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Little House in the Big Woods Comprehension Questions

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

''Little House in the Big Woods'' is a classic tale of life on a settler's land in the late 1800s. This lesson offers comprehension questions organized into literary techniques, setting, characters, and plot/story categories. Both short answer and essay style questions are offered.

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods is an interesting historical novel about everyday life in the days of early settlers. Laura Ingalls Wilder gives an interesting account of what life was like living off the land, isolated from most other people. Students should find it fascinating to learn about how others lived long before technology became such an overwhelming part of everyday life.

This lesson offers comprehension questions organized by category. You will find short answer and essay style questions for the categories setting, characters, literary tools and techniques, and plot/story. Feel free to choose any or all of the questions or to adjust questions to suit your students (for example, you might like to change some short answer questions into multiple choice questions).

Literary Tools and Techniques

  • Why did the author cover a single year in the work?
  • In what person is the book written (first person, second person, third person)?
  • Many of the chapters include title mini-stories. What literary technique is this?
  • What style of writing did the author use?
  • In what genre of literature would this book belong?

Setting

  • Where is the story set?
  • When is the story set?
  • How much time transpired in the novel?
  • Describe the little house in the Big Woods (remember to describe the land directly around the house).
  • Describe Grandma and Grandpa's house.
  • Describe the town. How did the buildings in the town differ in construction from the little house?
  • How far is the town?
  • Is there more than one setting in the book? If so, list the different places that are described.

Characters

  • Describe a typical day for Ma, Pa, Laura, and/or Mary.
  • Conduct a character analysis of Ma, Pa, Mary, or Laura.
  • As sisters growing up so isolated, you might expect Mary and Laura to be similar in character and nature. Compare and contrast the girls. Use evidence from the text to support your statements.
  • Summarize the character of Pa.
  • Compare and contrast Laura with Cousin Charley.
  • What do the characters do for fun?
  • List five characters whom do not live in the little house with Laura.
  • How old is Laura?
  • Who is telling the story?

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