Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books
Sample Lesson Plan: Louisa May Alcott
Students will learn that Louisa May Alcott was famous for her children’s books, she wrote
numerous books and stories for adults as well. The lesson will be completed with the aid of the
PBO bindings database.
*This lesson requires two class periods and out of class work.
1) A computer with an Internet connection and a large screen or other capability to display
the teacher’s actions to the entire class.
2) One copy for each student of the following readings: Chapter 1, “Jane Muir,” in “Behind
a Mask, or A Woman’s Power,” available full text on-line at
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8677; any story selected from “A Garden for Girls,”
available full text on-line at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5830.
Born in 1832, in a Pennsylvania town that now is part of Philadelphia, Louisa May Alcott, grew
up in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts. A prominent Transcendentalist, her father was
friends with famous writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Louisa
spent some time with these men in her youth and began emulating their writing at an early age.
The Alcott family was poor, and Louisa vowed to do anything she could to help them. Although
she got any job that would hire a women, she was most passionate about writing. She began
selling stories and poems to magazines in 1851. By 1854, she had begun to publish her stories in
Most of her early books were collections of stories for children. She is most famous for the book
Little Women, published in 1868, and its sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Other books she
wrote for children included An Old Fashioned Girl, Eight Cousins, and Rose in Bloom.
But Miss Alcott had another side, a side about which most people didn’t know until after she
died. In this lesson, we will learn about the stories she wrote for adults, most of