The following activities and resources were prepared by Kathy Johnson, a wonderful media specialist from Voyager Elementary School in Alexandria, MN.  
Prairie Train

Prairie Train

illustrated by John Thompson
published by HarperCollins, Sept. 2003
ISBN 0688134335
Ages 4 and up, 32 pages

A small girl travels by herself on the Great Northern Railroad to see her Grandma in St. Paul in the book Prairie Train.

Have each student make a train car out of colored paper. Be sure to put in windows so the passengers can see the scenery as they pass by! Write some of the descriptive words that were used in the story.
Form a train by standing in a line. Move bent arms in time and take short steps. The student who is the engine can make the "Choo! Choo!" sound and the rest of the train can do the "chug-a-chug-a."
Read some other train books such as: Steam, Smoke, and Steel by Patrick O'Brien or Seymour Simon's Book of Trains.
Take a look at some black-and-white pictures of Great Northern Trains at the Great Northern Archives (click here). The train in the book was called "The Empire Builder."
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