Literature Studies are fun to do and can be done in a family setting or in a group setting. Our homeschool group has completed multiple literature studies. We started with American Girl, and decided this past fall to expand our literature studies to include preschoolers and boys. We decided to focus on the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The series takes place in the 1800’s and tells the story of a pioneer family traveling west in a covered wagon, settling a homestead, and surviving some tough times. The series provided us with a wide variety of material to help teach our group.
We split up the children into three grade levels. These were preschool, K-2 and 3-5. The classes we planned on covering were Science, Art, History, Homesteading, Cooking, and Games. The preschoolers had games, art and story time.
Little House on the Prairie Science and History Ideas
The Science class learned about trees, and how the Ingalls family used tree sap to make maple syrup and maple sugar. The History class learned about the Gold Rush, and the history of the song “Oh, Susanna”, which is featured in the Little House books.
At the end of the lesson, the kids panned for gold and learned that it wasn’t necessarily an easy job, or a good way to “get rich quick.”
More Science Ideas
More History Ideas
Game Ideas from Prairie Life
In Games, the kids played a variety of different activities that was popular during the Little House time. These include Blind Man’s Bluff, Marbles, Mancala and more. Both age ranges did the same games. The preschoolers played outside games like kick the can and hide and seek.
More Game Ideas
Art and Homesteading Activities
In School Age Art, the kids made a log cabin after hearing about Laura’s family’s cabin in the Big Woods. The younger group made theirs out of pretzel sticks. The older kids made a three dimensional cabin using Popsicle sticks. The preschoolers decorated a bucket with prairie-themed stickers and colored a picture of a covered wagon.
More Art Ideas
Homesteading was a fun class and the school-aged kids learned how to make butter, and how to preserve and plant seeds. In the cooking class, the older group made cracklings, and the younger school agers made cornbread from scratch.
More Homesteading Ideas
- Make dipped candles.
- Milk a cow.
- Visit a farm.
- Wash clothes on a scrub board.
Preschool Ideas for Little House on the Prairie
The preschoolers read the shorter Little House picture books in their class. They completed short crafts on both days. One includes gluing noodles onto the letter W (wagon) and using stickers to make a prairie scene. They also enjoyed playing dress up and with old wood puzzles.
More Preschool Ideas
- Hang clothes on a line.
- Pack a picnic pail.
- Build a wood cabin with blocks.
Organizing for a Homeschool Group
Creating the literature study took a lot of work and dedication from the teachers involved.
Here is a sample of our schedule and how we worked the classes. You are welcome to print this out and use it as an outline to create your own Little House Literature study. We had 30 kids, an average of around 10 per class. Each class had one teacher, and one helper. We also had two floaters that helped as needed. These activities were completed in a group, but could also be done as an individual family.
If you have any questions about creating your own Little House on the Prairie Literature Study, please feel free to contact me! I’d love to help you get one started.
Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog, Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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