The much-anticipated Kit Kittredge: An American Girl movie has come to theaters. The movie, which features an all-star cast that includes Abigail Breslin, Jane Krakowski, Julia Ormond, Joan Cusak, and Chris O’ Donnell, is based on a series of popular American Girl books written by Valerie Tripp.
Since in my house it is a rule that if you want to see the movie, you have to read the book first, we will be reading the complete series before we see the movie. If you want to read the books with your daughter before you go to see the movie, than this lesson plan for the first book in the series, Meet Kit, may prove to be very helpful for you.
In Chapter One we learn that Kit lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Help students create their own Ohio fact books by completing these activities, and then stapling them together in a book format.
1. Print out the map of the United States at http://www.learningtreasures.com/states/Ohio/coloring_page_ohio_state_seal.jpg and give it your students. Help students find their state on the map, once they have found it color it blue. Then help students find Ohio on the map, once they have found it color it red.
2. Print out and color the worksheet at http://allstates-flag.com/fotw/misc/us-oh-l.gif featuring the states seal.
3. Print out and color the worksheet at http://www.kidzone.ws/geography/usa/ohio/flag.htm featuring the Buckeye, Ohio’s state tree.
4. Print out and color the worksheet at http://www.kidzone.ws/geography/usa/ohio/flag.htm featuring Ohio’s state flag.
5. Print out and color the worksheet at http://www.friendsacrossamerica.com/colorstateohbirdflower.html featuring Ohio’s state bird and flower.
In Chapter One The Depression is explained in a way that children can easily understand it. Use the “A Peek Into The Past” section found in the back of the book to discuss The Depression in greater detail with students. If possible have them interview someone who lived during The Depression.
1. What is Kit’s real name? Why does Kit not like it?
2. Who is Kit’s favorite player on the Cincinnati Reds baseball team? What is his nickname? How did he get his nickname?
Ernie Lombardi is Kit’s favorite baseball player on the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, and he was such a good baseball player that he made it into the National Baseball hall of Fame. Let your students check out the National Baseball Hall of Fame Web site, at http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers/detail.jsp?playerId=117880, which features a biography on Ernie Lombardi, a photo gallery, and video clips.
Use the instructions provided at http://kitkittredge.com/ on the Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Movie Web site to create your own Cincinnati Reds baseball pennant.
1. Why does Kit’s dad have to shut down his car dealership?
2. What does this mean for Kit’s brother Charlie?
In Chapter Three Kit tries to figure out ways that she can help her family by saving money. Have students come up with ideas on how their family could costs and save money if they needed to. Take the time to explain to students the difference between a want versus a need. Have students take a piece of blank paper and draw a line down the center. On one side of the line have students write down needs, and on the other side of the line have students write down wants. Discuss the difference.
1. What does Kit’s mother decide to do to help pay the bills?
2. Where does Kit’s mother want her to move?
By moving out of her room so that her mother can rent it out Kit is making a sacrifice for her family. Discuss sacrifice with your students, and talk about ways that we can sacrifice for the good of others.
At the end of Chapter Four we read ” ‘Changes Can be Good’ she thought. That sounds like a headline to me.”
Have your students write a story about a time that they had to make a change while using the headline Changes Can be Good.