Try these free Boxcar Children activities for a unit study, homeschool or classroom lessons, or just for fun story extension ideas.
FREE Boxcar Children Activities for Unit Study
This review of the Boxcar Children series will help you decide if it’s a series you’d like to cover with your homeschool family. Included in the review are tons of FREE resources for you to use in a Boxcar Children unit study! This post details some of the best FREE Boxcar Children activities on the web. They’re great for adding in a little fun to your homeschool lessons.
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About The Boxcar Children, Book #1:
What child hasn’t dreamed of living on their own in the woods, surviving off their own brilliance and wit, and showing all adults that they can do this! Every child I have ever talked to about this book had the same dream, they could cook for themselves, bathe in a stream, collect berries, and be perfectly happy. This is exactly what Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Bennie did in The Boxcar Children.
You see, it all began when the children were orphaned. Ranging in ages from 14 down to 6 they find themselves totally on their own. After some adults talk of taking them in and turning the youngest over to an orphanage but putting the older ones to work, the children decide to take destiny into their own hands.
While trying to find their way they stumble across an abandoned boxcar in the woods. The location and the boxcar make for a perfect home. The story profiles the bravery of the oldest character trying to make ends meet, and the younger ones for always looking out for one another. The children set up their home complete with a pool in the stream, small cups and dishes they have salvaged, and berries from the woods to eat. It is only the kindness of a stranger later that reunites the children with a living relative who really does have their best interests at heart.
This is the first book in what later became a series of mysteries, however, as with all sequels…the original is always the best!
Whole-Family Unit Study Ideas for The Boxcar Children
As you read this story with your elementary school child (grade level 2-4) you just might be surprised that your older children stop what they are doing to listen as well. There is just something about a child’s imagination of living off the land on their own that is intriguing.
Field Trip Ideas
While you read, try incorporating some of these FREE activities and sites into your learning adventure, and have fun! First off, go on a field trip!
- If you are near Virginia, go see the museum!
About the Book
Learn more about the author and the story with writing prompts, story details, reviews, and worksheets.
- Learn about the author, Gertrude Chandler Warner who wrote this amazing classic back in 1924.
- Like details? Checked out Plugged In‘s Christian review of the book.
- Here are some great discussion questions and writing prompts.
- This literature unit for the book is really good, found on Super Teacher Worksheets.
History, Science and Nature Studies
Want to dig deeper? Get in-depth about some story details by including some History, Science, and nature studies.
- What about a nature walk, how would you identify berries? Here is a great youtube video on berry foraging.
- What if you got hurt, or had an upset stomach? How about using some easy to identify plants as medicine?
- Of course, to cook and stay warm, you need a fire. Here is how to build a fire (parental supervision of course) and a quick youtube video too!
- How was medicine different in the 1920s? Learn about medicine in the 1920s like Dr. Moore would have known in 1920-1930, and also some interesting details to discuss at Quora.
- Henry earned money by picking Cherries at Doctor Moore’s farm, learn about the cherry on Brittanica Kids.
- Here is a great little video on cherry harvesting
Enjoy this adventure and let your children’s imaginations soar as they too may want to go outside and prepare their own little backyard oasis while imagining themselves living in a boxcar, what a great way to keep reading in your homeschool lineup! The Boxcar Children series may be just perfect for your frugal homeschool family reading list!