Ruby Reads Books

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: Sarah, Plain and Tall

Read-Aloud Poster Spotlight: Sarah, Plain and Tall

Coming soon!

We’re excited to introduce our Read-Aloud Poster for Sarah, Plain and Tall, written by Patricia MacLachlan. The printed version of this poster is part of our Pipsqueaks line, posters printed at 20x28 inches for shorter books. This poster has brief activity directions printed directly on the poster rather than in an activity guide; this spotlight blog post serves to provide additional information about the poster. Prefer a larger size poster? Download the digital version of the poster and print at any size you like!

This short book was originally published in 1985 and won the Newbery Award. We like it best for ages 8 - 10, but younger and older  listeners will enjoy it, too. It’s the story of Anna and Caleb, whose mother has died, and whose father places an ad in the newspaper for a wife. Sarah comes from Maine for a visit, but their prairie home is so different from what she is used to. Will she stay?

Poster highlights

As with all our Read-Aloud Posters, the activities on our poster for Sarah, Plain and Tall are a mix of novel and familiar (if you have completed other Read-Aloud Posters). If this is your first Read-Aloud Poster, they're all new to you! 

Reader Signatures and Ratings

We start and end every poster with our Reader Signature block. Start here by having everyone sign their name (yes, you too!) as a co-book reader and poster-completer; come back at the end to give your star rating and talk about what you liked (and didn’t like) about the book. Book evaluation discussions are great opportunities to give evidence to support your opinions, as well as practice being kind and respectful to other readers whose opinions might differ from yours. Bonus for grown-ups: listen for clues to help you be an even better book-matchmaker for your kids! 


Character Portraits

In the four corners of the poster are blocks for you to draw portraits of Papa, Sarah, Anna, and Caleb. Listen for details about their appearances to include in your portrait. The border of the block is space for you to write character traits that describe each character. What are they like? What do they say or do that supports your description?


Chapter Tracker

Around the border of the poster are nine quilt blocks, one for each chapter of the book. As you finish reading each chapter, color the quilt block of the corresponding number. 

Bonus fun: Next to each quilt block, we’ve printed its traditional name. Can you tell why we chose each block for the chapter we did? 


Maine/Prairie Scenes

Although the book takes place on the prairie, there is quite a bit of comparison between the prairie and Sarah’s home in Maine. At the center of this poster are two scene-starter pictures for you to add details to as you listen to the story. Consider animals, plants, and other features as you consider what to draw.


Maine/Prairie Comparison Quilt Blocks

One of the aspects of the book we particularly enjoy is the parallel descriptions of Maine and the Prairie. In the border of the poster, we’ve provided four “half triangle” blocks to help you compare the flowers, birds, animals, and sounds in both places.



Wonder Words

Here’s a space to collect some of the wonderful words the author uses. Horrid? Feisty? Mild mannered? Which ones are new to you? Write them down, and then use context clues or a dictionary to find out what they mean. 



Discussion Questions

We’ve placed some discussion prompts around the border of the poster. The location of each prompt indicates roughly when we suggest you pause to discuss it; for example, stop after Chapter 3 to share your predictions about whether Sarah will stay, then revisit your predictions again after Chapter 7. 


What's your favorite part of our Read-Aloud Poster for Sarah, Plain and Tall? We'd love to hear from you!

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