Ideas for Teaching Activities – A Rare Gift

Back to all Ideas for Teaching Activities

Cover for A Rare GIft

Time : 1860’s

Location : Canada – Atlantic Ocean – New York

Life Lessons : Learns she can help others & understands that she enjoys it.
Realizes that she should have faith in what she knows.

Maps: Where is Vancouver Island? How did it get that name? Find Nanaimo on a map. Why did sailing ships come into Nanaimo Harbour? What were they shipping out of there?
Find New York on a map.

Scurvy: (Chapter 11 Page 45 Stormy Weather) Susan takes Jason an orange because she’s learned in history class that sailors used to get scurvy.
o Symptoms of scurvy? o What caused it? o Why Oranges? o Rum as the cure. Navy culture.

Tea: (Chapter 15 Page 72) Loose leaf in 1860s.
o What does it look like.? o Why sold in tins? o Find pictures of tin examples o Difference between Green, Black, White, and Oolong? o Where would a Rajah Blend tea be from?

Art: (Chapter 13 Page 65) Draw the tin described in the book – Rajah Blend o Draw the Faraday tin (Chapter 25 Faraday’s Teas Page 143)

Tea: There is so much fun that could be had with the whole culture of tea.
o Make and serve tea in the classroom o Where is it grown now, how is it harvested? o How it is sold now?. Bags, leaves, powder, drinks (Snapple, iced tea etc.) o Japanese tea ceremony (if you have Japanese children in the class) o Different ways of brewing in various cultures – Samovar, British, different flavorings.

Sailing ships: (Chapter 13 At the Library, Page 66 & Chapter 17 Caught Page 87)
o Discuss the difference between the ship Jason is traveling on and the clipper ship which passes them. o Why were they different? Different purposes. Need for speed. o Clipper ships and the whole culture of the race to get the tea to market is a fascinating and exiting story. o What are belaying pins? What were they used for? (Chapter 15 The Value of Tea Page 76)

Sea Shanties: Singing or listening to them.
What were they for? They are work songs which kept everyone in step.

Immigration: ( Chapter 11 Stormy Weather Pages 50, 51)
o The conditions on an immigrant ship. Poor food, living conditions, lack of toilets, Differences in classes of passengers. o British enclosure of the commons. Briefly mentioned, but it was a huge disruption to society and led to a lot of the immigration. o Industrial Revolution. Also briefly mentioned. This was a time of huge changes in the lives of the population.

Orphans: ( Chapter 20, page104)
o What is a orphan? o How did society deal with them then & now?

Mrs. Horace Blackwood: (Chapter 23 Where to? Page 127)
o Does this woman have a man’s name? Why is she using a masculine name on the sign? It allowed Susan to find the name on the masthead of the newspaper

Growing Crystals: It is a fun activity to set up and grow crystals in the classroom.
Judy tells Susan how.

PDF additional Teaching Activities “A Rare Gift”

Back to all Ideas for Teaching Activities

About the author

G. Rosemary Ludlow grew up in Adelaide, Australia, where she taught school for many years. She loved teaching children to read and her favorite thing to do was to tell them stories. History stories, geography stories, stories about spelling, or arithmetic - it is all stories.

Read more