Recently we have completed reading a short novel called Sarah, Plain and Tall. This book is set in the pioneer days of American history and is told from Anna’s (the daughters) point of view. It is a simple story about a family who needed a mother and how a new woman was able to gradually fit in. While reading it, you will also find out lots of information about life on the American prairie.
History / Geography
- Create a bulletin board of life in the frontier times (1900s)
- Research mail-order brides and grooms that was common in remote territories
- Use a blank map to find the prairie states which include Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and North Dakota.
- Research the author, Patricia MacLachlan, and write a biography for her.
- Make your own Prairie Journals.
- Work out the distance (km or miles) from Maine to your place.
- Work out how much it would cost for you to fly and/or drive there.
- Find out the cost of chickens. How much would it cost you to purchase 3 chickens?
- In the book they made their own bread. Work out how much time it takes to make a loaf of bread from scratch and then in a bread maker. Which one is quicker? Compare.
- Research Prairies and complete a poster with what you have learnt.
- Sarah lived by the sea and had a collection of shells. Collect some shells and identify them.
- Plant your own garden, adding flowers from the book such as marigolds and zinnias. Observe the plants growing.
- Research and study flowers. Write a paragraph about your favourite ones. Are any of them edible?
- Classify the animals in the book. Which ones are mammals, vertebrates, amphibians etc.
- Discuss weather patterns and what causes storms, hurricanes, squalls etc.
- Read books about sea birds. What kind of birds do you think Sarah would have seen at the sea?
- The family scattered their hair clippings around the prairie for the birds to use in their nests. Research the different types of nests that are build by birds.
- In the story, they talk of making bread. Make your own bread in a bag.
- Also, they talk of making stew. Make your own stew.
- Back in the Pioneer days, they would also have made their own butter. Try making some butter.
- Collect some shells and use them to make creatures.
- Sarah liked to draw. She also loved the colours of the sea. Create a drawing using the colours that Sarah loved – green, grey and blue.
- There were lots of flowers on the prairie. Try drying some flowers and using them to make a picture.
- Sarah also created drawings using charcoal. Research charcoal drawings and then create your own.
- Read and memorise – Psalm 128:2
- The two children in the book are hardworking and helpful, just as the Bible teaches. Read and memorise – Lamentations 3:27.
Reading for Kids
- Yearly Bible Reading Plan
- 60 Books Your Kids Should Read
- Roald Dahl Resources & Activities
- Little House in the Big Woods Resources
- Farmer Boy Resources
- On the Banks of Plum Creek Study
- Alice in Wonderland Study
- Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Study
- Charlotte’s Web Study
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Study
- James and the Giant Peach Study
- Peter Pan Printables
- The Witches Study
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle Study
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins Study
I have also created a printable Literature Study which goes along with this book. To grab your copy, click on the link below: