Abstract 11, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2014

NCSS Notable Trade Book Lesson Plan

Queen of the Falls


Written by Chris Van Allsburg

Jill M. Gradwell

Liza M. Acanfora

Erika Lindsay

Kimberly Vaughn

SUNY Buffalo State

This extended lesson plan uses the book Queen of the Falls to investigate the life of Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to successfully fall over Niagara Falls in a barrel Niagara Falls.  Through the various activities, students will explore resources such as  photographs, first-hand accounts, newspaper articles, songs, and poems from the era, to learn what life was like for women in 1901, and to discuss the events surrounding Taylor’s decision to venture over Niagara Falls.  Several questions will be posed to the students including “How was Annie Edson Taylor a woman of her time?” “To what extent was Annie Edson Taylor a hero?” “Was Annie Edson Taylor’s trip over the Falls worth the attempt for fame and fortune?”  The lesson concludes with the following question:  “Was Annie Edson Taylor a woman of her time or by her design?”

Download as PDF