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Free History Studies: Louisa May Alcott

Free History Studies: Louisa May Alcott

Free History Studies: Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was an American author best known for her life-like portrayals.

Read the current chapter online: “The Author of ‘Little Women’”

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
  • A town crier was someone who read public announcements and proclamations.  He carried a bell and yelled some version of “Hear ye!” to get people’s attention.  View a picture of a town crier from Massachusetts in 1909.
  • Louisa May Alcott made dresses for dolls.  Use this very simple pattern to make a dress for a doll.  The pattern fits an 18″ doll, but as you will see, you can easily adjust!
  • Read the story of “Jack and the Beanstalk”.
  • Create a play from one of your favorite fairy tales.
  • Copy Louisa May Alcott’s poem, “My Kingdom.”
  • What is a chore that you are responsible for?  Using Louisa May Alcott’s poem, “A Song From the Suds” write a poem about your chore.
  • Louisa May Alcott wrote many books other than Little Women, the one for which she is famous.  One of these is a selection of short stories called A Garland for Girls.  Choose a story to read and narrate.  (See resources below.)
  • More about Louisa May Alcott from the Book of Knowledge:

    Realism is the form of writing that is based on fact, on the everyday situations in which real people might find themselves in actual life.  As romanticism prefers the mythical or legendary in plot, and pictures events of a long-ago-and-far-away world, realism prefers the factual in plot and pictures native scenes in a present-day world.  Home and school life and adventure in various parts of the United States were the themes of the new realists.

    The most successful of the realists during this era was Louisa May Alcott (1832-88), who has aptly been called “Invincible Louisa.” Her Little Women broke completely from the English tradition and was as American as pumpkin pie. The first volume of Little Women, written in 1868, was so popular that Miss Alcott wrote a second volume the next year. This beloved story was followed by An Old-Fashioned Girl, Little Men, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, Silver Pitchers, Under the Lilacs, Jo’s Boys and other stories.

    Miss Alcott had great talent, and her stories of home life paved the way for other writers, but her gift for making characters really seem to live was something that could not be imitated.

    “American Writers for Children,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Louisa May Alcott
Biography from the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association.

Louisa May Alcott Dead
March 7, 1888, obituary in the NY Times that includes informative biographical background.

The Rooms of Orchard House
Tour the Alcott home.


Pennsylvania Map/Quiz Printout

Massachusetts Map/Quiz Printout

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own maps.

Invincible Louisa

Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs
Newbery winner and frequently recommended biography of Louisa May Alcott by the author of The Windy Hill and Swift Rivers among others.  A favorite author!

A Garland for Girls by Louisa May Alcott
Public domain title with rich short stories.  A great introduction to the author!  Read our full review with go-alongs.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The book that made the author famous in the public domain.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Acting Up, A Melodrama
Lesson plan from the Kennedy Center where students perform “like Jo March and her sisters in Little Women.”

Little Women
Nine-lesson Core Knowledge plan focusing on setting, plot, character traits, vocabulary, main idea, and discussion questions, and culminating in a “Book Jacket Report.”

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map map for locating Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Pennsylvania Map
Map for locating Germantown.

Massachusetts State Map
Map for locating Boston.

Author Notebooking Pages

Author Notebooking Pages
Simple pages that include room for copywork, narrations, an illustration and dates of birth/death of the author, and books by the author.

Louisa May Alcott Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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