We’ve used Progeny Press a few times in the past, so we are pleased to review Little House on the Prairie Study Guide (Grades 4-6), which is a childhood classic. The timing of this unit study worked in so well with our field trips, too, so they complimented each other.
I remember my teacher, Mrs. Wolf, reading Little House on the Prairie to my class in elementary school, and I have been planning on sharing this book with my children. It was already in the plan for this fall after we flew home to the Canadian prairies earlier in the summer and drove out into the countryside and visited an old Hudson Bay outpost. I thought it would be good for my children to learn more about how life was over the ocean for their ancestors. Of course, Canadian and American history are different, but the ways of day-to-day living 150 years ago was similar. So up to the attic I went and brought down my box set of Little House books.
What the study guide contains
We received 2 PDF download files from Progeny Press. One was the answer key, and the other was an interactive study guide. The study guide is editable so that students can choose the correct multiple choice answers and fill in the written answers right on the document.
Each of my children completed their work differently; Kallista used the traditional pen and paper while Tristan used the editable file. Progeny Press study guides are reproducible so you need only purchase one to use with your family, classroom, or co-op.
The Study Guide is divided into 5 smaller units, each of about 5 chapters. Unit questions are then categorised by:
- Vocabulary which can be multiple choice, looking up dictionary definitions, or using the words in context.
- Short answer questions about events that happened in the novel.
- Short answer questions that have students think about the story.
- Questions that Dig Deeper, asking for students to think about their own situations or how they would respond to a particular event that happened to the Ingalls.
- Optional projects and activities such as baking, crafts, writing, cultural activities, and watching the series.
How we used this Progeny Press study guide
Each afternoon when lunchtime chores had been completed, the children and I snuggled up on our sofa together and had a read-aloud. I really loved that, as did the children. Then they would spend some time working on the questions during the afternoon.
With Progeny Press, some of the questions do reference the Bible, however, it is easy to either skip over those questions or adapt them for your beliefs. Don’t shy away from their study guides as they are very good.
Of course, this study guide isn’t all about answering questions; there are oodles of activities and projects that can be completed as well. You can choose to do as many or as few as you’d like. My children worked on some together, some that I asked them to do, as well as some that they chose on their own because they were interested and wanted to learn more.
These activities range from learning about wolves, playing cat’s cradle, trying molasses milk, weaving, building the Ingalls’ house from Lincoln Logs, and much more. The extra activities give some depth and interest to the book and help children understand more about the times in which the Ingalls’ lived.
It really worked well that about 3/4 of the way through the unit study, we took a day trip out to Navan Fort on the other side of Northern Ireland and although the time period there is set for 2000 years ago, they were able to see a chariot that was akin to the Ingalls’ wagon, see how food was cooked over an open fire, and learn about what was grown in the herb gardens. Doing this, combined with their trip to Canada where they saw the vast prairie landscapes and river valleys, gave them a better understanding of how Laura and her family lived and survived.
We have all really enjoyed using the Progeny Press Little House on the Prairie Study Guide and learning more about the Ingalls’ life on the prairies and what it entailed than if we had just read the book on its own. When we were home in Canada, Dad drove us out to where our ancestors homesteaded and had land and I’m sure the children can imagine how things would have been back then; the land hasn’t changed very much, and they’ve seen some of the equipment and processes of building and surviving.
They’ve learned more vocabulary, which is always a good thing, and they’ve had to really think about some of the questions in the study guide to put themselves in the minds of the characters, as well as think about what they would do in similar situations and why. These are often the most difficult questions; introspection can be tricky – I’m not sure if this becomes more easy or more difficult over time!
This unit was for grades 4-6, and it was a good fit for both of my children (grade 4 & grade 6), and there are so many extra activities to do that they can suit a wide range of interests and abilities. Click here to read 48 more reviews about this unit study as well as others from Progeny Press by the Homeschool Review Crew.