Study Helps for Laura Ingalls Wilder Series

So, as I mentioned, my girls are loving their study of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. We're in the second book, Little House on the Prairie.

For the first book, I had tried to introduce them to Notebooking pages. The girls weren't really into it. They didn't want to do it and I met with some resistance. Well, the last thing I want when I'm trying to instill a love of literature is resistance. So we stopped the notebooking and switched to lapbooking.
I highly recommend the site at where they offer free lapbook templates for these books.
The girls LOVE lapbooking and it is a great way to break up the reading into bite size pieces that they will remember. Then when they've finished the book and the lapbook, they have a great portfolio of memories that they can keep forever.

I'll post our lapbook when we've finished it.

This has also been a great discussion starter as we talk about various things like lazy cousin Charley who deserved to be stung by a swarm of bees. Or the way Laura refused to complain out loud when her legs hurt from riding in the wagon so long. These books are so full of Life Lessons and it has been so fun getting the girls' feed back on what they read. I feel like we're just starting to get into the spirit of the TJed model as we discuss these great stories of life on the wild frontier.

I also created a map showing the Ingalls' move from Pepin, WI to Independence KS.

This map was printed out from a site that I love at

I used rubber cement to adhere it to foam board and colored in the states where the Ingalls family traveled.

There are T pins labeled with the states they passed through and a black dotted line showing their travel path. The labels are Avery address labels colored with colored pencil.

I keep the pins in a small fishing tackle box. The cover of Melissa & Doug USA Map 51-Piece Floor Puzzle
that we've had for years serves as a guide while she completes this activity.

My daughter LOVED this activity so much that she asked for a larger version that of the whole USA. So here's what I put together for her:

I covered this map with packaging tape since our 1yo had already tried to rip it off the foam board. That made it harder to punch the holes with the T-pins, so I pre-punched them before giving this work to my daughter. She loves it!

Here are the pins for the 48 states, 5 Great Lakes and the Salt Lake stuck in Styrofoam when not in use. Dividing up the state pins by color really helped her as she located the various states on the map.