Little Women was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. (The second half titled Good Wives in the UK). The two volumes were issued in 1880 as a single novel titled Little Women. Our study guide is on the full combined novel.
Largely based on the author's own childhood, Little Women is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when written over 150 years ago. It is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - who grow to maturity in their mother's tender but strong and loving care. As different in personality as they are unified in their devotion to each other, the girls vow to support their beloved mother by behaving their best while Father is away serving in the American Civil War.
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds true love. Affectionate but frail Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist's soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family possesses an abundance of love, friendship, and imaginative gifts that have captivated readers for 150 years!
Through Louisa May Alcott's touching family story of Little Women students will learn:
Author Biography: Learn about Louisa May Alcott and the fascinating history behind the author and novel.
Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Slang, similes, metaphors, foreshadowing, proverbs, allusions, motif, parallelism, allegory, maxims, idioms, juxtaposition, asides, anthropomorphism, antithesis, irony, mood, comic relief, alliteration, in context, foil, aphorism, jargon, sarcasm, tongue-in-cheek humor, extended metaphor, euphemisms, cause and effect, epiphany, poetic justice, flat and round characters, dynamic and static characters, dramatic structure, theme, point of view, coming-of-age.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Studying God's word, focusing on our appearance, burdens/troubles, fear, pride, anger, self-control, encouragement, balancing work and rest, power of words, friendship, sacrifice, God is with us, quiet times, growth, character qualities, praise and criticism, love of money, The Golden Rule, live at peace with others, focus on what is good and uplifting, standing up for your belief in Christ, take up one's cross, pain and suffering, depression, helping the needy.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Research Pilgrim's Progress, class discussion on culture, research American Civil War, art, letter writing, natural science, cooking, planning, peer pressure, clubs, newspapers, outings, imagery, synonyms, haircuts, dreams and aspirations, gardening, fundraising, timelines, fashion, creative writing, crossword, calligraphy and illuminations, travel, money management, mapwork, biographies, foreign languages, costuming, martyrs, historical research, dance, kites, plays, multiple optional essays and projects!
Suggestions for Further Reading: We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books and movies that tie in with, or are similar to, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian perspective!