Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Me, Plain and Tall

Donna Woods


After reading SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, the students write a narrative putting themselves in the setting of the story.


The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping ideas, grouping related ideas, keeping a notebook of ideas, observing surroundings, answering questions posed by others).

The student uses conventions of punctuation (including but not limited to commas in a series, dates, and addresses; beginning and ending quotation marks).

The student creates a logical organizational pattern appropriate to narrative writing (including a beginning, middle, end).

The student knows that the attitudes and values that exist in a time period affect stories and informational articles written during that time period.


- One copy of the book SARAH PLAIN AND TALL By Patricia MacLachlan 1995 Harper & Row, New York
- Pencil, paper
- Overhead transparency of prompt (see procedure #4 for prompt)
- Overhead projector


1. Get one copy of SARAH PLAIN AND TALL written by Patricia MacLachlan.
2. Read through the book to become familiar with the storyline.
3. Research the setting of the story so that you can share some facts with your students as you read the book.
4. Make an overhead transparency of the prompt. (see #4 in procedures)


1. Orally read the book, SARAH PLAIN AND TALL to the students over a period of several days.
2. Discuss the grading criteria (see #1 of assessment)
3. At the end of each day's read aloud, have the students write the thoughts and feelings each character had and what events made them feel that way.
4. Discuss these thoughts and feelings and what events or circumstances caused the characters to feel that way. Focus should be on how the setting of the story and how the time period and the frontier influenced the attitudes and actions of each character.
5. After the book is completed, have the students write a narrative from this prompt: Think about the story, SARAH PLAIN AND TALL. Think about the lifestyle of the characters and their thoughts and feelings and actions. Now, pretend you live on the prairie in the days of SARAH PLAIN AND TALL. Write a story about a day in your life on the prairie.
6. Discuss the grading criteria. (see assessment #2-4)
7. After stories are completed, have the students share them orally.


25 possible points - Class notes on each chapter must reflect the events of the daily readings.
25 possible points - Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
25 possible points - Plot must be based on events that could happen if you lived on the prairie at the turn of the century.
25 possible points - Stories must be edited for conventions and capitalization.
Students may earn up to 25 points for each criteria. Points for each criteria can be added together and a letter grade can be assigned from that total according to the district grading scale.
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