Sarah, Plain and Tall
Age 7-9: Concept 1 - Environment: Unit 2

In this unit, your child will experience life on a Kansas farm in the late 19th century and learn how one family comes to appreciate the uniqueness of others and the environment.

He will also explore the elements of a story, the characteristics of historical fiction, the features of persuasive writing, and the steps of the writing process.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be used in conjunction with the science and social studies unit The Land.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books on a 3rd or early 4th grade reading level
  • Can answer comprehension questions about a chapter in a journal
  • Able to write three or four sentences on a topic
  • Usually used by children in third grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Getting Started
  • Lesson 2: Story Elements
  • Lesson 3: The News
  • Lesson 4: The Letters
  • Lesson 5: The Arrival
  • Lesson 6: Life on the Prairie (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: The Dune
  • Lesson 8: Work and Play
  • Lesson 9: Writing (2 Days)
  • Lesson 10: Neighbors
  • Lesson 11: Squall
  • Lesson 12: The End of the Storm
  • Final Project: Welcome To Kansas (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Attend to spelling, mechanics, and format for final products in one's own writing. (Language Arts)
  • Begin writing more complex sentences in addition to simple sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Compare and contrast characters within a book. (Language Arts)
  • Compose first drafts. (Language Arts)
  • Connect ideas from a text to personal experiences. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding of informational text. (Language Arts)
  • Describe the plot of a story. (Language Arts)
  • Develop vocabulary through reading. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss main ideas, facts, and details from a text. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss the effect of an author's choices for nouns, verbs, modifiers, and specific vocabulary to help the reader comprehend a narrative or expository text. (Language Arts)
  • Edit and correct word order in sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and describe characters in own words. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and describe new concepts and information in own words — plot, setting, characters, and theme. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and describe the setting of a story. (Language Arts)
  • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified. (Language Arts)
  • Identify a theme in a story. (Language Arts)
  • Locate main ideas, facts, and details in a text. (Language Arts)
  • Locate specific information within text. (Language Arts)
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions. (Language Arts)
  • Make predictions about a text. (Language Arts)
  • Plan and make judgments about what to include in written products. (Language Arts)
  • Practice the correct spelling of words. (Language Arts)
  • Present dramatic interpretations of experiences, stories, poems, or plays. (Language Arts)
  • Read expository materials to answer questions and locate information. (Language Arts)
  • Read independently for extended periods of time. (Language Arts)
  • Recall main ideas, facts, and details from a text. (Language Arts)
  • Retell written messages by clarifying or summarizing. (Language Arts)
  • Use capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphs in own writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use correct word order in sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Use editing to check and confirm correct use of conventions. (Language Arts)
  • Use expanded vocabulary to generate synonyms for commonly used words in written and oral communication. (Language Arts)
  • Use graphic sources of information such as maps. (Language Arts)
  • Use personal experiences and knowledge to interpret written and oral messages. (Language Arts)
  • Use resources such as dictionaries and context clues to develop word meaning. (Language Arts)
  • Use the following parts of the sentence: subject, predicate, and modifier. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured narratives when given help with organization. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured narratives when given help with organization. Write structured, informative narratives. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured, informative narratives. (Language Arts)
  • Describe human movement in the establishment of settlement patterns. (Social Studies)
  • Identify and describe attributes of responsible citizenship. (Social Studies)
  • Identify natural resources and how they are used. (Social Studies)
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