Sarah, Plain and Tall
by
Patricia MacLachlan

Materials

Before You Read

Before you begin reading Sarah, Plain and Tall, choose one of the following activities to complete:

1. In this story, Sarah moves from Maine to Kansas.  There are many differences between Maine and Kansas.  Make a list of all the differences that you know.  Next, go to  Looking at Regions and print out the compare and contrast chart.  Now, go to Stately Knowledge.  Click on Kansas and then Maine to see the different states.  Then go to the Kansas web site . Look at the interesting facts about Kansas.  Then go to the Maine web site.  Look at the interesting facts about Maine.  Fill out the chart on their differences.

2.  In this story, Sarah comes to Kansas to be part of a new family.  In your groups, define the word family.  Decide on one definition for each group.  Visit the dictionary, type in the word family.  Compare your definition of family to the dictionary's.  Now, go to Family Charts  and decide what family your family would be called.  There are many more categories of families than what are listed here.  If your family is not represented, create your own category.  Discuss the differences.

While You Read

While you read the story, think of questions you have for Sarah and things she might want to know about you.  Write a letter to Sarah, ask her these questions and tell her about yourself.

Be sure to use correct letter writing format, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Here is a dictionary and a letter format if you need them.
 

After You Read 

After you read this story, complete this activity: (Use the links as a guide for the activities).

Draw and color an object that is found in the sea.  Look back into the story, and list what Sarah loved about the sea on a piece of notebook paper.
Write a paragraph about three different items on the list and why Sarah loved them.  With a partner, revise your paragraph.  Place this paragraph on the object that you created.  Share your object with a friend (optional).  Display your object on the class mural.

Choose one of the following activities:

1.  Pretend you are Sarah and write a letter to her brother and his wife about her new family and life on the farm.

2.  There are four seasons during this story.  Write a poem about what happens to the family and Sarah during each season.

Beyond What You Read

Choose one or two of the following activities to complete:

1.  Click here to listen to the song Sarah sings and write your own lyrics. Summer is icumen in.

2.   Compose a letter to Patricia MacLachlan using email.
In the letter, you should tell what you liked about the book.  Then ask questions of the author concerning areas of interest to you.  You should include positive comments and descriptive words. To compose the letter, click on the link below.  In the subject box type the words "Please forward to Patricia MacLachlan."  Then you should type your letter in the space provided.  Finally, sign the letter and hit the "Send" button.  mailto:webmaster@harcourtbrace.com

3.  Click below to pick your favorite wildflower to color. Print out the coloring page and coloring guide for the wildflower you chose. 

http://www.nps.gov/plants/color/txhill/1.htm

4.  Visit some of the book reviews written by children on this web site: http://mgfx.com/kidlit/kids/artlit/reviews/index.htm .

     Write your own book review of Sarah Plain and Tall and e-mail
     it to:  mailto:kidlit@mgfx.com .

About What You Read and Did

Your teacher may use the following rubric to evaluate your work on this lesson.

 

3 Points

2 Points

1 Point

Understanding

All activities show in-depth understanding of the story ideas, content, plot, and themes Activities show some understanding of the story ideas, content, plot, and themes

Activities show little understanding of the story ideas, content, plot, and themes

Completeness

All activities show that directions were followed and are complete Some activities show that directions were followed and are complete

Directions for activities were not followed and were incomplete

Format

Most spelling, punctuation, and capitalization is correct.  Complete sentences are used and work is neat. Some spelling, punctuation, and capitalization is correct.  Complete sentences are used and work is mostly neat. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization is not correct.  Complete sentences are not used and work is not neat.

This CyberLesson was created by Amy Shoemaker, Jenny Rigby, Danielle Showalter, Tiffany Grimm, Tracy Reid-Selth, Angela Rosenberger, Dawn Siscel, Maggie Hermann, Andrea Windt, Andy Lamott, Rachel Hollingsworth, Amy Zollman, Lyndsi Wells, Philip Goins, Amy Day, Kathleen O'Donnell, and Kirsten Bays in June, 1999.

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