Addie's Long Summer
- Evaluate: Addie, Maudie, and Elizabeth are cousins and each have
their own characteristics. Which of the girls would you most like for a
friend? Explain why?
- Compare and Contrast: Make a three
column chart. Use each of the girls' names as the title for one column.
List the positive attributes that each of the girls exhibits in the
story. Then list the negative attributes exhibited. Use this chart to
discuss the characters in this story with your classmates. Be prepared
to tell why you feel this character has a particular characteristic.
When it doesn't rain for weeks the Mills family is in
danger of losing their crops. This was not an unusual occurance in the
1850s-1900s. In the earlier decades of the 1800s, grasshoppers often
invaded and destroyed all of the crops. There were real threats to the
crops and resulting effects. Families lost farms, had little or no food
for the winter, and sometimes had to return to the East.
- Evaluate: Why do you think Addie is willing to betray the trust of
her friend Tilla? If you were Tilla would you be able to forgive her?
Why or why not?
- Make a list of all the secrets any of the
characters had in the story? Make a chart of who knows what secrets and
who doesn't. Discuss the ramifications of having and telling secrets
that you have promised to keep?
- On a map of the midwest, plot the route that
Maudie and Elizabeth would have taken to reach Addie's home on the
prairie. View a map of the Middle west in 1859 by clicking here to access the American Memory pages of maps. Go to the page listing middle west maps and click on the link for the 1859 maps.
- Read about the Westward expansion.
Discuss how Addie and her family and Maudie and Elizabeth's family fit
into the general information about settlers in the Midwest. Were their
family's farmers? Where did the families live before coming to the
Midwest? What other similarities can you identify?
Resources about the "Dust Bowl."
Andryszewski, Tricia. The Dust Bowl: Disaster on the Plains. (Millbrook, 1993)
- Brandenburg, Jim. An American Safari: Adventures on the North American Prairie. (Walker, 1996)
- Farris, John The Dust Bowl. (Lucent, 1989)
- Stanley, Jerry. Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch. (Crown, 1992)
- Staub, Frank. America's Prairies. (Carolrhoda, 1996)
Read about the plight caused by grasshoppers in the Nebraska territory. "Histories and Stories of Nebraska" by Addison Erwin Sheldon. and at Andreas' History of Nebraska - Dawson County (Grasshoppers). Discuss how this situation is similar to the situation in Addie's Long Summer
- A similar tale can be read about the grasshopper plague in Missouri Click here.
- In Utah when grasshoppers came in 1848 and began
eating the settler¹s crops. Seagulls from the Great Salt Lake ate
many of the grasshoppers and saved the crops. Today the seagull is the
state bird and there is a monument built in Salt Lake City to honor
them. Read about a modern day insect problem. Once you have read that account discuss what conditions may have contributed to the problems in the 1850s.
You might also wish to read about this period of time from an article "Union As My Grandmother Knew It" by Hazel Wardle Egbert
- Read about grasshoppers and locusts in the prairies.
- Read"Grasshoppers" by Julie Johnson.
This article contains many interesting facts about the grasshoppers in
Kansas. Some fun facts are included such as the French word for
grasshopper in relation to the history of the names of some of the
towns in the state.
- The plague of the grasshopper is included in Laura Ingall's Wilder's On the Banks of Plum Creek.
- What type of skills did a child learn in school
in the 1800s? What type of skills are you learning in school today? How
do the skills compare? What kind of math did they learn? What kind of
math do you learn in today's schools?
Economic considerations were still affecting decisions about school in the recent decades.
[Other Addie Books] - [All titles by Lawlor] - [Curriculum Connections - List all titles]
Addie's Long Summer.
Illustrated by Toby Gowing. (1992) Albert Whitman & Company. ISBN:
0807501670; paperback (1995) Ministrel® Pocket Books ISBN:
0671526073. 173 pg. Historical Fiction.
© 2002 Laurie Lawlor. All rights reserved.
Text for Curriculum section © 2002 Sharron McElmeel @ McBookwords.
Portions of this text may have been published in earlier publications
by Sharron L. McElmeel and are reprinted here with permission.