Lesson 9: Going to Town

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • What did the pioneers depend on in the city?
  • How was the city dependent on the pioneer families?

Facts and Definitions

  • We add -ing to an action word (verb) to indicate that the action is happening at the moment.
  • We add -ed to an action word (verb) to indicate that the action has already happened.


  • Analyze characters, including their traits, feelings, relationships, and the changes they experience. (LA)
  • Write with more proficient spellings of inflectional endings, including plurals, past tense, and words that drop the final "e" when -ing, -ed, or -able are added. (LA)


  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • index cards
  • journal


Ask your child to think about what it is like to run errands in his community. Then ask him to think about how it might be different to "go to town" for the pioneers. Tell him that today he will read about the Ingalls' family trip into town.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, journal
Today your child will read the chapter "Going to Town" and then answer the following questions.
  1. How does the author describe the woods in the spring?
    Birds begin to sing, the grass grows green, and the forest is filled with wild flowers.
  2. How were Laura and Mary's pretend games different or similar to yours?
    Answers will vary.
  3. Why do you think the family got so dressed up to go to town?
    It was a special occasion because Laura and Mary had never been to town. They wanted to look their best.
  4. Make a list of items the family bought at the store. How is this list different from a list your mom or dad might make to shop at Target or Wal-Mart? Why do you think it was so different back then?
    Fabric, tobacco, tea, sugar, galluses (which are like suspenders). Answers will vary.
  5. How was Laura different from Mary?
    Mary was older than Laura. Mary's hair was a golden color, and Laura's was brown. Mary always kept her dress clean and neat and minded her manners.