Unit Study on Michael Landon & His Role on Little House on the Prairie
Unit Study on Michael Landon & his role in Little House on the Prairie

Growing up, Little House on the Prairie was extremely popular, both the books and the television series.  I was a book fanatic even back then and read the whole series.  We also watched the television show during summer time reruns.  I loved Laura’s character and who didn’t love Charles Ingalls, as played by Michael Landon!

This series is fantastic for home learning as it teaches so much about the life of the early Pioneers.  Izzy (9) and I started delving into the Little House on the Prairie TV series.  And now we’re also reading through the series.

 

Learning with Little House on the Prairie

 

Complete Book Series

The complete books series of Little House on the Prairie is a wonderful set of living literature to teach children about the times and trials of early pioneer life in America.  There are 9 books in total.

  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Farmer Boy
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake
  • The Long Winter
  • Little Town on the Prairie
  • These Happy Golden Years
  • The First Four Years

 

This series fits in well with a Charlotte Mason style learning as they would be considered Living Books.  Not sure what a living book is?  Come learn more at How do you know if a book is a living book?

We have just begun reading the series and we read a chapter a day during our morning basket time.  Not sure what morning basket time is?  Take a look at this guest post I wrote for Encouraging Moms at Home.

These books have been a great follow up to our study on the pioneer life.  We used A Pioneer Sampler for our initial study.  This book follows the story of a pioneer family and the tasks they had to do on their early homestead, the struggles they had, and basics of daily life.  It contains excellent activities to tie together the information presented in the stories.

 

Complete Television Series

 

The television series for Little House on the Prairie, adapted from the books, is also a wonderful family show.  My son Izzy (9) spend some quality one on one time curled up on the couch together learning about pioneers.  There are many sensitive topics that come up in the series but they are always handled in a wholesome and positive manner.  I also really appreciate the Christian perspective that is maintained throughout the show.
We are three seasons in and Izzy has really come to appreciate each of the characters in the show. So, I figured it was time to expand our learning.

Therefore, we are going to take a look at the life and career of Michael Landon, who played one of TV’s top 50 greatest father figures, Charles Ingalls.

 

Expanding our Learning with Little House on the Prairie

 

A Unit Study on Michael Landon

 

Michael Landon, son to Eli Orowitz and Peggy O’neill was originally born as Eugene Maurice Orowitz in Queens, New York on October 31st, 1936.  He seemed destined to entertainment right from birth!  His father managed a movie theatre and his mother was an actress.  He also had a sister, Evelyn, who was 3 years older.

The family moved to Collingswood, New Jersey when Michael was just a boy.  In high school, he was very athletic and excelled as a champion javelin thrower.  He later won a track scholarship to the University of Southern California where he studied for a year before injuring his should.

Mr. Landon then moved on to study acting at the Warner Brothers acting school in Los Angeles. There he changed his name to Michael Landon – a name he picked randomly out of the local phone book.

 

His First Big Break

 

At the age of 22, Michael Landon got his first big break, scoring the role of Little Joe in the television series “Bonanza”.

 

 

Unit Study on Michael Landon and his Role on Little House on the Prairie. In honor of his birth month - October - we are expanding our Little House on the Prairie learning with a unit study on Michael Landon - who played Charles Ingalls on the long running television series.
By Film screenshot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This was a western series that ran for 14 seasons (1959-1973).  During his time on the series he also had the opportunity to try his hand at directing.  When Bonanza was cancelled, he moved onto the popular western TV series, “Little House on the Prairie”.

 

 

 

 

 

Little House on the Prairie

Unit Study on Michael Landon and his Role on Little House on the Prairie. In honor of his birth month - October - we are expanding our Little House on the Prairie learning with a unit study on Michael Landon - who played Charles Ingalls on the long running television series.
By NBC Television (Photo from eBay, front back.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mr. Landon was approached by the TV network to be involved with the directing of their newest western TV series, “Little House on the Prairie”.  After reading the script he fell in love with the story and also decided to play one of the main characters, Charles Ingalls.

Mr. Landon was an executive producer, producer, writer, director, and actor for Little House on the Prairie.  The show became one of the most popular dramas in television history.  It also won many awards.

 

He Believed in Good Quality Television

 

The series, Little House, has become well renowned for its wholesome morals.  Mr. Landon worked very hard to keep it as accurate to the time period as he could.  He also kept the feeling of the show focussed around the beauty of a solid family.  Little House ran from 1974-1983.

Michael Landon believed that Little House on the Prairie held onto fundamental values like family, community, and love for other people.  These values continue to resonate with people today.  That’s why even decades after the shows cancellation, it still continues to air in reruns.

 

After Little House on the Prairie

 

After Little House on the Prairie finished airing, Michael Landon moved on to the television series: Highway to Heaven.  In this series he played the character Jonathon Smith, an angel living on Earth, doing the work of God to save people’s lives.

During the fifth season, Victor French, one of the main characters on the show, died from lung cancer.  Victor French and Michael Landon were long time friends.  Instead of replacing his good friend on the show, Michael chose to cancel the series.  Victor French also starred in Little House on the Prairie as Isaiah Edwards.

 

Remembering Michael Landon

 

Unit Study on Michael Landon and his Role on Little House on the Prairie. In honor of his birth month - October - we are expanding our Little House on the Prairie learning with a unit study on Michael Landon - who played Charles Ingalls on the long running television series.
photo by Alan Light [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

In April of 1991 Michael Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He passed away only 3 months later on July 1st, 1991.

Today he is remembered worldwide for his major television appearances.  However, he is also remembered for the kind and loving person that he was.

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About Michael Landon

 

He learned karate from Chuck Norris.

In 1954 he was the national high school record holder in the javelin throw.

Michael wrote with his left hand.

In the “Little House on the Prairie” books, Charles Ingalls always had a beard.  Michael Landon was unable to grow a full beard and opted to play his role clean shaven.

 

Learn More About Michael Landon

 

You can learn more about his acting career at his IMDb Biography page.

Take a peek at the official Little House on the Prairie website to learn more about his roles with the show.

Wikipedia also has a pretty extensive page about Michael Landon.

 

Activities you can use to tie in your learning about Michael Landon

 

  1. Michael Landon wrote and produced many parts of Little House on the Prairie.  One of his best remembered works is this poem from Season 2, Episode 7 & 8, Remember Me.  This would make an excellent poem for dictation, copywork, and/or memorization.

    Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that’s the way I’ll remember you all.

    IF you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.

    2. Using an atlas, locate Michael Landon’s birth town of Queen’s, New York on a map.  Now find Collingswood, New Jersey.  Calculate the distance between these two cities.

    3. Michael was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Look up where the pancreas is and what it does.  Older children could also research information on pancreatic cancer; it’s causes, prognosis, treatment options.

    4. Michael Landon’s father was Jewish and his mother was Irish Catholic.  Discuss the major differences in these two religions.   How might these differences have attributed to family problems between his parents who were known to fight a lot.

    5. He won awards for his involvement in javelin throwing.  What are the rules for this sport and where does it originate from?

 

Want to save this unit study for later?  Here’s a pin for you!

 

Unit Study on Michael Landon and his Role on Little House on the Prairie. In honor of his birth month - October - we are expanding our Little House on the Prairie learning with a unit study on Michael Landon - who played Charles Ingalls on the long running television series.

Celebrating Famous Birthdays

 

The iHomeschool Network runs a wonderful series of unit studies for homeschoolers based on people born in a particular month.  Come and see who else you can celebrate in your homeschool this month.

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about this unique character as much as I did!  Let me know what you enjoyed the most – or what you would like to still know about him.  Leave me a comment below – I always enjoy reading what you have to say!

 

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Hey, I'm Nadine!

I'm the creator of Making Her Mama & a busy homeschooling mama to 4 boys. I love sharing my experiences to encourage other moms. My family lives on Vancouver Island in Canada where we try to live naturally while raising our kids by faith.
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  • Anyone else a #littlehouseontheprairie fan? We're currently reading #littlehouseinthebigwoods and watching the television series in the evening!! My 9 year old just loves it! And so do I!! IHomschoolNetwork (#ihsnet) has an event once a month celebrating famous people's birthdays! For October, I chose Michael Landon. You can learn all about him and ideas for doing a unit study on him and his role on LHOTP as #charlesingalls. Come find out more about #michaellandon on the blog! Link in my bio.
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  • Anyone else a #littlehouseontheprairie fan? We're currently reading #littlehouseinthebigwoods and watching the television series in the evening!! My 9 year old just loves it! And so do I!! IHomschoolNetwork (#ihsnet) has an event once a month celebrating famous people's birthdays! For October, I chose Michael Landon. You can learn all about him and ideas for doing a unit study on him and his role on LHOTP as #charlesingalls. Come find out more about #michaellandon on the blog! Link in my bio.
  • Any guesses what we're doing?? Well... I'm trying to work out LOL Mickey Blue says he's helping me be strong. Little Lou just likes to dogpile! #boymom #realfitness #kidlife
  • There's still time to come and enter this #giveaway for your chance to win the Video Workshop: #homeschooling Homeschooling with Joy PLUS 5 Books from the series Homeschooling Simplified from @onthisrock2. #linkinbio
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  • In our Facebook Group we have time in Friday's where I hop onto #facebooklive and answer frequently asked questions about homeschooling! You should come join us!!! And I'd love to know... what is the burning question you have? Or the question you are asked the most as a #homeschooler ??
  • Happy Thursday! Welcome to #homeschoolmomschat ! Here's how to participate. 1. FOLLOW ME and any other homeschooling moms you'd like to get to know. We love meeting new moms following their own homeschooling journey!
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If you'd like to join in the fun in future chat loops, send a DM to @ourcommonchaos. We like to feature new moms each week, so there's always room! -----------------
Question:
Do you use living books in your Homeschool?? And what books are on your TO READ list this year?? ---------------
Answer:
I LOVE living books as Charlotte Mason calls them!!! My kids have learned to really love literature by teaching them with stories instead of text books. We're reading The Little House series this year and a few select novels from Jean Craighead George as well!!! For my littles I have a whole list of living books! See the link in my bio if you'd like a copy of the book list ❤️
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