Watching performances of Plank Road Summer was the highlight of my recent trip to Wisconsin. At St. John’s Lutheran School in Burlington, Mrs. Susan Musgrave’s sixth graders completed a variety of final projects after reading the book. Some chose to build plank roads and tollhouses. Others researched the Underground Railroad, designed paper ninepatch quilts, or wrote new chapters for Plank Road Summer.
Two groups of students chose to act out scenes from the book, and they gave delightful encore performances during my visit to their classroom.
Strawberries seemed to be the theme of the day: in the first scene Katie and Florence picked berries and quarreled over making jam. In the second scene, Katie and Grace Caswell began working on the strawberry patch quilt.
I gave two presentations at St. John’s that afternoon; the teachers separated the classes that had read the book from the classes that had not. At the end of the school day, I called a few old-time dances during a high-spirited and hilarious gathering in the gym.
Many thanks to the principal and teachers at St. John’s, especially Mrs. Musgrave and her students, for their warm welcome and the fine entertainment.