Learn about what it would have been like to have been an immigrant pioneer by reading the American Girl Kirsten books and completing this free unit study.
The American Girl, Kirsten, is based on a pioneer girl living in Minnesota in the 1850’s. Kirsten and her family immigrated from Sweden to America.
These are books the whole family can enjoy as you read them together.
As you read through each book, complete the activities listed for the book.
- Meet Kirsten An American Girl by Janet Shaw
- Kirsten Learns a Lesson by Janet Shaw
- Kirsten’s Surprise by Janet Shaw
- Happy Birthday, Kirsten! by Janet Shaw
- Kirsten Saves the Day by Janet Shaw
- Changes for Kirsten by Janet Shaw
- Kirsten’s Craft Book – Pleasant Company Publications
- Kirsten’s Cook Book – Pleasant Company Publications
- Internet or encyclopedias
- Printable Activities List – available in the free resource library
Activities for An American Girl: Kirsten unit study:
Read Meet Kirsten.
Trace Kirsten’s route on a map.
Find out what cholera is.
Find out about immigrants in your family.
Make a rag doll.
Read Kirsten Learns a Lesson.
Choose a poem to memorize and recite like Kirsten did.
Kirsten had to learn English. Learn a few Swedish words
Figure out what tribe of Indian Singing Bird belonged to by using their location, type of house, etc. Learn more about her tribe and what their life was like.
Read Kirsten’s Surprise.
Learn more about St. Lucia’s Day.
Make St. Lucia Buns. The recipe is in Kirsten’s Cookbook.
Have your own St. Lucia celebration.
Read Happy Birthday, Kirsten!
Learn about tornadoes.
Make a small quilt. There is a quilted potholder in Kirsten’s Craft Book.
Read Kirsten Saves the Day.
Learn about beekeeping.
Make bee’s wax candles.
Play games like they played on the Fourth of July.
Find out more about the black bears in Minnesota.
Download the unit study printable activities list:
Read Changes for Kirsten.
Find out more about fur trading.
Learn about the Oregon Trail.
Visit a Swedish Museum.
- The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois
Visit a Swedish Store.
Related: Butter in the Well book series by Linda Hubalek