Thursday, October 10

Willa of the Wood + Basic Foraging

Willa knows the plants of her forest and all of their uses.  She is a master forager, knowing how to use the seeds, leaves, and roots for both medicine and food.  In this novel study, we're learning about foraging and basic herb uses...

Herbs are the parts of certain plants, including many of those found in Willa's woods.  They can grow in the wild or be cultivated in a flower bed, and have been used since the beginning of time.  It's important to know what herbs look like and how to use them.  Used improperly, they can be poisonous. Some herbs you may know about include mint, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.  Herbs can be used fresh or dried.

Some common herbal terms include:
  • Anti-inflammatory: helps to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Antiviral: fights against viruses, such as a cold or the flu
  • Astringent: tightens tissues, helping to reduce secretions such as bleeding or a runny nose
  • Aromatic oils: very good smelling
  • Carminative: helps to relieve gas
  • Mucilage: helps to soothe irritated tissues
  • Nervine: helps to ease stress and make you feel calm


·         Willa of the Wood -  Set in 1900 in the Great Smoky Mountains, it's the story of an orphaned girl--gentle of heart, but brimming with the ancient forest powers of her people--who must struggle to survive in a changing world.

·         Foraging with Kids: 52 Wild and Free Edibles



·         Numen - The Nature of Plants


Make / Do

·         Teaching Kids About Herbs - In this year-long course, you'll learn about many herbs! Each month, your child will learn about a new herb and how to use it. Herbs are placed in seasonal positions throughout the book, but it does not have to be completed in order. Includes basic information about seasonally-appropriate herbs, project ideas, and recipes.

o    Choose one project from this book to complete as you read Willa of the Wood.

·         Color and learn about herbs



  • ·         Felled
  • ·         Ire
  • ·         Primeval
  • ·      Loathed
  • ·         Rouse
  • ·         Grafted
  • ·         Conspicuous
  • ·         Premonition
  • ·         Reanimate
  • ·         Commotion
  • ·         Recoiled
  • ·         Seething
  • ·         Insolence
  • ·         Subservience
  • ·         Deft
  • ·         Divulge
  • ·         Expendable
  • ·         Brandishing
  • ·         Eddy
  • ·         Tremulous


Willa's Plants

Research and complete the herbal template from Herbal Roots Zine for each of these plants

  • ·  Mountain laurel
  • ·         Death cap mushroom
  • ·         Cedar tree
  • ·         Mountain ash
  • ·         Rhododendron
  • ·         Fern
  • ·         Giant fir
  • ·         Hemlock
  • ·         Black walnut
  • ·         Sugar maple
  • ·         Tulip poplar
  • ·         White oak
  • ·         Red maple
  • ·         Birch
  • ·         Dogwood
  • ·         Goldenseal
  • ·         Witch hazel
  • ·         Sourwood tree
  • ·         Gum tree
  • ·         Sassafras
  • ·         Periwinkle
  • ·         Chestnut
  • ·         Orchid



·         Sustainability means using the environment in ways that it will continue to benefit people (and the animals and plants that live in the environment). A Native American philosophy describes it as ensuring that the environment and its resources will be there “for the seventh generation” beyond the people living now.  Watch the video below and learn how herbs can be sustainably grown to modern-day standards and needs.

Watch the video on common edible herbs below.  Then watch this video on poisonous plants you should never touch.  Are there any that look similar between the two videos?  How can you tell the difference between the one that is okay to eat and the one to avoid?

Snag all of the units in the Science-Based Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes nine novel studies covering science-based topics. Each novel addresses a new topic, primarily falling into STEM, technology, and modern science.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including one featured novel – the spine of the unit.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Some units also have cooking projects.

Product Samples – Fever 1793 & Nick and Tesla: High Voltage Danger Lab

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

One of our favorite courses at SchoolhouseTeachers is the Homesteading course!  If you’ve ever wanted to ditch the chemicals in your household cleaners, can what you grow or purchase at a farmer’s market, make your own gifts and candles, or learn how to do things the natural way, you need to see the Homesteading class. 

This ongoing course shares tips and detailed instructions that can enable you and your family to live more simply and naturally. Printables and some how-to videos are included with these weekly lessons...and it's all included with the 350+ other courses offered at

1 comment:

  1. Willa of the Wood sounds like an interesting book - I have never really done a whole lot with herbs - this is intriguing.


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