Pollyanna Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Who Is Pollyanna?
  • 0:35 Pollyanna's Story
  • 1:51 Legacy
  • 2:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jenny Homer

Jenny has masters' degrees in public health and public administration.

This lesson talks about Pollyanna, the main character in the books of the same name, written by Eleanor H. Porter in 1913. Find out what made Pollyanna so likable and how her character has become part of our lives today.

Who Is Pollyanna?

How do you feel when you're faced with a problem? Does it seem like there's no way to solve it? Or are you optimistic, where you feel it will work out for the best, and that there is always some good in any situation?

Pollyanna Whittier, the main character in two books by Eleanor H. Porter, is optimistic even when she faces terrible challenges.

The first book, Pollyanna, was published in 1913. It was a big hit, and many books were sold all around the world. In 1915, Porter wrote a sequel that continues where the first book ended, called Pollyanna Grows Up.

Pollyanna's Story

The most famous story about Pollyanna is Porter's first book. When it starts, Pollyanna is eleven years old and is going to live with her Aunt Polly after her father dies. Aunt Polly's sister was Pollyanna's mother, who had also died.

Aunt Polly is a very stern, serious woman who lives alone. She sets up a small room at the top of the stairs for Pollyanna, but she's not happy about taking care of the child.

Pollyanna talks about a game she played with her dad called the ''glad game.'' The point of the game is to ''just find something about everything to be glad about — no matter what 'twas.'' Now that her dad isn't alive, Pollyanna keeps playing the game, even when her life becomes very difficult.

Pollyanna doesn't want to tell her aunt about the game, since Aunt Polly doesn't like talking about her father. But she teaches others the glad game. As the people of the town learn from Pollyanna, they begin to see things differently, too. Next time you're in an annoying situation, try to think about it the way Pollyanna does!

One day, Pollyanna is hit by a car and cannot move her legs. At first, the doctor thinks she will not be able to walk again. Pollyanna goes through a very hard time.

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