If you were a girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, you read and loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House on the Prairie book series. Maybe you were lucky to have the handsome boxed set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Then you loved the Little House on the Prairie TV series when it came out. Long before “Pioneer Woman” and settler survival type reality TV shows, there was Laura Ingalls Wilder and her stories about life in the 1880s midwest. Laura Ingalls Wilder fans will be happy to know that a new movie based on the Little House on the Prairie books is in the works at Paramount.
But teachers and homeschool parents, you don’t have to wait for that film. Now you can bring early American history into your social studies lessons with free printable Laura Ingalls Wilder book activities. Get free printable American history lesson plans book activities from the seven books in the series. The series begins with “Little House in the Big Woods” when Laura is five and was written over a period from 1932-1943. But going in chronological order “Farmer Boy”comes first. It’s based on childhood memories of Laura’s father Charles Ingalls. Next comes “Little House on the Prairie”, “On the Banks of Plum Creek”, “By the Shores of Silver Lake”, “The Long Winter”, “Little Town on the Prairie” and “These Happy Golden Years.” “The First Four Years” (stories from Laura’s early married life). didn’t come out till 1971 and I clearly remember the big deal that was, and later when “West from Home” (not part of the original series) came out in 1974.
The publication of these books sparked renewed interest in early American history and pioneer lore. My mother first read Little House in the Big Woods to me when I was near Laura’s age in the story. Laura Ingalls Wilder had a gift for story-telling to match her fascinating life. I purchased the rest of the series, one by one and read them. I later read the Little House on the Prairie books to my own children and used them in our homeschool. The Little House books make perfect American history activities and social studies lesson plans on the life of American pioneers.
The website Laura’s Prairie House calls itself the Definitive Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie. The site has dozens of free printable American history and book activities, crafts, recipes and coloring pages. These books help social studies teachers explore the difference between American pioneers and settlers. Pioneers were trail blazers who built new towns and settlements. Settlers moved into these areas and settled them. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family, both the her parents Charles and Caroline Ingalls and her husband Almanzo Wilder were settlers and pioneers. They brought customs and traditions with them from the New England towns they lived in and they formed many new traditions based on the areas they settled.
There are free printable Little House in the Big Woods lesson plans, crafts, games and book activities. There are free printable Little House on the Prairie book activities and free On the Banks of Plum Creek printables. There are recipes for maple candy, johnny cake, parched corn, cornbread, vinegar pie, horehound candy and other foods Laura features in her books. Other sites feature more Little House free printables You can print American history crafts, recipes, sheet music and lyrics from songs as well as complete episode guides and links from the Little House on the Prairie television show. Laura’s Prairie Home features comprehensive biographical data on the Ingalls and Wilder families and links to historic locations and preservation sites where they lives.