The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
The Railroad by Bobbie Kalman
The Kids’ Guide to First Aid: All About Bruises, Burns, Stings, Sprains and Other Ouches by Karen Buhler Gale
You will also need to use encyclopedias or the internet and a dictionary.
Have children look up vocabulary words and choose appropriate definition. Children can also copy quote for their handwriting exercise. The first 12 quotes show the character traits of Bobbie.
Chapter 1: Mother writes poems for birthdays. Have children write a poem for a friend or relative’s upcoming birthday. Vocabulary: calamity, melancholy, draughty Quote: “Oh Mother,” she whispered all to herself as she got into bed, “how brave you are! How I love you! Fancy being brave enough to laugh when you’re feeling like that!” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 2: The children go to the rail station. Find out about rail stations in the 1900’s. Read pages 22-23 in The Railway. Visit a train station. Vocabulary: countenances, telegraph, remembrance, indignantly Quote: “Oh don’t!” said Bobbie. “Can’t you decide now what you’ll do to us? It’s our fault just as much as Peter’s.”—The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 3: The children met several different railroad workers. Read pages 20-21 in The Railway. Vocabulary: sensible, eau-de-cologne, sweetbrier Quote:…Bobbie understood a little bit the thoughts that were making Mother so quiet – the thoughts of the time when Mother was a little girl and was all the world to her mother. —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 4: The children make a model of the railroad using flowers. Have children draw what they think the model would look like. Bobbie inadvertently ends up on an engine and gets to learn all about the engine. Have children learn about how train engines work. Read pages 8-9 in The Railroad. The how stuff works website has some good information about steam engines. You could also go on a train ride. Vocabulary: hereabouts, extravagant, engineering, fortifications Quote: “That was awfully jolly decent of Peter because I know he didn’t mean to. Well, the broken half shall be my half of the engine, and I’ll get it mended and give it back to Peter for his birthday.” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 5: The children play a game of advertisements while in the station.Make up your own game of advertisements. Vocabulary: besieged, obliged, inquisitive, reluctantly, ceremoniously Quote: “Oh don’t!” said Bobbie; “don’t you see how frightened he is? He thinks you’re going to shut him up. I know he does, — look at his eyes!” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 6: The children try to cheer the Russian. Brainstorm with your children some things you can do to cheer someone without talking to the person. Choose one and do it for someone. Vocabulary: mysteriously, consented, petticoat, heroic, ingenuity Quote: “O dear,” said Bobbie, with a sigh, “I do believe you’re cross.” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 7: The author talks about Bobbie’s quality of empathy. Discuss with children what empathy is and how Bobbie has shown this character trait throughout the book. The old gentleman compares the children’s mother to the good Samaritan. Look up that story in the book of Luke, chapter 10, in the Bible. Vocabulary: enthusiastic, commemoration, presentation, examinationQuote: And she started the race, though she hated doing it. You know why Bobbie did that. —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 8: The children ride the barge up the river. Research life on river barges in the 1900’s. Vocabulary: soothingly, staggering, knickerbockers, acquaintances, anxiety, disentangled, incoherent Quote: “Do, please, don’t be cross with Peter. Of course, if it’s your canal, we’re sorry and we won’t any more. But we didn’t know it was yours.” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 9: The clergyman said the children showed loving kindness for Perk’s birthday. Have children write a story about a time when someone showed loving kindness to them. Vocabulary: anticipate, confidential, charity, perambulator, grudgingly Quote: “No,” said Bobbie, “I should like every one to have one. Only we know when his is.” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 10: After a quarrel, the children agree to “bury the hatchet”. Have children find out what this saying means and look up other sayings. The Phrase Finder has sayings and their meanings. Vocabulary: indignantly, quarreling, rubbish, drivel Quote: Bobbie had felt almost from the first that for some strange miserable reason these questions hurt Mother and made her sad.—The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 11: The children watch a paper chase. Have children research what a paper chase is. Do a search at Wikipedia using the term “paper chase”. Have children play a game of paper chase. Vocabulary: evidence, traitor, parapetQuote: “Mother, will it make you more unhappy if you tell me all about it? I want to understand.” —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 12: The children rescue a boy with a broken leg. Have your children learn about basic first aid. Read The Kids’ Guide to First Aid: All About Bruises, Burns, Stings, Sprains, and Other Ouches. The Red Cross also offers Basic First Aid courses for children. Vocabulary: bleating, affection, bearable, intervalQuote: “Yes,” said Bobbie, – and she saw by her Mother’s face how right she had been to bring home the wounded hound in the red jersey. —The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 13: While talking to Peter, Mother talks about how nice it is that they are in a book of God’s writing. Work with your children to come up with a list of Bible verses that confirm what she said. Vocabulary: splints, grievously, sternly, writhe Quote: “Don’t you think it’s rather nice to think that we’re in a book that God’s writing? If I were writing the book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right – in the way that’s best for us.”—The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
Chapter 14: Have children write and act out a play showing what happened inside Three Chimneys after the book ends. Vocabulary: ornamented, fluttery, contemptuous, disposition Quote: “I knew something wonderful was going to happen,” said Bobbie, as they went up the road, “but I didn’t think it was going to be this.”—The Railway Children By E. Nesbit.
The children in this story made many friends by being kind and polite. Discuss how the story would have been different if the children had not acted this way.