Kirsten

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A Swedish pioneer girl in Minnesota[edit]

This learning project is part of the History through American Girl project; based on the Kirsten books by Janet Shaw, part of the American Girls Collection:

  1. Meet Kirsten
  2. Kirsten Learns a Lesson
  3. Kirsten's Surprise
  4. Happy Birthday, Kirsten!
  5. Kirsten Saves the Day
  6. Changes for Kirsten

In the first book, the fictional characters of 9-year-old Kirsten and her family leave Sweden to try and find a better life in Minnesota in 1854. Through the rest of the series she discovers all of the trials and joys of pioneer life with her family and friends, including learning English at a new school, celebrating the 4th of July for the first time and holding on to Swedish family traditions even in a new land.

Despite the fact that these books were written for entertainment purposes, the novels are surprisingly historically accurate; which makes them the ideal vehicle for a children's history course (especially for girls). They are very popular and easy to obtain; found in most bookstores and libraries. They are short and to the point, making them easy for an educator to read aloud to a group.

Project goals[edit]

The goal of this project is to create and maintain resources pertaining to the books, including further reading lists, possible craft projects, fun games and quizzes and more. Also, each book should have a "Cliff Notes" synopsis for quick reference as well as a more detailed breakdown for educators.

Resources[edit]