The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton: Preschool Plans
written by: Tracey Bleakley
• edited by: Wendy Finn
• updated: 6/6/2012
The Little House is a classic children's book that is still popular with young children. This preschool lesson makes a great addition to a unit about communities.
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Teach your students about the differences between city and country life with these preschool plans for The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. These plans complement a theme about communities or "Where I Live".
Pictures of things you might see in cities and in the country, cut out of magazines
Chart paper and markers
Black construction paper "frames" that fit over the white paper
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Begin by reading and discussing The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton to the class. Clarify any terms the children may be unfamiliar with like trolley cars, horseless carriages and cellars. Talk about the setting of the story: the country and the city. Ask the children what it was like in the country and then in the city.
Hang a large piece of chart paper divided into three columns, one labeled City, one labeled Country and one labeled Both, where everyone can see it. An alternative to three columns would be a large two circle Venn diagram, with one side for the city and the other for the country. Show the children pictures that you have cut out of magazines of different things you'd expect to see in either the city of the country. Hold up each picture one at a time and have the children decide where to put it on your chart. Glue or tape each picture in the correct column or circle. When you have sorted all of the pictures, ask the students if they can think of any other things from the story to add to your chart. You can draw them or write the words onto the chart if there is room.
Give each child a piece of white paper and crayons. Tell him to pretend he is looking out the window of the Little House. What would he see in the city? The country? Have the children choose the city or the country, and draw a picture of what they might see. Then use black construction paper to make a frame around the picture like a window. If time allows let them share their pictures with a partner and guess if it is a city or country view.
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Have each child tell you about the items in her window view picture. Were you able to tell which view she chose? Did most of the items belong on the type of community or were they all mixed up?
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Read Town Mouse, City Mouse by Jan Brett, or another version, to continue your study of urban and rural communities. Compare it to The Little House. Talk about which things were the same in the city and country in the two books.
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Other Teaching Ideas
Read the book again and talk about the four seasons. Point out the words used to describe the different seasons. Let the children draw pictures of their own houses during their favorite season.
Read other books by Virginia Lee Burton. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow are always favorites with preschoolers. Let the children vote on their favorite story and make a class graph.
Your students are sure to have learning about city and country life with these preschool plans for The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.