Strawberry Girl: Lesson 1

Florida’s Location and Shape

SS.A.6.2.2 - Students will understand the influence of geography on the history of Florida
SS.A.1.2.2 - Students will use a variety of methods and sources to understand history
SS.A.1.2.3 - Students will understand broad categories of time in years, decades, and centuries


  • Students will locate the following places on a Florida map: Polk County, Marion County, Galloway, Kissimmee, and Tallahassee
  • Students will describe the scrub and the vegetation in Central Florida
  • Students will determine the time period Strawberry Girl is set in by gathering information from the clues given in the story.
  • Students will compare and contrast the Slater family and the Boyer family using a Venn diagram.
  • Students will explore the nature of language


Time: Four 50 minute classes


Day 1

Setting: computer lab or classroom with Internet accessible computers

  1. Introduce the Strawberry Girl unit
  2. Pass out the Strawberry Girl Journal
  3. Instruct students to find the Central Florida Memory website ( and allot time to explore the site using the Scavenger Hunt.
    1. Click on Teachers, and then click on Take a Scavenger Hunt under Activities.

Day 2

Setting: classroom

  1. Class will be divided into five communities.
  2. Read together the Prologue and Chapter 1 of Strawberry Girl. Discuss the meaning of the term “Florida Cracker.” Read the introduction to the journal and the Orlando Sentinel article, “Life was tough, but at least pioneers had land to live off.”
  3. Instruct students to determine in what year the story takes place from the author’s words. (Around 1890 - 1900)
  4. Who appears to be the main character in the story? (Essie) What is Essie concerned about and is it an important concern? (Land and who it belongs to and what is going to happen to her family)
  5. Using a Venn diagram, compare and contrast the Boyer and Slater families.
  6. Complete Journal entry #1.

Day 3

Setting: computer lab or classroom with Internet accessible computers

  1. Each community will be given a list of vegetation that has been mentioned in the story. They will sketch what each plant looks like in pencil or colored pencils.
  2. Instruct the students to go to the Central Florida Memory site ( to find any of the vegetation on their list.
    1. Click on Florida Stories, under Critters, Crackers, and Cottages click on Nature.
  3. Students will add to their sketches of Florida vegetation.

Day 4

Setting: classroom

  1. Students will compare and contrast their sketches and create a Florida Vegetation Calendar for the following year using the artwork collected. The vegetation sketch will be placed at the blank space on the left of each month.


  1. Students will complete journal entry #1
  2. Each group will use their sketches to complete a 12 month Florida calendar.
  3. Students will demonstrate their ability to navigate around the Central Florida Memory website.