Lauren Tarshis’s sixteenth book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Children’s Blizzard. Readers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see how John will survive.
John Hale was an eleven-year-old boy whose family had moved from Chicago to Dakota in 1886. They wanted to get the 160 acres of free land promised to settlers in the Homestead Act of 1862.
On January 12, the day started out warm at around thirty degrees. John and his sister Franny enjoyed a fun recess at school. All of a sudden, a blizzard blew in and the children had to make a mad dash for the schoolhouse. John thought Franny was still outside playing hide-and-seek. In one terrifying scene, John braved the storm to find Franny.
Later when the coal was about to run out, John’s father and two other men came to rescue the children from the one-room schoolhouse. While the children were being loaded into horse drawn sleds, the roof of the schoolhouse collapsed spooking the horse pulling John’s sled. John and his three friends were pulled by the horse into the storm.
Read to find out how John survives the runaway horse.
Homestead Act of 1862
living on the prairie
problems settlers had traveling west
ways to survive in the cold
FREE Teaching Ideas to use with I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888
This three minute video, narrated by Senator Ben Sasse, gives an overview of the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard.
Lauren Tarshis’s website contains additional teaching resources. For I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888, the author offers a comprehension check. This check asks one knowledge level question for each chapter. Novel activities includes a printable with figurative language examples from the the book for students to identify. You can also print a four page quiz.
An exceptional video about locusts narrated by Tarshis provides a lot of nonfictional information. In the video, Tarshis mentions “primary sources” and provides several examples of how she changed passages to “show, don’t tell.”
If you would like to try out the I Survived the Children’s Blizzard Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples for Chapters 1-2.
This book unitcontains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook. Vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and skill practice are all included. In addition to the printables, many paperless options are provided. Activities for Google Slides include writing and skill practice. Boom Learning Decks make this an interactive unit.