Being a series, these books will keep your group meeting back together often to discuss the lives of these Kansas pioneers. Use the quilt designs mentioned in the Trail of Thread series to make a quilt project for your club project.
Tips for Teachers and Librarians
Engaging students, and keeping them interested in reading and studying history, can be a challenge. Consider using my book series to carry your students back in time for a great history lesson.
I’d heard back from teachers that have used these books for history units. Their students become involved in the stories, wondered what happened next, and traced the characters’ journeys as their class project. Photographs, maps, and family charts in the books make history and the characters come alive to the students, and help teachers form lesson plans.
My Butter in the Well book series shows students what life was like for the early pioneers that settled the Plains states. This series is written in the form of a diary, so you can easily read a section each day, and talk about what was happening within the family, how they cooked, traveled, and communicated in the 1868-1919. The third book, Egg Gravy, is a reading cookbook, taking quotes from the first two books that pertain to food, and then followed with the recipe. Whether its floor paint or angel food cake, students learn how the pioneers made everything they needed and consumed.
The Trail of Thread book series follows a family as they travel from Kentucky to the new Territory of Kansas in 1854. The second book in the series follows a widow and eight of her thirteen children as they make the journey from Ohio to Kansas looking for land in 1855. In the third book, the children from the two families marry during the Civil War. This series is written in the form of letters as they travel to Kansas, and feature twelve old quilt patterns in each book. This series describes how people were affected as the nation went into the Civil War. Projects include writing a journal of a trip, designing quilt blocks, and studying the reasons that caused the problems between and the Northern and the Southern States.
The Planting Dreams book series describe why and how people left Sweden to find a new beginning for themselves and their families. Discussions on why to leave, what to expect, how it would feel to never see their country or family again, make students think about their current lives and how it would be drastically changed. Realizing these characters didn’t speak English when arriving to America help students see the problems current students recently emigrating from other countries face today.