TheLittlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty - Teaching Ideas

This is such a sweet story about Mini, a little pilgrim girl that just wants to help. She asks everyone around her if she can help them with their chores and they all either ignore her or tell her she is too small to help. Mini is so sad she takes a walk into the woods where she hears some movement further in the woods. Mini goes to see what it is and discovers an Indian girl the same size as her. Mini finally finds something she is not too small to do, make a friend.

If you plan on using this book as one of your Thanksgiving read alouds, use the below information to help make a great little lesson for your students.

Reading level: 2.2
Theme/Subject: Thanksgiving, friendship
Genre: fiction

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about? I wonder what the Littlest Pilgrim is going to do? {possible questions during} I wonder why everyone thinks she is too little to help? {possible questions after} I wonder if Mini and her new friend will be able to stay friends?
**Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • author's point of view - 3rd person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • author's purpose - entertain {evidence} Mini is trying to help but nobody will let her. The illustrations are adorable. These make an entertaining story.
  • beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Nobody will let Mini help. {most important event from middle} Mini goes to collect berries. {most important event from end} Mini meets a new friend.
  • cause and effect - Why did Mini's brother not notice her? because he was too busy stacking wood. How come Mini's mother didn't hear her? because she was too busy making bread. Why did Mini's father tell her to go pick some berries? because she was too little to help him with the hunting. Why was Mini sad? because nobody would let her help.
  • character analysis - describe Mini {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • character changes - Mini was sad at the beginning of the story. At the end of the story Mini was happy. What happened to make Mini's mood change?
  • classify & categorize - Jobs Mini could do and jobs she couldn't do.
  • compare & contrast - you and Mini
  • connections - {possible text-to-self connections} Wanting to help but people won't let you. Meeting a new friend. Being told you are too little to do something.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - Why do you think Mini's new friend didn't say anything to her? {text clues} Mini's new friend looks like an Indian. {what I know} sometimes Indians did not speak English. {my conclusion} I think Mini's new friend did not know how to speak English so she couldn't talk to her.
  • main idea & details - {main idea} Mini wants to help but nobody will let her because she is too little. {details} Her brother doesn't see her. Her mother doesn't hear her. Her neighbor says the job is too big.
  • plot - the turning point or climax in the story is when Mini hears a noise in the woods. This is when she finds her new friend.
  • predict - What do you think this story is going to be about? What do you think Mini will do to help? Will Mini's brother let her help? Will her sister let her help? What do you think Mini could do? What do you think Mini is going to do after seeing the girl?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Mini is too little to help. {solution} While she is picking berries she sees a girl in the woods and they become friends.
  • sequencing - Mini tries to help stack wood. She asks her sister to help sew. Mini gets sent to her mother to help bake. She finds her father and asks if she could help hunt. Her father tells her to go collect berries. On her way she asks a neighbor if she could help fix his door. She asks the boys from town if she could help them fish. Mini is very sad and thinks there must be something special she could do. Mini hears something in the woods. Mini sees a girls and says "Hi". Mini offers the girl some of the berries she picked. Mini and the girl become friends. Mini is happy.
  • story elements - list title, author, character's, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • strong thought - Do you think Mini is too small to help?
  • summarize - {someone} Mini really {wanted} wanted to help {but} but everyone thought she was too small {so} so she went to the woods to collect berries. She {then} then met a girl in the woods and was {finally} finally not too small to do something, make a friend.
  • theme - You are never too small to make a friend.

Happy reading!


  1. Wow!!!! I can't believe that I just found your blog. It is awesome. Thank you for sharing.

    Charlotte from Charlotte's Clips


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