Curriculum Connections:
    Addie Across the Prairie

  • Click here for books to read in collaboration with any of the Addie Books.

  • Laura's story of Addie began with some family information found in a letter written in 1852. Additional information about the prairie life was found in interviews from the 1880s.
    • Write about your family and its history -- Find out about your family's ancestors in the 1850s to 1900. Where were your ancestors? Within the United States? In another homeland? How did your family get to the home they are in now? To do this you will want to interview your grandparents and great-grandparents if they are available. Find family records in Bibles or other family books.

  • A source that might be useful; Beller, Susan Provost. Roots for Kids: A Genealogy Guide for Young People. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997. ISBN: 0806315253. This book includes instructions on how to use sources at home and do research at local, state, and national levels.

  • Settling the Prairie -- The Education Department of the Smoky Hill Museum in Salina, Kansas has an interactive unit teaching about life in the 1850s (on the prairie) and comparing life then to life now. Click here to access the printable unit/lessons.

  • The University of Iowa Press at Iowa City, Iowa has published This State of Wonders" The Letters of an Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861, edited by John Kent Folmar. The book has collected 75 letters from family members to their son, James, who moved to the south and never returned to Iowa. Each family member told about life on the prairie from their own perspective. More about this book can be found on pages on the University of Iowa web site.

  • From the "Redbook of the State of Iowa," an official publication from the state, comes a few brief paragraphs about prairie life the adjustments settlers had to make. These adjustments are not unlike those of settlers who emigrated across Iowa to Kansas or the Dakotas. Click here and then scroll down to the section titled "Iowa's First White Settlers."
  • Study the Ecosystem: Life on the Prairie -- The University of Minnesota has a series of videos available about various topics. Information about Life on the Prairie: The tall grass prairie ecosystem developed with the relationships between soils, bodies of water, climate, plants, and animals. Settlement in the 1850s marked the beginning of the end of the tall grass prairie. Access the information about this program by clicking here. and scrolling down to "Episode Two: Life on the Prairie." Discuss the effect of settlement on the ecosystem.
  • Illinois Prairie History -- Read a brief article about Illinois prairie and it's history
  • Iowa Prairie -- Originally Prairie, contained within an article about hunting, these paragraphs discuss the evolution of the present day prairie area at Loess Hills in Iowa. Read the section subtitled "Originally Prairie."
Marilyn Anderson, a third/fourth grade classroom teacher in District 34, Pleasant Ridge School, 1730 Sunset Ridge Road, Glenview, IL. has developed several graphic organizers to help her students extend the experience of reading Addie Across the Prairie. These organizers could be adapted for use with other Addie books, as well.


Reading the Book: Background Information for Discussions

1. Perception of Native Americans - in the 1800s
2. Homestead Act of 1862

3. Trains and Linking America


    Addie Across the Prairie. Illustrated by Gail Owens. (1986) Albert Whitman & Company. ISBN: 0807501654; (1991) paperback Pocket Books ISBN: 0671701479. 128 pg. Historical Fiction.

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