On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans


We Start every morning off with our prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance. Below is a picture of the prayers that we say and a video of the Pledge of Allegiance.


Not the prettiest example but that’s what we’ve been using for the past few years.

Don’t have a flag? Grab one HEREand print it out to put up somewhere… you could even let the kids make a flag to proudly display. Amazon also has some little ones like this one HERE and HERE.

After this we have our calendar time also where we go over such things as the Days of the Week, the months, and some basic math.


This one came from Lakeshore Learning.

The younger kids will also be watching some of these videos while I work with the older ones:

We may also use some of the songs found HERE.

And we will be trying out some relaxing background music with Google.

We also like to use this song during our ‘Morning Time’ to help the kids learn the 50 States. 

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.

On weeks where there are several activities listed just choose a couple that interest you the most to work on.

Answer can be found HERE.

Answer Key Password: momsrock

Week 1: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

(The Door in the Ground, The House in the Ground, Rushes and Flags, Deep Water, Strange Animal, and Wreath of Roses)

Here is our lesson plan for the week:

Language Arts

We plan to use this FREE Lapbook to go along with our study.


Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Discussion Questions:

Chapter One (The Door in the Ground):

  • What four states did they travel through?
  • Why did Mr. Hanson want to sell his place?
  • What did Pa trade for the house?
  • How was this new house different from their old house? Click HERE for pictures.

Chapter Two (The House in the Ground):

  • Why was Laura sad?
  • How was the house made?
  • What did Pa bring back from town?
  • How far away was the town?
  • What new animals did they have? Click HERE for pictures.
  • How did Laura feel about them?

Chapter Three (Rushes and Flags):

  • What are Rushes? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did Laura learn that she could do with the Rushes?
  • What are Flags? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did the girls do with the Flags?
  • What did Ma say the girls would turn into?
  • What did Pa warn the girls about?

Chapter Four (Deep Water):

  • Where did Pa take the family?
  • What did they see on the way there? Click HERE for pictures.
  • What did Ma warn Laura about?
  • What happened to Laura when she disobeyed?

Chapter Five (Strange Animal):

  • Where did Laura go? Why?
  • What did Laura see? Click HERE for pictures.
  • How did it make Laura feel? How can you tell?
  • What was Laura’s punishment for being disobedient?

Chapter Six (Wreath of Roses):

  • What did Laura like to watch?
  • Why did she not touch?
  • Who was Johnny? How did Laura describe him?
  • Why couldn’t they talk to him?
  • What did Pa bring home? How did he get it?
  • What important lesson did Laura learn?

Additional Reading:

Older Children:

Each child would complete a reading lesson from our McGuffey Primer Books or other reading materials that we chose for the day.

Younger Children:

Younger kids will also be doing one lesson a day from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

We are also working through All About Reading Level Pre-reading with William as he needed something a little different from what we had been doing.


Print:  On the Banks of Plum Creek Week One Vocabulary List

Older Kids:

Parents click HERE for the answer key.**see instructions at the top of the page.

Younger Kids:


Older Kids:


Younger Kids:


We will be making a journal to record some of our pioneer adventures in. The link to the journal is HERE.

We will be using the Writing Activity Station Kit from Lakeshore Learning for some of our lessons.

Choose one prompt below:

  • Write about a time that someone in your family traded something to benefit the family.
  • Write about a day in the life of a butterfly.

**Remember to use the thesaurus to come up with different words.

Watch this video on foreshadowing:

Other Activities:**


Word Fun

Older kids:

Younger kids:


You may find it easier to buy a Math Workbook to work through as you go along with the study.

** For fun you may try ‘ciphering’ on a slate with a slate pencil.


Rotate through these activities:

MÖBI Kids-The Numerical Tile Game for Kids in a Whale Pouch with Included Activity Booklet

Older Kids:

Younger Kids:

Geography and History

Memorize the Continents and Oceans using the videos below to help:


1. State Study

  • Print out this map HERE or this one HERE. You can color in the states as you learn them and track Laura’s journeys.
  • This week we will study Minnesota.
  • Complete your notebooking pages.
  • Older kids can write a report about the state.

  • Mark the route that the family may have taken on your map.

2. Landforms & Mapping



You can print out a lapbook  HERE.

  • Plateaus (tableland p.22)

  • Valleys

3. Bonus

Research Dugout homes

  • Discuss what you have learned.
  • What are the pros and cons of a dugout home?
  • Compare this to your home. Make a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast the two.


We will also be using this People Long Ago Resource Box from Lakeshore Learning to go with our lessons.

People Long Ago Resource Box&nbsp;- Gr.&nbsp;<span style="white-space: nowrap;">1-3</span>

There are also some other resources available here:


1. Pick one or two topics to learn about:

  • Willow Trees

  • Morning Glories

  • Growing plants

  • Butterflies

  • Lichens

  • Badgers

  • Heat Transfer

2. Learn about the weather and seasons.

  • Seasons

3. Read:

Curiositree: Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature - Jacket unfolds into a huge wall poster!

4. Extra Activities:

5. Bonus

Look at a sample of pond water under a microscope and compare it to a sample of tap water. Watch this video if you don’t have access to pond water or a microscope.

  • Discuss what you learned.
  • What surprised you the most about this activity?

Life Skills

We will be discussing some of the character qualities that are displayed in the book but if you would like to do a separate character study lesson you can download one HERE.

1. Memory Verse

We will be memorizing Psalm 51 during this unit study. Print it HERE.


  • Work on memorizing two verses during the week for a special prize.
    • Verse 1: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
    • Verse 2: Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Older kids can copy the memory verse down in their notebook.

2. Character


Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:14-15

  • What did Laura complain about?

– Being honest. God hates lying.

  • Read this lesson HERE.
  • Why do you think Laura needed to tell Pa about her adventure?
  • Should you be honest?

  • Laura’s punishment was that she had to be watched, she had lost her freedom.
  • Do you think Laura like losing her freedom?

3. Manners

– Read the intro page through page 21 of Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids and discuss the manners used in each situation below:

  • How should you come to the table?
  • What do you do before you begin eating?
  • What happens as you are getting started eating?
  • What are the rules for bread?
  • How do you eat soup?
  • How do you eat salad?
  • How do you eat cherry tomatoes?
  • Practice these manners when you eat.

Emily Post's Table Manners for Kids

4. Fun Activities

  • Watch this video about the pioneers:

Bugs Floor: 24 Jumbo Pieces

5. Bonus Skills — Choose one or two to work on

Practice these until you finish this unit study and then we will move on to new skills.

Emergency Preparedness

Kids Cook Real Food 

Skill Trek

  • Work on at least one task a week.
  • Practice your new skill this week.

Back to the Basics

Learn and practice some traditional skills from the book.

  • Read pages 10-11
  • Discuss what you learned.

Herb Study

A Kid’s Herb Book: For Children of All Ages

Dog Training

We are using Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days as a guide for training our puppy.

  • What are the seven basic commands?
  • How many does your dog know?

  • Discuss what you have learned
  • Practice the techniques with your puppy this week.

Also watch this video:

We will also be using:

PE, Health & Safety

1. Water Purification Safety

Drinking unpurified water can sometimes make you very sick.

The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks

  • Discuss what you have learned.
  • Research some diseases and illnesses that you could get from unpurified water.
  • Play a Magic School Bus Game

2. Games/Outdoor Play

Music, Arts & Crafts




You can check out my Pinterest page Little House on the Prairie Crafts for even more crafts and activities.


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 –Thank you!

Gratitude With Grace

Did you know that the word gratitude comes from the word ‘gratus’ which also gives us the word grace?  I didn’t know this until recently but I know that they sure do go hand in hand. It is hard to have one without the other.

I know life can get you down. We can fall into a pit of despair and have pity party after pity party when we think of all the bad things that have happened to us. It is OK to be upset or feel sad when something bad happens. We need to feel it and get over it. We have to make the conscious choice to get over it.

If we don’t then we get stuck in the negativity of everyday life. We will start to look for things to be upset with or to complain about. Complaining to everyone who will listen helps us to feel justified in feeling the way we feel. But it also keeps us from seeing the blessings that are all around us.

So your car broke down and you were late for work because you had to wait for a tow truck. Instead of looking at it in a negative way try to be thankful, the tow truck driver is. He needed that call to pay for his daughter’s dental appointment. It is also possible that delay  could’ve saved you from an accident down the road.

When we dwell on the negatives it is sinful. It is something that Satan wants to keep us from experiencing the grace of God. The bible tells us to give thanks for everything. It doesn’t say to give thanks for the things we perceive as good, or just when we get what we want. We need to give thanks even when it’s hard to understand why something has happened.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am constantly reminding myself that I am only seeing a small part of the big plan that God has in mind for my life. Maybe, just maybe, He needs to use these inconveniences to help me change my course or to keep me from tripping and falling into sin. I always try to remember that when He says ‘No’ to something that I’ve asked for it is usually because He has something much better in store for me down the road.

Just thinking about that gets me excited! I mean most of the times I am asking for something that seems really wonderful at the moment. Yes, I feel a little disappointment when it doesn’t happen but then curiosity takes hold. I have to wonder what could possibly be better than what I had in mind? I get a little anxious but I know that God only wants the best for me and He will reveal His plan in His time. He feels the same about each of His children.

I know how hard it is to feel grateful when you are sitting on the side of the road in a car that just won’t go but try to give thanks in every situation and every circumstance that you find yourself in. So the next time you find yourself complaining or throwing a pity party try to think of something to be thankful for. It will get easier the more you do it and before you know it your whole attitude will turn around and you will be so much happier. Your eyes will be opened to the blessings of God’s grace that surround you each and every day.

When we obey our Lord then we are showing Him our gratitude for the grace He has shown to us. Just think about how you feel when someone thanks you for something that you’ve done. It pleases God the same way when we thank Him for the many ways He has blessed our lives.