I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888

Teaching Ideas and Book Unit Samples for I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888

Lauren Tarshis’s sixteenth book in her popular I Survived Series tackles the Children’s Blizzard 1888. 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. 

Teachable Moments

  • Homestead Act of 1862
  • grasshopper invasions
  • 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

Activity #1

This three-minute video, narrated by Senator Ben Sasse, gives an overview of the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard. 

Learn about the Children’s Blizzard 1888.

Activity #2

Lauren Tarshis’s website contains additional teaching resources. In 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 include a printable with figurative language examples from the book for students to identify. You can also print a four-page quiz.

Activity #3

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.”

Activity #4

See what Lauren Tarshis is planning next. I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967 comes out September 25, 2018.

The story tells of the bear attacks that took place in Glacier National Park in the summer of 1967.

Purchase the I Survived Growing Bundle at a huge discount.

Purchase the I Survived Growing Bundle and save $$$. Activity #5

If you would like to try out the I Survived the Children’s Blizzard 1888 Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains free samples for Chapters 1-2.

Grab these free samples from I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888 Novel Study.

This book unit contains 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.

Gay Miller


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