Lesson 2: Little House in the Big Woods

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How are people dependent on plants and animals in the environment?
  • How do resources from the environment help meet people's needs?
  • How has people's dependence on the environment changed over the years?
  • How has people's dependence on the environment stayed constant over the years?

Facts and Definitions

  • People in the past depended on natural resources for survival.
  • Brindle is brownish fur with streaks of other color.
  • To be scalded is to be injured with very hot liquid or steam.
  • Something is done temptingly if it is done in an enticing or inviting way.
  • Eaves are the parts of a roof that meet or overhang the wall.
  • Pity is a feeling of sorrow and compassion.
  • Something is done solemnly if it is done in a serious manner.
  • A catechism is a series of questions and answers that summarizes principles of Christian religion.
  • Mending is repairing something by sewing or darning.


  • Increase reading and writing vocabulary through word study. (LA)
  • Use word reference materials (e.g., dictionary, glossary) to confirm decoding skills, verify spelling, and extend meanings of words. (LA)
  • Read independently. (LA)
  • Interact with the text by making connections, answering questions, and locating information. (LA)
  • Use oral and written language to answer open-ended questions. (LA)


  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • dictionary
  • journal
  • scissors


Ask your child what she learned in the previous lesson about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the state of Wisconsin.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, journal
Each of the following lessons in the unit will have chapter questions for your child to think about as she reads the chapters. We suggest selecting two to four questions for her to answer in her journal and using the remaining questions as discussion questions that she can answer orally. The chapter questions are located in the back of each lesson in the hard-copy books and as a PDF download on the Table of Contents page for the online curriculum. We encourage you to provide these and circle the questions your child will answer in her journal. It is important that she has a copy of the questions in front of her as she reads the chapter.

Today your child will read the chapter "Little House in the Big Woods" and answer the following questions.
  1. What was the girl's house made from? Why do you think it was made from this material?
    Wooden logs. The answer should relate to the family living in the woods and wood being a readily available material.
  2. What types of animals lived in the woods? How do you think these animals were dependent on the woods?
    Your child may mention wolves, bears, wild cats, muskrats, mink, otter, foxes, and deer. Answers will vary. Your child may mention food, shelter, or water from the streams.
  3. How does Laura describe the attic?
    A large, pleasant place to play in when the rain drummed on the roof. Later in the chapter she describes how it is filled with pumpkins, peppers, onions, meat, and herbs.
  4. How were Laura and her family dependent on the trees and animals in the woods?
    Your child may mention wood for shelter and fires and animals for food.