1. The question I always like to ask. Which character do you most relate to? Is there a character in Sarah, Plain and Tall you think is a little like you? How so? If not, do any of the characters seem like someone else in your life? Who is your favorite character.
2. We have been discussing the 50 States Sarah comes from Maine, but where do you think the “prairie” is?
“Outside the prairie reached out and touched the places where the sky came down.” She says that patches of snow and ice cover the landscape and that the days sometimes seem long and dark.
3. What makes up your family?
Most families are not formed by placing advertisements,like Jacob does. Although some families are dating websites for parents may be similar to an advertisement. Sarah is not the biological mother of Anna and Caleb, and she did not know or love Jacob before she came to stay on the prairie. But,by the close of the novel, Sarah interacts with the children and Jacob just as a mother or wife would. Anna tells the reader, “We eat our night meal by candlelight, the four of us. Sarah has brought candles from town. And nasturtium seeds for her garden, and a book of songs to teach us. It is late, and Caleb is nearly sleeping by his plate and Sarah is smiling at my father.” What simple elements so you have in your home that make you feel like it is family and who contributed them?
4. We have had several books that have incorporated the theme of abandonment. Caleb certainly deals with the of abandonment. “Do you think she’ll come? And will she stay? What if she thinks we are loud and pesky?. . . What if she comes and doesn’t like our house?” Do you ever get have fears like this when meeting someone new?
5. What songs do you think Sarah sang? Why is it important that Sarah sings “Sumer Is Icumen In”?
Vocabulary: I found this great vocabulary list on Scholastic Book Club
bonnet a baby’s or woman’s hat, tied with strings under the chin
buzzard a large bird of prey, similar to a vulture, with a hooked beak and long, sharp claws
clatter to bang together noisily.
collapse to fall down suddenly from weakness.
conch the spiral-shaped shell of a marine animal
dune a sand hill made by the wind near the ocean or a large lake or in a desert
dusk the time of day after sunset when it is nearly dark
eerie strange and frightening
feisty lively or frisky
fetch to go after and bring back something or somebody
flax a plant with blue flowers and long leaves that produces oil and fiber
gully a long, narrow ravine or ditch
hearthstone stone flooring laid in front of a fireplace
hitch to join something to a vehicle
kill deer a type of bird with a black chest
mica any type of clear or colored minerals that have crystallized and can separate easily into very thin layers.
paddock an enclosed field or area where horses can graze or exercise
plow (plough)to turn over soil using a piece of farm equipment pulled by an animal or a tractor
primly in a formal and proper way
pungent when something has a strong taste or smell
rascal a mischievous person or animal
reins straps attached to a bridle to control or guide a horse
roamer a person or animal that wanders around with no particular destination or purpose
scuttling a quick shuffling pace
shingles thin, flat pieces of wood or other material used to cover outside walls or roofs
sly crafty, cunning, secretive
sputter to make popping, spitting, or coughing noises
squall a sudden, violent wind that usually brings rain, snow, or sleet with it
squint to nearly close one’s eyes in order to see better.
tumbleweed a bushy plant in western North America that dries up in the fall, breaks off from its roots, and blows around in the wind
whicker a horse’s whinny or neigh
windbreak a shelter from the wind
wretched miserable or unfortunate
Related Reading : Other books in the Sarah, Plain and Tall series by Patricia MacLachlan
Skylark(1994) EBook: Idaho Digital Consortium
Caleb’s Story(2001) Ebook: Idaho Digital Consortium
Activity: Identify shells “Did you bring some sea?”