Picture Book Unit Studies: After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)

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After the Fall Book

After the Fall Book

After the Fall Unit Study

If you have ever done Five in a Row or gotten book boxes like the old school BabbaCo boxes, then you’ll likely know how engaged kids get when you tie a picture book into a unit study. Immersing your family into the story by doing book-inspired activities brings learning to life in a way that just can’t be replicated elsewhere.

This is one of my family’s favorite ways of learning so I am hoping to try to create a series of these unit studies. First up is a book by Dan Santat – After the Fall.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

Boy with crashed Egg

Here are a few fun activities you can do alongside this book:

  • Egg Drop STEM Activity – Gather an assortment of pantry items, containers, bags, etc and let the kids try to create a parachute for their own Humpty Dumpty! I gathered flour, old pantry boxes, a few Ziplocs, some paper towels, some grocery sacks, string and a few other random items and let the kids assemble a parachute of sorts to see if they could keep their egg safe when dropped from a height. Note – I did boil the eggs so we wouldn’t make a huge mess on the playground.  My kids had a blast with this activity! It offered a chance to talk about gravity, drag, and impact.
  • Paper Airplanes – Make airplanes just like Humpty Dumpty! Add in some math by measuring how far your airplanes flew and then chart them to show the differences. If you have just one kiddo doing the activity, you can just make multiple planes and test several. For multiple kids, have each kiddo make one. Discuss why the planes flew differently.
  • Bird Study – We always find ways to tie in games and I love the graphics on this Backyard Bird Memory Game! It’s a great way to dive in and learn more about birds and why Humpty Dumpty loved them so much. Speaking of birds, if you have never checked out a Julia Rothman book with your kiddos, you should! Her Nature Anatomy book has some great drawings of birds – you’ll love the drawings as much as they do. In fact, go ahead and scroll down to the comments and check out some review pictures. Her books are so lovely!
  • Language Arts – This book is so uplifting and can inspire some great writing from your kids.  Ask your child(ren) about something they are afraid of and why. Help them write a story that shows how they could possibly overcome it. If they can’t think of anything they are afraid of, help them brainstorm a story. Use Story Cubes to come up with a character and his fear or pull out Tall Tales if you have it and use it to find a character and fear. If your child is able, have them write the story themselves. If not, it’s 100% okay for them to dictate and you write the story or even just to fabricate the story and not write it down.

Have fun! I’d love to hear how you and your kids liked the story!