Laurie Lawlor: Curriculum Connections

Cover art: Diane Sivavec

    Curriculum Connections:
    Addie's Dakota Winter

    The following links will provide background information with which to put the events and people in Addie's Dakota Winter in context of events of the times. This information will assist in discussing the events and people in the book.

  • In general, Schools were among the first public buildings erected by the pioneers in Dakota Territory. Schools often preceded the churches and were then used for church services. Education was very important. Many of the early schools were one-room school houses. View pictures from the Library of Congress's American Memory site. One room school houses in North Dakota, circa 1890s.

  • Harrison Elementary School students compared a pioneer school (Abbe Creek School) with their own present day school (Harrison Elementary). Their findings are located on the web. Read their comparison and then compare and contrast your own school situation with one that existed in your area 100 years ago. How do both situations compare with Addie's school situation?
  • Read about "Northern Great Plains - Schooling" on the American Memory site of the Library of Congress Web Site.

  • Read about one-room schools in South Dakota today. Compare today's one-room school house experience with those of the children in Dakota Winter

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

  • Other books about prairie life in South Dakota. Scroll down to "South Dakota Pioneer Life.

  • Immigration brought thousands of homesteaders across the Plains to fulfill their dream of owning land. Many kept elements of their life in the "Old World." Back in Iowa, Addie had a good friend Eleanor. But now Eleanor is not here but there is Tilla. Tilla had come with her family from Norway. She did not speak English correctly and she wore foreigh-looking clothes. (See pages 27-28). Discuss the hardships that newcomers to the United States faced, hardships in addition to those that all pioneers were facing.

  • Read about Norwegian Immigration to the United States. After reading the article on the Ancestry.com site, discuss how Tilla and her family compared to the "typical" Norwegian immigrant.

Hardships Endured by those Moving West


    Immigrants often faced enormous hardships as they moved west and attempted to settle into a new life. Families found that they often had to put aside individual differences and cultural stereotypes to assist one another. When the Mills' Norwegian neighbors shoot the last (in the region) of three pronghorn antelope Addie's father expresses understanding (page 82). EThemes* has provided a page Westward Expansion - Hardships with several links to information about those hardships. *eThemes is a project of the eMINTS Program. The University of Missouri-Columbia collaborates with MOREnet to provide this service.



    Addie's Dakota Winter. Illustrated by Toby Gowing. (1989) Albert Whitman & Company. ISBN: 08075001719 lib bdg; Aladdin .paperback ISBN: 0671701487. 160 pg. Historical Fiction.

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