years ago and this time added the horses. Last time it was done with grades 3 & 4 and this time with grades 1, 2 and 3.

    Hands-on learning methods are superior as anyone can see, but educators have tried to make education less costly, meaning 25-30 kids in a class.

  3. What a beautiful project, and what a great way to bring history to life!