Flopsy, Mopsy, Eleanor, and Beatrix

Flopsy, Mopsy, Eleanor, and Beatrix
Eleanor Roosevelt: Education, Arts, Letters and Ideas

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: One week


Eleanor Roosevelt and Beatrix Potter were contemporaries.  Both were born to privilege; both had a non-traditional education.  Potter was a farmer; Roosevelt a farmer’s advocate.  Potter was committed to the cause of conservation; Roosevelt argued that the conservation of land and people go hand in hand.  The most striking similarity, however, was that they were both writers who paved the way for all women writers and are often referred to as two of the most influential women of the twentieth century.


In this lesson students will explore the many contributions of women writers.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet and/or access to a public library


1. Read to the class The Tale of Peter Rabbit and then explain to the students and show them photos of the pets of Beatrix Potter that inspired her writing.

2. The University of Pennsylvania has made available on the web children’s books written by women in the nineteenth century.  By clicking on the link below, students will be able to locate a children’s book of interest.  Have each child in the class select a different book to read from the University of Pennsylvania website or from the local public library.  The primary criteria for selecting a book should be that it was written by a woman.

3. Prior to reading their selected book, have the students first do research on the author of the book.  What was the author’s childhood like?  Did she attend school?  What was life like for women during her era?

4. When the author research is complete, direct students to look for clues to the life of the writer in the book that they read.

5. For the final assignment of this project, have each student provide an oral book report for the class which should include information about the author.

Extending the Lesson:

To extend this lesson have students write their own children’s book that is tied to their own life story.

Sources & Resources:


   Lipson, Eden Ross.  The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 1988.

   Odean, Kathleen.  Great Books About Things Kids Love: More Than 750 Recommended Books for Children 3 to 14.  New York: Ballantine Books, 2001. 
   Silvey, Anita.  100 Best Books for Children.  New york: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Eleanor Roosevelt:
   Freedman, Russell. Eleanor Roosevelt, a Life of Discovery. New York: Clarkion Books, 1993.   (Newberry Award) 
   Rosenburg, Pam. Eleanor Roosevelt. New York: Compass Point Books, 2003. 
   Winget, Mary. Eleanor Roosevelt. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 2003.
   Embridge, David (ed.). My Day: The Best of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Newspaper columns, 1936-1962. New York: first Da Capo Press, 2001.  
   Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick.  Eleanor Roosevelt, a Very Special Lady. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press, 2003. 
   Mattern, Joanne. Eleanor Roosevelt, More Than a First Lady.  New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2003. 
   Roosevelt, Eleanor. The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.  New York: Harper & Brothers, 1961. 
   Roosevelt, Eleanor. You Learn By Living. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960. 

Children’s Books Written by Female Authors:
The Tale of Peter Rabbit:
Eleanor Roosevelt:


This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University.