Sarah, Plain and Tall Teaching Ideas

Sarah, Plain and Tall Teaching Ideas and Free Printable Activities

Sarah, Plain and Tall is a short historical novel by Patrica MacLachlan. It is set in the prairie states during the nineteenth century. Sarah answers an ad from Jacob who is looking for a mother for his children after his wife passes away while giving birth to his youngest child Caleb. Sarah leaves her Maine home to travel to Jacob’s farm. She brings music, fun, laughter, and love to this family who grows to love Sarah in return.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Teaching Ideas

Homophone and Homograph Games

Your students will love playing these trail games! The games practice homophones or homographs using sentences from Sarah, Plain and Tall. To play the games, students roll a die and move around the game board. They read the homophone or homograph [depending on the game] they land on. Next, the player covers a sentence from the book in the center of the board that uses the word. My students love playing these games and really learned a lot.

Download the games here.



A homonym is a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not.


A homophone is a special type of homonym. It is a word that is pronounced the same as another but is different in meaning. It must have a different spelling.

FOCUS –> Spelling [must be spelled the same]


A homograph is a word spelled the same as another but different in meaning whether pronounced the same way or not.


A heteronym is a special type of homograph. You pronounce them differently from other words, and they are different in meaning. It must have the same spelling.

Homophone and Homograph Games

Sarah, Plain and Tall [a mentor text for teaching homophones and homographs]

Book Unit Samples

If you would like to try out the Sarah, Plain and Tall Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1 
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapter 1
  • Constructed Response Question
  • Chapter 1 Activities

Sarah, Plain and Tall Book UnitSarah, Plain and Tall Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities. Vocabulary, comprehension, constructed response writing, and skill practice are all included.
Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

    • Sandy on March 18, 2016 at 8:21 am

    This is one of my favorite books!

  1. What a cute game for teaching/reviewing homophones! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. You’re welcome. Enjoy!

    • Carla on March 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    As always Gay, I LOVE your resource. This will be perfect for my groups as we prepare for state testing. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you!!

    • Kim on September 27, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    What’s the difference between your “book units” and your “interactive notebook and activity units”?

    1. The interactive notebook units were created as a series. They have small lessons that continue from one book unit to the next. For example, one book may teach two or three capitalization or grammar rules. The next in the series will continue and teach two or three additional rules. If you teach the entire series (There is a 4th grade and a 5th grade series), you will cover all the Common Core Language Arts skills. I found that teachers want to pick and choose the books they cover instead of sticking to a series. Because of this I am updating all the books called “Interactive Notebook Units.” I have already updated the entire 4th grade series and have removed “Interactive Notebook” out of their titles. I am currently doing the same with the 5th grade. Originally, these units focused a lot on skills and writing. As I update, I am adding comprehension questions to make them more well-rounded instead of writing and skill based. Note: Even though these books were written as a series, they work just as well individually.

Comments have been disabled.