Here is a free Little House on the Prairie Lapbook that I have put together. It was written as a review for my daughter instead of writing a traditional book report. You can now find the pdf version of this study guide here. The complete lapbook packet (guide with all templates) is now available for download here: Little House on the Prairie Lapbook.
Here are some photos from the completed lapbook. Some of the lapbook components will be slightly different than shown here.
Here is the study guide with links to the components:
Leaving the Big Woods: Why did the Ingalls leave the Big Woods?
Pa said there were too many people in the Big Woods and game wouldn’t stay in an area where there were so many people.
Mustangs: What is a mustang? Why did Pa trade their horses for mustangs?
A Mustang is a free-roaming feral horse of the North American west that first descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. (From Wikopedia)
Their horses were tired. Pa said that mustangs were as strong as mules and as gentle as kittens. They would do much better on the trip than their old horses.
What is a ford?: Define a ford
A ford is a place in a watercourse (most commonly a stream or river) that is shallow enough to be crossed by wading, on horseback, or in a wheeled vehicle. (from Wikopedia)
Crossing the ford: Retell the story of crossing the ford.
What is a Ford & Crossing the Ford
Firebreak: What is a firebreak? How did Pa make a firebreak?
A firebreak is something nonconbustible that that helps stop a fire.
Pa pulled up all of the grass from a large, round space of ground.
Building a Fire: How did Pa build a fire?
1) He created a firebreak.
2) He laid a handful of grass in the center of the firebreak.
3) He collected twigs and dead wood from the creek.
4) He laid small twigs then larger twigs on the dry grass.
5) He lit the grass on fire.
Figure in the darkness: Who or what showed up as the girls were getting ready for bed?
Prairie Fun: What did Laura and Mary do after they were done with their chores?
They went exploring. They tried to catch gophers. They picked flowers for Ma.
Indian Territory: How did Ma feel about Indians? How did Laura feel about Indians?
Ma didn’t like Indians. Laura wanted to see a papoose; she was very curious.
Prairie Fun & Indian Territory
Building the House: List the steps in building the house.
1) Gather logs from the creek bed
2) Pace off size of house
3) Dig shallow hollow along the two sides of the space
4) Roll biggest logs into these hollows (these are called the sills)
5) Roll 2 more logs onto the sills
6) Cut notches into the logs so other logs sit tightly in them
7) Continue with this pattern until walls are as high as desired
Helping Others: What happened to Ma? Who helped Pa finish the house?
A log fell on Ma’s foot while she was helping Pa build the house. A neighbor, Mr. Edwards, offered to help finish building their house. Then, Pa would help Mr. Edwards build his house.
Building the House & Helping Others
The Roof: What did the Ingalls use for a roof on their new house?
They used the canvas from their covered wagon.
The Wolves: Retell the story of the wolves chasing Pa.
Building a Door: Why did they need a door? How did Pa make a door without nails? How did Laura help Pa?
Due to the wolves, Pa felt it was necessary to get the door up as quick as possible.
For the door, Pa split logs the size of the required door. He split the logs into slabs and smoothed them. He placed the long slabs down next to each other and put the short slabs across them. He bored holes in the pieces and put wood pegs into the holes.
Laura helped Pa by handing him tools and holding the door in place for Pa.
Building a Door
The Fireplace: Describe how Pa built the fireplace.
1) Collect rocks from the creek
2) Mix clay and water to make a thick mud
3) Lay a row of rocks
4) Spread mud over layer of rocks
5) Continue layering mud and rocks until desired height is reached
6) Cut a hole in the wall where he had placed the chimney on the outside of house.
Home Sweet Home: What items made the house feel like home?
Pa’s Helpers: Describe how Mary and Laura helped Pa as he was putting on the roof.
Laura and Mary went looking for any nails that flew off the roof while Pa was hammering them in.
A New Floor: Describe how Pa built the new floor.
1) Haul logs from creek
2) Split logs in half down the middle
3) Haul logs into the house
4) Scrape dirt floor so logs lay flat (round side down)
5) Trim away bark as needed so logs fit tightly together
6) Smooth wood so no little feet would get splinters
A New Floor
Unexpected Visitors: Who were the unexpected visitors? What did they want? How did they act?
The unexpected visitors were Indians. They wanted their food. They weren’t unfriendly, but they were abrubt.
Jack: Why was Jack tied up? Why was it good that Laura did not untie him?
Jack was tied up so he wouldn’t go after Pa. He needed to stay and guard the house.
Jack would have bitten the Indians, and they probably would have killed him. That would have created bad blood between the Ingalls and the Indians.
Unexpected Visitors & Jack
Digging a Well: Describe the process of digging a well.
1) Mark a circle in the grass near house
2) Cut sod inside circle with spade
3) Lift out large pieces of sod
4) Dig out the dirt with a shovel
5) Find a friend to help out
6) Build a windlass and with two buckets hanging over it
7) Take turns filling up buckets with dirt
8) Keep removing dirt until the well fills with water
Mr. Scott: What happened to Mr. Scott? How could this have been prevented?
Mr. Scott passed out in the well. If he would have sent the candle down the well before he went in, he would have known the air wasn’t good.
Digging a Well & Mr. Scott
Cowboys: What did the cowboys want? How were they going to pay Pa?
They wanted Pa to help keep the cattle out of the ravines among the bluffs of the creek bottoms. They were going to give Pa a piece of beef.
The Surprise: What did Pa bring home from the cattle drive?
Pa brought home a cow and a calf in addition to the promised piece of beef.
Cowboys & The Surprise
Indian Camp: What did Mary and Laura find at the Indian camp?
They found colorful Indian beads.
Indian Beads: What did the girls do with the beads?
They strung them on a string to make a necklace for Carrie.
Indian Camp & Indian Beads
Fever ‘n Ague: Why did the Ingalls get sick? What did Mrs. Scott think made them ill? What did Pa think?
They got sick from being bitten by mosquitoes. Mrs. Scott thought they got sick from watermelons. Pa thought the breathing the night air would make you sick.
To All Our Good Neighbors: Who helped the Ingalls when they were very ill?
Mrs. Scott came and took care of the Ingalls. Dr. Tan also helped take care of them.
Fever ‘n Ague & To All Our Good Neighbors
Chimney Fire: What happened while Pa was away? How did Ma and Laura handle it? How would Pa prevent this from happening again?
The chimney caught on fire. Ma took a long pole and struck the fire. Laura pulled Mary and Carrie away from the fireplace. She also grabbed the burning stick from the floor and threw it back in the fireplace. Ma poured water over the fireplace. Pa said he would rebuild the fireplace and plaster it so well that it wouldn’t catch fire again.
Mr. Edwards: Why did Mr. Edwards stop by? What did Jack do to him?
Pa had gone to town and asked Mr. Edwards to check on Ma and the girls. Mr. Edwards made sure that he came in time to help with the chores. Jack ran him up the woodpile. He was being a good guard dog.
The Surprise from Town: What did Pa bring home from town?
He brought home glass window panes.
Mr. Edwards & The Surprise from Town
Indian Visitors: Describe the two sets of Indian visitors. How were they different?
The first Indian was a tall, friendly Indian. He came and sat quietly while Ma prepared dinner. He ate with them and smoke with Pa. Then he quietly left.
The next pair of Indians were dirty and mean. They went through the house and took what they wanted.
Santa Claus: Retell Mr. Edwards’ tale of Santa Claus.
The Scream: What did Pa do when he heard the scream during the night? What actually made the scream?
Pa thought the scream came from a neighbor, so he went to check on them. He realized on the way home that the scream came from a panther. Later, he went hunting for the panther, but he stopped when he found out that an Indian had killed the panther.
Trip to Town: What did Pa bring home from town?
He brought home the plow, seeds, brown sugar, white flour, corn meal, salt, coffee, seed potatoes, crackers, and pickles. He also surprised Ma with calico fabric to make a dress, and Laura and Mary with combs for their hair.
Trip to Town
Prairie Fire: How did they fight the fire? How did they think the fire was started?
They soaked sacks in water. Pa plowed a furrow to try to create a fireblock. Pa set fire to the grass on the other side of the furrow. Ma exstinguished flames that came across the furrow. They beat out any little fires that were remaining.
Pa thought that the Indians probably started the fire to make green grass grown.
Friend or Foe: How does Mr. Scott feel about the Indians? How does Mr. Edwards feel about the Indians? How does Pa feel about the Indians?
Mr. Scott thinks that the only good Indian is a dead one. Mr. Edwards thinks there are too many Indians around them. Pa thinks that the Indians are just coming together so they can go hunt buffalo.
Prairie Fire & Friend or Foe
Sounds in the Night: What did the Ingalls hear that kept them up at night? Why were the tribes fighting?
They kept hearing the Indian way-cry. The tribes were disagreeing as to whether they should kill the settlers.
Sounds in the Night
Indian Parade: What was Laura’s favorite part of the Indian parade? What did Laura want?
Laura loved all of the ponies. She dearly wanted the papoose.
Saying Goodbye: Why did the Ingalls have to leave? What animals were they leaving behind? Who did they give them to?
Washington declared that they were no longer allowed to be settled in Indian Territory. They had to leave behind their cows. They decided to give them to the Scotts as they had been good neighbors.
Moving On…: What did they have to leave behind because there was no room to take it? How would they get a new one?
They had to leave behind Pa’s plow. They would get another one by Pa selling more furs.
Tenderfoot: What is a tenderfoot? What did Pa say they did wrong?
A tenderfoot is a newcomer to the prairie life. They didn’t have a guard dog. They didn’t stay up to guard their possessions. They tied up their horses with rope.
Moving On & Tenderfoot
Vocabulary: record definitions of words you do not know
If I were an Indian girl or boy…: tell a story about what it would have been like to be an Indian girl or boy during this time period.
Prairie Recipes: record any recipes that you would like to have. Use index cards or print off recipe cards. Place in the Prairie Recipe Pocket.
Recipe Cards: use for Prairie Recipe pocket if desired (4 per page)