- Introduce the activity by reminding students that Sarah, Plain and Tall is a narrative in which Anna tells what happens when Sarah comes to the prairie.
- Inform students that they will be writing their own personal narratives about their first experiences with a person who becomes very important in their lives, such as a best friend or a new teacher.
Expressive Writing Teaching Tip:
Teach/Model: Explain that in expressive writing, an author expresses his or her feelings, thoughts, and personal responses to experiences. When students write expressively, they respond in a personal way to the world around them. Expressive writing can be a poem, journal entry, or personal narrative.
Practice/Apply: Have students decide on a person about whom they will write. Remind them that the person should be someone who has become very important in their lives. As they prepare to write their personal narratives, they might ask themselves whet happened, whet they did, and how they felt. They should include first-person pronouns in their narratives, such as I, me, my, and mine.
Imagine Sarah's Journey
- Books on U.S. landscape
- Provide students with a map and point out the prairie states which include Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
- Ask students to work in pairs or individually to choose Sarah's destination, which was never specified in the selection, and map out her train route.
- Investigate reference books to learn about the landscape from Maine to the prairie. Then ask students to draw a picture of what Sarah might have seen from her train window at some point on her journey.
Create a Class Dictionary
- Optional: Dictionaries
- Model this activity by reminding students that in Maine, ayuh means “yes.” Encourage students who have traveled or lived in other places to come up with as many different words as they know for the same thing.
- Include regional variations. An example of this would be the different names given to a particular type of sandwich, which is called a submarine in the Midwest, a grinder in New England, and a hero on the East Coast. Other examples include athletic shoes which on the East Coast are called sneakers and on the West Coast, tennis shoes. If possible, include words from other languages.
- Create a class dictionary by listing each word in alphabetical order, its regional or foreign counterparts, and a brief definition.