4th Grade Indiana History: Hoosier Biographies on TpT

“I write as the birds sing, because I must, and usually from the same source of inspiration.”

So said Gene Stratton-Porter, author and nature-lover of Indiana.

Sylvan Lake, as seen from Gene's home 

Sylvan Lake, as seen from Gene's home 

Gene Stratton-Porter: Indiana Author and Naturalist 

Gene was more than your average nature-lover, however. This remarkable woman would do anything for nature. She was years ahead of her time as a woman born in 1863 - she was a naturalist. She wandered around her father’s farm and her mother’s gardens and the woods and fields near her home when she was a child. She kept pet birds and studied insects and flowers, and even transplanted plants to save them from destruction when she was still only a child. As a grown woman, even as a wife and mother, she would still brave insect bites and stings and poisonous plants for her research and later for photography. She would crawl through poison ivy for the perfect nature photograph, and on more than one occasion fell ill because she spent too much time wading through a swamp or a river. She wrote nature studies and fought for conservation, and even her fiction novels were based around nature. And even as she studied, took photographs, and wrote her nature studies, journal articles, poetry, and novels, she still found time for music and her beloved family. She was an inspiration to say the least, and her legacy lives on today. She is still the most widely read Hoosier female author of all time.

4th Grade Indiana Biographies 

Gene's home on Sylvan Lake, viewed from the gardens 

Gene's home on Sylvan Lake, viewed from the gardens 

When I was asked by a 4th grade teacher to create Indiana biographies for Teachers pay Teachers, I jumped on the chance. I knew immediately that Gene Stratton-Porter would need to be my first biography. I’ve always found her fascinating, and I know children would, too. So I studied and researched her life, and our family drove nearly three hours north to the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site near Rome City, Indiana. Her last home and her Wildflower Woods and gardens are all preserved for visitors to enjoy, which was her wish. We toured the beautiful house, which is like Gene - full of stories -and then we wandered around the gardens and grounds.  We met a friend and our children enjoyed their time, too. It seems to me that Gene was childlike her whole life, and so her legacy would naturally engage children.

Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale & Coming Soon... 

My first Indiana Biography on Gene Stratton-Porter is now available on Teachers pay Teachers. TpT is a wonderful resource for teachers, homeschoolers, parents – really anyone who works with children. I am proud to be a TpT teacher-author!

Coming soon for Storybook Ancestor’s 4th grade Indiana History Biographies:

-          James Whitcomb Riley

-          Tecumseh

-          Frances Slocum

-          T.C. Steele

-          AND I am taking suggestions from 4th grade teachers, too! Whose biography would you like to have for your students? Leave a comment and let me know and I’ve gotcha covered! Also - don't forget to subscribe to the blog's newsletter and follow my Teachers pay Teachers store for updates! 

Happy Back to School, and Happy Storytelling!