Guided Reading
Guided Reading
Grade 3
Purpose
The purpose of Guided Reading is to help each student, regardless of his or her entry
reading level, develop reading strategies so that increasingly difficult texts can be read
independently.
Goal
Our goal is accelerated progress for our lowest achieving readers, continuous progress for
our average achieving readers, and challenge and extension for our highest achieving
readers.
Materials
A range of books (four to six titles) representing four to six readability levels has been
selected for each grade level reflecting a common theme. The number of themes varies
from grade level to grade level. Students are assigned these or other supplementary books
that they can read independently with 90-94% accuracy.
Instructional Model
Students are grouped according to instructional reading levels. Teachers meet with a small
group of students for twenty minutes or more while the remainder of the class is working on
independent activities. These independent activities include, but are not limited to,
centers, independent projects across the curriculum, journal writing, Literature Circles, or
reading/writing skills related to Guided or Shared Reading. The lowest achieving readers
meet with the teacher every day. Average and higher achieving readers may meet every day
or on another appropriate timeline. It is expected that teachers will meet with a minimum of
two groups each day.
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Guided Reading
The following themes are not listed in sequential order. You are encouraged to use the materials in any
sequence that meets the interests of the students, the range of readability levels in your class, or in
support of other curricular areas. For example, the set of books on “Acceptance” might be used at the
beginning of the year to foster community building. There is a graphic organizer for Sharing the Theme
at the beginning of each theme set. Each student or Guided Reading group should fill this out in
preparation for a discussion of the theme’s Guiding Questions, which lead to the Generalizations or
Essential Understandings for students.
Materials from other grade levels should be chosen for those students who are unable to
read the following Guided Reading books with 90-94% accuracy independently.
Level
Theme
Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Yeh-Shen
Flossie and the Fox
Talking Eggs, The
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter
Title
Trivizas
Brett
Louie
McKissack
Sans Souci
Steptoe
24
28
30
34
38
40
Folk Tales
Folk Tales
Folk Tales
Folk Tales
Folk Tales
Folk Tales
Mud Pony, The
Rough-Face Girl, The
Legend of the Blue Bonnet
Brave Bear and the Ghosts
Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend
Buffalo Woman
Cohen
Martin
dePaola
Dominic
Cohlene
Goble
28
30
34
38
38
40
Legends
Legends
Legends
Legends
Legends
Legends
Buffalo Before Breakfast
Young Wolf's First Hunt
Trail of Tears, The
Children of the Earth and Sky
If You Lived with the Sioux Indians
Children of the Wild West
Osborne
Shefelman
Bruchac
Krensky
McGovern
Freedman
28
28
30
38
38
40
Native Americans
Native Americans
Native Americans
Native Americans
Native Americans
Native Americans
Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth?
One in the Middle is a Green Kangaroo
Haunting of Grade Three
Seven Kisses in a Row
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Juliet Fisher and the Foolproof Plan
Sachar
Blume
Maccarone
MacLachlan
Sachar
Honeycutt
24
28
34
34
34
38
Community
Community
Community
Community
Community
Community
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil
Molly's Pilgrim
Sod Houses on the Great Plains
Sweetwater Run
Cabin Faced West, The
Sarah Plain and Tall
Stevenson
Cohen
Rounds
Glass
Fritz
MacLachlan
28
28
38
40
44
44
History
History
History
History
History
History
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Author
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Busybody Nora
Boxcar Children
Hannah
Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear
J.T.
Switcharound
Hurwitz
Warner
Whelan
Namioka
Wagner
Lowry
30
34
38
38
40
44
Realistic Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Follow a Raindrop
Pink Snow and Other Weird Weather
Weather Words and What They Mean
Floods
Tornadoes
Do Tornadoes Really Twist?
Ward
Dussling
Gibbons
Hopping
Simon
Berger
24
28
30
34
38
40
Weather
Weather
Weather
Weather
Weather
Weather
Year of the Panda, The
Ten True Animal Rescues
Barry The Bravest Saint Bernard
Bear Who Heard Crying, The
Incredible Animal Adventures
Guinea Pig in the Garage
Schlein
Betancourt
Hall
Kinsey-Warnock
George
Baglio
30
34
38
38
40
44
Bravery
Bravery
Bravery
Bravery
Bravery
Bravery
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Skills and Graphic Organizers
For Guided Reading Selections
Title
Level
Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Yeh-Shen
Flossie and the Fox
Talking Eggs, The
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter
24
28
30
34
38
40
Mud Pony, The
Rough-Face Girl, The
Legend of the Blue Bonnet
Brave Bear and the Ghosts
Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend
Buffalo Woman
28
30
34
38
38
40
Buffalo Before Breakfast
Young Wolf's First Hunt
Trail of Tears, The
Children of the Earth and Sky
If You Lived with the Sioux Indians
Children of the Wild West
28
28
30
38
38
40
Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth?
One in the Middle is a Green Kangaroo
Haunting of Grade Three
Seven Kisses in a Row
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Juliet Fisher and the Foolproof Plan
24
28
34
34
34
38
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil
Molly's Pilgrim
Sod Houses on the Great Plains
Sweetwater Run
Cabin Faced West, The
Sarah Plain and Tall
28
28
38
40
44
44
Busybody Nora
Boxcar Children
Hannah
Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear
J.T.
Switcharound
30
34
38
38
40
44
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Skills
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Graphic Organizers
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Year of the Panda, The
Ten True Animal Rescues
Barry The Bravest Saint Bernard
Bear Who Heard Crying, The
Incredible Animal Adventures
Guinea Pig in the Garage
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38
38
40
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Guided Reading
Overview
Step 1
Gather data about the reading achievements of the students in your class.
Achievement information includes reading assessment scores from the previous year, the
beginning-of-the-year Basic Reading Inventory, portfolio information, leveling information
from last year’s teacher, or information from the reading teacher. You may also want to
listen to each of your students read aloud informally, or assess individuals (particularly new
students or those students whose assessment information is conflicting) with a fluency
check and retelling. Your reading teacher can show you how to do this kind of assessment.
For students who are reading way below grade level, take a Running Record (See your
reading teacher for information on how to administer this assessment or refer to chapter
seven in Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copies of this book are
available in each building from the reading teacher.).
Step 2
Assign the students in the class to small groups according to their instructional
level.
Instructional level is defined as that level at which the student can read 90-94% of the text
independently. There is no optimum number of groups. However, there should be no more
than 5-6 students in a group. It is likely that four groups may emerge: (1) a group of
emergent literacy learners; (2) a group of early literacy learners; (3) a group of independent
literacy learners (grade level); and (4) an advanced group of literacy learners. These
groups are not meant to describe or define specific grade level or age level standards, but
rather the range of expected achievement in any classroom, grades K-5. Exceptional
education students must be assigned to an appropriate group unless they are selfcontained special education students.
Step 3
Assign the books for each group.
Selecting materials is critical for the successful progress of each student and is the
responsibility of the teacher. This is not self-selected reading. If you are using one of the
class themes designated for your grade level, you will need to decide if the range of books
in that Guided Reading set is appropriate for the groups in your class. If not, you will need
to check with the curriculum library in your school, your media specialist, the public library,
or the AEA to see if other titles with a better readability match to the students in your class
are available. Additional titles that support the theme for students to read during
independent work time as Self-selected Reading enrich the unit and add choice for student
reading. If there is not a book at the group’s instructional level that supports the
theme, choose the appropriate leveled book rather than have the students read at an
inappropriate level.
Some questions to consider suggested by Fountas and Pinnell (Guided Readers and
Writers, 2001, page 224) include:
• In what topics or content areas will students need more support in reading?
• What topics or content areas especially interest the readers?
• What is the quantity/quality of students’ reading vocabulary?
• What kinds of words do students solve quickly, with understanding, while reading
text? Cause difficulty in decoding or understanding?
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
What kinds of language structures are easy for students to process and what kinds
of structures are difficult?
What kinds of settings or plots will students find easy/hard to understand?
What kinds of texts do students find easy/difficult to interpret and extend?
What kinds of connections do they tend to make as they read texts—
personal/emotional, literary?
Are other words accessible through students’ current abilities to use strategies such
as word analysis and prediction from language structure or meaning?
Does the text offer a few opportunities to problem-solve, search, and check while
reading for meaning?
Is the length of text appropriate for the experience and stamina of the group?
Step 4
Plan instructional time.
Read each group’s book. Plan the approximate length of time it will take each group to
read their assigned book by predicting how many pages each group will be able to read
comfortably in daily fifteen-minute segments. Suggested sections (chapters or pages) are
included in the curriculum guide. It is likely that groups will not finish books at the same
time, i.e., the lowest level will most likely be reading shorter books. The teacher must then
decide whether it would be appropriate to have the students read the next book in the set or
whether to have them read a different title, perhaps not relating to the theme, but
instructionally appropriate.
Step 5
Plan introductions carefully.
Story introductions help the readers organize their prior knowledge so they are “ready” for
the information presented in the text. According to Fountas and Pinnell (2001, pgs. 230231), “A text introduction is an easy, conversational exchange that makes a text accessible
to readers.” Rich introductions will make more challenging texts accessible to a group of
students. At other times the teacher may need to provide only a short, focused introduction
or “a few moves to increase accessibility of a new text” (Clay 1991b, p. 272). Fountas and
Pinnell recommend that teachers make notes to remind them of the important ideas that
need to be mentioned. Some suggestions include (2001, p. 231):
• One or two sentences about the main idea of the book
• Page numbers of illustrations that you can use to discuss concepts (If a book has no
page numbers, take a pen and quickly number them, because you will need to refer
students to specific pages.)
• Vocabulary that you want to use in conversation and/or explicitly define as you
provide the introduction (See Curriculum Guide.)
• Words that might be difficult for readers to solve that you might want to call
attention to in the text or write on the board (See Curriculum Guide.)
• Information about the author, illustrator, or genre
• Processing strategies that you want to reinforce
• Something special about the text features that you want to make accessible to
readers
• The number of pages you want the students to read in this time period
• What you want the readers to do when they finish the assigned reading
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“‘Leave the children with one or two clear questions that will drive them into the text
and serve as a continuing impulse to seek meaning when they read’ (Holdaway 1979, p.
143).”
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When you introduce a text, you:
• Engage the attention of the students and draw them into the activity.
• Help them explore and access their knowledge.
• Help them attend to critical features of the text.
• Anticipate the features that may be difficult.
• Make problem solving easier for them.
Introductions are extremely important in Guided Reading and take different forms for
different levels of readers. The following chart from Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas
and Gay Su Pinnell (1996, p. 178) describes how introductions might look at various levels.
Emergent Readers
Early Readers
The introduction
• is rich, providing
children with language
and patterns of the
book
The introduction
• ranges from fully
covering the book to
just providing a brief
overview before
reading
• focuses on particular
words by locating
them
The introduction
• may involve brief
support that enables
independent reading
of the text
The introduction
• may be provocative in
terms of arousing
interest or questions
in the reader’s mind
• may include less detail
• may be geared to
• introduces unfamiliar
language structures
• familiarizes readers
• may draw attention to
frequently used words
• covers the whole book
• as a transition from
shared reading, may
include a complete
reading by the teacher,
with children joining
in, before children read
on their own
• provides a strong
support for meaning
Transitional
Readers
but continues to
provide a good
framework for reading
with new concepts,
particular vocabulary
words, and unusual
language structures
• assures that students
are tuned in to the
meaning of the
selection
Self-extending
Readers
helping children notice
aspects of text or
understand the
structure of different
genres
• may build an
understanding of the
importance of
previewing a text
before reading
• has the goal of
enabling children to
introduce books to
themselves
To help the book introduction process, a short synopsis of the story, chapter, or “section” of
the story to be presented each day is included in this guide. Just below the synopsis are
some Key Concepts and Vocabulary. You may use this information as a guide, or, after
reading the selection to prepare for the introduction, may decide to use other ideas that the
students in the class need to develop understanding and background knowledge. See the
section in Guiding Readers and Writers: Grades 3-6 (2001, pgs. 233-247), “Examples of
Text Introductions,” for additional instruction and specific examples.
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Step 6
Anticipate skill instruction for the group.
Skill work is determined as students encounter difficulties with the selection or is based on
your knowledge of the students’ needs. However, some books naturally lend themselves to
teaching certain skills. Because the readings are at an instructional level, this is a good time
to reinforce both word analysis and comprehension skills in simple, direct mini-lessons.
Vocabulary development is a priority through introductions and discussions of content.
Vocabulary words are listed for each section of the book. During the introduction, be
certain to mention names of people and places. You will probably need to write them on a
chalkboard or white board for “needs” and “meets” kids to see before they get into the text.
Proper nouns are often troublesome for less-efficient readers. General word analysis skills,
which would be appropriate to teach in the context of the book, are listed at the end of
some of the selections. The words listed under the various word analysis categories are
found in the book for which they are listed. Most of the instruction during Guided Reading
is based on the teacher’s observations as students read aloud or discuss the story. As you
listen to a student read, note errors. These errors are the springboard for mini-lessons (3-5
minutes), either at the end of the session or the beginning of the next.
Assessment
Comprehension suggestions are also given at the end for some books. These may be done
through discussion during Guided Reading time or may be used for independent work while
other students have Guided Reading with you. Some are intended to be ongoing throughout
the book; others are appropriate for end-of-the-book assessment. Some graphic organizers
are included; others are available in the Graphic Organizer binder.
Writing
Written responses related to the reading assignment are excellent independent work
activities, either ongoing throughout the book or as an end-of-the-book assessment. Some
questions could require a one-page essay to answer while others may be answered with
only one sentence. Establish your criteria (rubric) before you give the assignment. Some
examples are included. Having students defend their responses with quotes from the book
or specific examples is a more sophisticated task than simply a “pat” answer.
Step 7
Teach the following strategies as described in “Reciprocal Teaching Improves Standardized
Reading-Comprehension Performance in Poor Comprehenders” in The Elementary School
Journal (Lysynchuk, Pressley, and Vye, May 1990) to help students become independent
readers:
1. Predicting - involves finding clues in the structure and content of the story that
might suggest what would happen next
• Readers think about what they already know and compare it with what they have
already learned in the story. This motivates reading the story to determine if
predictions are correct.
• Students are told to use the title to make initial predictions and use clues in the story
to make predictions as reading proceeds.
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2. Summarizing - includes one or two sentences that tell the most important
ideas. A good summary does not include details or information that are not
important
• It can aid understanding and memory of what is read.
• Students are told to think of what the paragraph is mostly about and to construct a
sentence that reflects the most important information in the paragraph.
3. Clarifying - discerns when there is a breakdown in comprehension and taking
steps to restore meaning
• It is important for students to know at what point the story no longer makes sense
to them.
• Students are instructed to be alert to occasions when they do not understand the
meaning of text and to process text additionally when there are problems. For
instance, if a word does not make sense, students are told to try to discover the
meaning of the word by reading sentences before and after it. Sometimes “or”
signals the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Students are instructed to be certain
they know what referents such as “them,” “it,” and “they” refer to. If, after
rereading, something is still not clear, students are instructed to ask for assistance.
4. Questioning - asks about important information in the text rather than about
unimportant details
• Readers can self-test to determine whether they really understand the text.
• By asking questions, readers must identify what is important in a story.
• Students are told to select important information from text and use the words
“who,” “where,” “when,” “why,” “what,” and “how” to make up questions.
• When “trying” an unfamiliar word…
⇒ Does that make sense?
⇒ Does that sound right?
⇒ Does what I’ve “read” match the letter sounds I see or the word parts I know?
Posters for these Reciprocal Teaching skills are on the next few pages. Once students
have been instructed in how to do each of these four components, they can become the
daily assignment for students to complete during their independent work time. When
students come to the Guided Reading group, randomly select one of the students to
“summarize” what happened in the section the group was assigned to read; ask another to
ask a question from the section of the group; and another might be asked to read his or her
prediction for what will happen next.
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Strategies for
Reading Successfully
Predict
Think about what will happen in the
story or what you may learn.
Question
Think of a question to ask after
reading for others to answer.
Clarify
Think about words or phrases you
read that were not clear, that you did
not understand.
Summarize
Think about what you read and tell
the others in two or three sentences.
These may be done in any order.
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Making Predictions While We Read
Good readers make predictions as they read. These predictions are guesses about what will happen
next in the story, how the author will resolve a problem, what the characters will do or say, or what
information will be given that can answer a question the reader has. Good guesses are those which
readers make using what they already know about the sense of story, the topic, or previous
experiences when reading. When predicting, readers use the following clues:
♦
♦
♦
♦
♦
♦
♦
illustrations
the title
chapter or section headings
previous knowledge
facts and ideas from the text
new information
validating or changing previous predictions
Discuss the following questions with the students. Remind them as needed to use these strategies.
1. What are some of the ways to predict?
2. What clues does an author give us to help us make our predictions?
3. Why are some predictions more likely to be true than others?
4. How do sophisticated readers think and predict?
A prediction chart can help improve predicting skills. Students record their predictions for each
chapter or section of a book. As each subsequent chapter is read and discussed, students review
and correct previous predictions. This procedure helps students focus on predictions and to review
the stories.
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Prediction Chart
Name _____________________________________
Answer the following questions at the end of each chapter or section of the text.
What characters
have been met?
Grade 3 Guided Reading
What is the
conflict in the story?
What are
your predictions?
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Why did you make
those predictions?
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Summarizing Text
1. Start simply. Use easy material.
2. Provide direct instruction, i.e., teach students how to summarize. The
following six steps have been used in research with students of various
ages.
Step 1.
Delete trivial material.
Step 2.
Delete material that is important but redundant.
Step 3.
Substitute superordinate terms for a list of items or actions.
If the text has a list of animals (cats, dogs, goldfish, gerbils,
parrots), substitute the term pets.
Step 4.
Similarly, substitute a superordinate action as John went to
London, for a list of subcomponents of that action, e.g., John
left the house. John bought a ticket.
Step 5.
Select a topic sentence for each paragraph.
Step 6.
If there isn’t a topic sentence, invent your own.
3. Provide feedback about the reader’s effectiveness of summarization.
4. Provide direct instruction about where and when to use the strategy.
5. Provide training, lots of practice in many types of materials (stories,
different content subjects of varying lengths and complexity).
From: “Learning to Learn: On Training Students to Learn From Texts” by Ann Brown, Joseph
Campione, and Jeanne Day, Technical Report 189 from the Center for the Study of Reading in
Champaign, Illinois.
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Clarify
When you clarify, you reread or think about words and
information that were not clear to you—which you did not
understand.
When you come to a word you don’t know:
è Read to the end of the sentence.
Try a word you think makes sense. Then check to see if
the sounds you say in the word match the letters you see
in the word.
∃
Look for word parts you know.
Say the part you know aloud. Think about the rest of
the words in the sentence. Does the part you know make
a connection to any of the other words in the sentence?
Remember to look for beginnings and endings that you
can take off easily like ing, ed, re, sub, un.
& If you say the word aloud and it still doesn’t sound
right, but the letters you say match the letters you see,
check the dictionary. You may have met a brand new
word to you.
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Step 8
Plan how to monitor the progress of each student on a regular basis.
Plan to listen to each student read aloud a short passage of text (1-2 minutes or 100-200
words) at least once a week. In addition to this informal assessment, more formal
documentation should occur at least every 4-6 weeks for high-achieving students, every 2
weeks for average readers, and low-achieving readers should be assessed weekly. The
Running Record is a tool that records what the student is doing when reading text. It
provides not only a record of the progress of the student in developing reading behaviors,
but also gives valuable information on the appropriateness of the text selected for the group.
It is particularly appropriate for at-risk students when the teacher needs specific information
about how students are processing text. Fluency checks may be more efficient for average
and above average readers. The purpose of this frequent assessment is to monitor growth
and the appropriateness of the assigned texts. If students are given text that is too difficult,
neither fluency nor the processing of print material will improve.
Assessment can be done during self-selected reading time, as students arrive in the
morning, at the beginning or end of the Guided Reading time, while the rest of the group is
reading from previously read texts, etc. Fluency checks or running record sheets can be
kept on a clipboard for easy access. Sample forms are found on pages 215-225 in Guided
Reading (Fountas and Pinnell, 1996).
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Guided Reading
Daily Planning Guide
Day 1+
If you are using a class theme with leveled books, introduce the theme to the whole class
and determine how the class will share information from the various books with each other.
If not using books that fit a theme, meet briefly with each small group to introduce the book
they will be reading (pre-exposure). If the theme supports the social studies or science
concept-based curriculum, you may want to spend some time as a whole class with a K—
What I Think I Know; W—What I Want to Find Out; L—What I Learned; or another
introductory pre-exposure strategy. You may also want to start by posting the Guiding
Questions from a concept-based unit of study. These can help students focus on what to
learn from their reading. When they think they have discovered an answer, it can be logged
or recorded on a chart. Comparing responses from the different texts adds perspective and
depth to the generalizations being formed.
If a study trip were used to introduce the concept, writing about the experience would be an
appropriate way to begin. A process strategy useful for study trips is to have students write
about what they think they will learn or see before going on the study trip; write
immediately upon return what they saw/learned; and then compare the two. It is ideal if a
video camera can be taken on the study trip to record the experience. Students can then
check what they think they saw with a second viewing.
The introduction to a theme could also be done during the traditional social studies or
science time or during Shared Reading. A companion book to the theme may be the
teacher read-aloud and used to build background and to expose students to the vocabulary,
the setting, the time period, the topic, or the genre in the theme set.
Day 2
Assign books to each group. Plan to work with the at-risk group first. Other groups may
be assigned a predicting or questioning activity for independent work while working with the
at-risk group.
Introduce the entire book on the first day, which may take the entire twenty minutes. Use
the illustrations; introduce the characters, setting, or topic; and highlight any literary
elements (such as dialect) or do a mini-lesson on a word analysis skill students will need to
successfully decode unknown words in the book. Teach the students how to use clues in
the pictures or the words in the title to make predictions. Then have the students predict
what the book is about or what will happen in the story. Record the predictions so they can
be verified or rejected as the book is read. Talk about why the predictions make sense or
do not make sense.
After finishing with the at-risk group, give them an independent activity such as
summarizing, questioning, or reading a self-selected book to do while you work with a
second group. Many of the independent activities for comprehension including graphic
organizers, retelling, summarizing, and predicting should be modeled with the whole group
during Shared Reading before assigning as independent work. After students have been
taught how to use story maps, Venn Diagrams, character maps, cause and effect forms,
etc., you may wish to put blank sheets of these organizers in file folders and let the students
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choose which one they want to use to demonstrate their knowledge of their reading. These
could be done for chapters or sections as well as for the entire book.
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Day 3
Review an assigned graphic organizer, briefly discuss the text read the previous day, or use
a strategy such as reciprocal teaching described below to build comprehension and
competence in self-monitoring strategies.
Summarize
Have students summarize what happened in the part of the book read the previous day.
When first introducing this activity, model it carefully and write the summary on a chart so
that it can be added to each time the group reports back. Summaries should relate
significant events from the story and should be limited to two or three sentences depending
on the length of the passage that was read. Students summarize and the teacher records.
This will take more time at the beginning, but will go faster and smoother as students
become proficient with it. Later, you will give that task to students to do during their
independent work time.
Summarizing is one of several “jobs” that students should learn how to do. Before
assigning these tasks to students, you will need to model each of the following strategies
and guide students in practicing the skill so that each can do the task. Review these tasks
frequently and model as needed.
Clarify
Have one or more students point out an example of when he or she had to clarify a word or
passage of text for meaning. He or she may have had to read beyond the word and then,
using that information, self-correct or figure out the unfamiliar word. The student may also
clarify a paragraph or several sentences by rereading, checking for picture clues, or reading
for more information and then going back to make meaning.
Predict
Have one student tell what he or she thinks will happen next in the story and why.
Question
Have one or more students ask a question about the information in the section or chapter
read. Teach students the “question” words: who, where, when, why, what, how. The
student asking the question must determine if the student answering is correct. If other
students in the group challenge the response, have them document the answer in the text.
Introduce the Next Text Selection
Use the information in each section summary and your own knowledge of what your
students will need to be exposed to in order to understand the passage to develop the
introduction. Keep this as brief as possible so that students will have time to read the
passage. Have “Meets” and “Exceeds” students start reading silently. Then, one by one,
have each student read several sentences aloud to you as a way of determining if they will
be able to read the material independently. If so, they can be given time to read the
passage at their desks. Before sending them back to their seats, remind them that they
should be prepared to do all of the strategies explained above. “Needs’” students may need
to find a quiet place to read aloud to themselves. Hearing the text can help them note
errors. You can then move from student to student to listen to them read a portion orally.
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Retelling or Summary
Be certain that students understand the difference between a summary and a retelling.
Retelling is an excellent comprehension writing activity that students should be assigned on
a somewhat regular basis. Retellings are excellent assessment assignments and extremely
effective when students are reading material at their instructional level. It provides a
vehicle for vocabulary development as students use the words from the story in their
retelling. Summaries are only two or three sentences that highlight the main idea of the
passage. Summarizing takes consistent practice and teacher guidance.
Day 4
Review the Previous Day’s Reading
Randomly ask students to share orally one of the four tasks described above. You may do
this by having students draw slips of paper or ice cream sticks with the jobs listed on them.
Have each member of the group contribute to the discussion. Depending on the number of
students, you may need to have two students ask questions instead of one, or two students
to clarify. You may also wish to collect the writing assignments on a rotating basis to
grade. At the beginning, it is important to assign only one task, e.g. questioning, and then to
check each student’s work daily to make certain all students understand what they are to
do.
Introduce the Next Section
Have Students Read
Assess one or more students orally by listening to them read aloud ten to twelve lines of
text (There are usually 8-10 words per line, giving you about 100 words to listen to.)
Remember that if students can read 100 words with six or fewer errors, the book is
probably at the appropriate instructional level (The concept load is a separate factor which
should be considered and monitored through the comprehension activities to see if students
understand what is happening in the text.).
Day 5+
Repeat the cycle until the book is completed.
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Theme: Folk Tales
Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, Goldilocks and the Three Bears,
Yeh-Shen, Flossie and the Fox, The Talking Eggs, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter
Generalizations
Over time, cultures develop from shared values and beliefs of individuals.
Stories reflect a community and/or its culture.
Folk tales often teach a lesson.
Different cultures around the world have folk tales that evolved from and represent
them.
The state of Iowa is made up of many cultures.
The various cultures in Iowa celebrate their diversity in many ways.
Concepts
Diversity
Commonality
Guiding Questions
What is a culture?
How do you recognize a culture different than your own?
Why is culture important?
How do cultures develop beliefs?
How do the beliefs held by individuals develop cultures?
How do folk tales reflect a community and/or its culture?
Why do folk tales reflect a community and/or its culture?
Why do people tell stories?
How do stories come about, and how are they passed from generation to generation?
Introducing the Theme
Display a map of the world on a bulletin board so that you can label countries of origin
for folk tales and connect them to the city or county in Iowa that reflects that culture.
Read aloud a favorite folk tale such as The Frog Prince. Explain the origins of the folk
tale. For example, The Frog Prince originated in Germany. Stretch a piece of yard
from the country of Germany to the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Talk about the history of
the Amana Colonies. You may then wish to read aloud The Frog Princess by Laura
Cecil and discuss the similarities and differences of the two stories using a Venn
Diagram or T-Chart.
Divide the students into small groups and assign a well-known folk tale to each group.
Give each group 5 minutes to practice pantomiming the folk tale. Then have each
group take turns pantomiming for the entire class. Viewers try to guess the name of
the folk tale. Include the following as background for the books to be read: The Three
Little Pigs; Cinderella; The Ugly Duckling; Little Red Riding Hood; Goldilocks and the
Three Bears as well as other favorites. Discuss the common elements of these folk
tales.
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Each succeeding day of the unit a new folk tale is read. After locating the country of origin, a
city in Iowa which is known for this culture will be located by stretching apiece of yarn from
country to city. A flag with the name of the folk tale will be placed on the city. Below are
examples:
Jack and the Beanstalk (Steven Kellogg) from England
City in Iowa: Le Mars
The Twelve Months (Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Czechoslovakia by Virginia
Haviland)from Czechoslovakia
City in Iowa: Cedar Rapids
Why Hare Is Always on the Run (Tales Alive by Susan Milord) from Africa
City in Iowa: Davenport
The Dancing Wolves (Twenty-two Splendid Tales Told From Around the World by Pleasant
DeSpain) from American Indians
City in Iowa: Tama
The Magic Purse (Twenty-two Splendid Tales Told From Around the World by Pleasant
DeSpain) from Ireland
City in Iowa: Emmetsburg
Nail Soup (Twenty-two Splendid Tales Told From Around the World by Pleasant DeSpain)
from Norway
City in Iowa: Decorah
Lindy and the Forest Giant (Twenty-two Splendid Tales Told From Around the World by
Pleasant DeSpain) from Sweden
City in Iowa: Swedesburg
The Two Wishes (Legends and Folk Tales of Holland by Adele DeLeeuw) from Holland
City in Iowa: Pella
Learning Activities
Divide the class into small groups to explore Iowan magazines and brochures from the Iowa
Welcome Center. The magazines contain many articles about cultural events and celebrations
in Iowa. Assign each group one of the cultures listed above. The group is then responsible for
reporting their findings to the rest of the class.
Compile a list of addresses of travel and tourist agencies. Consult libraries, travel magazines,
newspaper travel sections, and telephone directories for the addresses. Invite the children to
write letters to agencies requesting free materials from different cities. Have the children use
their home addresses to receive materials. As they receive booklets and brochures, bring them
to class to discuss and display.
With special appreciation to Barb Smith
who created this Iowa Cultures unit as part of her student teaching assignment
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and gave us permission to share it.
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Exploring Ethnic Traditions
Name__________________________________
Ask a family member or friend who can tell you stories about your past or give you leads to other
sources of information the following questions.
What are your parents’ names? What are
their ethnic origins?
What languages do your parents speak?
What languages do/did your grandparents
speak?
What are your parents’ occupations?
What were your grandparents’ occupations?
What do you know about the origin of your
last name? Do you know what it means? Did
it undergo changes coming from another
country to the United States?
What were your parents’ school experiences
like?
What kinds of things did your parents do for
fun when they were your age?
What traditions and/or customs does your
family observe?
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Sharing the Theme
Name ____________________________
Book
_____________________________________
As you read your book, respond to the following questions.
What is the “lesson” to be learned from your
book?
Who were the “good” characters in your
book?
Who were the “bad” characters in your book? What was the “magic” in your book?
What was the conflict in your book?
How was the conflict resolved in your book?
What things changed in your story?
How were the “bad” characters punished at
the end of the book?
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The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Synopsis
Three little wolves go out into the world to build a house that will protect them from the big
bad pig. But neither bricks nor concrete, not even armor plates, can stop the persistent porker-until a chance meeting with a flamingo provides an unexpected solution to the wolves'
problem. This is a hilarious retelling of the traditional story. Oxenbury's enchanting watercolor
illustrations, full of delightful details, will entertain all ages.
Author
Eugene Trivizas
The Author, 11/26/97: PIGS
AND
WOLVES—EXCLUSION,
ESCALATION,
AND
STEREOTYPING
My book, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, is not just an irreverent play with a
traditional theme. The story offers an alternative way of looking at certain important issues.
Indeed it was my experience as a criminologist and criminal law specialist that prompted me to
write the story. In the traditional story the wolf demolishes two houses made of straw and
wood. Only when the little pigs build a third house made of brick, they are really safe. The big
bad wolf is unable to blow it down and his desperate attempt to violate their sanctuary by
entering through the chimney ends in his horrific death in a kettle of boiling water. What does
this story tell us? What messages does it transmit to the contemporary reader? The first
message conveyed by the original story is that if you want be secure you should retreat to and
be surrounded by progressively stronger and stronger structures. The recommended policy is
exclusion, isolation, distrust, and prevention of communication. The problem with this attitude
is that exclusion often leads to escalation. This has clear parallels not only in the arms race
debate, but also in the area of criminal justice. Each and every method of protection leads to
corresponding ways of circumventing and neutralizing it. Weapons are getting progressively
more lethal and violence more dangerous. Exclusion is detrimental also for the potential
victims. We have reached the point instead of imprisoning or imposing house arrest to the
criminal , we do it for the victim. As Linda Phillips Ashour points out in the New York Times in
her review of the TLW - this is a reminder ''on how many of us live today with fear and 37
padlocks.'' Moreover by excluding, stigmatizing and isolating we may reinforce or even create
whatever danger we are afraid of. Isolation and segregation make illegal activities even more
attractive for the offender. In my version of the story an alternative message is conveyed. The
three little wolves erect first a solid brick house.
The big bad pig comes along and when huffing and puffing fails to work, he uses a
sledgehammer to bring the house down. Next the wolves build a home of concrete. The pig
demolishes it with his pneumatic drill. The three little wolves choose an even stronger design
next time round. They erect a house made of steel, barbed wire, armor plates, and a video
entry system, but the pig blows it up with dynamite. It is only when the wolves construct a
rather fragile house made of flowers, that the pig pauses to smell the lovely scent, has a
change of heart, realizes how horrible he has been, undergoes a radical transformation, and
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he becomes a good big pig. The wolves invite the pig inside the house and the story ends with
a party with strawberries and wolfberries (the summary is composed of review extracts).
Instead of confrontation, exclusion, and destruction, this version of the story advocates
communication, reintegration, inclusion, and restoration of trust. The message is not only that
beauty facilitates change, and sometimes tenderness may work better than toughness, but
that by being open we may be able to win over our adversary. There is no denying that this
way of responding to adversaries in certain circumstances is appropriate, in others
inappropriate and certainly it has its risks and dangers, but so does the attitude recommended
in the original story.
The second message conveyed by the original tale is that there are clearly differentiated
good and evil characters. In my reworking of the story, instead of the three little pigs and a big
bad wolf, we have three cuddly little wolves and a nasty big bad pig. That is not only a
deliberate reversal of the bad press given to wolves but a reversal of good and evil characters
in general. Wolves are not necessarily the embodiment of evil, nor always something to be
loathed. Indeed it may be easier to make friends with a wolf than a pig. An educator, Joyce
Wakenshaw, wrote to me from Switzerland raising, among others, the point that this role
reversal is confusing. “For generations, the wolf has been used in children’s stories to depict
evil, something to be feared and what is wrong with that? If the child listens to the story in a
safe environment he or she can come to terms with fear. Why not let the wolf represent all
that is bad?” Because I wanted to move away from good and evil characters to a distinction
between good and evil acts. My story is indeed an attempt to overcome the stereotyping of
good and bad. It is important, as B. Thomson points out to teach ''children to consider acts
rather than stereotypes. There are good and bad deeds no good and bad persons. Not all pigs
are bad and not all wolves are good. There is good and bad in everyone. Stereotyping
character rather than acts is sometimes dangerous because it excuses corruption, promotes
persecution of minorities, and carries the risk of the so-called 'self-fulfilling prophesy'.” One of
the difficulties of the present way of looking at things is that it establishes a false dichotomy not
between good and evil but people who are defined as good or bad. Children, B. Thomson
remarks, have often far more to fear in their domestic setting than from outsiders. ''Many
children have had to suffer abuse 'in silence because they were unable to convince anyone
that their good parents or other persons in positions of trust were abusing them - precisely
because everyone believed in the good character stereotype’.” If we treat people as
representatives of stereotypes rather than as individuals, a religious commentator remarked,
''we are responding less to what the other person did and more to the image of the other
person that is called upon by the name we have give him. This dichotomy further deepens the
gulf between offender and society and makes it even more difficult to achieve the aim of
bringing him back to the community.” A child told me the other day: Everybody knows why
wolves are bad. Because they is eating pigs. - So do humans, I answered. Are we also all
bad?
Reviews
Kirkus
Never mind the other incarnations of this tale—classic, fractured, rapped; this inversion will
have children giggling from the outset. Sent into the world by a mother who wears hair curlers,
three “cuddly” wolves build a brick house, then try to fend off a snarling thug of a pig who
demolishes it with a sledgehammer. Their next place is concrete; the pig has a pneumatic
drill. They construct a metal fortress, complete with steel chains and Plexiglas; the pig goes
for dynamite. Then they build a house of flowers and the pig pulls a “Ferdinand,” not only
reforming but making it a happy m‚nage…quatre. This latter-day plea for a peaceable kingdom
reckons once and for all with the question at the core of this familiar tale—why must pigs and
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wolves be enemies? Oxenbury provides dauntingly well-executed watercolors, offering such
charming contrasts as an angular modernistic concrete home in an otherwise pastoral setting.
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Introduction
Predict what is happening on the cover. Make connections to the “Three Little Pigs.”
Describe the wolves as shown in the illustrations on the front cover. Look at the back cover
and describe the pig. How do these illustrations reflect the title? How are they different from
the traditional story’s illustrations?
Reading
Pages 1-9
The three little wolves’ mother sends them out into the world to build a house for
themselves. A kangaroo gives them some red and yellow bricks. The big bad pig comes by
and the little wolves run inside and lock their door. Because he can’t blow the house down, the
pig gets his sledgehammer and knocks the house down. The three little wolves barely escape.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
stereotypes, fear
cuddly, prowling, croquet, fetched, sledgehammer, managed, crumbled
Pages 10-15
The three little wolves decide they will have to build a strong house. A beaver gives them
some concrete to build a house. The big bad pig comes by and tries to blow the house down.
When it doesn’t, he gets a pneumatic drill and bores the house down. Again, the three little
wolves barely escape.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, strength
concrete, slurry, battledore, shuttlecock, pneumatic drill
Pages 16-21
The wolves get barbed wire, iron bars, armor plates, heavy metal padlocks, Plexiglas, and
reinforced steel chains from a kindhearted rhinoceros. Once again, the big bad pig comes
along. This time he uses dynamite to blow the house in.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
determination, security
Plexiglas, reinforced, rhinoceros, determined, barbed, securest, scorched
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Pages 21-30
The three wolves decide to try something different and build a house of flowers that were
given to them by a flamingo. Once again the big bad pig comes by, but when he starts to huff
and puff he takes a deep breath and smells the soft scent of the flowers. The scent is so
lovely, he sniffs deeper and deeper until his “heart grew tender” and he decides to become a
big good pig.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
change, peace
flamingo, pleasure, marigolds, daffodils, fragile, fragrant, scent, tarantella
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Comprehension
Sequencing
List what happened first, second, next, then, and finally.
Noting Details
Make a list (or drawing) of tools or building materials mentioned or illustrated in the
story.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why didn’t stronger and stronger houses protect the three little wolves?
2. What caused the change in the big bad pig?
3. Why did the three little wolves decide a change in building materials was
needed?
4. What lesson(s) can be learned from this story?
5. Why were the three little wolves afraid of the big bad pig?
6. Why did the mother wolf send the three little wolves out into the world?
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Word Analysis
Multisyllabic Words
Explain to the students that all of the words below have vowel digraphs—two
vowels that come together to stand for one sound. Remind students that longer
words can be divided into syllables and that each syllable must have a vowel
sound. Have them underline the two vowels that are together and then look at the
word to see if there is another vowel that will create another syllable. Then
pronounce the words, having the whole group clap each syllable as the word is
spoken.
kangaroo
croquet
pneumatic
generous
pleasure
beautiful
wheelbarrow
beaver
because
kindhearted
ceiling
certainly
sooner
heavy
building
daisies
Hard and Soft g
Point out that g before the vowels a, o, or u can stand for a hard g sound and that
g before the vowels e, i, or y can stand for the soft g sound. Explain that the letters
dge also stand for the soft g sound.
Practice on these words from
the story.
Hard
gray
go
big
pig
give
kangaroo
garden
grunted
Plexiglas
marigolds
fragrant
games
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Soft
sledgehammer
manage
generous
fragile
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The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Name ____________________________________
In this “construction” story, the three little wolves use various materials to build their homes. The big
bad pig also uses various ways to destroy these homes. Use the text and illustrations to complete the
chart below.
Construction Materials
Construction Tools
Destroyed by…
First
House
Second
House
Third
House
Fourth
House
Write a paragraph telling what you think the lesson in this story is.
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Synopsis
Lost in the woods, a tired and hungry girl finds the house of the three bears where she
helps herself to food and goes to sleep. Jan Brett’s illustrations are superb. The borders are
decorated with mice and other small creatures that readers will enjoy studying.
Author
Jan Brett was born on December 1, 1949 in Hingham, Massachusetts. She went to
school at Colby Junior College from 1968-1969 and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School in
1970. Today, she lives in the seacoast town of Norwell, Massachusetts and spends her
summers in the mountains where she does a lot of work on her books. She writes her own
books and also adapts and illustrates folktales. As an illustrator, she does the illustrations of
books by other authors as well. She spends many hours on illustrating the detailed pictures in
her books. It takes her about a year to finish one book.
Jan Brett loved to draw when she was a child. By the time she was six years old, she
knew she wanted to be a children's book illustrator. She was shy as a child and liked to use
her drawings as a way to express herself. Her very first "all her own" book to be published
was Fritz and the Beautiful Horses in 1981. She wrote the book and drew the pictures. She
loves animals and had many pets when she was a child. Now she puts them in her books.
Most of her books have something to share about animal or nature. She also uses very old
folktales from other countries in her books. In illustrating her books, her trademark is using
detailed borders and side panels in her pictures. She includes lots of details, which add to the
story in her borders. She has said that these borders and side panels hold her "overflow of
thoughts."
Jan Brett likes to travel with her family. She uses some of her experiences in her writing.
She also uses libraries to do research on the things about which she is writing. Her husband,
who works at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, also likes to travel with her. He was her
inspiration for the book, Berlioz, the Bear.
Web Site
Jan Brett’s Home Page http://www.janbrett.com
Reviews
Amazon.com
Children find the story of Goldilocks delightful for so many reasons. There's a trespassing
little girl, for starters, who barges into the bears' house uninvited and not only snoops around,
but eats the bears' food! The suspense of wondering whether she'll get caught only adds to
the thrill of the trespassing itself, and the repeated lines about the three bears with their three
distinct voices, bowls, chairs, and beds further endear this tale to the preschool set. In Jan
Brett's Goldilocks, the bears and the slightly audacious flaxen-haired heroine all sport
traditional (Black Forest?) costumes with detailed embroidery, and the wooden furniture is
carved with bears, birds, and flowers. (Intricate borders—carved wooden panels in this
book—are Jan Brett's special signature). Brett is the illustrator of many well-known folk tales,
fairy tales, and poems, such as The Mitten and Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat. Of
her exquisite interpretation of this beloved story, Booklist writes, "This is perfection." (Ages 3 to
6).
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Ingram
Everybody loves the story of the curious little girl named Goldilocks, who made herself
quite at home in the house of the three bears. Jan Brett's faithful retelling brings new life to this
all-time favorite nursery tale. A Horn Book Recommended Paperback for Folklore, 1990. A
Booklist Children's Editors' Choice. Full color.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books v41 p112 F 1988
Although the retelling of a favorite nursery tale has some passages that are flat, the text is
adequate. The illustrations are stunning in the romantic fairytale tradition…Architectural
details, artifacts, and clothing are ornate, but they escape being obtrusive because they are so
deftly balanced and fused. Zena Sutherland
The Horn Book v64 p75 Ja/F 1988
Sharp-eyed children will be delighted with this new edition of an old favorite, faithfully and
smoothly adapted…Full-color, double-page spreads burst with action that can barely be
contained by the elaborate borders…Children will look for the mice scampering about the
pages and will be attracted to the Scandinavian-style costumes of Goldilocks and the three
bears. The paintings are so clearly reproduced that the bears' fur looks as if it could be
touched. Large enough to share with groups but with enough detail to withstand repeated
individual readings, the book infuses the old nursery tale with new life.
Ellen Fader
School Library Journal v34 p70 D 1987
These well-heeled Scandinavian-looking bears live in a house that would put yuppy
collectors of country homes and folk art to shame, and the elaborate, imaginative, and richly
colored designs bear repeated viewings…Personality emerges nicely. The 'little, small, wee'
bear bumbles into everything, and the great huge bear is alternately gentle and gruff, but the
middle-sized bear attracts little direct attention.
Goldilocks is somewhat less
successful…Overall, some readers might wish for less decorations and some imaginative
space, and may be overwhelmed by the amount of detail, but Brett's fans will be delighted.
Background
Jan Brett adapted the text for this folktale from Andrew Lang’s The Green Fairy Book. This
tale is told in the traditional manner.
Introduction
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a folktale. A folktale is a story that has been told by
word of mouth for many generations. Each time the tale is told, the storyteller may change or
vary the story to fit the audience. Have you heard this tale before? What do you remember
about the Goldilocks story you have heard? There is not a right or wrong version of Goldilocks
and the Three Bears. All versions you have heard or read are correct. Look at the
illustrations. What can you predict by looking at the illustrations? What do the illustrations tell
you about the story?
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
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Reading
Pages 2-5
These pages describe the three bears: their size, their porridge bowls, their chairs, and
their beds.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
repetitious pattern, family members
wee, huge, porridge, middle-sized
Pages 6-9
Bears went for a walk while their porridge was cooling. While the Bears were walking, a
little girl came to the house and went inside.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
family activity, stranger enters house uninvited, trusting nature of bears to
leave home unlocked, trespassing
breakfast, porridge, Goldilocks, keyhole, latch, peeped
Pages 10-11
Goldilocks sees porridge on the table, tastes all three bowls, and eats all the porridge in the
small, wee bowl.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
hot, cold, just right, hunger, selfishness, lack of consideration and respect
for property of others
steaming, roasted, tempting
Pages 12-13
Goldilocks sits in all three chairs and breaks the small, wee chair.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
too hard, too soft, just right, lack of consideration and respect for property of
others
neither, bottom, plump
Pages 14-15
Goldilocks tries all three beds and falls asleep in the bed of the small, wee bear.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
too high at the head, too high at the foot, just right, lack of consideration and
respect for property of others
upstairs, upon, covered, comfortably, herself
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Pages 16-17
Three bears return home and discover someone had been eating their porridge. The
porridge of the small wee bear has been eaten all up.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
observation of details in illustrations, mystery, concern
thought, returned, standing, rough, gruff
Pages 18-19
The three bears discovered someone has been sitting on their chairs, and has broken the
chair of the small, wee bear.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
lack of consideration and respect for property of others
entered, cushion, straight, crumpled
Pages 20-23
The three bears check their bedroom and discover that someone has been lying in their
beds. The small, wee bear discovers Goldilocks in his bed.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
solving the mystery, surprise, indignation
though, necessary, further, search, pillow, peacefully, braids, spread
Pages 24-28
Goldilocks was awakened by the voices of the bears. When she saw the bears looking at
her lying in the bed, she tumbled from the bed, jumped out the window, and ran away from the
house. The bears never heard of her again.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fleeing from consequences, surprise, resolution of a problem
dream, sharp, shrill, awakened, tumbled, afterwards
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Yeh-Shen
Synopsis
This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her
stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese
manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version. "Executed with
chromatic splendor—a unique combination of brilliance and restraint."--The Horn Book. A
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award Winner. An ALA Notable Children's Book. A School
Library Journal Best Book of the Year. An IRA Children's Choice. An IRA Teachers' Choice.
Author
Ai-Ling Louie
Introduction
Have students retell the traditional story of Cinderella. Explain that this is a version from a
different country. Using the illustrations, predict how the two stories will be alike; how they will
be different. Record the predictions to check as they read the story. As you look at the
illustrations, note the image of the fish or part of the fish on each two page spread. Predict
what a fish has to do with the story.
Reading
Pages 1-4
A Chinese cave chief had two wives, each who bore him a daughter. The chief and one of
his wives dies, leaving a stepdaughter. She was much prettier than her stepsister and her
stepmother treated her unkindly. Her only friend was a beautiful fish. When her stepmother
finds out about the fish, she kills it and takes it home to eat.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
dynasty, caring
Ch’in, Han, Wu, Yeh-Shen, enormous, crafty
Pages 5- 8
A “kind uncle” tells Yeh-Shen that the bones of her fish are filled with a powerful spirit who
will satisfy her serious needs. Yeh-Shen speaks often with the bones which provide food for
her. Festival time comes when young men and women from the village hope to meet and
choose whom they would marry. Yeh-Shen wants to go, but, of course, her stepmother does
not want the young men to see how beautiful she is compared to her ugly stepsister.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
jealously, spirit
coarsest, dung, beauteous
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Pages 9-16
Yeh-Shen asks the bones if there might be some clothes she could borrow to wear to the
Festival. At once she is dressed in a beautiful gown and cloak and wearing magic slippers.
Fearing she has been recognized by her stepsister she runs down the mountainside, losing
one of her slippers. When her slipper falls off, all of her fine clothes return to rags. She
returns the slipper to the bones promising to find the mate, but the bones are silent.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
transformation, loss
azure, kingfisher feathers, soles
Pages 17-22
The stepmother leaves the festival to check on Yeh-Shen and finds her asleep with her
arms around a fruit tree. A villager finds the lost slipper and presents it to the king. The king
was entranced by the precious, tiny slipper and vows to find the woman to whom it belongs.
Knowing a woman-by-woman search would take much time, the king builds a pavilion for the
shoe and promises to return the shoe to its owner. Yeh-Shen goes to pavilion in the middle of
the night to see if it is the mate to her slipper. The king, watching from a nearby hiding place,
is struck by her sweet features and has his men follow her home.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
perseverance, goodness
T’o Han, entranced, undaunted, pavilion, herald, vigil, timidly, harmony
Pages 23-28
The king pounds at Yeh-Shen’s door and asks her to try on the slippers. At once her rags
turn into the feathered cloak and azure gown. The king knows at once he has found his true
love. They are married. The king does not allow the stepmother or stepsister into the palace
so they remain in their cave home and are crushed to death in a shower of flying stones.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
goodness, justice
maiden, fate
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Comprehension
Cause and Effect
Give the effect and have the students write the cause, have students list several events
and what caused them, or use a graphic organizer. If you give the beginning up to the
word because, it is important to remember that there are often several answers that
are correct. Share the responses from time to time to broaden the students’
understanding and to encourage divergent thinking.
n Yeh-Shen is left an orphan because her mother and father died.
n Yeh-Shen’s stepmother killed her fish because she was angry that Yeh-Shen had
keep a secret from her.
n Yeh-Shen was sad because her fish had disappeared.
n The “Kind Uncle” appeared because the fish had wondrous powers.
n Yeh-Shen was kept alive because of the power in the fish’s bones.
n Yeh-Shen fled down the mountain because she was afraid her stepsister had
recognized her.
n The king built a pavilion because it would take too long to try the slipper on every
woman’s foot.
n Yeh-Shen went to get the slipper from the pavilion because she wanted her bones
to speak to her again.
n The king fell in love with Yeh-Shen because of her heavenly appearance.
Sequencing
List the major events of the story in correct sequence or create a storyboard for the
tale.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why was the king entranced with the slipper?
2. Why didn’t the king arrest Yeh-Shen when she took the slipper from the pavilion?
3. Compare this version of Cinderella with the one most children are familiar with.
4. How does the Chinese culture influence this story of Cinderella?
5. What lesson can be learned from this story?
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Word Analysis
Prefixes and Suffixes
Knowing prefixes and suffixes and their meanings can help us figure out the definitions
of many two- and three-syllable words. The following words are found in the story.
Use the meanings of the prefixes and the suffixes to understand the meaning of the
whole word. Start a list of other words that have these prefixes and suffixes.
Prefixes
dis (apart)
displeasure
disappeared
Suffixes
ness (the state of)
goodness
loveliness
un (not)
unpleasant
unable
undaunted
unaware
unkind
ful, eous (full of)
beautiful
carefully
powerful
beauteous
ly (like, characteristic)
heavenly
suddenly
lovely
wisely
sadly
re (again, back)
rejoined
trans (across)
transformed
Similes
A simile compares two objects or actions and usually joins them with as or like.
…skin as smooth as ivory
…in a pattern like the scales of a fish
…her feet felt as light as air
Metaphors
A metaphor is simply an analogy or an expression of comparison. Unlike the simile,
the metaphor does not use as or like.
…dark pools for eyes
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Yeh-Shen
Name ________________________________
The basic elements of a story are listed on the left side of the paper. Identify those elements in the
traditional story of Cinderella and in Yeh-Shen.
Cinderella
Yeh-Shen
Setting
Characters
Problem(s)
Solution(s)
Ending
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Flossie and the Fox
Synopsis
A wily fox, notorious for stealing eggs, meets his match when he encounters a bold little
girl in the woods who insists upon proof that he is a fox before she will be frightened. This tale
is a variation of the Little Red Riding Hood tale.
In this story, small Flossie Finley outsmarts a wily fox determined to steal her eggs by
refusing to be scared until he proves that he is indeed what he claims to be. As he points out
the various aspects of himself—luxurious fur, long pointed nose, sharp claws and yellow eyes,
bushy tail—she cleverly compares each characteristic to that of another animal: rabbit, rat,
cat, or squirrel. The fox is lured into accompanying her to her destination, where his plans are
suddenly disrupted by a menacing hound."
Author
"I write because there's a need to have books for, by, and about the African American
experience and how we helped to develop this country." Patricia McKissack at the Virginia
Hamilton Conference, Kent University.
Patricia L'Ann Carwell was born to the civil servant parents Robert and Erma Carwell on
August 9, 1944, in the small town of Smyrna, Tennessee. The Carwell family moved North to
St. Louis, Missouri when she was three. The family moved apart after Erma and Robert
divorced. Patricia remained with her paternal grandparents in St. Louis, while her mother and
her brother and sister moved back to Tennessee. Pat was very close to her grandparents.
She remembers her grandfather as a wonderful storyteller. "When I was feeling sad or hurt or
discouraged, he would tell me a story to perk me up. When we were happy and celebrating,
he would tell stories. To remember an occasion, he would tell stories... My grandfather taught
through storytelling. He preserved our family history, and he passed that on to me."
Pat began writing at an early age. One of her fondest memories is her third grade teacher
hanging a poem she wrote on the bulletin board. "I was just absolutely taken by the whole idea
of writing, and I wrote on everything. I loved having control of the words and being able to write
my own stories. I loved reading stories, but writing my own stories opened up a whole new
world for me.... Writing is hard work but rewarding. I have had so many influences--my
grandfather, my teachers, my parents, my friends. I am a sponge soaking up everything about
me."
At the age of twelve, McKissack left St. Louis and rejoined her mother, brother, sister, and
maternal grandparents in Nashville. This move back to Tennessee brought Pat the friendship
of Fredrick McKissack, who would become her future husband many years later.
Pat and Fred McKissack both attended Tennessee State University in Nashville, where
they were able to rekindle their friendship. The couple married on December 12, 1964.
Eventually their family grew from two to five with the birth of their three sons, Fredrick Lemuel
and the twins, Robert and John.
Pat McKissack graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Tennessee State
University in 1964. After this, she returned to St. Louis to further her education. She received
her Masters in Early Childhood Literature and Media Programming at Webster University. She
graduated in 1975.
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After making careers in the fields of both teaching and editing children's books, Patricia
McKissack, with the help of her husband, decided to become a full-time writer of children's and
young adult books designed for and about African Americans. "I remember sitting in our car—
just the two of us—and Fred asked, 'If you could do anything you want to do in this whole wide
world for the rest of your life, what would you do?' I said, 'Write books.' And he said, 'Okay—
let's do that. We'll take it as far as we can go. We'll take it day by day.'" Thus, they set out
together with a hope "to enlighten, to change attitudes, to set goals—to build bridges with
books." Whether working solo or assisted by her husband, Patricia McKissack has written
nearly one hundred children's picture books, young adult novels, and non-fiction biographies
about African Americans and their cultural experiences and histories.
Reviews
School Library Journal, October 1986
McKissack recounts this story, which was told to her as a child by her grandfather.
Flossie is a young black girl who lives with her grandmother in the rural south. When Big
Mama sends Flossie to deliver a basket of eggs to a neighbor, she cautions her to be careful
of the fox who had been frightening the chickens and stealing their eggs. To Flossie's ”How do
a fox look?'' Big Mama responds that “A fox be just a fox.'' Having no idea what this means,
Flossie sets out on her mission through a wooded area, where she is greeted by the fox. As
he tries to convince her that he is to be feared, she refutes him by insisting that he prove who
he is. To readers' delight, the frustrated fox fails every attempt. Fox's final confrontation with a
fierce dog saves the day for Flossie, who proves herself to be more cunning than the fox. The
watercolor and ink illustrations, with realistic figures set on impressionistic backgrounds,
enliven this humorous and well-structured story that is told in the black language of the rural
south. The language is true, and the illustrations are marvelously complementary in their
interpretation of the events. This spirited little girl will capture readers from the beginning, and
they'll adore her by the end of this delightful story. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland,
College Park
Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1987
Flossie carefully stores her straw doll in a hollow tree stump when Big Mama calls her
away from play. She wants Flossie to deliver eggs to “Miz Viola over at the McCutchin Place.
Seem like they been troubled by a fox. Miz Viola's chickens be so scared, they can't even now
lay a stone.” Flossie has never seen a fox, but sets off through the shady, cool woods. When
she meets the fox, she doesn't recognize him, and so introduces herself. He identifies
himself, but Flossie doesn't believe him. He points out his thick fur. “Feels like rabbit fur to
me,” Flossie replies. “You a rabbit.” The fox notes his long pointed nose, and Flossie decides
that rats have similar noses. “You a rat trying to pass yo'self off as a fox.” The fox desperately
tries to persuade Flossie of his identity. She just keeps walking, until they are in the road,
where the McCutchin hounds are ready to pounce on the fox. “The hounds know who I am!”
the fox cries. “I know,” says Flossie. Her eggs are safe, and the little girl has outfoxed the “ol'
confidencer.” This is a sly tale, richly evoked by both Isadora's lavish paintings and the
storyteller's dialect. (4-8)
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Kirkus Starred, 1986
McKissack tells “a story from my youth, retold in the same rich and colorful language that
was my grandfather's,” a delicious reversal of Red Riding Hood that serves as parable of black
outwitting white. Flossie Finley is to carry eggs through the Tennessee forest to Miz Viola,
watching out for the "ol' slickster" fox, who loves eggs. Flossie isn't scared, but
"disremembers" ever seeing a fox, so when the fox introduces himself she remains
unconvinced—through several delightful exchanges as the fox becomes more and more
distraught at her lack of recognition ("I am a fox, and you will act accordingly." "…Unless you
can show you a fox, I'll not accord you nothing!" and "I may never recover my confidence."
"…You just an ol' confidencer"). The fox uses big, pretentious words, but Flossie's sly good
humor gets him every time. Isadora's watercolor, ink and pencil illustrations fully realize the
spirit of the text, with Flossie's sturdy, self-reliant stance and the fox growing progressively
more tentative and defensive. Mellow green, lemon, rust and earth tones fill a safe, sundappled world. A perfect picture book.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books v40 p13 S 1986
The illustrations in brown, gold, green, and russet are literal but flexible, with a black
protagonist and a vivid natural world (although the 'piney woods' appear to be mostly birches
and maple or poplar); they project the action in lively tempo. Just scary enough, this is rural
mini-adventure with folkloric dimensions. Betsy Hearne
The Horn Book v63 p48 Ja/F 1987
Based on a story remembered from the author's childhood, this tale of wit triumphant from
the black tradition of the rural South—with its lilting cadence and colorful, carefully phrased
dialect—fairly sings on the page…Although the text can stand alone as a wonderful example of
folk literature, Rachel Isadora's handsome, full-color, double-boxed illustrations enhance and
extend the plot…Yet, impressive as they are, these pictures are not simply remarkable
examples of fine art but are true illustrations, filled with a sense of story, beautifully composed,
engagingly vital. Well suited for picture-book hours, the book is a real charmer, thoughtfully
crafted and carefully designed. Mary M. Burns
Background: Author’s Note From the Book
“Long before I became a writer, I was a listener. On hot summer evenings, our family sat
on the porch and listened to my grandmother tell a hair-raising ghost story or watched my
mother dramatize a Dunbar poem. But it was always a special treat when my grandfather
took the stage. He was a master storyteller who charmed his audience with humorous stories
told in the rich and colorful dialect of the rural South. I never wanted to forget them. So, it is
through me that my family’s storytelling legacy lives on.”
“Here is a story from my youth, retold in the same rich and colorful language that was my
grandfather’s. He began all his yarns with a question. “Did I ever tell you ‘bout the time lil’
Flossie Finley come out the Piney Woods heeling a fox?” I’d snuggle up beside him in the big
porch swing, then he’d began his tale…”
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Introduction
Does your family have any special stories that are told time and time again? This story is
a tale that was told to the author by her grandfather. The story is rich in the dialect of AfricanAmericans who lived in the rural southern states of the United States during the 18th and 19th
centuries. Dialect abounds in this book…it calls to the reader for reading aloud. Teachers
should read from this book to share the cadence and richness of phrasing in the dialect.
The illustrations enhance the story.
examining the illustrations?
What can you tell about the characters from
As students read this book, ask if the story reminds them of another story. (Red Riding
Hood). Examine the creative solutions Flossie used to outwit the fox.
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
Reading
Pages 1-4 (Since the pages in this book are not numbered, page one starts on the first page of the story text.)
Big Mama called Flossie Finley, way down at the hollow log. She wanted Flossie to take
eggs to Miz Viola over at the McCutchin Place. “Seem like they been troubled by a fox. Miz
Viola’s chickens be so scared, they can’t even now lay a stone.” Big Mama told Flossie Mr. J.
W. couldn’t catch the fox with his dogs because “that fox is one sly critter.”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
obedience, responds to grandmother’s request, curiosity
floated, smokehouse, beyond, chicken coop, hollow, sortin’, apron, clicked,
slickster, sly, critter
Pages 5-6
Flossie wanted to know “How do a fox look? I disremember ever seeing one.”
Grandmother answered: “A fox be just a fox…that rascal loves eggs…do most anything to get
at some eggs.” Flossie decided to go through the woods; the way was shorter and cooler,
and it was one hot day in Tennessee.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
increasing info about the fox, risk taking and decision making -deciding to
take the short cut, even knowing the fox may be in the woods
disremember, chile, rascal, tucked, tarry, particular, route, aine
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Pages 7-10
Flossie came upon a critter she didn’t remember ever seeing. Flossie introduced herself
to him. The critter said “I am a fox.” Flossie didn’t believe he was a fox. The fox was
disgusted, saying, of course, he was a fox and little girls should be terrified of him. Flossie told
him he sure thought a “heap of yo’self” and skipped away.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
polite behavior, sly, cunning
commenced, skip, critter, recollect, greeting, “top of the morning”, proper,
curtsy, reckon, circled around, eyeing, bowed, service, heels, claiming, purely,
flashed, chuckled, disgusted, terrified
Pages 11-14
The fox was shocked that Flossie wasn’t afraid of him. Flossie’s philosophy: I have never
seen a fox before, so why should I be scared when I don’t know if you are a fox. Prove you are
a fox. The fox said he had thick, luxurious fur. “Feel like rabbit fur to me…You are a rabbit…”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
creative thinking and problem-solving, cunning, slyness
shocked, aine, “pulled himself tall”, proof, piney, fella
Pages 15-18
The fox caught up with Flossie down the road and said he had a long, pointed nose.
Flossie said that wasn’t proof; rats have long, pointed noses and you are trying to pass
yourself off as a rat. Flossie met a cat on the path and the fox asked the cat to tell her he was
a fox. The fox is becoming more agitated and frustrated at her lack of belief he is a fox.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
disbelief, trickster
bubbly spring, prove, matter-of-fact-like, snapped, pardon, clearing, tabby,
sunning, clump, perhaps, feline, measure, respect, winked
Pages19-20
The cat replied he is a fox because he has sharp claws and yellow eyes. Flossie looked at
both the cat and the fox and said they both had sharp claws and yellow eyes and “both y’all be
cats.” The fox was plum beside himself.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
disbelieving
beckoned, yawned, purred, satisfied, respect, howling, plum beside himself,
absurd, language
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Pages 21-22
The fox thought he had a solution for “this horrible situation.” He said foxes are known for
their fluffy, bushy tales. Flossie just replied squirrels have bushy tales. The fox was crying
and asked Flossie if his word was enough to prove he was a fox. Flossie shook her head no.
Key Concepts:
indisputable proof is needed to solve some situations, trickster
Vocabulary: pleading, solution, situation, perk, adequate, crying like a natural born baby
Pages 22-23
The fox hollered he may never recover his confidence. Flossie replied: “.You just an ol’
confidencer. Come tellin’ me you was a fox, then can’t prove it.” Flossie and the fox came
out of the woods, but the fox didn’t notice. He was too busy begging Flossie to believe him.
He asked for one last chance. Flossie agreed.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
can’t just say something is so, must be able to prove it
woe is me, confidence, ol’ confidencer, shame, turned on her heels
Pages 24-25
In an unsteady voice, fox said he had sharp teeth and could run exceedingly fast. Flossie
said it didn’t make much difference now if she believed him or not, because Mr. J. W.
McCutchin’s hounds got sharp teeth and can run fast and are right behind you.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
climax of the trick where the trickster has been out-tricked
whimper, unsteady-like, exceedingly
Pages 26-28
The fox dashed toward the woods, saying the hounds know he’s a fox and he could out run
Mr. J. W. McCutchin’s hounds any old day because he is a fox. “I know,” said Flossie as she
turned toward the cabin with the basket of eggs safely tucked under her arm.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
triumph over the trickster, arriving safely at her destination
out-smart, out-run, miserable, mutts
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Talking Eggs
A Folktale from the American South
Synopsis
This is a retelling of a Creole folktale about two sisters whose distinctly different
personalities affect the outcome of their lives.
Rose, the oldest sister, is rude, cruel, and demands to have her way all the time. She
refuses to do housework or care for her mother. But gentle Blanche gladly does what she is
told and tries her best to be kind to others.
When Blanche meets an old woman with supernatural abilities, her life changes, and the
discovery of a chicken house of talking eggs filled with treasures of gold, jewels, silver, and
fine dresses changes it even more. But what will become of the greedy Rose?
A 1989 Caldecott Honor Book
Author
Robert San Souci has enjoyed listening to stories since he was a small boy. Even more,
he has enjoyed retelling his own version of those stories to others. He wrote his first book
when he was in second grade, and his brother Daniel illustrated it. Together they made eight
copies of the book and gave them to family members. The brothers proved to be a good
team. Even now Daniel San Souci often illustrates Robert's published books.
Besides sharing the talent of creativity, Robert and Daniel San Souci also share something
else: their birth date. Although Daniel is two years younger than Robert, both brothers were
born on October 10! Robert San Souci, born on October 10, 1946, is a California native raised
in Berkley. Robert and his brother Daniel are both well-known authors. Robert knew before he
could read or write that he wanted to be a writer. He would listen to stories and repeat the
stories, leaving information out or adding his ideas to the story. While at St. Mary’s College, he
studied creative writing and world literature. Robert went to California State University for
graduate school where he studied folklore, world religion, and myth. He now lives in San
Francisco Bay Area.
Robert worked hard with his many jobs like manager of a bookstore, editorial coordinator,
and copywriter for Harper and Row publishing company.
Robert uses a variety of multicultural sources and characters from Native American,
African American, Chinese, Japanese, Inuit, and European cultures. His work features both
male and female heroines. Critics admire the considerable research that Robert’s books
display.
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Reviews
Amazon.com
Two sisters lived down Louisiana way long ago: Rose, who was unpleasant, mean, and
the older of the two; and her younger sister, Blanche, who was "sweet and kind and sharp as
forty crickets." Guess who has to do all the work for Rose and their mother? Blanche's kind
and obedient nature finally pays off when she helps an old woman who has magical powers—
and a chicken house full of talking eggs containing treasures for those who do as they're told:
gold and silver, jewels, silk dresses, satin shoes, "even a handsome carriage that grew in a
wink from the size of a matchbox...." Robert D. San Souci's lively, humorous retelling of this
Creole folktale abounds with colorful expressions, and Jerry Pinkney's full-page illustrations
make us believe in the marvels that Blanche finds, even the two-headed cow, square-dancing
rabbits, and rainbow-colored chickens! This inspired collaboration, a 1989 Caldecott Honor
Book, will delight young readers who like a captivating story with a strong heroine and a dash
of mystery. (Ages 5 to 10) --Marcie Bovetz
From Horn Book
Adapted from a Creole folk tale, the story captures the flavor of the nineteenth-century South in
its language and story line. The watercolors are chiefly responsible for the excellence of the
book. Review, p. 782. -- Copyright © 1990 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ingram
The author of such delights as The Christmas Ark and The Enchanted Tapestry joins
forces with illustrator Pinkney to resurrect a colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of
the American South. A 1989 Caldecott Honor Book
Booklist v85 p1982 Ag 1989
A vibrant adaptation of a Creole folktale…Set in a post-Civil War South, the book mixes
the ambience of that rural milieu with fantastic events in a way that is both credible and
intriguing. Pinkney's richly colored art is equally fine in presenting oddities and realities,
especially in his characters…Expressively told, excitingly drawn, this special book will have
wide appeal. Ilene Cooper
From Betsy Hearn
[This folktale] combines elements of Cinderella with distinctively southern black lore…It's a
strong story well told, and Pinkney's elaborate watercolor scenes play it to the hilt. The twoheaded cow with corkscrew horns and a mulish bray, the multicolored, many-legged chickens
that whistle like mockingbirds, and the old woman who removes her head to comb her hair are
haunting images of magic, both verbally and visually. In spite of occasional stiffness in drafting
of human faces and figures, there is an eerie quality to these scenes that will electrify
storytelling or picture-book sharing sessions.
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Background
Robert San Souci is fascinated by folktales from around the world. He says, "These tales
often remind us how alike we are—yet, at the same time, they affirm how wonderful it is that
people have so many different, imaginative, and insightful ways of making sense of the world
and celebrating its wonders." His own books are retellings of tales from cultures all over the
world.
Pinkney's rich watercolor illustrations depict a Louisiana landscape in the 19th century.
Students should examine the illustrations at length to enjoy their portrayal of the story.
The tale contains dialect from the 19th century American South. Explain how dialects differ
from region to region. It lends itself to reading aloud for full enjoyment of the richness of the
text.
Introduction
The Talking Eggs will delight readers with its good and evil characters, its strange and
magical happenings, and its fresh and natural language. Tell students that they will be reading
a folktale about two sisters—a “good” sister and a “bad” sister. Draw upon their prior
experience with literature by asking them to think of other folktales that have “good” or “evil”
characters. Extend the discussion by asking students to name personality traits or behavior
shared by the good characters and traits shared by the bad or evil characters. You may wish
to use concept maps to organize students' responses. As students volunteer words for the
maps, have them support their suggestions with specific examples of characters and their
behavior from folktales.
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
Reading
Page 1 (Since the pages are not numbered, page 1 refers to the first page of text.)
The reader is introduced to a widow and her two daughters, who live on a farm so poor it
“looked like the tail end of bad luck.” “Rose, the older sister, is cross, mean, and didn’t know
beans from birds’ eggs. Blanche was sweet, kind, and sharp as forty crickets.” Their mother
liked Rose best because they were “as alike as two peas in a pod—bad-tempered, sharptongued, and always putting on airs.” Blanche did all the work around the place while Rose
and their mother rocked on the porch, putting on airs and talking about getting rich and moving
to the city.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
differences in human nature, “kind, sweet vs. cruel and mean,” favoritism of
one sibling over another, unfairness, hard-working Blanche
widow, “farm so poor, it looked liked the tail end of bad luck”, “didn’t know
beans from birds’ eggs”, “sharp as forty crickets”, “as alike as two peas in a
pod”, sharp-tongued, “putting on airs”, hot coals, chop cotton, string the beans,
porch, fancy balls, trail-train dresses
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Page 2-5
One day, when Blanche went to the well to fetch water, she met and helped an old woman
to a drink of water. When she returned home, she was scolded and hit by her mother and
sister. This frightened Blanche so much, she ran away to the woods. She was scared to go
home.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
kindness, helping others, respect for elders, cruelty and meanness of family
member to each other, frightened, scared
bucket, raggedy, shawl, fainting, aunty, rinsing, swallow, “spirit of do-right in
your soul”, hollered, “it’s near boilin’”, screamed, scolded, frightened
Pages 6-7
The old woman found Blanche in the woods. After Blanche explained what happened, the
old woman told Blanche to come home with her. Blanche had to promise the old woman that
she would not laugh at anything she saw. Blanche promised. As they walked through the
woods, the bushes and branches opened wide in front of them and closed up behind them.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
kindness given is returned, magic powers
bend, “lit into me”, rubbing, supper, “word of honor”, bramble bushes
Pages 8-9
When they reached the old woman’s shack, Blanche saw strange sights: a cow with two
heads, chickens of every color with one, three, or four legs. Blanche did not laugh at these
sights.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
magical sights, wonderment, honoring a promise, consideration of feelings
for others, brave
tumbledown shack, horns like corkscrews, brayed like a mule, cluck, whistled
like mockingbirds
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Pages 10-11
Once inside the cabin, while Blanche started the fire to cook supper, the old woman took
off her head and “set it on her knees like a pumpkin to comb and braid her hair.” She then set
it back on her head. The old woman gave Blanche an old beef bone to put in the pot for
supper. Blanche was near starving and did not know how the bone would feed both of them,
but when she looked back at the pot, it was full. The old woman then gave Blanche one grain
of rice to grind in the stone mortar. When Blanche began to pound the grain, the mortar was
overflowing with rice. After the meal, they went to sit on the porch on the “fine moonshiny
night.”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
standing by a promise and having faith, things are not always what they
seem, do not take things at face value, magic, kindness, helpful to others
fetched, kindling, woodpile, set it on her knees like a pumpkin, plaited, nothing
but kind, sliver, starving, grind, stone mortar, stone pestle, overflowing
moonshiny
Pages 12-13
While sitting on the porch, Blanche and the old woman watched dozens of rabbits dance.
The rabbits were dressed in their finery—frock-tail coats and trail-train dresses. The rabbits
did a square dance, a Virginia reel, and even a cakewalk. Blanche sat and clapped until she
fell asleep. The old woman carried her inside and put her to bed.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
wonder, awe, happiness, enjoyment
underbrush, frock-tail coats, trail-train dresses. Banjo, hummed, square
dance, Virginia reel, cakewalk
Pages 13-14
In the morning, after Blanche milked the two-headed cow, the old woman told Blanche she
had to go home. As a reward for being such a good girl, the old woman told Blanche to go to
the chicken house and take any eggs that said, “Take me.” Blanche was to leave the eggs
that said, “Don’t take me.” The old woman instructed Blanche to throw the eggs over her
shoulder as she neared home and she would receive a surprise. Blanche went to the chicken
house, and even though she was tempted to take the gold, silver, and jeweled eggs, she did
not. She followed the old woman’s directions.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
goodness and kindness is rewarded, temptation, resisting temptation,
obedience
sweetest, present, ahead, shoulder, surprise, fancy, scooped
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Pages 15-16
Blanche waved good-bye to the old woman and went on her way. Near her home, she
threw the eggs over her left shoulder. As the eggs struck the ground, all sorts of wonderful
things spilled out of them: jewels, coins, silk dresses, satin shoes, a carriage and pony.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
magic, just rewards
waved, partway, toss, wonderful, spilled, diamonds, rubies, dainty, satin,
handsome, carriage, grew in a wink, matchbox, sprouted cricket
Pages 17-18
Blanche returned home with her treasures. Her mother and sister just gawked at her new
finery. As her mother cooked dinner (for the first time!), she got Blanche to tell her how she
came by the treasures. When Blanche was asleep, the mother told Rose she should go into
the woods and find the old woman to have the dresses and jewels like Blanche. When Rose
returned, the mother would drive Blanche away and take her treasures.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
deception, greed, selfishness, lying
lovely, carriage, grand, gawked, finery, skillet, grabbed, yourse’f, myse’f, so’s,
meant, pokin’, through, whined, contrary
Pages 19-22
In the morning, Rose went into the woods in search of the old woman. When she met the
old woman, she asked to see her pretty house. The old woman said she could come as long
as she promised not to laugh at anything she saw. Rose promised. But, when she saw the
two-headed cow, she laughed. She complained when asked to start the fire, cook the bone,
and grind the rice. Consequently, Rose and the old woman went to bed hungry. When the old
woman took her head off to comb her hair after breakfast, Rose grabbed the head and refused
to give the head back until the old woman gave Rose the same presents she gave Blanche.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
deception, breaking a promise, not following directions, making fun of
unusual things, lying
drag-foot, dawdled mostly, tol’, an’, ‘preciate, whatever, swear, brayed, funnylooking, mockingbirds, yelled, stupidest, complained, more smoke than flame,
crossly, remained, grind, sad speck, hardly, feed a fly, pestle, muttered,
scratching, screech-owls, clawing, sour, cream, quick as a wink
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Pages 23-26
To get her head back, the old woman told her what to do. Rose took the jeweled eggs and
ran off into the woods. When she tossed the eggs over her right shoulder, snakes, toads,
frogs, yellow jackets, and a wolf came out and started chasing Rose. When her mother saw
what was chasing Rose, she tried to rescue her with a broom, but the creatures could not be
chased off, so Rose and her mother hightailed it into the woods, with all the creatures
following.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
cruelty, justice prevails
wicked, groping, prettiest, shells, whip snakes, yellow jackets, bloody murder,
swarm, rescue, wasps, creatures, hightailed
Page 27
When Rose and her mother returned from the woods, they found Blanche had left for the
city. Even though they searched for the old woman’s cabin for the rest of their lives, they
never found it.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
good triumphs over evil, justice prevails, being polite and kind has its
rewards
sore, stung
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Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
An African Tale
Synopsis
Mufaro has two daughters, the bad-tempered Manyara and the loving Nyasha, who must
pass a series of tests in order for one of them to be considered a beautiful and worthy wife for
the Great King. Fiercely competitive, Manyara taunts Nyasha with threats of becoming a
servant once Manyara is made Queen. Nyasha doesn't complain to her father about her
sister's ill will, but merely tends to her garden where she befriends a little garden snake,
Nyoka. Nyoka replaces the traditional fairy godmother, and is able to transform into a hungry
lost boy and an old woman. As Manyara and Nyasha journey to meet with the Great King,
each is tested by Nyoka in his various disguises. Not surprisingly, Manyara's responses are
selfish and bitter, while Nyasha's are polite and thoughtful. In a surprise ending, Nyoka is
revealed to be the Great King himself. Readers will identify with the kind, patient Nyasha, while
delighting in the fate met by the evil sister, Manyara.
John Steptoe's lush paintings compliment the story as they expand characterizations and
setting, add depth to the text, and glow with the warmth of the land and people of Africa. This
book won the Caldecott Award.
Author
John Lewis Steptoe, creator of award-winning picture books for children, was born in
Brooklyn on September 14, 1950 and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of that
borough. He began drawing as a young child and received his formal art training at the High
School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was a student in the HARYOU-ACT Art Program
and instructed by the highly recognized African American oil painter, Norman Lewis. He also
studied at the Vermont Academy, where he was instructed by the sculptor, John Torres, and
William Majors, a painter acclaimed by the Museum of Modem Art for his etchings and printmaking.
His work first came to national attention in 1969 when his first book, Stevie, appeared in its
entirety in Life magazine. It was hailed as "a new kind of book for black children." He had
begun work on Stevie at the age of 16. He was 18 years old when Stevie was published.
In his 20-year career, John Steptoe illustrated sixteen picture books, ten of which he also
wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a
prestigious award for children's book illustration: The Story of Jumping Mouse in 1985 and
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters in 1988. He twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for
Illustration, for Mother Crocodile (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for Mufaro's Beautiful
Daughters.
While all of his work deals with aspects of the African American experience, reviewers and
critics acknowledged Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters as a breakthrough. Based on an African
tale recorded in the 19th century, it required John to research African history and culture for the
first time, thus awakening his pride in his African ancestry. He hoped that his books would
lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they
are. "I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people," he said, accepting the
Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, "I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great
many others like me where I come from."
John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989, at Saint Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, following a
long illness. He was 38 years old and lived in Brooklyn.
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Reviews
Ingram
This African tale evokes the Cinderella story in its portrayal of two sisters, spiteful Manyara
and considerate Nyasha, and the young king who is searching for a bride. Steptoe has
illustrated this modern fable with stunning paintings that glow with beauty, warmth, and internal
vision of the land and people of his ancestors.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books v40 p157 Ap 1987
Dramatic, oversize paintings accompany a story based on an animal-groom tale
collected at the end of the nineteenth century from the Zimbabwe region of southern Africa…
The art is deep-colored and lush, with sensitive, realistic portraits except in the case of the
cruel sister, whose expressions could have been less exaggerated. Sweeping landscapes,
textured with fine crosshatch, are thoughtfully composed, though one forest scene loses, in
the gutter, the central figure of a bird. The story and art will make an intriguing accompaniment
to well-known European versions of Beauty and the Beast. Betsy Hearne
The Horn Book v63 p478 Jl/Ag 1987
Quite simply, this is a magnificent book, the work of a mature artist who found inspiration in
his heritage and transformed that legacy into a distinctive, personal interpretation. The story, a
polished retelling of one from G.M. Theal's Kaffir Folktales is exactly the right showcase for the
spectacular, full-color illustrations. Monumental in scale, they suggest the majesty and
mystery of the ancient Zimbabwe ruins that serve as the setting. The story, although evoking
the African culture, is universal in theme…The pace of the text matches the rhythm of the
illustrations--both move in dramatic unity to the climax. Mary M, Burns
The New York Times Book Review p27 Je 28 1987
Mr. Steptoe weaves tribal culture and history, magic and mystery in this version of the
timeless moral lesson of pride going before a fall. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is an
appealing picture book. Mr. Steptoe's full-page multimedia illustrations include sensitive details
of the principal characters and their homes as well as the flora and fauna of the region. The
illustrations have a muted brilliance and luminosity…The simple justice of this reversal of
expectations is still charming if a worn and, to adults at least, predictable features of traditional
lore. Nyasha's triumph and Manyara's unhappy fate describe the ends of good and evil—sans
the shadings that might be available in a more contemporary tale. Parents may take the
opportunity the book presents to discuss the cultural values it represents as well as its
historical context. Paulette Childress White
Background
Use this book to teach about diversity. This is a Cinderella tale from Africa. The Talking
Eggs is a Cinderella tale from the American South. The Rough-Face Girl is a Native American
Cinderella tale. Folktales also demonstrate that all human beings in all cultures have a sense
of right and wrong, a sense of justice and kindness. Provide other versions of the Cinderella
story and have students compare them. Possible titles include: Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story
from China re told by Ai-Ling Louie; The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo; and the Koren
Cinderella by Shirley Climo. How do these versions differ? In what ways are they alike? How
do they reflect the culture they come from?
Zimbabwe is a country in southern Africa that was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia
and then as Rhodesia. Zimbabwe was named after the famous 14th-century stone-built city of
Great Zimbabwe, located in the southeast. The country is renowned for the Victoria Falls on
the Zambezi River and for its bountiful wildlife. Zimbabwe's population is divided into two main
ethnic and linguistic groups, the Ndebele and the Shona, the former mostly inhabiting the
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southwest. The capital is Harare, formerly known as Salisbury, which is the center of a rich
commercial farming district. Zimbabwe's economy is diversified, with services, industry, and
agriculture providing a balanced share of the country's earnings.
Inhabited for at least 2,000 years, the region of present-day Zimbabwe was the site of
several large African states, notably Great Zimbabwe, Mwene Mutapa, and the Rozwi Empire.
Zimbabwe was the British colony of Southern Rhodesia from the late 1800s until 1965, when
its white settlers proclaimed it the state of Rhodesia, which Britain refused to recognize. In
1980 the majority black population won independence for the country as Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has a land area of 150,873 sq mi. The country borders Mozambique to the east
and Botswana to the west. South Africa is located to the south, and the Limpopo River forms
the boundary between the two countries. In the north, the border is formed by the Zambezi
River, beyond which is Zambia.
Introduction
From the book: “Mufaro’s Beauatiful Daughters was inspired by a folktale collected by G.
M. Theal and published in 1895 in his book, Kaffir Folktales. It evokes the Cinderella story, as
well as the traditional theme of good triumphing over evil.
Details of the illustrations were inspired by the ruins of an ancient city found in Zimbabwe,
and the flora and fauna of that region.
The names of the characters are from the Shona language: Mufaro (moo-FAR-oh) means
“happy man”; Nyasha (nee-AH-sha) means “mercy”; Manyara (mahn-YAR-ah) means
“ashamed”; and Nyoka (nee-YO-kah) means “snake”.”
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
Preview the Cover
Hold up the book so both the front and back covers are visible. Tell students that the
covers show Mufaro's two daughters. Ask students to study the illustrations and then
comment on the girls. Ask: What is each one doing? What expressions do they have on their
faces? What preliminary conclusions might students make about the girls from these
pictures?
Locate the Setting
On a globe or world map, help students locate Africa. Tell students that the story comes
from an African country called Zimbabwe. Then locate the city of Nyanda. Explain that the
story takes place just south of Nyanda in and near the walled city of Great Zimbabwe. Explain
that the modern nation is named after this ancient city. Tell students that the stone buildings at
Great Zimbabwe are considered architectural marvels because they were made with dry
walls. In a dry wall, the stones are cut and placed so exactly that no mortar or cement is
needed.
Explain that the Caldecott Medal is named after an English artist, Randolf Caldecott (1846–
1886), who is considered the originator of children's picture books. The medal is given
annually to an illustrator in the United States for the most distinguished children's picture book
published during the previous year. Review the art in Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters with the
class to see why it won this award.
Explain that the illustrations in this book show the fortress-city of Great Zimbabwe in
ancient times. This city was a main trading center of the Shona people starting in the 1400s.
There, the Shona sold gold, copper, and ivory to Arab merchants. The remaining ruins of the
city show that the Shona were skillful builders. The ruins of three of their stone structures—
the Hill Complex, the Great Enclosure, and the Valley Complex—are still visible. Ask students
to see if they can find any of these in the book illustrations.
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How do the plants and animals reflect an African setting?
What else in the illustrations suggests an African setting?
Does this story remind you of Cinderella? In what ways?
Readings
Pages 1-5 (Since the pages are not numbered, page 1 refers to the first page of text.)
A man named Mufaro lived in a village in Africa with his two beautiful daughters, Manyara
and Nyasha. Manyara was bad-tempered and unhappy, teased her sister behind her father’s
back, and said her sister would be a servant in her household when she was queen. Nyasha
was praised for her kindness and the work she did. Nyasha was sorry her sister felt the way
she did, but went about her work. She kept a small plot of land and sang as she worked
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
beauty, self-centered, bad-tempered, spoiled, kindness, confidence in self,
considerate
certain, Africa, journey, Mufaro, village, Manyara, Nyasha, teased, servant,
household, responded, clever, praise, queen, weakness, ignored, chores, plot,
millet, yams, vegetables, bountiful
Pages 6-7
One day Nyasha noticed a small snake on her plot. She welcomed the snake and
returned to her work. From that day forward the small snake was always at her side when she
tended her garden.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
kindness, appreciation of small creatures of nature, sharing with others
noticed, yam vine, creatures, spoil, forward, sweetly
Pages 8-9
Mufaro was not aware of how Manyara treated Nyasha. A messenger arrived in the village.
The King wants a wife and is inviting the Most Worthy and Beautiful Daughters in the land to
appear before him. He will choose one for his bride. Mufaro believes it would be a great honor
for the king to choose one of his daughters. He orders them to prepare for the journey
tomorrow. Manyara tries to convince her father that Nyasha would be unhappy to be
separated from him. However, her father says only the king can choose between such two
worthy daughters.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
greed, selfishness, unawareness of father, deception, consideration of
others, pride
considerate, complain, behave, messenger, arrived, worthy, invited,
proclaimed, honor, prepare, journey, tomorrow, painful, grieve, beamed, pride
Pages 10-13
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When everyone was sleeping, Manyara stole quietly out of the village to be the first to
appear before the king. She was frightened of the forest at night and stumbled over a boy in
her path. The boy was hungry and asked for something to eat, but Manyara refused and
rushed on. Next, she came to an old woman, who gave her advice about what see would see
in the forest. Manyara ignored her advice and rushed on toward the city.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
self-centered, ignoring others, unkindness, single-mindedness of purpose
to the exclusion of all else, test of worthiness
stole, frightened, greed, stumbled, appeared, brought, distance, silhouetted,
advice, grove, polite, scolded, foretold, indeed, tucked, acknowledges, chanted
Pages 14-17
Nyasha woke at dawn and heard a commotion from the assembling wedding party.
Manyara was missing. Her footprints were on the path leading to the city, so they decided to
go on as planned. Along the way, Nyasha saw the small boy and shared her lunch. The old
woman appeared and Nyasha thanked her for the advice and gave her sunflower seeds.
Nyasha was overwhelmed by her first sight of the city.
.
Key Concepts: happiness, spirit of adventure, sharing, kindness, awareness of people and
creatures, appreciation of beauty of nature, test of worthiness
Vocabulary:
dawn, garments, forever, beyond, prefer, admitted interrupted, commotion,
assembled, bustled, decided, plumed, darted, shadows, beneath, anxious,
excitement, approaching, appeared, silently, pouch, grove, uppermost, bow,
announced, destination, transfixed, guard
Pages 18-19
As Nyasha and her father approached the city, Manyara ran from the enclosure and
begged her father to keep Nyasha from entering to face a snake with five heads. Nyasha
bravely made her way to the chamber and opened the door.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, braveness, disguise
descended, approached, rent, piercing, chamber, enclosure, rent, sobbing,
hysterically, faults, displeased, swallowed, upset, comfort
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Pages 20-25
Nyasha enters the chamber and sees the little garden snake. Nyoka changes shape and
becomes the king. Nyasha learns he was also the hungry boy and the old woman in the
forest. He knows she is the most worthy and most beautiful daughter in the land and asks for
her hand in marriage. So Nyasha and the king were married and Mufaro proclaimed himself to
be the happiest father in all the land. He was blessed with two beautiful and worthy daughters:
Nyasha, the queen, and Manyara, a servant in the queen’s household.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Goodness and kindness is rewarded, justice is served
relief, joy, pleasure, replied, preparations, weavers, garments, celebration,
feast, millet, proclaimed
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Genre: Legends
The Mud Pony, The Rough-Face Girl, Legend of the Blue Bonnet,
Brave Bear and the Ghosts, Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend, Buffalo Woman
Folktales are stories handed down by word of mouth from one person to another over
many generations. Folktales are found in most cultures in the world. For example, there are
over 800 identified Cinderella stories from various cultures around the world.
A folktale is re-created every time it is told, and therefore, every telling is correct in its own
way. Each storyteller adds nuances as a tale is told and molds the tale to fit the audience.
Types of Folktales
Cumulative
Every event in the story builds to the climax of the story. The story is told again and again from
the beginning with elements added each time.
Examples: The House That Jack Built, The Gingerbread Boy
Pourquoi Tales
“Why” stories that explain certain animal traits, natural phenomena, or characteristics /
customs of people
Examples: Why the Bear is Stumpy Tailed, why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky
Beast Tales
Tales in which animals act and talk like human beings, personification
Examples: Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Noodlehead or Numbskull Stories
Humorous stories about people who bumble about
Example: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
Wonder Tales
Tales of magical characters and objects
Example: Jack and the Beanstalk
Realistic Stories
Tales which may have grown out of actual events
Example: Zlatch the Goat
Trickster Tales
Tales involving a clever character who outsmarts others, especially those more powerful
Example: Anansi
Tall Tales
Tales which exaggerate characteristics and accomplishments
Example: Paul Bunyan
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Fables
Stories that involve animals with human traits and always include a moral or lesson.
Example: The Lion and the Mouse
Myths
Stories that answer questions about things that people cannot explain and may involve heroic
quests
Examples: Greek Mythology
Legends
Stories which portray a hero figure, supposedly based on a real person but are often
exaggerated
Example: John Henry
Epics
Extended stories of a hero’s quest
Example: Jason and the Golden Fleece
Characteristics of Folk Tales
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
Time and place are quickly established
Conflict, characters, and setting are set in a few sentences
Time passes quickly
Repetition in story events and refrains
Very little description, the dialogue carries the story in many tales
Characters are shown in flat dimensions
Characters either good or evil
Quick wits and clever thinking often save the day
Inner qualities are more important than outer qualities
Numbers are important
a. 3 and 7 are prevalent in European folklore
b. 4 in Native American folklore
Tale maintains the language of the country/region from which the tale originated
Folk tales are success stories of one kind or another
Justice prevails -- Good triumphs over evil
Characters live happily ever after
Native American Folktales
Buffalo Woman
Children of the Earth and Sky
Legend of the Bluebonnet
Mud Pony
Quillworker
The Rough-Face Girl
African Folktale
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
African-American Folktales
The Talking Eggs
Flossie and the Fox
European Folktale
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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The Mud Pony
A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale
Synopsis
There was once a poor boy in an Indian camp who longed for a pony more than anything.
So he dug the wet earth and shaped a pony out of mud. He loved his mud pony and took care
of it as though it were real. One day, when his village broke camp for a buffalo hunt, the boy
was left behind. "My people!" he cried out. "I will never find you! I am all alone!" That night he
dreamt that his pony was alive and speaking to him. "You are not alone," the pony said.
"Mother Earth has given me to you." And when he awoke, his mud pony had indeed come to
life.
Author
Information is not available on the author. It is interesting to note, that in many sources
Shonto Begay is listed as the author and the illustrator of this book, even though the title pages
say the tale is retold by Caron Lee Cohen.
Illustrator
The day before illustrator Shonto Begay learned about this project, he was sculpting clay
with his two daughters and nephews. He had returned to the place of his childhood for a visit
and was sculpting near a pond. His nephew had asked him to create a clay pony. Shonto
recalled telling his daughters and nephews that his grandmother had told him the objects
crafted with one’s hands were very special, and that great goodness would come their way if
they cherished and cared for their handcrafted objects as if they were alive. Recalling his
grandmother’s words had extra special meaning the next day when he was contacted by a
publisher to illustrate The Mud Pony. This book was Begay's first book for children.
Shonto Began, a Native American Navajo, was born near Shonto, Arizona, one of a family
of eight boys and eight girls. His father was a traditional guardian of Navajo healing—a
medicine man; and his mother was a weaver who created rugs. His aunt and his
grandparents were strong forces in his upbringing. From an early age, he loved the natural
world where he lived in Klethla Valley—the red mesas, the plants, the rocks and juniper trees.
He was brought up to understand the land was sacred and that the people belonged to the
land, rather than the other way around. The places he knew "harbored the ancient Gods and
animal beings that were so alive," he writes, in the stories of his people. As a child, he loved to
draw and to create clay statues of people on horses. Materials for the horses' manes and
coloring were all collected from nature. He later spent some of his time herding sheep and
driving cattle.
Begay graduated from Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona. He studied fine
arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, earning an Associate of
Fine Arts degree. He then studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland,
California, earning a B.F.A. degree in 1980.
Begay's illustrations are created with a mixture of watercolor and colored pencils. His
acrylic paintings are made up of a series of small brush strokes that, he writes, are "like the
words of prayers." He thinks of his artwork as "personal visions shared." Shonto Begay lives
in Kayenta, Arizona, with his wife and their four children.
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Reviews
Kirkus Reviews
A Native American tale about a young boy and his magical pony that comes to life. In his
first book, Begay (who is Navaho) has splendidly illustrated this moving, multileveled hero
tale…An excellent addition to folktale collections.
Background
The Pawnee are North American Plains Indian people who lived on the Platte River in
Nebraska from before the 16th century to the latter part of the 19th. In the 19th century the
Pawnee tribe was composed of relatively independent bands: the Kitkehahki, Chaui,
Pitahauerat, and Skidi. Each of these was divided into villages, the basic social unit of the
Pawnee people.
They lived in large, dome-shaped, earth-covered lodges but used skin tepees on buffalo
hunts. The women raised corn (maize), squash, and beans. They also had developed the art
of pottery making. Horses were first introduced in the 17th and 18th centuries from Spanish
settlements in the southwest.
Class distinctions favored chiefs, priests, and shamans. Each chief of a village or band
had in his keeping a sacred bundle. Shamans had special powers to treat illness and to ward
off enemy raids and food shortages. Priests were trained in the performance of rituals and
sacred songs. Along with shamanistic and hunt societies, the Pawnee also had military
societies.
The religion of the Pawnee was quite elaborate. They believed some of the stars to be
gods and performed rituals to entreat their presence, but they also used astronomy in practical
affairs (e.g., to determine when to plant corn). Corn was regarded as a symbolic mother
through whom the sun god bestowed his blessing.
Relations between the Pawnee and whites were peaceful, and many served as scouts in
the armies of the frontier. They ceded most of their lands in Nebraska to the U.S. government
by treaties in 1833, 1848, and 1857. In 1876 their last Nebraska holdings were given up, and
they were moved to Oklahoma, where they remained. More than 2,300 Pawnee were reported
living on or near their Oklahoma reservation in the late 20th century. From Encyclopaedia
Britannica Online
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Introduction
Look at the cover of the book. Read the title. Why did the author call this book The Mud
Pony? What do you think this story is about?
The Mud Pony is one of a number of ancient boy-hero stories told among the Skidi band of
the Pawnee Indians of the American Plains. These stories exhibit the Pawnee belief that no
matter how lowly one’s origin, the path to honor is open through adherence to virtues such as
constancy and a humble spirit. This version of The Mud Pony was adapted from a longer
story in the collection of George A. Dorsey, who recorded the traditions and tales of the Skidi
Pawnee between 1899 and 1902. It was told to him by Yellow-Calf.
Native Americans were the first people to live in what is now the United States. Native
Americans have long believed that land, trees, and animals are gifts from Mother Earth—the
great power of nature.
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
Reading
Pages 1-2
(Since the pages are not numbered, page 1 refers to the first page of text.)
There once was a poor Indian boy who longed to have a pony of his own. One day, he
made a pony from the mud of the river bank. He gave his pony a white clay face. He loved his
pony and would care for it everyday, as if it were real.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
longing, creative problem solving, caring
camp, creek, watered, longed, crossed, clay
Pages 3-5
One day while the boy was with his mud pony, scouts rode into camp saying they had
spotted buffalo. The people needed to hunt buffalo, so they would not starve during the winter.
Quickly, the people broke camp to hunt the buffalo. The boy’s parents looked and could not
find him and had to leave without him. When the boy returned to camp and found everyone
gone, he was heartsick to find himself all alone. He cried himself to sleep that night.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
loneliness, scared, heartsick, good of the community takes precedence
over the individual, courage
scouts, sighted, buffalo, starve, leave, wandered, heartsick, empty, scraps,
dried meat, tattered, blanket, huddled
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Pages 6-9
As he slept, he dreamt his mud pony was alive and said to him: “My son, you are not
alone. Mother Earth has given me to you. I am part of her.” When the boy went to his mud
pony in the morning, he found her alive. She spoke to him as she had in the dream. The pony
said the boy should follow her directions, that one day he would be a chief, and that she would
take him to his people.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Magic, dreams and visions, trust, acceptance, strength, courage
dreamt, alive, alone, daybreak, empty, hardly, believe, tossing, pawing, chief,
guide, Mother Earth
Pages 10-13
The boy and pony journeyed for three days before reaching his people. The pony told him
to find his parents, but not to reveal himself to the others. Before going to his parents, the boy
cared for the pony. He covered the pony with a blanket to protect her from the rain, for the
pony was part of Mother Earth. The boy found his parents, who marveled that he had found
them when they had gone so far away.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
long, hard journey, faith and trust, care and respect for Mother Earth, joy at
being reunited with parents, courage
journeyed, plains, worn, guide, nightfall, curling, tepees, reached, dawn,
protect, wandered, among, blaze, marveled
Pages 14-15
Before dawn, the boy left his parents and watched from the hillside as they broke camp.
For three more days, the boy and pony journeyed. Then the pony told the boy it was time for
him to rejoin his people.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
faith and trust, acceptance, joy at being reunited with his people
broke camp, disappeared, journeyed, weary, astonished
Pages 16-17
A war chief invited the boy to eat with him. The chief told the boy he had a great power,
and now he must use his power to help his people defeat the enemy who is keeping them
from reaching the buffalo.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
honor, responsibility, courage
war chief, buffalo horn spoons, saluted, attached, battle
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Pages 18-19
The boy trembled when he left the war chief’s tepee, but the pony told him not to be afraid,
for the pony was part of Mother Earth and the enemy’s arrows could never pierce the earth.
The pony told the boy to spread earth over his body and he would be protected. The boy did
as he was told, and led his people to victory in the battle. His people could now hunt the
buffalo.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, courage, faith and trust, triumph of good over evil, great courage,
heroism, strength
trembled, afraid, enemy, pierce, fierce, victory, capturing
Pages 20-23
Years passed, and the boy let the pony guide him. He became a powerful leader and
chief. He took care of his pony, covering her with a blanket every night to protect her from the
rain. One night, the pony came to him in a dream and said it was time to go back to Mother
Earth.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
love, faith and trust, responsibility, power
powerful, corral, eagle, mane
Pages 24-28
The chief got up and went to his pony. He took the pony’s blanket and returned to his
tepee. He awoke to shrill winds and rushing rain. He went to look for his pony, but did not find
her. As the sun broke out, he saw a patch of white clay and heard a voice: “I am here, your
Mother Earth. You are not alone!”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
connection with all inhabitants of earth, no person is an island
pawed, tossed, shrill, rushing, patch
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The Rough-Face Girl
Synopsis
This is the Algonquian Indian version of the Cinderella tale.
In an Algonquian Indian village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived a very rich and powerful
man who was invisible. The powerful Invisible Being is looking for a wife, and all the girls in the
village vie for his affections. But only the girl who proves she can see him will be his bride.
The two beautiful but spoiled daughters of a poor village man try their best to be chosen.
However, it is their sister, the Rough-Face Girl (scarred on her face and arms from tending
fires) who wins the hand of the Invisible Being, because she sees him in the wonder of the
natural world.
The dramatic illustrations are an integral part of the tale, reflecting the emotions of the
characters and the vibrant earth colors of the native landscape.
Author
Rafe Martin grew up in New York City. His mother read fairy tales to him. She also read
Aesop’s Fables. One of their favorites was "The Tortoise and the Hare." "Slow and steady
wins the race," she would say. Since Rafe didn’t write his first book until he was thirty-five, he
certainly took that story’s theme to heart!
Rafe’s family background is rich with tales told by his grandmothers and his father. These
family tales provided a rich tapestry of tales for the young boy…tales of humor, courage, and
happiness as well as tragedy. Rafe loved to read. His favorite books were myths and legends
from around the world, stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and of
Robin Hood as well as any tales of animals. He especially loved Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle
Books.
Rafe met his wife, Rose, at college. He has a Master’s Degree in English from the
University of Toronto.
His interest in sharing literature with children began when his children, Jacob and Ariya
were born. He found that certain authors had a way of writing that made reading aloud itself an
art and a delight. When he read their work, he could feel the story coming alive. His first
children’s books were published in 1984 and 1985. When his books are read aloud, he wants
a reader to feel that a story is actually being told. He is able to choose the illustrator for his
books.
Additional information can be found at his web site: http://www.rafemartin.com/life.htm. A
biography about Rafe Martin: A Storyteller's Story (Meet the Author Series) by Rafe Martin, Jill
Krementz (Illustrator) Richard C. Owen Publishing; ISBN: 0913461032
Illustrator
David Shannon (author and illustrator of No, David and David Goes to School, among
others)
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Reviews
From Kirkus Reviews
An Algonquin Cinderella story, with accomplished, but sometimes over-literal illustrations.
A powerful invisible being will marry the woman who can prove that she's seen him; a poor
man's two proud daughters try and fail, but the third, her face and hands scarred from tending
the fire, has the understanding to see him everywhere in the world and is lovingly received.
Martin's retelling is spare and understated, but never dry; the two sisters are richly comic
figures, the climax and ending uncontrived yet magically romantic. Shannon (who illustrated
Lester's How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?) expertly picks up the flavor—the sisters
positively strut through the village, their noses high and one wearing what looks like a spangled
angora sweater—but the lips the Rough-Faced Girl sees hanging in the sky, or the muscular,
art-deco cloud figure, seem intrusions rather than integral parts of the natural world. Still, it is
a strong, distinctive tale with art to match. (Folklore/Picture book. 8+) -- Copyright ©1992,
Kirkus Associates, LP. (From amazon.com)
From Horn Book
In this powerful retelling of a Native-American Cinderella story, the Rough-Face Girl, the
youngest of three daughters, is so named because years of tending the fire have scarred her
face and arms. She earns the love of and the right to marry the powerful Invisible Being by
seeing him in the beauty of the earth around her. The text contains the cadences and rhythms
of oral language, and the illustrations, dark and vivid, use earth tones and shadows to convey
the drama. -- Copyright © 1992 The Horn Book, Inc (From amazon.com)
From School Library Journal
"Simply in the words of an oral storyteller, Martin retells an Algonquin folktale...Shannon's
finely crafted...paintings...embody the full flavor of the story...this is a splendid read-aloud."
School Library Journal (From Rafe Martin’s web site)
From Booklist v88 p1533 Ap 15 1992
Shannon's dramatic, full-color paintings are striking and often rich in atmosphere, though
some of the character portrayals seem glamorized or European. Martin introduces the story
as an Algonquin Indian tale taken from a longer work, though he doesn't name its source.
Given the beauty of the story, the strength of many of the illustrations, and the current interest
in comparing variants of folktales from different cultures, libraries will find this a well-used
picture book. Carolyn Phelan
From Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books v45 p215 Ap 1992
While the illustrations have a darkly classical quality, the wording is sometimes colloquial
('Off from the other wigwams of this village stood one great huge wigwam') or explanatory
('When she looked at you she didn't see just your face or your hair or clothes…And she could
tell if you had a good, kind heart or a cold, hard, and cruel one'). Yet the total effect is
nonetheless striking. The story is strong enough to thrive on almost any straightforward
retelling, and the paintings, while romanticized, are warmly drawn and richly colored, with firelit
bodies and hints of historical landscapes and ritual masks. Betsy Hearne
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Background
The Algonquin Indians are the most populous and widespread North American Native
groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds and speaking several related dialects.
They inhabited most of the Canadian region south of Hudson Bay between the Rockies and
the Atlantic Ocean and, bypassing select territories held by the Sioux and Iroquois, the latter of
whom had driven them out of their territory along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers in the
17th and 18th centuries.
Because the Northern climates made agriculture difficult, the Algonquin were a seminomadic people, moving their encampments from one place to the next in search of food,
which came from hunting, trapping, fishing and the gathering of various plant roots, seeds, wild
rice and berries. They traveled on foot and by birchbark canoe in the summer months, and
used toboggans and snowshoes in the winter. Their clothes were made from animal skins, as
were their tents, also known as wigwams; sometimes also covered with birchbark.
The Algonquin social structure was patriarchal; men were the leaders and the heads of the
family and territorial hunting rights were passed from father to son.
The Algonquin were among the first North American Natives to make alliances with the
French who adopted Algonquian methods of travel, and started using terms like "canoe" and
"toboggan.”
There are presently about 8,000 Algonquin living in Canada, organized into ten separate
First Nations, nine are in Quebec and one in Ontario.
(From the online resource about the Algonquin tribe at http://www.algonquin.tv/)
Introduction
Ask the students if they are familiar with the Cinderella tale. Have students list some of the
characteristics of the Cinderella tale: sisters or stepsisters who treat a younger sibling poorly;
fairy godmother; prince looking for a wife; inner beauty of younger sister; glass slipper; living
happily ever after; spoiled stepsisters receiving their just due, etc. Explain this is the Algonquin
Indian version of the Cinderella tale. Have the students look for similarities and differences
between the two tales as they read the story. Use a Venn diagram to compare the tales.
Students could also compare this tale with Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, which is another
version of the Cinderella tale.
This is a picture book. A picture book is a blend of text and illustrations. Each advances
the other. Throughout the tale, note the richness of the illustrations used to advance the mood
and emotions of the tale.
Look at the cover of the book. Why is the girl covering her face? What predictions can
you make? As you read the book, examine the illustrations. Note what you see in the
illustrations.
Have a folktale map...when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
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Reading
Pages 1-3
(Since the pages are not numbered, page 1 refers to the first page of text.)
The opening pages describe a village on Lake Ontario. One huge wigwam stands apart
from the other wigwams in the village. Painted on its sides are pictures of the sun, moon,
stars, plants, trees, and animals. Inside this wigwam was said to live a very great, rich,
powerful, and handsome Invisible Being. He is invisible to everyone except his sister. Many
women wanted to marry the Invisible Being, but only the one who can see him can marry him.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Native American tale, air of mystery, challenge, arrangement of wigwams in
the village
village, shores, Lake Ontario, wigwams, Invisible Being
Pages 4-5
A poor man with three daughters lives in the village. The older daughters are cruel and
hard-hearted. They make their youngest sister sit by the fire and tend the flames. Over time,
the burning sparks have scarred her face and hands and charred her hair. Her sisters call her
the Rough-Face Girl and make her life lonely and miserable.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
cruelty, unkind treatment of sister, selfishness, sadness, indifference of
father
daughter, cruel, hard-hearted, sparks, burnt, scarred, charred, miserable
Pages 6-13
The older daughters convince their father to give them necklaces, new buckskin dresses,
and beaded moccasins to marry the Invisible Being. Dressed in their finery, the girls strut
through the village on their way to the wigwam. Note the illustrations and the haughty strut of
the young women. Arriving at the Invisible Being’s wigwam, the girls are greeted by his sister
who asks these questions: Have you seen the Invisible Being? What is his bow made of?
What’s the runner of his sled made of? The girls lie and give the wrong answers. They are
told to go home, they have not seen the Invisible Being. The two sisters ask to be tested fairly
and not asked silly questions. They are led into the Invisible Being’s wigwam and given seats
for guests. They spend the night in the wigwam, but see nothing. In the morning, they had to
go home, ashamed.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
pride, haughtiness, arrogance, shame, lying, greed, desperation, fairn
buckskin, moccasins, haughtily, proud, bow, swift as lightning, strong as
thunder, stammered, desperately, runner, sled, feverishly, furthest, entrance,
quiver of arrows, ashamed.
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Pages 14-17
The Rough-Face Girl asks her father for the same items as her sisters. She is going to
marry the Invisible Being, for she sees him everywhere. Her father can only give her broken
shells and old, worn, cracked, and stretched-out moccasins. He has no buckskins for a
dress. The Rough-Face Girl takes what he can spare. She makes a necklace from the
broken shells. She uses birchbark to make a dress and leggings. She soaks the old
moccasins to mold to her feet. But they were still too big and flopped on her feet as she
walked through the village. The villagers laughed and taunted her, but she had courage and
faith in herself and kept walking.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
confidence, pride, self-determination, faith, courage, resourcefulness, vision
cracked, stretched-out, “flap, flop, flapped”, reeds, faith, courage
Pages 18-19
As she walks toward the Invisible Being’s wigwam, she sees the great beauty of the earth
and sky. She was truly the only one in the village to see the Invisible Being in all things in
nature.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
truth, beauty, awareness of world around one, nature’s beauty, vision,
inspiration
spreading, awesome
Pages 20-25
The Rough-Face Girl came to the lakeshore where the Invisible Being’s sister was waiting.
The sister was a wise woman who could look into your heart and tell if you had a kind or cruel
heart. She saw that the Rough-Face Girl had a beautiful, kind heart. The Rough-Face Girl
said she had come to marry the Invisible Being. The sister asked her questions: (1) What’s
his bow made of? The Rough-Face Girl replied, “The great curve of the rainbow.” (2) What’s
the runner of his sled made of? The Rough-Face Girl replied, “It is the Spirit Road, the Milky
Way.”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
truth, honesty, self-confidence, wisdom, courage, inner beauty
lakeshore, littering, fiery veil, overhead
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Pages 26-30
The Rough-Face Girl has answered the questions correctly and the sister leads her to the
great wigwam and seats her in the wife’s seat. Footsteps approach the wigwam and the
Invisible Being enters. The sister gives the Rough-Face Girl fine buckskin robes and a
necklace of perfect shells. She instructs her to bathe in the lake and dress in her new clothes.
Bathing in the lake causes the scars to disappear from her body. Now everyone saw she is
beautiful. The Invisible Being and his sister knew that from the start. The Rough-Face Girl
and the Invisible Being were married and lived together in “great gladness and were never
parted.”
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
inner beauty, truth, love, happiness, justice
wonder, delight, entrance flap, lifted, kindly, perfect, vanished, glossy, raven’s
wind, gladness
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Legend of the Bluebonnet
An Old Tale of Texas
Synopsis
Tomie dePaola retells the folktale of how the blue bonnets, the state flower of Texas, came
to be. Long ago, there was a terrible drought in the land and many people suffered. A young
girl named She-Who-Is-Alone sacrifices her most prized possession, a doll, to the Great
Spirits. This doll is her only connection to the family she has lost. The Great Spirits accept
her gift, ends the drought. As a sign of forgiveness, the ground is covered every spring with
beautiful blue bonnets.
Author
Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1934. At age 4, he knew he wanted to
become a writer and an illustrator. His mother was an avid book lover and read to him and his
brother often. As a child, dePaola would illustrate the books his mother read to him. By age
10, dePaola was writing books for his younger sisters' birthdays. One of these books was
Glimmera, the Story of a Mermaid.
He often draws upon his own childhood experiences in writing books; his Italian
grandmother was the model for the grandmother in Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your
Soup.
Tomie dePaola has published over 200 children’s books over the past 35 years, and has
won numerous awards, including both a Caldecott Honor Award, and a Newbery Honor Award.
A prolific writer, he has written up to four children's books in a single year.
Tomie dePaola now lives in New Hampshire in a large renovated 200-year-old barn with
his four dogs.
Reviews
Ingram
This favorite legend, based on Comanche lore, tells the story of how the bluebonnet, the
state flower of Texas, came to be. A "Reading Rainbow" Review Title. An American
Bookseller Pick of the List Book. A Booklist Children's Editors' Choice. A NCSS Notable
Children's Trade Book.
The Horn Book v59 p430 Ag 1983
The legend of the origin of the Texas state flower is portrayed in clean, uncluttered
pictures filled with warm, rich colors. The Indian girl stands out as independent and determined
to help the Comanche people.
School Library Journal v30 p104 S 1983
This is a solemn, simply-told tale and the concept of an unselfish parting with a prized
possession is one to which children will readily relate…The full-color paintings in tableau-like
settings are nicely staged with well-executed design and color. Anne McKeithen
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books v36 p208 Jl/Ag 1983
The soft colors, the spacious composition, and the feeling of reverence conveyed by the
pictures are in effective harmony with the text.
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Background
DePaola does an admirable job of maintaining the authenticity of this tale. His illustrations
and language accurately portray the customs, dress, and culture of the Comanche people.
This book addresses important issues such as family, community and nature.
From the author’s note at the end of the book…
“The bluebonnet is a form of wild lupine. It is known by other names, too, such as Lupine,
Buffalo Clover, Wolf Flower, and “El Conejo” – the rabbit. But its most familiar name,
Bluebonnet, probably began when the white settlers moved to Texas. The lovely blue flowers
they saw growing wild were thought to resemble the bonnets worn by many of the women to
shield them from the hot Texas sun…
…interesting…was that the Comanche people did not have a concept of one god or a
Great Spirit. They worshiped many spirits equally, and each one represented a special skill or
trait…the Deer Spirit for agility, the Wolf Spirit for ferocity, the Eagle Spirit for strength, and the
important Buffalo Spirit to send buffalo for the hunt…Therefore, in my retelling, the People pray
to the Great Spirits collectively.”
Introduction
A folktale is a story that has been passed through the ages and generations by word of
mouth. Many of the folktales explain things in nature. Some folktales explain how the stars
came to be in the sky.
The Legend of the Bluebonnets is a retelling of the Comanche legend of how the
bluebonnet flower came to Texas.
Look at the cover of the book. What do you see on the cover? (a little girl and her doll)
What is a bluebonnet? What role do you think the girl and her doll play in bringing flowers to
Texas?
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
Reading
Pages 1-3 (Since the pages are not numbered, page 1 refers to the first page of text.)
Winter has passed. Spring rains have not come to make the land bloom. A drought is
over the land. The land is dying. The People are asking the “Great Spirits” why he is angry at
the People. They ask what they must do to return rains to the land. With no food, there is
famine among the People. The oldest and youngest of the People are affected the hardest by
the drought and the famine.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
drought, the “Great Spirit”, suffering
drought, Comanche, People, Great Spirits, famine
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Pages 4-6
She-Who-Is-Alone, a small girl, sat by herself watching the dancers. On her lap was a doll
made from buckskin, a warrior doll, with facial features painted on by berries. It wore beaded
leggings, and a belt of polished bone. The girl loved her doll very much. The doll is the only
thing she had left from her family. She is an orphan, for her family all died from the famine.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
name describes the person, orphan, most precious material possession,
sadness, loneliness
She-Who-Is-Alone, warrior, leggings, polished, brilliant, shaman, plentiful,
distant
Pages 7-9
The shaman returns from the hill, for he has heard from the Great Spirits. He tells the
People how the drought and famine can end. He says the Great Spirits are angry because the
People have become selfish and have taken from the Earth without giving anything back. The
People are to make a burnt offering of the most valued possession among them. Then the
ashes must be scattered to the four winds. When the sacrifice is made, the drought and
famine will end.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
selfishness, consequences of taking and not giving, sacrifice
shaman, selfish, sacrifice, burnt offering, possession
Pages 10-13
Several tribe members demonstrate selfishness, thinking the Great Spirits are surely not
thinking about their special bow or blanket. However, She-Who-Is-Alone knows her doll is the
most prized possession the Great Spirits want. She knew what she had to do.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
selflessness, sacrifice
bow, warrior, tipis, tightly, valued, council, flaps
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Pages 14-20
She-Who-Is-Alone leaves the campsite in the middle of the night, goes to the place on the
hill where the shaman spoke to the Great Spirits, and offers her most valued possession. She
builds a fire, thinks of her family, and thrusts the doll into the fire. She watches the fire until the
ashes are cold. She scatters the ashes to the home of the winds—North, South, East, and
West. She falls asleep on the hill.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
sacrifice of an individual for the good of the community, faith and trust in the
Great Spirits, courage, bravery, love
distant, except, ashes, glowed, spoken, accept, gathering, twigs, firestick,
suffering, thrust, scooping, scattered
Pages 21-23
When She-Who-Is-Alone wakes in the morning, the ground was covered with beautiful
flowers, blue like the feather in the hair of her doll.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
sacrifice has been accepted by the Great Spirits,
morning, stretching
Pages 24-26
The People awoke and could scarcely believe their eyes. They joined She-Who-Is-Alone
on the hill to look at the miraculous sight, truly a sign of forgiveness. As the People gave
thanks, rain began to fall and the land began to live again. From that day on, the little girl was
known as “One-Who-Dearly-Loved-Her-People.”
And every spring, the Great Spirits
remember her sacrifice by covering the state of Texas with bluebonnets.
Key Concepts:
Forgiveness, sacrifice is recognized, renewal of land, love, honor and
recognition for sacrifice
Vocabulary: scarcely, miraculous, forgiveness, remember
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Quillworker
A Cheyenne Legend
Synopsis
This is a Cheyenne legend explaining the origins of the stars. Also describes the history
and culture of the Cheyenne Indians.
This enchanting myth of a young Cheyenne woman, famous for her porcupine-quill
embroidery, explains how the stars were born.
Each book in the series features geographical, historical, and cultural information.
Illustrated in full color.
Author
Terri Cohlene is an author of children's books. She is best known for her series of adapted
Native American legends, including: Little Firefly, Clamshell Boy, Quillworker, Dancing Drum,
Ka-ha-si and the Loon, and Turquoise Boy (Troll Books & Rourke Publishing).
Reviews
A Cheyenne legend explaining the origins of the stars. Ingram
[The following review offers a perspective on Native American books that many of us may not
even consider when selecting Native American literature to use with students. This review
was taken from Paula Giese’s web site. She advocated for the respect of the Native American
culture by writers. She found examples where writers have not conducted enough research or
have modified Native American stories. Such modifications have resulted in different
meanings than intended in the original Native American versions. Her premise is that writers
and reviewers may not have the cultural background or may not have thoroughly researched
the event accurately portray the Native American culture. If we do not have knowledge of a
culture, our ignorance may perpetuate the wrong concepts of that culture.]
“Though as usual Cohlene cites no sources, this one was copped from American Indian
Myths and Legends, edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz (Pantheon, 1984). There it is
reported that this story was told to Erdoes at Lame Deer, Montana, on the Northern Cheyenne
Reservation, by members of the Strange Owl family in 1967. They called it "The Quillwork Girl
and her Seven Star Brothers."
Had Cohlene been a bit more diligent in perusing the source she copped her tale from, she
would have avoided making the dumb mistake of naming the youngest brother (the story's
hero) Wihio. In her glossary, Cohlene reports that Wihio "means one with higher intelligence."
Actually Wihio is an evil and stupid spider spirit, whose name now is a Cheyenne slang
pejorative name for "white man." In Erdoes' book, Rachel Strange Owl tells another story, one
about Veeho: "Veeho is like some tourists who come into an Indian village not knowing how to
behave or what to do, trying to impress everybody," she begins it. "You know, I think you
should stop fooling around, trying to impress people with your tricks," she ends it. But Cohlene
didn't see this particular story, with its variant spelling of her hero's name, so she doesn't know
she's given a pejorative name to her young hero, and somebody or something gave a totally
wrong definition for her glossary.
Other aspects of cultural ignorance creep in. Since Cohlene doesn't understand that four
is a sacred number, hence Native storytelling conventions usually award success only on the
4th try, she shortens the episodes with the hostile buffalo who demand the seven brothers give
up the girl to them from four to three. Similarly, the children do not escape the buffalo herd into
the sky until the youngest brother has made 4 shots with his magic arrows, pulling them
higher—but again, Cohlene truncates this to 3 shots, because 4 isn't a sacred number for her,
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so she sees no reason to keep repeating the episodes. Gratuitously, she makes "Wihio"
become the Pole Star, but in the Cheyenne version, Quillworker and her 7 brothers become
the 8 stars of the Big Dipper (one is a small satellite), and the youngest is last on the "handle."
There's a different natural history legend about the steadfast north star around which all the
rest of the night sky revolves, but not in Erdoes and Ortiz.
The non-fictional history section contains the gratuitous and racist insult of describing the
Sand Creek massacre of a peaceful, encamped band of Cheyennes as "Native Americans
lose battle of Sand Creek."
Native American BOOKS, text and graphics copyright Paula Giese, 1996
Background
Refer to the information beginning on page 33 of the book. These pages provide
information about the Cheyenne people: their homeland, society, camp, clothing, and history.
A glossary on page 45 provides definitions for words associated with the Cheyenne culture
of the story.
Explain quillworking to the students. Information is given on page 40 about this process.
Introduction
Every culture has stories that explain why things exist or why creatures have certain
characteristics. These stories are called Pourquoi tales. Quillworker is a pourquoi tale from
the Cheyenne tribe. It explains how the stars came to be in the sky. Look at the cover of the
book. The name of the girl on the cover is Quillworker. She is called Quillworker because of
her skill with a needle in decorating buffalo robes. What role do you think Quillworker will play
in this tale?
Reading
Pages 4-5
This tale takes place when only the moon lived in the night sky. Quillworker was an only
child. She had great skill with a needle. She had already decorated thirty buffalo robes, a task
that usually took a lifetime. Quillworker would teach the younger girls at the Lodge of the
Quiller’s Society. She would describe how she gathered and dyed porcupine quills (her name
reflects her task) with vibrant colors, then create her beautiful designs. She was truly gifted at
this task.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
pride, talent, giftedness
Cheyenne, Quillworker, needle, praise, tribes, village, decorated, Lodge of the
Quiller’s Society, describe, dyed, porcupine quills, vibrant, embroidered,
pouch, quiver, argue, gifted
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Pages 6-7
One day Quillworker cut a war shirt from a piece of buckskin, that had buffalo hair fringe on
the sleeves. She worked many weeks, sewing red, blue, yellow, and white quills onto it. It
was a magnificent design, with each of the quills radiating from another. (See illustration on
page 7.) After completing the shirt, she made a breechclout, leggings, moccasins, and a pair
of gauntlets. When she finished everything, she tied all the pieces together in a parfleche
decorated to match. She completed six more warrior outfits before she was finished. She
wondered about the last outfit. It was smaller, as if it were for a boy, not a man. To the last
bundle she added a quiver, decorated with the same radiant design. Her mother was curious
about her work and asked why she was making a warrior’s outfit, when her family had no need
of one. Quillworker replied that it came to her in a dream. Her mother said she was wise to
heed her dreams, for that was how the spirits guided them.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
guided by dreams or visions, creativity, dedication to complete a task
war shirt, buckskin, fringe, quills, design, magnificent, radiating, breechclout,
leggings, leather, moccasins, gauntlets, curiosity, warrior’s outfit, heed, spirits,
labored, garment, parfleche, tanned, bundle, quiver, radiant
Pages 8-9
When Quillworker finished her task, she began preparing for a journey. She bundled
clothing around quilling needles and filled her parfleche with food: dried turnips, thistle stalks,
milkweed buds, chokecherry pemmican, and dried deer meet. She also packed her knife,
tanning kit, and cooking utensils. She told her mother that seven days from here is the tipi of
seven brothers. The clothes were for them. She was to become their sister, for one day they
would be admired by all The People. Her mother helped her prepare for the journey. Two
dogs, each pulling a travois, would carry her things. She told her mother she would not
become lost, the way came to her in her dreams. She bade her mother goodbye and walked
in the directions of the mountains.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
quest, passion to complete a quest or vision, pride, confidence, leaving
family for her calling
bundled, quilling needles, turnips, thistle stalks, milkweed buds, chokecherry
pemmican, tanning, kit, utensils, preparing, admired, The People, attaching,
travois, bade, direction
Pages 10-11
Six days she walked. At night she slept wrapped in buffalo robes. Her dreams were her
guide for the next day’s journey. (Note how dogs seem to guard her in the accompanying
illustration.)
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
following a dream, self-confidence, trust in guidance from the spirits
pemmican, pouch, guide
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Pages 12-13
On the seventh day, she came upon a stream. On the other side of the stream stood a
large tipi. Could this be the lodge of the seven brothers? A boy stepped from the tipi.
Quillworker called out: “It is I, Seeker-of-Seven–Brothers.” The boy answered: “I am Wihio,
the youngest of the seven. You are Quillworker. I was expecting you.” The boy said he had
sent Quillworker the dream. He had the Power of Knowing and the Power of Sky-Reaching.
He said his brothers were hunting, but would be home soon. He showed her their lodge.
Key Concepts: end of journey, acknowledgment of future, becoming acquainted with
another
Vocabulary:
grove, lifting pole, approached, Seeker-of-Seven Brothers, raised greetings,
Wihio, expecting, Power of Knowing, Power of Sky-Reaching
Pages 14-15
Inside the lodge, Quillworker saw seven buffalo robes covering seven beds of woven mats.
She gave Wihio his new garments and placed the others on the beds. Wihio tried on his new
clothes and said this was the buckskin of a mighty warrior. He placed his arrows in the new
quiver. He said his brothers would be pleased and surprised, for he had not told them she
was coming. Quillworker began preparing a fire for cooking and started cooking stew. She
knew there would be meat when the hunters returned. She was right. When the hunters
returned, Wihio explained that Quillworker was their new sister. She had brought new
garments for all and was preparing the meal. The seven brothers were happy to have a sister.
They admired the new war shirts, which fit perfectly. Quillworker admired her handsome
brothers. The brothers said she was a beautiful and talented sister. They settled into a
routine. The elder brothers hunted every day. Wihio practiced with his arrows. Quillworker
gathered fuel, dug roots, picked berries, dried buffalo meat, and tanned hides.
Key Concepts: acceptance, appreciation of talents of each person, establishing a daily
routine
Vocabulary:
parfleches, travois, woven, garment, shone, warrior, arrows, quiver, stew,
delicious, war costume, brought, preparing, admired, perfectly, shyly, talented,
several, practiced, fuel, tanned
Pages 16 – 17
One day as Quillworker and Wihio were alone in the lodge, hoofbeats approached. There
was a scratching at the tipi door. It was Buffalo Calf, sent by the buffalo nation for Quillworker.
They wanted her because she was beautiful and made buffalo hides beautiful. They wanted to
be beautiful, too. Quillworker was afraid and did not want to go. Wihio told the Buffalo Calf to
go away, he could not have Quillworker. Buffalo Calf responded that if he would not give him
Quillworker, someone bigger than he would come.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, protection of family, love, danger, threats
scratching, hoofbeats, calf, nation, beautiful, afraid, left
Pages 18-19
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The next morning Buffalo Cow came. Again, Wihio said they could not have Quillworker.
Buffalo Cow replied someone bigger would come and he would not be alone. He would kill
Wihio. Wihio closed the flap and told the cow to go away.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, protection of family, danger, love
heard, demanded, snorted, greater
Pages 20-21
The next morning the older brothers stayed home to protect their sister. They felt the earth
tremble. They heard thundering hoofbeats, stamping, snorting, bellowing, and loud scratching
sounds on the tipi. All seven brothers looked out the entrance hole. They saw a gigantic bull
buffalo. Behind him was the entire buffalo nation. The bull roared: “Give us your sister or we’ll
kill you all.” Quillworker and the brothers were afraid. Then Wihio stepped from the lodge and
said he was not afraid of them. The bull replied he was a fool, for if the brothers did not give up
their sister, the buffalo nation would take her and kill all the brothers.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fear, courage, bravery, protection of family, facing the enemy, love of family,
intimidation
protect, felt, tremble, thundering, direction, bellowing, scraping, entrance,
gigantic, bull, pawing, roared, afraid, glared, blood red eyes
Pages 22-23
The six older brothers brought Quillworker out of the tipi. Wihio drew an arrow from his
quiver and told them to jump into a nearby tree. He would use his Power of Sky-Reaching.
Wihio shot his arrow into the tree, caught the lowest branch, and the tree grew a thousand feet
upward.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
protection of family, seeking escape from an enemy, fear
brought, drew, Power of Sky-Reaching, caught, nearby, trunk, upward
Pages 24-25
The bull was angry at their escape. He charged the tree and wood splintered and the tree
shook. Wihio sent a second arrow into the trunk of the tree. The tree grew to the height of a
mountain. The bull was still angry and crashed into the trunk again. The tree shook so hard,
everyone nearly fell out.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
protection of family, outwitting an enemy, anger, fear
startled, distance, anger, roared, charged, splintered, shook, astride, instantly,
appeared, crashed
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Pages 26-27
Wihio removed his last arrow from the quiver and shot it high into the branches. The tree
pushed through a cloud. He told them to step onto the cloud. They had just stepped onto the
cloud when the buffalo charged again and the tree crashed to the ground. Quillworker looked
down and said they were safe from the buffalo, but how could they return?
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
protection of family, safety, concern for predicament they were in, how to
return to ground
removed, set, released, charged, return
Pages 28-30
Wihio replied this is our home now. We shall become stars. As he said this, the
starburst designs on their buckskins glowed brighter and brighter, enveloping them with brillant
light. On clear nights, you still see them in the sky. Wihio is the North Star, and the others
swing around him in the Big Dipper. The brightest star is Quillworker, who continues to
embroider the night sky with her shimmering designs.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
how the stars came to the sky, safety and refuge from the buffalo,
appreciation of natural phenomenon and the beauty of the night sky, living
happily ever after.
stretched, heavens, become, starburst, glowed, enveloping brilliant, swings,
water dipper, brightest, embroiders, shimmering
Page 33
Page 33 is the beginning of an appendix of information on the Cheyenne tribe.
Page 34
Page 34 is a political map of the western United States, showing the location of the
Northern Cheyenne and the Southern Cheyenne. State boundaries are shown. The names of
the other Native American tribes, who also inhabited these areas, are shown.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Location of one tribe to another in the western region of the United States
Flathead, Montana, Crow, North Dakota, Mandan, Arikara, Minnesota, Sioux,
South Dakota, Ponca, Pawnee, Omaha, Iowa, Nebraska, Oto, Kansa, Kansas,
Osage, Oklahoma, Wichita, Texas, Kiowa, Colorado, Navajo, New Mexico,
Arizona, Utah, Ute, Shoshone, Idaho
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Page 35
This page provides information on the Cheyenne Homeland. Long ago, the Cheyenne lived
near Lake Superior and grew most of their food. When the Spanish explorers introduced
horses, the Cheyenne gave up their permanent homes to follow and hunt the buffalo herds on
the Great Plains. The buffalo were important to life on the plains. The buffalo provided food,
clothing, and shelter. Life on the plains included extreme temperature ranges, very hot days,
heavy snow, dry lands, and floods.
Text is accompanied by black-and-white photo of Cheyenne family.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Brief intro to life on the Great Plains
homeland, earth lodges, Lake Superior, fertile, woodland, raised, squash,
Spanish explorers, introduced, permanent, provided, utensils, shelter, hundred
million, prairie, degrees, flooded, handsome, “the Beautiful People”
Pages 36-37
These pages provide information on the Cheyenne People. The Cheyenne were called
different names: Tsistsista—the People, Sahiyena—foreign talker. Roles of women and men
are briefly described.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Brief information about the Cheyenne People
Tsistsista, The People, Sioux, Sahiyena, Foreign talker, pronouncing,
Cheyenne, tanned, furnishings, wove, decorated, gathered, prepared,
collected, tended, waged, performed, ceremonies, elders, instructed, behavior,
tribal, platforms, travois
Pages 38-39
The Cheyenne Camp is described. The People lived in tipi villages. The tipi could be
moved easily to follow the buffalo. Information is given on the construction of a tipi.
Information is given on the interior furnishings of the tipi: beds, backrests, dew cloth, cooking
area. Accompanying photos and illustrations show Two Moons, a great Cheyenne chief,
Cheyenne symbols, and a Blackfoot camp
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
How a tipi is made and furnished
tipi, features, framework, sturdy, buffalo skins, construct, padding, back rests,
belongings, underneath, dew cloth, preventing, dripping, Blackfoot, Two
Moons, headdress, ermine, interior
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Page 40-41
These pages give information on clothing. Woman tanned hides for clothing. A brief
description of the tanning process is given. Women wore short-sleeved dresses, belts, bags
containing their needles and thread, moccasins, leggings and buffalo robes. Men wore shirts
(similar to the women’s dresses) with longer sleeves and a breechclout. Their clothing was
decorated with quillwork. Many designs had special meaning. It was an honor to belong to the
Quiller’s Society. Steps describing quillworking are given.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Types of clothing worn by women, girls, men and boys, describes process
for tanning and quillworking
tanned, hides, process, leather, soaked, scraped, chemical, mixture,
soapweed, applied, shaved, softened, through, shoulder, uppers, rawhide,
soles, protected, leggings, similar, breechclout, decorated, quillwork,
meanings, recognized, honor, difficult, removal, porcupines, dyed, minerals,
flattens, sinew, headdress
Pages 42-43
Important dates in Cheyenne history are listed. Cheyenne symbols are shown across the
top of the two pages. A photo of a Sioux woman wearing a dress embroidered with quillwork
is shown.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Timeline of important events
Columbus, New World, Spanish, Great Plains, United States, declares,
independence, Britain, Louisana Purchase, War of 1812, Cheyenne – Arapaho
War, Native Americans, U. S. Civil War, extermination, Battle of Little Big Horn,
Battle of Wounded Knee, reservation, established, declared, citizens, Indian
Civil Rights Act, Teton, Dakota
Pages 44-45
Page 44 is a photo of two Cheyenne men who have completed the Sun Dance ceremony.
Page 45 is the glossary.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Glossary provides definition of word used in text of story.
ceremony, Sun Dance, ceremonial, breechclout, gauntlets, leggings, lifting
pole, parfleche, pemmican, sinew, travois, Wihio
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Buffalo Woman
Synopsis
Buffalo Woman is a story about a young Native American brave who is an exceptional
hunter, especially with buffalo. One morning the young man is at a stream, when he sees a
buffalo. A moment later the buffalo is transformed into a beautiful woman. The young man
falls in love with the woman, they marry, and have a baby boy. The hunter's people shun the
Buffalo Woman, and so she returns, with their son, Calf Boy, to her people, the "Buffalo
Nation." The young man follows his wife, and eventually he must pass several tests to prove
his love for his wife and son.
Author
Paul Goble is an award winning author and illustrator of children's books
Goble, a native of England, studied at the Central School of Art in London and later worked
in that city as a furniture designer, industrial consultant and art instructor. He has lived in the
United States since 1977 and became a citizen in 1984. He has been living in Rapid City,
South Dakota in 1998. Goble's life-long fascination with Native Americans of the plains began
during his childhood. He became intrigued with their spirituality and culture. His illustrations
accurately depict Native American clothing, customs and surroundings in brilliant color and
detail. He researches ancient stories and retells them for his young audience in a manner
sympathetic to Native American ways.
He said, "I feel that I have seen and learned many wonderful things from Indian people
which most people would never have the opportunity to experience. I simply wanted to express
and to share these things which I love so much." He initially visited the United States in 1959
and published his first children's book while still living in England. Red Hawk's Account of
Custer's Last Battle (1969), told from a Native American point of view, was the first of three
stories relating to nineteenth century life. Since then his books have featured traditional Native
American stories and reflect a belief in the interrelationship of all living beings.
Goble has received a number of honors for his books including the prestigious Caldecott
Medal, awarded for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (1978).
Reviews
School Library Journal v30 p59 Ag 1984
A young hunter marries a female buffalo in the form of a beautiful maiden, but when his
people reject her he must pass several tests before being allowed to join the buffalo nation.
"There is eloquent beauty in this story of a young hunter who marries a woman from the
Buffalo Nation. When his relatives send her away . . . her husband follows . . . In text and
illustrations, Goble's story exhibits a quiet simplicity, respect for nature and the power of love."-School Library Journal, starred review. Candy Bertelson
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Author Goble says that the story comes from 'the tribes who followed the buffalo herds on
the Great Plains,' and he cites a number of sources from museum literature and collections
such as Grinnell's By Cheyenne Campfires {BRD 1927}. As usual, the material is treated with
respect, which is appreciated. Also as usual, the illustrations are lovely. Goble's art has been
criticized as static, and to an extent, I can see that. But, if you compare the work in this book
to that found in, say, Goble's The Friendly Wolf {BRD 1976}, you can see change and motion,
subtle, but there. For some time now, gifted Native artists have been exploring other modes of
expression than the traditional. It would be nice to see what Paul Goble might do, should he
also decide to expand his horizons. Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Book
The Horn Book v60 p457 Ag 1984
Glowing colors, bold figures, and brilliant decorative detail mark another of the authorillustrator's retellings of a Native American legend. . . . Each page sparkles with the lupins and
yuccas of the Southwest and teems with native birds, butterflies, and small animals, the
richness of detail never detracting from the overall design of the handsome illustrations. The
author-artist successfully combines a compelling version of an old legend with his own
imaginative and striking visual interpretation. Ethel R. Twichell
Ingram
"There is eloquent beauty in this story of a young hunter who marries a woman from the
Buffalo Nation. When his relatives send her away . . . her husband follows . . . In text and
illustrations, Goble's story exhibits a quiet simplicity, respect for nature and the power of love."-School Library Journal, starred review. ALA Notable Children's Book; School Library Journal
Best Book of the Year; Booklist Editors' Choice; The Horn Book Fanfare List. Full-color
illustrations.
Background From the Book Foreword
“The story of Buffalo Woman comes from the tribes who followed the buffalo herds on the
Great Plains. The buffalo was the source of life for the people, giving them food, hides for
robes and tipi covers, as well as many other things. The lives of both were closely interwoven,
and the story teaches that buffalo and people were related. The stories varied from tribe to
tribe, but this deep sense of kinship with the buffalo was the same for the Blackfeet living in the
north (Montana), as it was for the Comanche in the south (Texas). These stories were not
simply for entertainment; they had power to strengthen the bond with the herds, and to
encourage the herds to continue to give themselves sot that the people could live. It was felt
that retelling the story had power to bring about a change within each of us; that in listening we
might all be a little more worthy of our buffalo relatives.”
Russell Freedman’s book, Buffalo Hunt, is an excellent resource showing how closely the
tribes and the buffalo were related.
Introduction
The title of this book is Buffalo Woman. It is a Native American folktale. Ask students to
describe a buffalo. Ask students what they think this book is about. Explain how the buffalo
provided life for the Native Americans of the Plains. The illustrations in the book provide visual
clues to the culture of the tribes. Have students examine the details in the illustrations.
Have a folktale map…when sharing a folktale, locate the region where the folktale
originates.
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Reading
Pages 1 - 3 (Since the pages in this book are not numbered, page one starts with the first page of text.)
A young man was a great hunter who felt wonderful harmony with the buffalo. He knew
where to find the herds. He always gave thanks that the buffalo had offered themselves.
Examine the double-page illustration on pages 2 and 3.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Native Americans lived in harmony with nature, the buffalo provided life
for the tribes, the tribes respected Mother Earth and all her creatures.
coyotes, crows, magpies, scraps, harmony, buffalo, herds, offer
Pages 4 – 7
The young man was hunting one morning by the stream. He saw a buffalo cow
approaching. As he prepared his arrow, the buffalo cow turned into a beautiful young woman.
He saw she was not of his people, and he knew he loved her. The young woman said she
was from the Buffalo Nation and would be his wife. Her people wished the love they had for
each other would set an example for both of their peoples to follow.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
transformation, love, relationship between two nations that depend on each
other
stream, butterflies, warming, plodding, through, weeds, arrow, bowstring,
pebblies, braided, wild sage, prairie, example
Pages 8 – 11
The young man and the beautiful young woman were married and had a son, Calf Boy.
Her husband’s family rejected her, saying she had no family, different ways, and was an
animal. One day when the husband was hunting, his family told his wife to go back where
she came from. The young woman took her son and left. The young man was angry when he
returned and found what had happened. He set out to find them. He located their tipi at
sunset.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
rejection, intolerance of differences, anger, love
relatives, unkind, among, wherever, anyway, immediately, tipi, returning,
grasshoppers, sagebrush
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Pages 12 – 13
The young man located the tipi, and his son ran to meet him. His wife said she was going
home; she could not live among his people. She told him he would be in great danger if he
followed them. He responded: “I love you, and wherever you and our son go, I am going too.”
The next morning, the tipi, his wife and child were gone.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
love, faith, determination, hope
lodge, danger, dew-soaked
Pages 14 – 15
The young man followed his family until he came to the tipi again. His son ran to meet him.
He said his mother did not want his father to come any farther, that tomorrow she would make
the rivers dry. His father could find water in his son’s footsteps. His wife warned him her
family was angry because his family was unkind to her. She said he would be killed if he
came farther. He replied he would not turn back because he loved them.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
danger, threats, love, courage, bravery
farther, thirsty, beyond, distant ridge, unkind, replied, buckled, wrapped
Pages 16 –17
In the morning, his wife and child were gone again. The young man saw only the tracks of
a buffalo and her calf. He knew the tracks belonged to his wife and child. He followed the
tracks to the high ridge and found water in the hoof-prints of his son.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
magic, transformation, love, bravery, courage
awoke, wondering, excitedly, winding, hoof-prints
Pages 18 – 19
At the top of the high ridge, the young man gazed in wonder at the multitude of the Buffalo
Nation. As he approached the herd, a calf came running and told his father to turn back or
they would kill him. His father replied he would always stay with his son and his wife. The calf
told him how to be brave and face the trials of the Buffalo Nation.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
love, bravery, courage, dedication to family
multitude, brave, chief, flick, cockle-burr, attentive
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Pages 20 – 21
The boy’s grandfather, chief bull of the Buffalo Nation, tested the courage of the young
man. The young man stood still and showed no fear. He was taken into the center of the
multitude to the painted tipi and surrounded by radiating circles of buffalo.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
courage, fear, strength, test of worthiness
bellowed, charged, trembled, thundering, pawed, dust clouds, clumps,
sagebrush, Straight-Up-Person, multitude, radiating circles, inner ring,
according
Pages 21 –22
The old bull instructed the young man to find his wife and child. If he did not find them, he
would be trampled to death. The young man walked among the circles and identified his wife
and child.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
family, love, bravery,
insulted, trample, stain, flicked, multitude, formed
Pages 23 – 24
The old bull said the young man loves his wife and child for he was willing to die for them.
We will make him one of us. The young man was led inside the tipi and covered with a buffalo
robe with the horns and hoof attached. He remained there for three days and nights.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
love, family, interrelatedness of man and nature, courage
announced, covering, buffalo robe, surrounded continuous, bellowing
Pages 25 – 27
On the fourth day, the tipi was pushed over. The young man was rolled in the dirt, breath
was squeezed from his body, and new breath was breathed into him. He was rolled and
rubbed until at last he stood of four legs—a young buffalo bull. On this wondrous day, the
relationship was made between the People and the Buffalo Nation that will last till the end of
time.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
celebration of relationship between man and nature, magical transformation
sudden, wallow, squeezed, breath, tumbling, relationship
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Page 27
Read the poem, “The Song of the Buffalo Bulls,” from the Osage tribe.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
celebrates the essence of the buffalo
rumble, tread, whips, rage, humped shoulder
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Theme: Native Americans
Buffalo Before Breakfast, Young Wolf’s First Hunt, The Trail of Tears,
Children of the Earth and Sky, If You Lived With the Sioux Indians, Children of the Wild West
Generalizations
Over time, cultures develop from shared values and beliefs of individuals.
Stories, art, and music reflect a community and/or its culture.
Concepts
Change
Constancy
Diversity
Commonality
Guiding Questions
What is a culture?
How do you recognize people in your own culture, i.e., school, home, family, country?
How do you recognize a culture different than your own?
Why is culture important?
How do cultures develop beliefs?
How do the beliefs held by individuals develop cultures?
How does art reflect a community and/or its culture?
Why does art reflect a community and/or its culture?
Why do people tell stories?
Why do people create art?
How do stories come about, and how are they passed from generation to generation?
Introducing the Theme
Post several of the Guiding Questions on a chart. Have each group refer to them as
they are reading the story to see if connections are being made. Accept possible
responses as part of the process. As the groups near completion of the theme unit,
bring more closure to the questions.
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Sharing the Theme
Name ____________________________
Book
_____________________________________
As you read your book, respond to the following questions.
Which Native American tribe(s) was described
in your book?
What Native American customs were told
about in your book?
What did you learn about the Native American
culture?
How did the Native Americans in your book
“live in harmony with the land?”
What role did the children have in the Native
American society in your book?
What parts of the story do you think are true
today about the Native Americans?
How is your culture like the Native American
culture?
What responsibilities were seen as important
in the Native American tribe you read about?
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Buffalo Before Breakfast
Synopsis
This book is part of a series of stories. In this set of four stories, the main characters must
be given a special gift in each book so they can free a mysterious dog from a magic spell. The
first gift was on a trip to the Titanic. This book takes them to the past and the plains. They
meet a Lakota Indian boy named Black Hawk and learn about his way of life. A buffalo
stampede is included in the story. The book has an introduction to bring the readers up to date
on where they are in the series. At the end of the story, there is an explanation of the legend of
the White Buffalo Women and two pages of facts about the Lakota Indians and the United
States at that time in history.
Author
Mary Pope Osborn was born on May 20, 1949. She was raised in a military family so she
moved a lot. She developed close relationships with her family. Mary traveled in Europe and
Asia as a young adult. She met and married Will Osborne in New York then traveled with him.
She has written over forty books over twenty years or more. She has won several awards for
her books. Right now, she and her husband are working on a series of nonfiction books
related to The Magic Tree House Series. They live in New York City.
Introduction
The teacher might start the discussion by asking how many of the students have read a
Magic Tree House book. If more than one student has read one, she could ask them if there
are any common characters. (The main characters are always the same and the magical
librarian is always mentioned.) The teacher could point out to the students that these books
are written in series of four books to solve a certain problem (The prologue explains this). The
teacher could read the prologue to the students and then lead a discussion about where they
think the second gift will come from and what it will be. The word ancient appears in the
prologue so the teacher would have to make sure that the students knew what that meant.
The teacher could show them the cover of the book and discuss if it gives them any more
clues for the second adventure. The teacher also needs to tell the students that these books
include time travel and discuss what that means. Then, they could start reading the book.
Reading
Chapter 1: Pages 3-9
Teddy (the dog) came to Jack and Annie’s house after being gone for one week. They all
go to the magic tree house. There they find a note from Morgan, the magical librarian, that
starts them on their second travel adventure.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
problem-solving, adventure
mission, spell, absolutely
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Chapter 2: Pages 10-14
Jack and Annie change from their regular clothes into buckskin clothes. They read the
book they brought along for clues as to where they are. Jack takes notes. Jack, Annie, and
Teddy walk through tall prairie grasses to a small rise in the terrain.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
time travel, knowledge, observation
fringed, buckskin, prairie, rise
Chapter 3: Pages 15-23
Jack and Annie find an Indian village. The research book says they are probably Lakota
Indians. Jack and Annie see an Indian on horseback. The book says he is a warrior. It also
says that the Indians and white man fought so Jack and Annie hide for fear the Indian is
unfriendly. Jack and Annie find out his name is Black Hawk and he is a young boy about their
age. He takes them back to his camp to meet his grandmother after telling them his parents
have died. Jack quickly consults the research book on how to act with the Indians. It says to
show no fear, act quietly, share gifts, and hold up two fingers as a sign for friend.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
knowledge
tepee, quiver, nudged, Lakota Indians
Chapter 4: Pages 24-30
Jack and Annie meet Black Hawk’s grandmother and give her a coonskin hat as a gift. As
she takes them out of the tent, Jack and Annie see all the different activities that are going on
around the camp. Grandmother explains that they hunt buffalo because is gives the tribe
many gifts.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
knowledge
moccasin
Chapter 5: Pages 31-36
Black Hawk pretends to be a wolf because it is the most powerful hunter and he can feel
its power in him by dressing up like one. Jack, Annie, and Black Hawk ride ponies out to see a
herd of buffalo.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
problem-solving
yikes, giddy-up, whoop, slope
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Chapter 6: Pages 37-45
All three children could see many buffalo in one place. The research book called them
bison. Black Hawk crept close to the herd even though his grandmother told him not to since
they didn’t need the food. Black Hawk sneezed and started a buffalo stampede. Teddy ran
into the herd and Annie went after him. Jack and his pony saved Black Hawk then they saw
Annie standing in middle of the herd calming them down.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
cause and effect, rescue
grazing, bison, vast, shaggy, charged, veered
Chapter 7: Pages 46-50
Annie tried to stop the herd and saw a beautiful lady in a white leather dress with her
helping calm the buffalo. Black Hawk explains that the lady is a spirit. Black Hawk tells them
that they must tell his grandmother about what had happened.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
magic, amazement
amazement, stampede, spirit
Chapter 8: Pages 51-59
As the three children get back to camp, Indians are gathering around a fire. Jack, Annie,
and Black Hawk told Black Hawk’s grandmother of their experiences. Grandmother gave Jack
and Annie Indian names and invited them into their family and the circle around the fire. In the
circle, men passed around a pipe to honor the Great Spirit. Grandmother explained spirits and
the White Buffalo Woman. She gave Jack and Annie an eagle feather for their courage. After
the ceremony was over, Jack and Annie are invited to sleep in the tepee with Black Hawk and
his grandmother. They sleep on buffalo robes.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
information, reward
sternly, sacred, messenger, ceremony, summon, chant
Chapter 9: Pages 60-67
When Jack and Annie wake up the next day, the Lakota are already at work dismantling
camp to follow the buffalo. Black Hawk answers Jack’s questions about owning land, going to
school, etc. Jack and Annie leave the tribe as friends and go back to the tree house on the
prairie. It spins then stops.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
movement, time travel
rawhide, vanish
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Chapter 10: Pages 68-72
Jack and Annie are back home in their regular clothes in the tree house. They put the
eagle feather by the watch. Their mother calls them home to see their grandmother. Teddy
runs away again. Jack and Annie realize that Black Hawk’s grandmother was right that all
things are related.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
relationships, interrelatedness
tilted, gusted
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Young Wolf’s First Hunt
Synopsis
This is a step into reading book for grades 2-3. This is a step three level. The story begins
with Young Wolf wanting to go on a buffalo hunt so he can be considered a man. Since
buffalo hunting is very dangerous, his father tells him he is too young and his horse is not
ready yet. Young Wolf defies his father by going out every day and training his horse secretly.
He doesn’t know his father watches him and finally consents to let him go. Young wolf is
successful in killing a buffalo. Little Big Mouth is another boy in camp that also wants to go on
the hunt. He finds Young Wolf training his horse and he joins him. In the end both boys kill a
buffalo and learn the true meaning of becoming a man. They also become friends.
Author
Janice Shefelman lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Tom. He illustrates her books.
They have two sons and two grandchildren. Their sons are also professional artists so they
have all worked together on the family books. Their studio is a former playroom where they
talk together about every stage of the bookmaking from choice of story idea to illustrations.
They really like to work together so closely. Janice was a professor’s daughter who was read
to from an early age. She thought books opened the door to the big world and gave her a
desire to see it. Her first book was a Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee.
Introduction
A teacher could start the introduction of this book with the question, “Have you ever heard
the phrase you are too little yet, wait till you grow up? How does that make you feel?” After
discussing those questions, the teacher might then ask for some examples of things the
students are told they are too little to do. The teacher can then ask, “What do you think you
have to do to prove you are not too little?” The students could give their answers. The next
question would be, “If you can do the tasks you just mentioned, does that make you a man or a
woman?” The teacher might ask the students, “Since this story has to do with an Indian boy
and his culture a long time ago, what differences do you think there are between our culture’s
ideas today of what a grown man or woman can do and the Indian culture back then?”
Reading
Chapter 1: Pages 4-9
Young Wolf tries to convince his father, Eagle Feather, that he is ready to run buffalo and
kill one. His father says no. Young Wolf tries to argue with him but his father still says no.
Young Wolf leaves the tent and goes over to talk to his horse, Red Wind, for some comfort. He
believes that Red Wind is trying to tell him a secret and he thinks he knows what that secret is.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
respect, determination
sharp eye, ducked, nuzzled
Chapter 2: Pages 10-19
Young Wolf and Red Wind go across the creek and over the hill to train in secret. One
day Little Big Mouth and his horse, Shadow, see them training. Little Big Mouth teases Young
Wolf but Young Wolf remembers his grandfather telling him that it is not manly to fight and he
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wants to be a man more than anything. The boys decide to train their horses together. One
day Eagle Feather sees them and that night the father and son have a talk. Since Young Wolf
has worked so hard and worked together with Little Big Mouth, Eagle Feather changes his
mind and says he can go on the buffalo run.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
problem solving, reward
charged, clenched, manly, bowstring, Twang, nudged
Chapter 3: Pages 20-29
The Indian warriors sat around the fire and sang a song to the buffalo spirit then told stories
of previous hunts. The following morning the hunt began. Neither boy wanted to admit that he
was scared to go on the hunt. They traveled to where they found a herd of buffalo and
camped there. Young Wolf had a dream about the hunt. In the morning, his mother tried to
get him to eat for his important day but he was too nervous. His father tried to remind what to
do on the hunt.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
heritage, preparation
warriors, lame, grazing, thundering
Chapter 4: Pages 30-43
The buffalo hunt begins. Eagle Feather raises his bow to signal the beginning. As they
charge into the herd Young Wolf signals to Little Big Mouth to be brave. Young Wolf shoots at
a calf but misses. His father urges him to shoot again. He hits the calf and then in a charge he
falls off of his horse. Red Wind does as she was trained and saved him. After the hunt, his
father says they must give thanks to the buffalo spirit. Little Big Mouth does the same thing.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
perseverance, reward
protected, snorted, clacked, aimed, staggered, bolted, motioned, dismounted
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Chapter 5: Pages 44-48
The tribe gives a feast of thanks. The families must give a present to an older tribe
member as thanks for the success of their child. Grandfather asks Young Wolf if he was
afraid. When he admits he was, grandfather says he is now closer to being a man because
he did what he was afraid to do. Young Wolf was excited because he thought his grandfather
was old and wise. Young Wolf goes to look for Little Big Mouth. When he finds him, they
share the secret that they were both scared to go on the buffalo hunt. As they share this
secret, they realize that they are closer to becoming a man and becoming friends.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
friendship, pride
feast, soared
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Trail of Tears
Synopsis
The book starts out as the Cherokee people are leaving on the Trail of Tears. After the first
chapter, the author goes back and gives the history of the Cherokee people from before the
white man was in the United States up to the present time. There is also information on the
struggles between the U.S. government and the Cherokee nation and also problems among
the different sections of the Cherokee Nation itself. There are illustrations included in the book.
One of them is a map of where the Cherokee people originally lived and one shows the
Cherokee alphabet that was invented.
Author
Joseph Bruchac is a Native American Indian. He is also a storyteller. He wants his
audience to know there is a difference between the two. He grew up living with his
grandparents near Sarasota Springs in New York. He earned a Ph. D. from Union Graduate
School and has won many awards for his books. His books draw upon his Indian heritage.
Introduction
Since this book starts out with the Cherokee Nation leaving their homes on October 1,
1838, that would be a good time of year to read it. The teacher could start the introduction with
a discussion about how the students think the Indians might have felt to be forced to leave their
homes for a part of the country they didn’t know much about. The students might list some of
the hardships they think the Indians faced and keep the list to compare to what actually
happened. The teacher should ask the students if they have ever heard of the Trail of Tears
and what they know about it. After the discussion is done, the students could read the back of
the book.
Reading
Chapter 1: Pages 4-7
This chapter serves as an introduction. It starts at the actual day of the Cherokee Nation
leaving for the land out west where they are being relocated. John Ross is concerned about
the dangers they will face and the hard journey they must make. A dark cloud is seen as an
omen of trouble ahead.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
change
guidance, urge, omen
Chapter 2: Pages 8-16
This chapter gives the background of who the Cherokee people are, where they lived, and
how they interacted with the settlers as America was settled.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
adaptability
Buzzard, emerged, connected, Ani-Yun’wiya, colonist, adopt, Sequoyah,
Ahyokah, Tsa-la-gi Tsu-le-hi-sah-nuh-hi
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Chapter 3: Pages 17-27
The Cherokee tribes had many problems with the white man who wanted their land and
wanted the tribes to move. The chapter gives the history of what was going on in that time
period between the Cherokee people and the U.S. government. The decisions were not
always well received by either side. The Trail of Tears was established.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
struggle
policy, dishonest, occupied, opposed, Cherokee Republic, Indian Removal Bill,
Indian Territory, persuade, plantation, representatives, treaty, disgrace
Chapter 4: Pages 28-40
This chapter describes the movement of the Cherokee Indians and the difficulties they
encountered on the Trail of Tears from 1838 to 1839.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
change, adaptability, survival
petition, articles, pleas, homesites, dishonest, pounce, resigned, stockade,
utensils, criminals, protest, turnpikes, Cherokee Rose, removal, nuna dat
shun’yi
Chapter 5: Page 41-43
The Cherokee Nation was established and became a success.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
survival
smallpox, governed, immigrants, prospered
Chapter 6: Page 44-48
The Cherokee Nation is still alive today. This chapter tells how the Cherokee people live all
over the United States now.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
hope
recapture, resisted, Tsali, folk hero, reservation, pageant, tribal
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Children of the Earth and Sky
Five Stories About Native American Children
Synopsis
These beautifully illustrated original stories tell tales of five Native American peoples: the
Hopi, Comanche, Mohican, Navajo, and Mandan. From pottery makers to fierce warriors,
readers will discover the traditions of five different tribes—Hopi, Comanche, Mohican, Navajo,
and Mandan—in these tales of Native American children. This book is an excellent
introduction to Native Americans and their culture. Each story is accompanied by full-color
illustrations
Author
Stephen Krensky was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in nearby Lexington.
He describes his childhood as "happy and uneventful, with only the occasional bump in the
night to keep me on my toes." He had an active imagination, however, and made up stories in
which he was the star, and usually a superhero, too. Even though he didn't do much writing
when he was younger, he still spent a lot of time making up stories in his head. He especially
liked to do this before he went to sleep at night.
But he didn't take creative writing seriously until he was 20 years old and an English
Literature major at Hamilton College. He started writing stories for children while in college,
something he began doing after becoming interested in illustrating children's books.
After his graduation in 1975, he was an intern for six months at the New York Times
Book Review. He then turned to writing full-time, publishing his first book for children, A Big
Day for Scepters, in 1977. Krensky writes everything from picture books to novels, fantasy to
realism, fiction to nonfiction. "Being able to try so many different kinds of books has helped me
stay enthusiastic about every book I write," he explains. He has authored over fifty books.
Krensky lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife and their two sons, Andrew and
Peter. When he is not working away at his computer, he enjoys playing soccer and softball
and reading books written by other people.
Background
This book is not really a folktale. The book focuses on the daily life of children from five
different tribes. This book, however, complements Native American folktales. It provides more
insights to the daily life of Native Americans long ago.
From Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Hopi - the westernmost group of Pueblo Indians, were situated in northeastern Arizona on
the edge of the Painted Desert.
In the late 20th century there were about 6,000 Hopi, living in terraced pueblo structures
of stone and adobe and clustered into a number of independent towns. Most of their
settlements were on high mesas. The precise origin of the Hopi is unknown. Their own
origin myths merely hold that their ancestors climbed upward through four underground
chambers called kivas and lived in many places. Matrilineal descent was the tribal rule.
The Hopi supported themselves by farming and sheepherding. Their chief crop was corn,
but they also grew beans, squash, melons, and a variety of other vegetables and fruits
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Comanche - a nomadic North American Indian group that in the 18th and 19th centuries
roved the southern Great Plains.
By the early 1800s the Comanche were a powerful tribe, with a population estimated at
between 7,000 and 10,000. The Comanche were organized in 12 or so autonomous
bands. Their staple food was buffalo meat. The buffalo also provided them with robes,
covering for their tepees, sinew thread, and water carriers made of the animal's stomach.
The Comanche were one of the first tribes to acquire horses from the Spanish. They
became highly skilled horsemen.
Mohican - Algonquian-speaking Indians of the upper Hudson Valley above the Catskill
Mountains in New York state.
Their name means "wolf". The Mohican consisted of five major divisions. They lived
in strongholds of 20 to 30 houses, situated on hills and enclosed by stockades, as well as
in enclosed villages.
Mandan - lived along the Missouri River between the Heart and the Little Missouri rivers.
Mandan culture was one of the richest of the Plains.
In the 19th century the Mandan lived in dome-shaped, earth-covered lodges clustered
in stockaded villages. They planted corn (maize), beans, pumpkins, and sunflowers,
hunted buffalo seasonally, and made pottery and baskets. They had elaborate ceremonies,
such as the sun dance. Mandan villages consisted of from 12 to 100 lodges. They had
three chiefs: one for war, one for peace, and one a village leader.
Navajo -
also spelled NAVAHO - were scattered throughout northwestern New Mexico,
Arizona, and southeastern Utah.
The Navajo came under the strong influence of the Pueblo Indians. These Pueblo
influences included farming as the primary mode of subsistence. The Pueblo also
influenced the Navajo in the arts, i.e., painted pottery and the famous Navajo rugs. The
Navajo are also noted for their silversmithing.
Check the glossary on pages 31-32 of the book for brief information about the tribes.
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Introduction
This book focuses on stories about Native American children from five different tribes.
Page 30 of the book has a map of the United States and Canada. Locate each of the five
tribes on the map. Talk about the geographic differences and how the region in which they live
affects the culture and life of each tribe.
Reading
Pages 5-6
These pages are a brief introduction. Native Americans were people whose ancestors
walked across a land bridge from Siberia to Alaska. They lived here long before anyone
arrived from Europe.
Native Americans did not call themselves Indians. That was a name Christopher
Columbus gave them in 1492 when he mistakenly thought he was near India. Native
Americans did not have one name because they were more than just one group (tribes) of
people. There were many tribes scattered across the continent. They lived in different
geographic regions. The lifestyle of each tribe reflected the region where that respective tribe
lived. There were similarities among the tribes. Children did share some things in common.
They all started helping their families at an early age. Their days were a mixture of learning,
playing, and working. The children in the book are imaginary. The tribes in the book are real.
The setting for the stories is approximately 200 years ago, at a time when the tribes still had
much of North America to themselves.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
Native Americans, land bridge, migration, living off the land
introduction, thousands, North America, Native Americans, ancestors, land
bridge, Siberia, Alaska, arrived, Europe, themselves, Indians, explorer,
Christopher Columbus, mistakenly, India, actually, tribes, scattered, continent,
everywhere, settled, gardened, adobe mud, depended, differences, between,
common, mixture, imaginary, included, Hopis, Comanches, Mohicans,
Navajos, Mandan, display, range, variety, experience
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Pages 7-8
“A Hopi Potter” story begins.
Nine-year old Bright Moon, along with other children, is digging clay in the hot sun on the
mesa. It has been a very hot summer with no rain. The corn supply is running low. Tonight a
special ceremony will ask the kachinas, the Hopi gods, to send rain. After collecting clay,
Bright Moon returns to her home in the pueblo, where 200 people live. The pueblo buildings
were made from flat slabs of sandstone, covered with clay, sand, and water. The walls are
thick and seven-feet high. She climbs a ladder to the second floor.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
daily activities of Hopi children, information shelter and food of Hopi,
concern of low food supply
Hopi, Bright Moon, shielded, toward, cliffs, brittle, mesa, almost, driest, clay,
easily, layers, ancient, supply, ceremony, village, kachinas, collected, pueblo,
slabs, sandstone, mixture, “as thick as her arm was long”, ladder
Pages 9-10
Her grandmother was making piki, very thin, cornmeal bread. Her mother was by the
grinding bin. Bright Moon and her mother mixed the new clay with sand and crumbled rocks.
Bright Moon started to make her pot. The process for making her pot is described. Bright
Moon, her mother, and her grandmother ate their noon meal. Her father and brothers were out
hunting jackrabbits.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
daily routine of women in the pueblo, process of pot-making is portrayed,
child learning life skills from family, passing of daily living skills from one
generation to another
firepit, batter, piki, cornmeal bread, grinding bin, crumbled, kneading, patted,
paste, coiling, looped, gourd, fry, thinly, griddle, jackrabbits, delicious, clever,
creases, coils, hardened, fitted, comfortably, surface, sore, finished, pattern,
harden
Pages 11-12
Bright Moon waited for the return of her father and brothers. She thought about the evening
ceremony. Her father, dressed as a kachina, would dance with other dancers. She hoped the
kachinas would be pleased
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
importance of ceremonies in life of Hopi, harshness of living conditions
(extreme heat, drought), hope, the ability of the tribes to live off the land.
ceremony, kachinas, performed, spirits, possess, pleased
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Pages 15-16 “A Comanche Rider”
Running Wolf and three more boys are standing guard over the horses at night. His horse
keeps him company. Horses were very important to the Comanche. Horses were used to
hunt buffalo, to carry belongings from one campsite to another, and for battle. Running Wolf
was learning to guide his horse with only his knees. This would keep his hands free for a
shield or bow. Another boy would relieve his watch when the moon was overhead. After three
more years of training, he would be expected to stay awake all night. The boys standing guard
were not playing a game. Horses were very valuable. Other tribes tried to steal them.
Thundercloud hooted like an owl, signaling he was bringing food. Running Wolf remained alert
while eating. He was proud to guard the horses.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
value of the horse to the Comanche culture, boys training for their adult role
in the tribe, pride of a child who accepts this responsibility, child’s
awareness of his/her role in the tribe’s culture, the ability of the tribes to live
off the land, passing of daily living skills from one generation to another
Comanche, guarding, travelers, journeys, whinnied, flank, straddle, tipis,
campsite, sore, bow, shield, shifted, alert, expected, visible, barely, stole,
valuable, suddenly, twig, cracked, rib, hooted, chunks, broiled, quickly, alert,
landscape, stomach, buffalo chips, ashes
Pages 17-20 “A Mohican Hunter”
Red Leaf awoke in his family’s wigwam. It is winter and the hunting is not rich enough for
the tribe to stay in one place all winter. Red Leaf and his family carry everything they own
(clothes, tools, home) with them. Hunting has been bad, so he had eaten a lot of root soup
lately. Red Leaf was going hunting. It was hard to hunt in winter clothes, but winter was fun,
too. He played snowsnake with his friends. Red Leaf saw animal tracks. That would be a
good place to build a deadfall trap. As he continued to explore, he came to a small meadow
and saw a deer across the meadow. He would have to move closer for a shot. His bow was
not strong enough for a longer shot. He took a step forward. The snow crunched. The deer
bounded away. Red Leaf was disappointed, but when he returned to camp, he learned older
hunters had killed two deer. The tribe would have food.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
daily life and routines of the Mohican boys, the importance of hunting on a
daily basis to satisfy the basic need for food, the boys would hunt first,
before playing, the tribe’s clothing and shelter are described, passing of
daily living skills from one generation to another
Mohican, dome-shaped wigwam, birchbark shell, crept, several, eager,
explore, hunting was not rich enough, wrinkled, root soup, shell, beaver,
scraps, bait, repair, awkward, buckskin, bulky, snowsnake, balance, deadfall,
forked branches, propped, shaft, closer than a stone’s throw, crunched,
bounded away, raccoon, midday, sighed
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Pages 21-24 “A Navajo Weaver”
The Navajo culture is portrayed through Little Crow’s eyes. All her clothing is made of
buckskin. Her brother and father guard and tend the family’s flock of sheep. The wool from
the sheep is important for making clothing and blankets. Only women did the weaving. Her
mother instructs Little Crow in the weaving process. Weaving was done outside, in a ramada.
Specific details about weaving are given. Little Crow and her mother spend the day weaving,
stopping briefly for a midday meal of broiled rabbit. She shows her work to her father and
brother when they return at nightfall. The Navajo did not live in the same village all year long.
Families moved to different hogans with the seasons, following the grazing sheep.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter are explained, living off the land,
pride in accomplishment, passing of survival skills to next generation
wide plain, comfortable, moccasins, buckskin, slight, distance, guard, flock of
sheep, wool, shearing, weaving, loom, ramada, frame, upright, crossbars,
warp frame, hogan, stuffy, caked, smoke hole, seasons, grazing, swept,
ducking, trinkets, beams, tangled, strands, unraveling, spindle, hardwood,
disc, batten, paused, motioned, clumsy, bunched, patiently, reminded, broiled,
finger width
Pages 25-28 “Mandan Gardeners”
Spotted Deer and her brother Gray Hawk took care of the family garden. After the tribe had
cultivated the rich land near the river, the two children had raked the ground, dug furrows,
fertilized the ground, and were now ready to plant the seeds. Once Spotted Deer planted the
seeds, Gray Hawk would keep the birds away and guard the garden. The Mandan grew much
of their food, so they did not need to hunt widely. This allowed them to settle in one place and
build larger, more comfortable homes. Their homes were round lodges. The lodges were
built on a bluff above the river. This gave the tribe plenty of warning for approaching friends or
enemies.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
culture, basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, family members’ roles,
living off the land, passing of daily living skills from one generation to another
garden, chilly, Northern Plains, fetched, prepare, weaving, cradleboard,
excited, guard, patch, raked, antler, furrows, hoe, squash, knelt, squawked,
raised, pemmican, chokecherries, pounded, bluff, lookouts, warning,
approach, cultivated, sources, widely, sturdily, forked poles, crossbeams,
grassy mattings, crows, fluttered, cawed, fierce
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Pages 29-30 Afterword
The skills of Native American children were not hobbies or games. These skills were a
necessary part of everyday life. The tribes had to make everything they used. Native
Americans paid close attention to the world around them in order to survive.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
living in harmony with nature, using the bounty of the land for survival,
passing of daily living skills from one generation to another
hobbies, tribespeople, granted, attention, afford, distracted
Pages 31-32 Glossary
A glossary explains the lodging of each of the five tribes in the book.
Key Concepts: lodging, living off the land
Vocabulary:
Hopi pueblo, peaceful, maintained, independence, European, contact,
Comanche tipi, fiercest, horsemen, Mohican wigwam, Algonquin, Northeast,
forests, Adirondacks, Navajo Hogan, Southwest, adopted, forms, Mandan
lodge, roaming, herds, agriculture
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Finding Base Words
Name ______________________________________
Each word below has been made by adding an ending such as -s/es, -ly. -ed, -ful, or -est to a
base word. On the blank beside each word, write the base word.
Example:
shouted
shout________
1. empties _____________________________________
2. goes ________________________________________
3. usually ______________________________________
4. wonderful ____________________________________
5. beautiful _____________________________________
6. covered _____________________________________
7. burned ______________________________________
8. liked ________________________________________
9. grabbed _____________________________________
10. waved_______________________________________
11. spoiled ______________________________________
12. ashes _______________________________________
13. kindest ______________________________________
14. comfortable __________________________________
15. biggest ______________________________________
16. wrappers ____________________________________
17. exchanged ___________________________________
18. tried ________________________________________
19. finally _______________________________________
20. carried ______________________________________
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If You Lived With the Sioux Indians
Synopsis
The book is formatted to answer questions a person might ask about living with the Sioux
Indians. This book is copyrighted in 1972 so the information might not be as up to date as
some newer sources. Each chapter starts off with a question and then provides the answer to
that question. The chapters are no longer than three pages each. There are black and white
illustrations to go with each chapter. There is an introduction at the beginning of the book and
a glossary at the end of the book.
Author
Ann McGovern has written over 50 books in more than 35 years. She likes to write about
different topics. She writes about adventures in faraway places, the sea and its creatures,
stories and picture books, biographies, funny books, folk tales, poetry, question-and-answer
books about life in long-ago America, animals, and many other subjects. From the time she
was eight years old, she always felt better about herself after writing. Ann lives in New York
but travels a lot. She spends a month every year in Mexico. She always returns to New York
City and the excitement and multi-colors of what she thinks is the most vibrant city in the
world.
Introduction
This book is written in a question and answer format so start off with a question such as
what do the students think life was like for an Indian in the early to middle 1800’s. In this
session generate a list of questions that the students think should be answered about Indian
life in this book. The list could be put up somewhere in the classroom. You might want to then
read the introduction as a group. During the course of reading the book, the students could
check to see if the facts on the list in the classroom are correct or false.
Synopsis of Chapters
Each chapter is based on a different question and the answer to that question. The
chapters cover every aspect of life as a Sioux Indian from 1800 to 1850.
Key Concepts:
The key concepts in each chapter are the same. They are: factual
information, knowledge, understanding.
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Vocabulary:
Chapter 1:
Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:
Chapter 5:
Chapter 6:
Chapter 7:
Chapter 8:
Chapter 9:
Chapter 10:
Chapter 11:
Chapter 12:
Chapter 13:
Chapter 14:
Chapter 15:
Chapter 16:
Chapter 17:
Chapter 18:
Chapter 19:
Chapter 20:
Chapter 21:
Chapter 22:
Chapter 23:
Chapter 24:
Chapter 25:
Chapter 26:
Chapter 27:
Chapter 28:
Chapter 29:
Chapter 30:
Chapter 31:
Chapter 32:
Chapter 33:
Chapter 34:
Chapter 35:
Chapter 36:
Chapter 37:
Chapter 38:
Chapter 39:
Chapter 40:
Grade 3 Guided Reading
redskin
tipi
roaming, plains
travois, tokala
wander, excellent
deerskin
rawhide
breechcloth, leggings, moccasins, quills
errands, decorate
pinch
strict, dangerous
chief, scouts, worshipping, mounted, aimed
charging, stampeding
feasting, honor, give-away
awl, sinew, rawhide, splint
shields
moccasin game
spirits, invisible, Wakan Tanka
ceremony, Sun Dance, perform
vision, sweat lodge
medicine bundle, permission
advice
greet, manners
herbs, shaman, diseases, smallpox, tuberculosis
sign language, smoke signals
capture
courage, brave, coup
scalp
spear, war club, bow and arrow
brag, bonnet, deeds
generous
council
punished, punishment, cruel, ashamed
crier, heyoka, society
renting
promises, whiskey, enemies
glorious, reservations, grazing, powwow
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Children of the Wild West
Synopsis
This is a nonfiction book about different aspects of settling the West. There are lots of
photographs and an acknowledgement section so photos can be identified and more photos
can be found. Each chapter is about a different topic. This book gives some actual quotes
and many personal anecdotes. There is an index at the back for quick reference to topics.
Author
Russell Freedman is a nonfiction author. He wants to try to stamp out the myth that
nonfiction books are less interesting and less important. Freedman only writes about topics
that interest him and that he wants to learn more about. He thinks characters in history are
interesting and he wants to make them stand out. He only writes about people he admires.
He has also written more than 20 books about animal behavior since that also fascinates him.
Introduction
Since this book is a nonfiction book, the teacher would need to approach the introduction in
a different way. Students might be asked how they thought people lived back in the Wild West
times. A list of same and different clothes, jobs, things in a school, ways to enjoy their spare
time, etc. for the Wild West and Now might be the discussion starter. Using the
acknowledgement section in the back, the teacher might find some other photographs to use
as the book is introduced. The students could look at a photograph of a school, for instance,
from that time period and try to identify what they see in the picture. The teacher would need
to help her students to understand that since this is a nonfiction book, the stories and facts are
true and actually happened. This is different from a fiction book where the facts are true but
the story is made up. The teacher should help her students to know the difference between an
actual direct quote and an anecdotal passage in which the story is as true as the person can
remember it. The teacher should also help the students to understand that each chapter is
about a different subject meaning the chapters could be read in any order but that they all have
to do with how the Wild West was settled.
Reading
Chapter 1: Pages 9-11
As covered wagons left Missouri in 1841 for the Pacific Coast, they didn’t know about
photographs. This chapter tells about how an early photograph was taken and developed.
Many photographs from that time period were lost but are gradually being found and displayed
to show how the families lived.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
information
bulky, shutter, exposure
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Chapter 2: Pages 12-23
The Westward movement was hard on travelers. There were hardships for everyone.
There were three main trails for the emigrants to follow. They were the Oregon, Santa Fe, and
California trail. The chapter describes the trials and tribulations of a wagon train trying to cross
the mountains from Missouri to the Pacific Coast. It took 6-8 months for the trip.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
perseverance
plodding, parched, herbs, sentries, splintered, corral, emigrants, balmy,
plateau, desolate
Chapter 3: Pages 24-37
This chapter told about the different types of houses the pioneer families lived in during the
Westward Movement. Oregon families built wooden houses. The boom towns in California
were filled with mostly men. On the prairies, the settlers built sod houses. Gradually towns
began to develop and grow. Pioneers went out west for different reasons. Some pioneers
went west for free land, religious freedom, gold strikes, freedom from slavery, and freedom
from other countries.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
adventure, resourcefulness
miring, untamed, sod-busters, cosmopolitan, thronged
Chapter 4: Pages 38-57
The Indians and settlers were friendly and worked together in the beginning but led
separate lives. Gradually the Indians were forced to fight for their way of life and land. As the
white man won, he put the Indians on reservations and sent them to boarding schools. Many
Indians were sad to lose their heritage.
Key Concept: adaptation
Vocabulary:
customs, ferried, dialects, homely, tribesman, intricate, destiny, primitive,
livelihood, guerilla war, slaughtered, boarding school, immunity
Chapter 5: Pages 58-69
Education was important to the settlers. They had home schooling first and gradually had
a teacher when more students came to the area. The first teachers lived with the students in
their homes and spent time in the home according to how many children the family had.
Teachers were often older children in the area until laws were passed to regulate the
requirements to teach.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
knowledge, persistence
piety, devoted, tote, compulsory, musty, render, frontiersman, ingenious
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Chapter 6: Pages 70-81
This chapter told about how life was lived as the west was settled. Every person in the
family had an important job to do in order for the family to survive and have food.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
perseverance, adaptability
obliged, skulking, toil, gunnysack, debut
Chapter 7: Pages 82-95
After all of the work was done, the families would celebrate. It was usually a big event
where everyone would gather together at the school or in town. Christmas and the Fourth of
July were very big holidays. Sundays were usually spent with friends at church and a picnic
afterwards. A circus or traveling show was also a big event.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
relaxation, celebration
sun-parched, livery, swaggered, itinerant, melodrama, roustabouts
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Theme: Community
Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth, One in the Middle Is a Green Kangaroo,
Haunting of Grade Three, Seven Kisses in a Row, Sideways Stories from Wayside School,
Juliet Fisher and the Foolproof Plan
Generalizations
Individuals change over time.
Individuals are unique physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.
Individual perceptions may create conflict.
Friendship requires caring.
Families share common elements and possess unique characteristics.
Family and community members have responsibilities.
Families are systems.
Concepts
Change
Constancy
Diversity
Commonality
Community
Guiding Questions
How are individuals alike and how are they different?
Why are individuals different?
Why do individuals change over time?
What common elements do families share?
What creates change in a family?
What is a community?
What creates change in a community?
What responsibilities do family and community members have?
What are the characteristics of a friend?
What creates conflict between family or community members?
Why is a family a system?
How does a system support its membership?
Why is school a system?
What kinds of support are available at school?
Introducing the Theme
Begin a discussion about how class members are like and how they are different. Talk
about how their past experiences contribute to different perceptions and beliefs which
may lead to conflict.
Write a short essay on friendship. Develop a list of common characteristics students
identified in their essays.
Invite several staff members or other adults to share their family structures. Try to
have as many different models as you can. Compare their commonalities and their
differences.
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Sharing the Theme
Name ____________________________
Book
_____________________________________
As you read your book, respond to the following questions.
Describe the relationships among the
characters in your book.
Describe the differences among the characters
in your book.
Describe the commonalities between the
characters in your book.
Choose one of the characters in your book
and describe his or her responsibilities.
What conflicts occurred in your book?
Choose one character and describe how they
changed during the story.
What things remained constant in your story?
Choose one character and tell why you liked
or didn’t like that character.
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Grade 3 Guided Reading
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Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth?
Synopsis
Marvin Redpost, a nine-year-old boy with red hair and blue eyes, has always wondered
why he is the only one in his family who does not have brown hair and brown eyes. Now he
has come up with an explanation. He is not Marvin Redpost; he is the long-lost Prince Robert
of Shampoon who was kidnapped at birth. The red haired king of Shampoon has been on
television describing his search for his son, and Marvin theorizes a possible scenario that
would explain how he is the prince who was switched with the real Marvin Redpost. When
Marvin responds to the king's appeal and finds he has 0-negative, the royal blood type, he has
to decide if he will continue questioning his identity or continue being Marvin Redpost.
Author
Louis Sachar
Concepts and Topics
• Family
• Royalty
Word Analysis
• Vowel Combination ow: growled, grown, know, down, throw, elbow, now
• Contractions: -'d, -'m, -'re, -'ve
• Suffixes
• Multi-Meaning Words
Vocabulary
• cursive
• royal
• current
• events
• kidnapped
• adopted
• unusual
• remote-control
Grade 3 Guided Reading
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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polo
former
elevator
duchess
positive
negative
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Comprehension
Before Reading
Activate prior knowledge of royalty, kings, queens, kingdoms, etc.
Discussion Questions
Chapters 1-2
Why did Marvin think his parents picked the wrong baby?
Why did Marvin's friends think he was lucky to be kidnapped?
Why did they think he was unlucky?
Chapters 3-4
What did the King of Shampoon say on television?
How did Marvin think he might have been switched at the hospital?
Chapters 5-6
What happened when Marvin called to speak to the King?
How did Marvin's family feel when he told them he was not really Marvin
Redpost?
Chapters 7-8
Describe the people Marvin saw at the Watergate Hotel.
What blood type did Marvin have to have to be the prince?
Chapters 9-10
What made Marvin decide that he couldn't be the prince?
Post Reading
Why do you think Marvin wanted be Marvin Redpost and not Prince Robert?
Do you think he made a good decision? Why or why not?
Graphic Organizers
• Make a T-Chart and list the good things about being Prince Robert and the good
things about being Marvin Redpost.
Writing Connection
• Imagine that you are a prince or princess. How do you think your life would be
different? What would you like about it? What parts wouldn't you enjoy?
• Think about the ending of the story. What would you have done if you were Marvin
Redpost?
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Assessment
Noting Details
• Write or tell some of the reasons that Marvin thought he might be the Prince of
Shampoon.
• Bookshare: Give the following details from the story: who, what, when, where and
why.
Sequencing Events
• On a piece of manila paper create a story board telling the important events of the
story in
• Write three important events from the story on sentence strips and arrange them in
the
Predicting Outcomes
• Before reading Chapter 10, make a poster depicting possible endings to the story.
• Write or tell how the story really ended and how the story could have ended.
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T-Chart
Name ______________________________________________
Good Things
About Being Prince Rupert
Grade 3 Guided Reading
Good Things
About Being Marvin Redpost
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Story Map
Story Title _______________________________________________
Characters
Setting
ê
ê
Problem
ê
Important Events
ê
Solutions
Name ______________________________________________
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Prediction Chart
Name _____________________________________
Answer the following questions at the end of each chapter or section of the text.
What characters
have been met?
Grade 3 Guided Reading
What is the
conflict in the story?
What are
your predictions?
128
Why did you make
those predictions?
Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
The Haunting of Grade Three
Synopsis
The third grade of Elmwood Elementary was spending the year at the old Blackwell
mansion because the school’s main building was overcrowded. With its dark towers, pointed
gables, and shadowy arches, most people believed it was haunted. An assignment from a
creative teacher leads some of the children to find the truth.
Author
Grace Maccarone
Introduction
Have students look closely at the cover and the title. Ask if the students know what the
word haunting means. Explain that the third graders are attending school in an old mansion.
Knowing that and the title, have them predict what the story will be about. Since this is not a
science fiction book, we know that it isn’t ghosts. Discuss what it could be instead that makes
people think the mansion is haunted.
Reading
Chapter 1 (Pages 7-9)
Adam has just finished watching Ghostbusters, his favorite movie. His older sister, Lisa, is
babysitting him and his brother Tim. She has promised to tell them a scary story. She
decides to tell them a true one about the Blackwell House where the third grade is spending
this school year.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
mystery
Ghostbusters, scientists, ballooned, swayed, vapor, curious
Chapter 2 (Pages 10-13)
Lisa lights a candle and turns off the kitchen light. She tells them a story about two college
students who spend a rainy night in the Blackwell House and see and hear ghostly things.
They ran out of the house and were never heard from since.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
ghosts
parlor, mysterious
Chapter 3 (Pages 14-16)
That night Adam has a dream about ghosts who are chanting the multiplication tables.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
bad dreams
Samantha
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Chapter 4 (Pages 17-23)
Adam meets Chuck Webber, and Joey Baker on his way to school the next morning. Joey
tells them he saw a real live ghost in the boys’ room the day before. Joey has been known to
be less than truthful so what he says is generally not paid attention to.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
truth
mob, dense, gables, arches, Norma Hamburger, sensitive, Danny Biddicker,
karate
Chapter 5 (Pages 24-27)
Mr. Jenkins is giving the third graders a math test. Only their pencils are on their desks.
The pencils start rolling off the desks. Mr. Jenkins asks Norma to tell him what happened.
Key Concept: supernatural
Vocabulary:
Lori Marino, Paul Lucas, Jenny Carle, goody-goody, supernatural, reasonable,
flicker
Chapter 6 (Pages 28-30)
At recess, Adam chases a ball into the bushes and discovers a flat memorial stone for a
ten-year-old boy who died in 1863.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
coincidence
Danny Biddicker, thorny, pricked, tarantulas, ankle
Chapter 7 (Pages 31-37)
After recess, Adam goes to the bathroom to wash his hands. A stall door is closed; he
hears a flush, but no one comes out. When he returns to the room, Mr. Jenkins announces
committee work on various aspects of Elmwood: transportation, industry, communication,
recreation, and psychic investigation. Norma, Adam, Chuck, Debbie, Joey, and Dan are on
the psychic investigation committee. Not all of them are happy to be on the committee.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
assignment
announced, committee, embarrassed, assignments, ferry, communication,
recreation, psychic, investigation, martian, squirm, possibilities, hypothesis,
scientific
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Chapter 8 (Pages 38-41)
Joey tells Dan he can’t be forced to work on the psychic investigation committee. Dan
challenges some of the things he says. Norma is left out as Kim and Liz plan to work on their
committee assignment. Chuck continues to tease Norma about her last name. Debbie invites
Norma to her house.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
relationships
orderly, threshold, lingered, senator, sunken garden, aluminum, circuit,
electricity
Chapter 9 (Pages 42-46)
Norma goes to Debbie’s house. She is impressed that Debbie can eat in her room.
Debbie’s house is much messier than her own. Debbie shows Norma some of her
experiments. Norma decides she likes the Clarks’ house with its messiness and disorder.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
buttons, equipment, introduction, biology, advanced, chemistry, impressed,
penicillin, antibiotics, supernatural, disorder
Chapters 10 and 11 (Pages 47-51)
Norma goes home to her neat house and greets her two-year-old sister, Alison. Joey
Baker, one of twelve children, also is at home. Dan heads home on his bicycle. Football is his
favorite thing. He is bigger than the other third graders and is trying out for the fourth-grade
team.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
differences
toddler, Alison, offensive lineman, mood, teary, incentive, wander
Chapter 12 (Pages 52-55)
Joey brings a note saying he can’t be a member of the psychic investigation committee.
Most of the other members wish they were on one of the fun committees, too. Dan
encourages them to think like a team. In a team everyone has to do his or her part. Each
member then volunteers to take a responsibility.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
teamwork
empty-headed, embarrassed, maroon, electrician, plumber, weird
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Chapter 13 (Pages 56-62)
Debbie’s uncle checks the electricity. Dan’s father checks the plumbing. Neither finds
anything. Adam goes to the library to research the boy whose name is on the flat memorial
stone. The librarian tells him to check with Mr. Barry at the Historical Society. At the Historical
Society he meets Frederick David Blackwell who tells him that Thomas died tragically during
the Civil War.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
research
fuses, tragically, concentric, diminishing, intensity, sensations, exhibition,
abstract, expressionism, investigation, imagination
Chapter 14 (Pages 63-67)
Chuck has interviewed everyone connected with the mansion in any way. When the
committee listens, they really don’t learn much.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
interviewing
recorder, microphone, static, caretaker, carriage, antenna
Chapter 15 (Pages 68-73)
Norma reports on her research. She has found newspaper articles about the mansion.
One of the stories is like the one Lisa told Adam and Tim. It mentions the college students by
name. One of them is John W. Jenkins. The committee wonders if it is their teacher. The
committee members decide that the only way to discover the truth is to visit the mansion at
night.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
information
struggle, disturbances, baffled, abandoned, permission, volunteers, pretended,
sinister, eerie, shivered
Chapter 16 (Pages 74-83)
Joey Baker rejoins the committee and shows up to explore the house. The kids try to
bolster their courage by telling jokes. Finally, they find an open window, but the only one little
enough to get in is Joey Baker. Scared but feeling important, he finally agrees. The group
starts to explore the mansion. Strange sounds are heard and suddenly the house begins to
rattle and shake. The third-graders run out the door and into the garden.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
courage
shadowy, creepier, shimmied, assembly, tinkling, leverage
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Chapter 17 (Pages 84-90)
Outside, the kids continue their search. Joey falls into a hole in the bushes. When they
look in, they find it is a tunnel. It has soft mud floors and stone walls covered with slime and
mold. They follow the tunnel until they reach the end. Mr. Johnson, the caretaker, discovers
them, and tells them the sewer gets full when the river is high. He takes the kids home.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
discovery
spirit, sewer, intercom, suspense, “viper”
_
Chapter 18 (Pages 91-94)
The kids use what they’ve learned and figure out that the house is sinking which causes
the bangs, slams, and rattles. The ghost hunters give their report and Mr. Jenkins (who had
stayed in the house as a college student) is very impressed. However, he realizes the danger
and calls the building inspectors who arrive that afternoon and close the school. The
committee members got A’s and the mayor gave them a special citation.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
safety
tidal, impressed, inspector, citation
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Comprehension
Cause and Effect
Give the effect and have the students write the cause, have students list several events
and what caused them, or use a graphic organizer. It is important to remember that
there are often several answers that are correct. Share the responses from time to
time to broaden the students’ understanding and to encourage divergent thinking.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Joey tells lies because
Adam wants to be a ghostbuster because
Norma likes Debbie’s house because
Chuck teases Norma because
Dan gets teased because
Adam decides to become an artist because
The third grade is spending the year at the Blackwell Mansion because
Mr. Jenkins gave the students committee assignments because
The psychic investigation committee decided to explore the mansion at night
because
The mansion had to be closed and repaired because
Noting Details
Make a list or draw pictures of all the psychic investigation committee members. Write
or tell at least one characteristic for each.
Sequencing
Write or draw the events that happened the night the students went to Blackwell
Mansion.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why did Debbie think Adam would be a good member of the psychic investigation
committee?
2. How did Dan’s football background help the committee?
3. How did the members of the psychic investigation committee change during their
work?
4. What made Norma like Debbie’s house?
5. Why did Joey lie so much?
6. How did each member’s talent or interest contribute to solving the riddle of the
Blackwell Mansion?
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Word Analysis
Prefixes and Suffixes
Recognizing prefixes and suffixes and knowing their meanings can help us figure out
the definitions of many two- and three-syllable words. The following words are found in
the story. Use the meanings of the prefixes and the suffixes to understand the
meaning of the whole word. Start a list of other words that have these prefixes and
suffixes.
Prefixes
dis (apart)
disorder
disappeared
Suffixes
ness (the state of)
creepiness
messiness
un (not)
unlined
unlikely
unmade
unfriendly
unusual
unknown
en (to make)
sunken
re (again, back)
rethink
relocated
ly (like, characteristic)
secretly
loudly
orderly
previously
promptly
perfectly
lately
kindly
tragically
less (without)
shapeless
restless
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The Haunting of Grade Three
What and Why
Name __________________________
The following statements give information from the story. Each is followed by the word because.
Give the reason or the “why” for each statement.
1. Joey tells lies
because
2. Adam wants to be a ghostbuster
because
3. Norma likes Debbie’s house
because
4. Chuck teases Norma
because
5. Dan gets teased
because
6. Adam decides to become an artist
because
7. The third grade is spending the
year at the Blackwell Mansion
because
8. Mr. Jenkins gave the students
committee assignments
because
9. The psychic investigation
committee decided to explore the
mansion at night
because
10. The mansion had to be closed and
repaired
because
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The Haunting of Grade Three
Name _________________________________________
Make a list of the students on the Psychic Investigations team. Tell what skill each brought to the team
and what they investigated.
Student
Grade 3 Guided Reading
Skill
Investigation
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Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
Theme: History
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil, Molly’s Pilgrim, Sod Houses on the Great Plains,
Sweetwater Run, The Cabin Faced West, Sarah Plain and Tall
Generalizations
Communities change over time.
Interaction with the environment results in change.
The interaction of cultures brings cooperation or conflict.
Daily events today create tomorrow’s history.
People migrate from place to place now and throughout history.
Guiding Questions
What is a community?
Why do communities change?
What is an environment? Physical? Cultural? People?
How do people interact with the environment?
How does human interaction affect the environment? Positively? Negatively?
How does the environment affect people? Their work? Their recreation?
How is culture demonstrated?
How are conflict and cooperation different?
Why do cultures have conflict?
How do cultures cooperate with one another?
How can cultures exist without interacting?
How do cultures interact?
How are cultural conflicts resolved?
Introduction to the Theme
This year we will be learning about the state we live in. Last year you learned about the
city of Bettendorf and Scott County. Let’s list all the things we know about the city and
county in which we live. We are going to list the items in the first column of a Double
T-Chart. Then we’ll fill in the corresponding state item in the second column, and what
the items are in the third column. We’ll add to our lists as we learn more things this
year.
Day 2: Review Double-T Chart
All of the things we listed on the chart yesterday didn’t just happen overnight.
Guiding Questions
• How long do you think it took for the city of Bettendorf to develop?
• How did Bettendorf look 200 years ago? 100 years ago? 50 years ago?
• How did this state we call Iowa become a state?
• Why did Iowa become a state?
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I’m sure you’ve heard of pioneers. Let’s web all the things that come to our minds when
we think of pioneers. Who might be considered pioneers today? Who are immigrants?
Pioneers are often thought of as those people who venture into unknown or unclaimed
territory or who like to explore or create new things. All of us are going to be pioneers this year
as we explore the state we live in, how it looks now and how it looked before white people
came. Pioneers often relied on guides or trail bosses to help them on their journeys. We are
going to guide one another. In order to be a guide, one needs to know directions.
Label the north wall of the classroom with a “North” sign. Have students stand and face
north. Explain that when they face north, south will be behind them, east will be to their right,
and west will be to their left. After facing each of the directions, have the students face the
direction you call out in a random order. End up with the children facing west. Explain that this
is the direction the American pioneers traveled and the direction the class will travel as they
move across the state of Iowa. You could also have the children take turns being the “trail
boss” and play a game similar to “Simon Says,” i.e., “take three baby steps south,” “turn to the
north,” etc.
To start our journey, we’re going to need some information. We will start by reading these
books. Each of you will be assigned one of the following books to read for Guided Reading:
Buffalo Bill: Frontier Daredevil, Molly’s Pilgrim, Sod Houses on the Great Plains, Sweetwater
Run, The Cabin Faced West, Sarah Plain and Tall. To help us guide one another on our
journey, we’ll keep a Question Diary. In it you’ll record questions about what you’ve read to ask
your classmates that will help them understand life as a pioneer. Post the Guiding Questions
so that students can refer to them as well.
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City
Example: Bettendorf
Grade 3 Guided Reading
State
Iowa
Meaning
Unit of Government
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Sharing the Theme
Name ____________________________
Book
_____________________________________
As you read your book, respond to the following questions.
Describe the main character in your book.
How did the people in your book interact with
the environment?
What conflicts happened in your book?
How did people cooperate in your book?
How did the people in your book change?
How did the environment described in your
book affect the people and how they lived?
What changes did the people in your book
have to make when they decided to migrate?
What happened in your book when two very
different cultures met for the first time?
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Grade 3 Guided Reading
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Buffalo Bill Frontier Daredevil
Synopsis
The book concentrates on the boyhood of Bill Cody, Pony Express rider, scout, showman,
and buffalo hunter.
Author
Augusta Stevenson
Introduction
Ask students if any have visited the Cody home or know anything about Buffalo Bill Cody.
Look at the pictures on the cover. What can they tell about Buffalo Bill from the pictures?
Explain that this is a biography about Buffalo Bill that tells mostly about his childhood. Ask
them to make a list of adventures they have had. As they read this book, keep a log of
adventures Buffalo Bill had at the same age.
Reading
Pages 11-24: Trade with the Kickapoos
Bill and his father take a supply wagon to Salt Creek Valley to trade with the Indians in a
nearby Kickapoo village. Four squaws come and trade furs for many things. Bill’s father was
certain that four red wool blankets would be the first to be bought, but they weren’t. Instead,
the squaws asked him to save them for their chief. It is such a successful day that Mr. Cody
hopes to build a trading post on the site and Bill hopes he will trade for an Indian pony for him.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
trading
Isaac, Kickapoo, yoke, tethered, merchandise, Leavenworth, Weston,
Missouri, anxiously, Elijah, scalp, affectionately, squaws, calico, marten,
bargain
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Pages 25-38: The Red Blankets
When Bill and his father turn in for the night, his father keeps his gun close. He tells Bill
that there are some men who would steal everything they have. The next morning, Mr. Cody
goes hunting while Bill cleans the camp. Two white men come and steal the blankets. Bill
makes careful note of the footprints. Later, two braves come and say they are to pick up the
blankets. Bill tells them what has happened. He rides with them and they find the white men
and get the blankets back. Mr. Cody returns and Bill tells him the events of the morning.
Shortly, Chief Black Wolf and his daughter come for the blankets. The braves were not his,
but belong to a neighboring tribe. The chief leaves and Mr. Cody thinks he won’t be trading
with him any more.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
details, deceit
motioned, pistol, threateningly, hobbled, savagely, suspicious, intently, instep,
“Ku”
Pages 39-51: The Singing Trappers
The next day, a wagon train stopped in the valley and bought everything the Codys had left.
Later, a band of trappers comes into the valley. Bill and his father visit them. One of the
young trappers is Bill’s cousin who decides to leave with them for Leavenworth the next
morning. Mr. Cody told the trappers the story of the red blankets. The trappers knew the three
braves who had taken the blankets. They decide to get the blankets back. They set off and
soon find the braves. They give the blankets back and Mr. Cody, Bill, and Horace set off to
take them to the chief.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
mischief, good will
courage, valuable, Horace Billings
Pages 52-70: On the Great Plains
The Codys and Horace return to the Cody farm with the Indian pony Chief Black Wolf had
given him the day they took the blankets to the chief. Some soldiers come back and ask
Horace to help catch a herd of cavalry horses. He agrees to help and asks to take Bill with
him. While they search the plains for the horses, Horace teaches Bill about scouting,
mapping, and observing. They come across a huge prairie dog village. Bill learns a great deal
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
perseverance, knowledge
spurs, stirrups, Sergeant Love, Corporal Hood, stampeded, lasso,
government, plainsman, consent, captured, Kit Carson, parched
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Pages 71-87: Salt Creek Valley
Many settlers came to Weston. They wanted to settle in Salt Creek Valley. To do so, they
had to stake a claim. Bill made friends with two of the boys. He told them about his
adventures on the Plains. Jake Smith, whose father is an enemy of Mr. Cody, tries to bully Bill
and his friends. Mr. Cody won the run and staked his claim. Mr. Smith threatens to run him
out. The Codys start to build their cabin. Bill makes friends with three Indian boys. Then Bill
gets the measles. His friends send their medicine man to make him better.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
friends, conflict, communication
claim, patrolled, Charlie and Tommy Pavey, oblige, gravely, ferryboats,
marshal, posse, beckoned
Pages 88-103: Horse Thieves
The Cody homestead prospered. Then Abel Smith bought the adjoining farm. Jake Smith
threatens Bill, but Bill summons nearby Indians who take him home. Trouble begins to hit the
Cody homestead and their neighbors. People begin to move away. Smith and his men stop
Mr. Cody and he is wounded. He moves away, but still Smith wants him dead. Bill makes a
dangerous journey to warn his father that trouble is coming. The men spot him, but he
escapes in a thunderstorm. Mr. Cody and Bill left the Falls for Lawrence, Kansas.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
revenge, lawlessness
adjoining, splendid, ravine, permission, sneered, whooped, trampled, revenge,
deliberately, cautious, ruffians
Pages 104-119: Freighting West
Bill takes a job as a cavy boy with a freight company taking supplies to forts out west. His
father died while hiding from Smith and his men. His mother has no money. He needs the
wages even though he is only eleven years old.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
determination, “personal best”
freight, ammunition, wheelwrights, cavy drivers, brayed, lowed, stammered,
Fort Kearney
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Pages 120-133: In School and Out
With the money that Bill has earned, Mrs. Cody can send the three oldest children to
school now that one has been started in Salt Creek Valley. Bill is not happy about going to
school. At the last minute, the teacher does not come, so Bill leaves with the freight train
again. The trip is hard and Bill doesn’t return for four months. When he returns, he has
earned $160 and has lots of adventures and hardships to share. Now Bill can go to school.
The teacher dreads getting him as much as Bill dreads going until he meets Bill. They make a
deal. Bill wants to learn to write his name; the teacher wants him to study other things, too.
Learning to write his name only gets Bill into trouble when he writes it on Abel Smith’s door.
Once again Bill leaves on a freight train to escape Smith.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
learning, adventure, responsibility
seized, liable, “nick of time”
Pages 134-152: At Old Fort Laramie
On his next trip out, Bill spends some time at Fort Laramie. While there, he learns sign
language and valuable information about the plains and the Indians from Kit Carson. Bill
meets and plays with the son of the Sioux chief and saves his life. One night on guard duty,
Bill is bound and gagged by a deserting troop. He feels badly that he was the one on guard.
He learns more about listening for noises from Kit Carson, about tracking from the Sioux boys,
and about shooting and riding from the cavalrymen.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
diversity, trust, knowledge
sentries, provisions, cavalry, sympathized, Sioux
Pages 153-167: Trapping Adventure
Bill finally gets back home and has decided to go west and hunt beaver with his friend
Dave Harrington. Bill learns more things about the land from Dave. Their hunting is good, but
they have setbacks. A bear kills one of their oxen and Bill falls and breaks his leg. He stays in
their dugout while Dave goes for help. Indians come intending to kill him, but it is the father of
the Sioux boy that Bill had once saved. They take his supplies and Bill is forced to stay awake
much of the night to keep his fire going. Wolves are also attracted to the dugout. Bill decides
two things: one, to stay at settlements from now on, and two, to go back to school. Dave
finally makes it back.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
survival
trembled
_
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Pages 168-181: The Pony Express
On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express is begun. Bill became a rider when he was only
fourteen years old. He set a Pony Express record that was never broken. Indians did not want
the Pony Express to go through. They drove off the extra horses at every station. After they
are recovered, the route starts running again. Bill is one of its favorite riders. He knows why
he is lucky; he is never off guard.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
progress, trouble
mustangs
Pages 182-192: Buffalo Bill
After working on the Pony Express, Bill worked for the railroad supplying the workers with
buffalo meat. He was twenty-one years old at the time. Later Bill formed a Wild West Show
so that people would know what the West was like. Before that, though, he was a scout for
the army. Even though he wasn’t an officer, people called him Colonel just to honor him.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
fame, history
General Phil Sheridan, immense, civilian, colonel, dandy, modest, boasted
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Comprehension
Summarizing and Predicting
Have students summarize each chapter in a learning log and identify the skill or
characteristics that Bill demonstrated.
Connecting
Have students write an essay comparing a young boy’s life today to the life of young
Buffalo Bill. What things are the same? What things are different? Are the
characteristics required different or the same in different time periods for boys to be
successful and to learn?
Drawing Conclusions
- Have students defend or condemn the actions of the Indians who found Buffalo Bill
when he was alone in the dugout with a broken leg.
- Have students write an essay about what made Buffalo Bill so popular throughout
his life.
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Word Analysis
Assign students one or more chapters to skim through and locate words that begin
with a consonant r blend. The following are examples from the story.
tr
trader
trail
trade
traveled
travel
trouble
tribe
trust
trying
trampled
trick
track
train
trappers
trotting
trout
pr
prettiest
prairie
pretty
presently
prints
Prince
protect
promised
practiced
proud
proudest
provisions
pry
preparations
print
princes
Grade 3 Guided Reading
Consonant r Blends
dr
cr
br
driver’s
creek
broke
drills
crows
bring
dried-up
crept
brass
drink
crashed
bridle
dream
cross
brought
driving
crowd
braves
drum
cruel
breakfast
drenched
crew
broad
driven
creep
brook
dread
brushed
brush
branch
brown
broken
bringing
breeze
149
gr
grassy
graze
green
grabbed
great
gravely
grain
gray
grizzly
grateful
grass
grazing
grunted
gracious
fr
frontier
fright
friendly
friend
frightened
frying
front
frightful
freight
frozen
freeze
Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
Buffalo Bill Frontier Daredevil
Name ______________________________________
There are many words that begin with consonant-r. Find as many as you can in the story text and
write them in the correct columns below.
Consonant r Blends
tr
pr
Grade 3 Guided Reading
dr
cr
150
br
gr
fr
Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
Buffalo Bill Frontier Daredevil
Name ______________________________________
Each chapter in this book tells about an event in Buffalo Bill’s life. Record them in the chart below.
Chapter
Bill’s Age
Event
What Bill Learned
Trade with
the
Kickapoos
The Red
Blankets
The
Singing
Trappers
On the
Great
Plains
Salt Creek
Valley
Horse
Thieves
Freighting
West
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Buffalo Bill Frontier Daredevil
Part II
Name ______________________________________
Each chapter in this book tells about an event in Buffalo Bill’s life. Record them in the chart below.
Chapter
Bill’s Age
Event
What Bill Learned
In School
and Out
At Old
Fort
Laramie
Trapping
Adventure
The Pony
Express
Buffalo Bill
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Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
Molly’s Pilgrim
Synopsis
A Jewish girl and her family move to America from Russia. After living in New York City for
a while, they move to Winter Hill. The girls make fun of Molly and everything about her. When
the teacher gives an assignment to make a pilgrim and bring it to school, Molly knows there
will be trouble when her mother dresses the pilgrim up like Molly. This doll changes the way
some children look at Molly and how Molly sees herself. The word pilgrim takes on a whole
new meaning in this book.
Author
Barbara Cohen was born on March 15, 1932. She was raised as a Jewish girl in a town
where “ethnic, racial and religious prejudices did not lie deep beneath the affable surface.”
She knew she wanted to be a writer from an early age. She was an English teacher and had
three daughters. All of her writing has been for children and young adults except for a
newspaper column she wrote. She has won many awards. She lived in Somerville, New
Jersey. She died in1992 from cancer. She knew that all writing comes from her own
experience and she tries to control it. After finishing a book, she would feel that it had been
written by a stranger rather than by her, because of the imagination used in it.
Introduction
Since this book takes place around Thanksgiving time, that is probably when the teacher
will want to use it. The teacher could start out by asking the students what a pilgrim looks like.
After the discussion, a student could be asked to look up the definition of a pilgrim in the
dictionary. When that definition is read, the teacher could ask if that changes the description
of what a pilgrim looks like. The introduction should include some background information
about how a Jewish family would be treated in Russia at the time of the Cossacks, why it was
necessary for them to flee Russia to avoid having their synagogues burned down, and that
Russia did not allow Jewish girls to go to school. After the discussion, the students could read
the story.
Reading
Section 1: Pages 1-13
Molly is upset because the girls at school tease her about her speech and how she looks.
When Molly gets home, she tries to get her mother to say they can move back to New York
City or to Russia. Her mother explains to Molly why they can’t move and says she will go to
school to talk to the teacher about the teasing.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
adaptability, intimidation
Shaynkeit, Yiddish, Oi, Malkeleh, tenement, Goradusk, Cossacks,
paskudnyaks
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Section 2: Pages 14-27
Molly quickly tells her mother not to go to school because she is embarrassed that she
doesn’t talk like or look like other mothers. Nothing changes at school until the class starts a
new story one day.
The teacher calls on Molly to read and she stumbles on the word
Thanksgiving. The teacher tells Molly it is a hard word if you haven’t seen it before. The
children take turns reading. The children were each given the assignment of making a pilgrim
doll at home and bringing it in the next morning. Molly had to explain to her mom what a pilgrim
was. Her mom made the pilgrim look like Molly.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
understanding, creativity
corkscrew, embroidered
Section 3: Pages 28-41
Molly took the doll to school because it was too late to make another one. Molly hid her doll
because she was afraid the other children would make fun of it. When Elizabeth made fun of
it, the teacher thought that Molly had not understood the assignment. Molly explained that her
mother was a pilgrim for religious freedom. Miss Stickley explained to the class that
Thanksgiving came from a Jewish festival. Molly decided that her doll was the most beautiful
and that her mother could come to school.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
understanding, reward
taunted, Sukkos
Grade 3 Guided Reading
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Sod Houses on the Great Plains
Synopsis
The first homesteaders to settle on the Great Plains did not have trees available to build
their cabins. They had to learn to adapt to the surroundings so they learned how to build sod
houses. This book describes how the sod houses were built. It also lists some of the
positives and negatives about these houses.
Author
Glen Rounds was born in 1906. He grew up in Montana and South Dakota on ranches.
He traveled all over the United States doing any job he could find for work. Writing and
illustrating books was something he said was accidental. He lived in Southern Pines, North
Carolina with his wife.
Introduction
This book could be introduced with a group discussion about houses. The students could
be asked to describe what a house is. This discussion could include the types of building
materials used today to build a house such as bricks, wood, etc. Also included in the
discussion could be the many types of houses people live in such as single-family houses,
apartment buildings, condos, duplexes, trailers, etc. The discussion should include talking
about how and why houses are different in different parts of the country. The discussion
leader should bring out the fact that buildings along the coasts need to withstand hurricanes
and buildings in the middle of the country need to withstand tornadoes so the requirements for
the building of a house in these different parts of the country might be different. As part of the
group discussion, the leader would need to ask the students how houses are different now
from during the homesteading time. This would then lead into reading the book.
Reading
Pages1-6
The homesteaders on the Great Plains had no trees to build homes, so they pitched tents
or used their wagons. This temporary shelter could not stand up to the violent winds and
thunderstorms. When they plowed up the sod, they discovered that it could be used for
building material.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
homesteaders, frontiers, Plains
Kansas, Nebraska, Dakotas, suitable, temporary, living quarters, violent,
flimsy, material
Pages 7-14
They used the sod bricks to build the sides of the homes. Roofs were made by laying hay
and weeds on ridge poles and then covering it with 4-6 inches of dirt.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
resources, construction
stakes, height, ridge pole, sifting
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Pages 15- 22
There were disadvantages to these homes. Grass grew on the floor. They were small
and dark. The dirt roofs leaked. Wildlife such as snakes and mice could get in.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
dimension
cramped, disadvantage, housekeeping, uninvited, burrowed, occasionally
Pages 23-29
The sod houses were cheap to build and safe from fires. Sometimes the settlers dug
back into a hillside and then only had to build a front wall and dirt roof. The disadvantage was
the chance that a horse or cow might walk on the roof. Grass and flowers growing on the
house indicated how long it had been there. Some lasted four or five years until lumber could
be found. Some were repaired and used even longer.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
dugout, unusual, florist’s shop, “soddie,” available, conventional
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Comprehension
Sequencing
Make a list or draw a storyboard of the steps in building a sod house.
Main Idea
Explain the Somebody-Wanted-But-So strategy to students if they are not familiar with
it. Somebody identifies a major character. The character is followed by the word
wanted which identifies the problem. But gives the difficulties encountered in solving
the problem and so gives the solution.
Somebody-Wanted-But-So
The settlers wanted a place to live, but there weren’t any trees to build houses to they
used sod “bricks” instead.
Noting Details
Make a list of the advantages of a sod house.
Make a list of the disadvantages of a sod house.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why did the homesteaders settle on the Plains?
2. Why would log cabins be better homes than sod houses?
3. What would be the most difficult part about building a sod house?
4. What other problems did homesteaders face living on the Plains?
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Word Analysis
R-Controlled Vowels
When the letter r follows a vowel, it changes the sound of the vowel as shown in these
examples from the story.
ar
started
starting
mark
larger
tar
Grade 3 Guided Reading
or
thunderstorms
before
corners
door
floor
horse
more
florist’s
ir
first
dirt
158
ur
turned
burrowed
burned
er
shelters
discovered
other
oversized
together
paper
settlers
water
overhead
lumber
Bettendorf Community Schools 2001-2002
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sod Houses
Name _____________________________________
Advantages of Sod Houses
Grade 3 Guided Reading
Disadvantages of Sod Houses
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Sweetwater Run
Synopsis
This book is a story based on the Pony Express and how it worked to transport mail
across the country. The story is written in the first person. The story takes place around the
time the country is waiting for the results of the presidential election between Abraham Lincoln
and Douglas. The Pony Express was trying to get the news across the country from
Washington D.C. to California in ten days. One of the “pony boys” was Buffalo Bill Cody as a
child. The book has a map in the front and back of the book showing the route the Pony
Express used and a note on the Pony Express and Buffalo Bill Cody’s life. It does note he was
born in Iowa.
Author
Andrew Glass was the author and illustrator of the book. He lives in New York City and has
written and illustrated many books. He has also illustrated books for other authors.
Introduction
Since Buffalo Bill Cody was born so close to Bettendorf, the teacher might want to start off
by asking how many students have ever visited Buffalo Bill Cody’s home near Scott County
Park’s Pioneer Village. The students could discuss what they know about him and why he is
famous. Then, the teacher could ask what the students know about the Pony Express. The
discussion could include what it was, where it ran, why it quite running, how it got mail across
the country, etc. The students and teacher could look at the map on the inside cover of the
book and talk about how long the Pony Express route was and how much territory this book is
going to cover. After that, the students could start reading.
Reading
Section 1: Pages 1-12
In the first section, the main character is trying to find a good paying job to help support his
mom and sisters. He is thirteen years old. He answers a notice posted for young boys to
work. He thinks he can make a lot of money this way. Bill Hickok stands up for him and he is
hired as a stablehand for the Pony Express. His job is to clean off the horses, feed them, bed
them down, and have them ready for the next runner when he gets there. The boys sleep in
the barn. One day there is excitement as the presidential election results are to be carried
across the country. As the main character eats breakfast, the family talks about how the
election could lead to Civil War. The stablehand then goes out to get the horse ready for the
runner who is coming.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
determination
puny, lad, run, parched, stablehand, sorely, irregardless lollygagging, bunked,
mochila, griddlecake
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Section 2: Pages 13-26
The Pony Express rider has been injured when he gets to the Deer Creek Station so the
main character must take over and ride. This section tells about the ride and what happens
during the ride.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
Determination
bona fide, lashed, spent, mustang, endure, precise, recollected, depraved,
stirrup
Section 3: Pages 27-39
Mr. Slade realized that the stablehand had done a good job and should be rewarded so he
gave him a job riding for the Pony Express and changed the name of the run he made to the
Sweetwater Run. The story tells how the telegraph lines stretched out across the country so
the Pony Express was no longer needed and how the West changed. After the Pony Express
no longer is running, Buffalo Bill joined the Civil War to help Kansas. He also helped the
people after the war to hunt food such as buffalos. That is how he got his name. After that
job, Buffalo Bill built a Wild West Show to travel around. The last four pages of this section are
author’s notes about the Pony Express and Buffalo Bill’s life.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
finality, determination
limp, wobbly, gentleman’s sport, slaughter, profane, oath, carbine, cantinas,
ambushed
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The Cabin Faced West
Synopsis
Ten-year-old Ann overcomes loneliness and learns to appreciate the importance of her
role in settling the wilderness of western Pennsylvania.
Author
Jean Fritz was born in Hangkow, China. She has written a number of books with historical
themes.
Review
Booklist
“A satisfying story which conveys some of the loneliness, despair, and hardships of
pioneer life” from the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “substantial and lasting
contribution to children's literature.”
Introduction
Read the letter from Jean Fritz on the inside front page. Then have the students notice all
the details on the front cover including the notation that the book is the winner of the Laura
Ingalls Wilder Medal. Most of the students should be familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ask
them what kinds of books might be the recipients of that award. Discuss the characteristics of
historical fiction.
• It must tell an interesting story.
• It must balance fact with fiction.
• It must be accurate and authentic in tone, attitudes, values, depiction of daily life, and
behavior of the time.
• It must not contradict the actual historical record.
• It must, as much as possible, use authentic language. It should be noted that some words
may be offensive to today’s audiences but are reflective of the period in which the selection
is set.
• It should illuminate the problems of today by examining those of other times.
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Reading
Chapter One: Pages 9-17
Ten-year-old Ann Hamilton and her family have moved west from Gettysburg for a better
life. When their cabin was completed, Ann’s two older brothers made a rule that no one will
find fault with the West—that’s where they have cast their lot. Ann knew she complained too
much, but the day the rule was made she stopped. Her biggest complaint was that between
her cabin and the next settlement there were only boys and babies. Ann keeps her special
things on the top log just under the sleeping loft, which juts out a little. She has a little brown
book that her Cousin Margaret gave her just before they left in which she writes down what
she’s thinking and doing. Ann hates two words: some day. They seem to be used a lot to
satisfy what hasn’t been done or what the Hamiltons don’t have now that they had before.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
pioneers, change
hesitated, squatters, makeshift, hearth, Johnny-cake, Gettysburg, Semanthie,
possession, Cousin Margaret
Chapter Two: Pages 18-28
Ann likes the road on her father’s hill best; it’s just a feeling she has. She has a favorite
sitting spot at the side of the road where she goes to write in her diary. Today, the new
squatter boy, Andy McPhale, is in the tree above her. Andy asks Ann where she learned to
write. When she tells him back home in Gettysburg, he tells her she may be good at letters,
but her geography’s poor. Her home is now in the Western Country. When Ann looks like she
might cry, he apologizes. Ann just can’t figure him out. Andy finally tells Ann that his ma sent
him “to tell Mrs. Hamilton she’s feelin’ poorly.” Ann thinks he is one of the worst boys she has
ever known.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
neighbors, differences
tangled, linsey, obedient, Alleghenies, scalp, impishness, mockery,
exasperation
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Chapter Three: Pages 29-41
Ann hears her family talk about the McPhales. Daniel tells them Mr. McPhale doesn’t
believe in planting, and Mrs. Hamilton says he leaves them for days at a time without enough
to eat. “No account—that’s what they are.” The next morning, Mrs. Hamilton says she is
returning to the McPhales with some supplies. Ann can pick peas and watch the baby. The
men are going to the fields. As Ann shells the peas, Andy stops by to show Ann that he has
killed a wild turkey with just a sling shot. Ann gets him a knife so Andy can clean it before he
takes it to his mother. After he is finished, he begins arranging the pea pods. Ann notices that
he has made an A. He seems interested and she offers to teach him the letters and how to
write. When she asks him why his family doesn’t plant, Andy is offended. When Ann goes
inside, she discovers she has let the fire go out—the worst thing that could happen. Just then
the baby wakes up, too. When she goes outside, Andy is gone. Ann decides she’ll have to
take the baby and walk to Uncle John’s to borrow some fire.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
accomplishment, failure
notion, swagger, tinkering, desperation, tinderbox
Chapter Four: Pages 42-58
The trip to Uncle John’s carrying the baby and the iron pot for the fire is harder than Ann
had imagined. She stops to rest at her favorite spot in the road. A rider comes. He is so kind
and friendly that Ann tells him everything. He tells her his name is Arthur Scott of Lancaster
County and that they had better go build a fire. He lifts them all onto his horse, takes them up
the hill, and lights the fire. He tells Ann it can be their secret if she will put his name in the pot
for dinner. She feels so good that she hopes it can be a party day, but her mother says no—
that Mr. Scott would probably think it foolish to set a fancy table on a Monday noon. The men
talk politics at the dinner table and Ann is bored until Arthur mentions Valley Forge. Then she
does the unthinkable and interrupts. When she does it again later, Daniel makes some
disparaging remarks about Eastern girls who lose their manners when they come west. David
showers him with a pail of cold water; Daniel has broken the rule.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
help, news, connection
curtsy, conspirators, wonders, politics, Valley Forge, scowling, General
Washington, peter out, thunderous, cringed
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Chapter Five: Pages 59-71
Arthur Scott is looking for land in the neighborhood, and the Hamiltons invite him to stay
with them while he looks. When Ann asks him why he came to settle here, he has the same
look her father and brothers have. Andy hasn’t been around since Arthur has. When Arthur
leaves for several weeks, Andy stops by with a piece of venison, a thank you for their help in
the past. He tells them that the family will be moving on soon; going back where they came
from. Mr. Hamilton asks Andy if he and his father would like to help them with the work on the
hill as long as they’re around in return for fresh vegetables and milk. Andy wants to work in
exchange for writing lessons. Ann notices a change in Andy as he works for the Hamiltons
and on his writing. Finally, Arthur has his land and leaves to go back and get his father. The
days are lonely again. Ann records her thoughts in her diary. Andy writes good ridence in the
dirt.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
pride, separation
stake, proposition, defiance, gaiety
Chapter Six: Pages 72-83
Ann discovers that her diary is missing. She thinks her brother David is playing a joke on
her and has hidden it. Suddenly, she starts to cry; she wants a girl to talk to and a girl to play
with. She decides to have a tea party in the woods with her doll. She wants it to be special
and, since she has outgrown her Gettysburg shoes, she decides to take two of her mother’s
lavender china plates. Ann sets a glorious table in the woods, but when she sees her mother
coming, she knows she will be in trouble for taking the china. Instead, her mother sits down
and they have tea. When dinner is late that night, Mrs. Hamilton tells the men that sometimes
there are more important things to do than an hour’s work or dinner on time.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
mother, priorities
ploughing, flax field, fashionable, glowering, decisively
Chapter Seven: Pages 84-101
Everything goes better after the tea party, but David hasn’t given Ann back her diary. He
does take her riding one evening and shows her where they’re going to build a church. The
next day is a queer day; the weather seems ominous. Andy comes by and tells her that
they’re going back East when her Uncle John does for supplies, but that they’re coming back
in the spring to plant. His pa has decided that a farm isn’t such a bad idea. When Andy
suggests that she go back East, too, just for a visit, she tells him she couldn’t, but that maybe
she’ll ask. The sky gets darker. Everyone works to gather in as much of the corn, peas, and
other crops as they can. Mr. Hamilton sends Andy and his father down to bring his family up to
the cabin. Ann keeps picking peas until the last possible moment. Her mother tells her she
doesn’t know what she’d do without one girl on Hamilton Hill. Later, Ann tells Andy she’s not
even going to ask. After the storm, Mr. Hamilton thanks God for His mercy.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
changes, gratitude
Doane gang, puny, frail, calico, possessions, flimsy, tattered
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Chapter Eight: Pages 102-122
Uncle John and the McPhales leave after they have cleaned up after the storm. Ann finds
a note from Andy telling her where her diary is. He explains that he was mad at her. He has
made a new deerskin cover for it. When Ann reads what she wrote, she decides it isn’t like a
frontier diary at all. She had written about what she was missing in the East. Everything she
did that day went wrong. Her mother suggests she go down the road and try to find some
grapes. She wanders farther down the road than she had intended. When she hears
hoofbeats, she tries to hide. The rider, though, asks her if she knows what her mother is
having for dinner that night. When she looks at the man, she instantly knows that he is
someone special. The man asks her to tell her mother that General George Washington
would like to take supper with her. Ann rides up the hill on Dr. Craik’s horse. He tells her that
Washington has land in Washington County. He bought land here because he believes in this
part of the country. Ann sets the table with the linen tablecloth and the lavender flowered
plates. It is a wonderful meal and Ann is in a daze. When Washington tells her that he envies
her because she will see this country develop, she finds herself realizing that she does love
this Western Country. The second wonderful event of the day is a letter from Margaret.
George Washington enters the event in his diary; Ann enters it in hers.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
future, promise
General Washington, dignified, persuaded
A Postscript from the Author: Pages 123-124
The diary entry mentioned in Chapter 8 was actually taken from Washington’s diary. Ann
may or may not have kept a diary. There really was an Ann Hamilton (who was the author’s
great-great-grandmother), a David, a Daniel, Mrs. And Mrs. Hamilton, Uncle John, Margaret,
and an Arthur Scott. Ann married Arthur when she grew up. Hamilton Hill is now known as
Ginger Hill and the little church is really there.
Key Concepts:
research, historical fiction
Vocabulary:
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Comprehension Skills
Cause and Effect
Give the effect and have the students write the cause, have students list several events
and what caused them, or use a graphic organizer. If you give the beginning up to the
word because, it is important to remember that there are often several answers that
are correct. Share the responses from time to time to broaden the students’
understanding and to encourage divergent thinking.
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
None of the Hamiltons could complain about the West because
The Hamiltons moved west because
Andy teased Ann because
Andy was proud of the wild turkey he got for his family because
The fire went out in the fireplace because
The McPhales weren’t doing so well in the Western Country because
Arthur Scott stayed with the Hamiltons for awhile because
Daniel got showered with a pail of cold water because
Father gave thanks after the storm because
Ann didn’t even ask to go back East for a visit because
Andy made a deerskin cover for Ann’s diary because
General George Washington was in the Western Country because
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why did Ann hate the phrase some day?
2. Why did Ann think that Andy McPhale was the worst boy she has ever known?
3. Why did Ann offer to teach Andy his letters and how to write?
4. Why did Ann like Arthur Scott so much?
5. Why didn’t Arthur Scott tell the Hamiltons about the fire going out?
6. Why did Daniel get upset when Ann asked Arthur Scott several questions?
7. Why were men like the Hamiltons and Arthur Scott drawn to the West?
8. What was the hardest part about being a pioneer in the new country?
9. Why didn’t Andy like Arthur Scott?
10. Why didn’t Ann’s mother get angry with her for taking the china outside to play with?
Compare and Contrast
Use a Venn Diagram or a T-Chart to compare Ann and Andy.
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Word Analysis Skills
Period Speech Patterns
Write the following words/phrases/sentences on the chalkboard or white board.
Explain that this kind of speech is often associated with uneducated people from that
time period. Figure out the standard English for each.
Page 22:
playin’
scared ya
Page 24:
eddicated
learnin’
Page 25:
ain’t
“Your home is right spang here, in the Western Country…”
Pages 27-28: “…my ma sent me to tell Mrs. Hamilton she’s feelin’ poorly. She’d take it
as a favor if Mrs. Hamilton would come and sit with her.”
Similes
A simile compares two objects or actions and usually joins them with as or like.
Page 24:
Page 25:
Page 46:
Page 107:
Page 107:
…his dark hair was long and shaggy and as untouched-looking as forest
undergrowth
…he was acting like a rooster begging for a fight and now he was hanging
his head like a whipped dog
The young man threw back his head and laughed, his freckles dancing
like spots of sunlight.
Today there was a grandness to the road, as though it were a carpet
unfurling over the hill before some glorious secret.
A wild goose dipped low, honking, from the sky, like a herald sent ahead
with news.
Metaphors
A metaphor is simply an analogy or an expression of comparison. Unlike the simile,
the metaphor does not use as or like.
Page 32:
Page 34:
Page 39:
Page 69:
…every day of sunshine was gold in your pockets
Now they [peas] marched right across Hamilton Hill to where the trees
began!
He reminded Ann of a cat who has had his fur rubbed the wrong way.
Ann had the sensation that the hill was an island floating father and father
away from the rest of the world.
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The Cabin Faced West
Name ______________________________________
Record the events in Ann’s life that are told in The Cabin Faced West and the people she met.
Chapter 1
What Happened to Ann or What She Did
Ann and her family moved to the Western Country
from Gettysburg.
People in Ann’s Life
Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton, Daniel, David,
Johnny, Uncle John and Aunt Mary
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Postscript
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Advantages and Disadvantages
of Being a Pioneer in the Western Country
Name ________________________________________________
Include the advantages and disadvantages that Ann experienced, but also think beyond just those
specifically mentioned in the story.
Advantages
of Being a Pioneer in the Western Country
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Disadvantages
of Being a Pioneer in the Western Country
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The Cabin Faced West
Venn Diagram
Name _________________________________________
Compare Ann and Andy.
Different
Alike
Different
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Theme: Realistic Fiction
Busybody Nora, The Boxcar Children, Hannah,
Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear, J. T., Switcharound
Generalizations
Individuals change over time.
Individuals are unique physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.
Individual perceptions may create conflict.
Friendship requires caring.
Families share common elements and possess unique characteristics.
Family and community members have responsibilities.
Families are systems.
Concepts
Change
Constancy
Diversity
Commonality
Guiding Questions
How are individuals alike and how are they different?
Why are individuals different?
Why do individuals change over time?
What common elements do families share?
What creates change in a family?
What is a family?
What responsibilities do family and community members have?
What are the characteristics of a friend?
What creates conflict between family or community members?
Why is a family a system?
How does a system support its membership?
Introducing the Theme
Begin a discussion about how class members are like and how they are different. Talk
about how their past experiences contribute to different perceptions and beliefs which
may lead to conflict.
Have each student write a short essay on families. Analyze all of the different “family”
structures there are.
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Sharing the Theme
Name ____________________________
Book
_____________________________________
As you read your book, respond to the following questions.
Describe the relationships between the
characters in your book.
Describe the differences between the
characters in your book.
Describe the commonalities between the
characters in your book.
Choose one of the characters in your book
and describe his or her responsibilities.
What conflicts occurred in your book?
Choose one character and describe how they
changed during the story.
What things remained constant in your story?
Choose one character and tell why you liked
or didn’t like that character.
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J.T.
Synopsis
From the Publisher
To the guys on the block, J.T. is the kid who stole the radio out of the red convertible before
they could get to it. His neighbor, Mrs. Morris, declares him a first-class nuisance. His mother
is bewildered -- "He's just gone bad, that's all.... Stealin' and lyin' and I don't know what all."
But all the sensitivity, responsibility, and care of which ten-year-old J.T. Gamble is capable
emerges when he finds an old, one-eyed, badly hurt alley cat. J.T. takes on a new dimension
as he lavishes all the love he is unable to express to people around him on the battered cat he
has found in the junk-filled empty lot.
Author
Jane Wagner
Introduction
Look at the pictures on the first thirty pages. Talk about where the story takes place and
what is happening in the pictures. Read aloud a section of dialogue. Talk about how the
words represent speech, but are not standard English. Compare the scenes in the
neighborhood in the story to your school neighborhood.
Reading
Pages 10-19
J.T. steals a transistor radio from a red convertible before Claymore and Boomer can.
They chase him, but don’t catch him. They leave, shouting threats. J.T. “radioed” himself to
sleep that night.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
urban life
J.T., transistor, leatherette, Claymore, Boomer, tenement, bugalooed, “cop”
Pages 20-29
Mama accuses J.T. of stealing the radio and tells him she won’t contribute to anything
stolen, i.e., buy batteries. She reminds him that Mama Melcy is coming to town on the bus
and that he is to meet her at four thirty sharp. Mama also talks with J.T. about not turnin’ bad
like his daddy. On his way to school, Claymore and Boomer jump him by Mr. Rosen’s grocery
story.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
honesty, communication
liable, transistorized, dawdlin’, Mama Melcy
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Pages 30-41
J.T. runs away from Claymore and Boomer when Mr. Rosen distracts them. While
running away, he trips over a rock, falls, and looks up to see an old, hurt alley cat. J.T. leaves
for school, but can’t stop thinking about the cat and takes his sandwich and some milk to the
cat at noon. Instead of going back to school in the afternoon, he uses the trash in the house
being torn down to build a shelter for the cat.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
caring
composition, inspiration, Rembrandt, convulsively, rummage, Venetian,
masonite, asphalt, desperate, intensity
Pages 42-52
J.T.’s shelter for the cat is “strangely beautiful.” He names the cat, Bones, because he is
so scraggly. Without realizing it, J.T. stays too long and forgets to meet Mama Melcy at the
bus station. He hears his mama and her talking when he gets home and knows he is in
trouble, but is glad to see Mama Melcy and hear his mama laugh, a phenomenon that doesn’t
happen much any more.
Key Concepts
Vocabulary:
architecture, responsibility
circulate, scraggly, Base of Tranquility, string-beany
Pages 53-60
It is good to have Mama Melcy visit. She eases the tension between Mama and J.T. When
Mama Melcy asks J.T. what he’d like for Christmas, he asks if he can have the cat. Mama
reminds him the only animals allowed are rats. Later, J.T. sneaks out of the apartment and
takes the radio to Bones.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
caring
tension, potlikker, contraption, Rodeen, determination, vibration, purr
Pages 61-73 (end of top paragraph)
Mama sends J.T. to the store the next morning where she charges groceries. He asks for
four cans of tuna in addition to the things Mama wrote down. Before he gets home, he stuffs
the cans in his coat pockets. At home, he takes the can opener and then hurries to see
Bones. He feeds him one of the cans of tuna. J.T. runs into Claymore and Boomer at school.
They hold him under the soap dispenser in the bathroom so that the soap drips into J.T.’s
eyes. When they hear the door open, they let him go and run away.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
lying, consequences
magnetically, Mr. American Express Card, Feisty Pants, meticulously, jauntily
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Pages 73-83
J.T. makes an eyepatch for Bones and gets more tuna and some masking tape at the
store. He doctors Bones’ cuts with some iodine. Rodeen (his mama) finds out about J.T.’s
purchases of tuna. J.T. begins to skip school to make things for Bones’ house and to play with
the cat.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
choices
eyepatch, peculiar, transaction, Ge gesundtei heit, heroic, iodine, reassure,
distressed, mansion, magnificent, elegance, veterinarian, stethoscope
Pages 84-95
Mr. and Mrs. Rosen tell J. T. he can’t charge any more tuna and scold him for his bad
behavior. J. T. decides to go to school to get food from the cafeteria. His teacher sees him
and tells him he needs to stay after school and work on his composition. Mrs. Arnold finally
lets him leave and he goes directly to see Bones. Boomer and Claymore are there and play
keep away with the radio while swinging Bones back and forth. The radio sails through Mr.
Rosen’s window and the two boys drop the cat and run away. A panicked Bones darts into the
street and is run over by a car. J. T. picks up the cat’s broken body and carries him over to the
little house. Mr. and Mrs. Rosen see the accident.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
responsibility, caring
chupspa, fidgeting, concentrate, exasperated, agitated, cloakroom, squiggly,
taunting
Pages 96-107 (break after top paragraph)
The Rosens and Mama Melcy try to console J.T., but he runs away. They are awe-struck
by the house he built for Bones. It helps them understand. Mama feels guilty for not letting
J.T. bring the cat home. Mama Melcy tells J.T. he has just one life to live—what’s he going to
do with it?
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
grief
uncontrollably, valiant, antimacassar, puzzlement
Pages 107 (after break)-117
Mr. Rosen brings J.T. a stray kitten in a basket that also contains cans of tuna, a bag of
kitty litter, and the radio. He tells them they can get the things the kitten needs from his store—
no cost. J.T. refuses to acknowledge the kitten at first, but finally, when he can’t sleep, takes
the kitten to bed with him.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
kindness, caring
muffler, scrawny, contentedly
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Pages 118-124
The next morning J.T. sees the red convertible outside his apartment. He runs back, gets
the radio, and pushes it through the side window into the car. Mama Melcy and Mama watch
from the window above and cry with joy that, “he gon’ be all right.” Boomer and Claymore also
see him. Instead of running, J.T. walks down the street between them to Mr. Rosen’s store.
He asks Mr. Rosen for a job which he gets.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
hope
jumbled
_
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Comprehension
Summarizing
Have the students keep a learning log and summarize what happens in the story at the
end of each section and predict what they think will happen next.
Cause and Effect
Give the following statement fragments. Have the students finish the statements after
the because. It is important to remember that there are often several answers that are
correct.
Share the responses from time to time to broaden the students’
understanding and to encourage divergent thinking.
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
J.T. stole the radio because
J.T. met Mrs. Hill coming out of the bathroom because
J.T. went back to take the cat some food because
J.T. built the cat a house because
J.T. named the cat Bones because
Mama felt guilty about not letting J.T. have the cat because
Mr. and Mrs. Rosen wouldn’t let J.T. charge anything any more because
The teacher kept J.T.’s unfinished composition because
Mr. Rosen took J.T. a kitten because
Mrs. Rosen made Mr. Rosen wear the muffler because
Claymore and Boomer put soap in J.T.’s eyes because
Noting Details
Using a T-Chart, have students compare J.T.’s life to their own using the following
categories:
family members, dwellings, school, shopping, food, sleeping
arrangements, neighborhood, school mates, bad things that happened to each, etc.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. What did Mama mean when she said, “Seems like you been turnin’ bad since the
day your daddy left. If you don’t watch out, you’re goin’ to be headed down the
same wrong road he was.”
2. What did Mama Melcy mean when she said, “But you…what about you? You jes’
got one life to live. What are you gon’ do with it?”
3. What did J.T. learn from Bones’ death?
4. What made J.T. decide to return the radio?
5. Why did Mama Melcy tell the events that happened to her in a humorous way?
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Word Analysis
Speech Patterns
Point out the dialogue between Mama Melcy and Rodeen—dropping final g’s on words,
dropping final t’s on words; knowed instead of knew and other incorrect verb tenses.
Syllabication
Write the first word in each group on the board and divide the word into syllables. Ask
the students to figure out the pattern used to divide each of the words. Label the
vowels and consonants to show the V/CV pattern. Guide students to realize that in
multisyllabic words, if the first vowel sound is long, the word is divided after that vowel.
Then label the vowels and consonants to show the VC/CV pattern. Lead students to
realize that words with the VCCV pattern are divided into syllables between the
consonants.
Vowel-Consonant-Vowell
music
stolen
recent
secure
broken
creature
driver
silence
later
focus
relax
paper
moment
Vowel-Consonant-Consonant-Vowel
afford
better
window
under
offer
rummage
supposed
turnip
garbage
admit
corner
counter
subject
Multisyllabic Words
Say the following words aloud and then have the students say and clap the sounds for
each word. Using the information about dividing words into syllables from above, have
the students apply the two principles (plus prefixes and suffixes) to the words below:
concentration
desperately
experience
television
positively
unexpected
apparently
recognition
composition
contentedly
agitated
convertible
disappointed
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J. T.
Name _____________________________________
Use a T-Chart to compare yourself to J. T.. Include such things as the kind of home you live in, your
family members, the school you attend, your neighborhood (including stores you shop in), your
physical appearance, pets, what you like to do, etc.
Me
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J. T.
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Summary Log
for
J. T.
Name ___________________________________
Date
Chapter or
Pages
What I Learned/What I Think Will Happen Next
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
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Switcharound
Synopsis
This book is a hilarious sequel to The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline. In this book,
Caroline and her brother coach a baseball team and supervise 6-month-old twins when they
spend the summer with their father and his new family. Caroline, age eleven, and J.P., age
thirteen, feel they have been given unpleasant responsibilities and are determined to get
revenge.
Author
Lois Lowry
Introduction
Talk about the meaning of the word switcharound. Ask students if they have ever
participated in a switcharound. Some students may have spent the summer away from their
“school home.” Have students describe or imagine what it would be like to be away for the
summer. Talk about feelings. Tell students that the older girl and boy on the cover have gone
to spend the summer with their father and his new family. Then have students write their
prediction about the story using the information from the title and the cover page.
Reading
Chapter 1 (Pages1-9)
Joanna Tate’s ex-husband of nine years suddenly decides that he wants the children,
Caroline, who is 11, and J.P. who is 13, to spend the summer with him and his new family in
Des Moines, Iowa. The children, for the first time ever, agree on something: they don’t want to
go. Their mother explains that it was written into the divorce agreement that their father could
have them during the summer. He had just never wanted them before. The children make a
list of requests for him to follow.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
decisions, expectations
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, hoax, genius, Des Moines, casserole, notarized,
negotiate, assertive, dejectedly, Burke-Thaxter School, obnoxious, diodes,
electrodes, cathodes
Chapter 2 (Pages 10-17)
Caroline and J.P. have been enemies in the past, always playing tricks on each other. On
the plane ride to Des Moines, they decide to call off their own war and consider their father and
his family their enemies.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
separation, teamwork
sarcastically, uniformed, suspiciously, monotonous, protruded, stewardess,
photographic, détente
_
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Chapter 3 (Pages 18-25)
Herbie Tate owns a sporting goods store. J.P. learns that he will be sharing a room with
Poochie, and Caroline learns she will sleep in a bed between the twin baby girls.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
family
Poochie, nervously, hideously, primates, humiliated, mirage, realization
Chapter 4 (Pages 26-33)
Caroline writes a letter to her mother telling her that she and J.P. have been getting along,
that Herbie and Lillian have twin girls (named Holly and Ivy because they were born Christmas
Day), and that she will be taking care of them while Lillian takes a real estate course. J.P. has
been given the assignment of “coach” for the Tater Chips, Poochie’s baseball team.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
responsibilities
paleontologist, definitely, repulsive, biceps, pectorals
Chapter 5 (Pages 34-41)
Caroline learns that babies are always wet and that feeding them oatmeal is harder than it
looks. Poochie tells her that he hates baseball.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
unidentifiable, reluctantly, disposable, sympathetically, unceremoniously,
consistency, nourishing
Chapter 6 (Pages 42-47)
Caroline takes the twins to watch baseball practice at the park. J.P. tells her that the
players have been fighting since eight minutes after practice began at nine o’clock. Caroline
lines them up and “barks” orders at them which they follow. J.P. tells her he doesn’t like the
ball team and Caroline tells him she doesn’t like the babies. They decide to think up a
revenge.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
work
disheveled, disdainful
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Chapter 7 (Pages 48-55)
Herbie brings J.P. a new baseball glove. Caroline and J.P. talk about how awful the whole
situation is. Caroline has thought of a revenge, but won’t tell J.P. because it is just too awful.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
revenge
voluntarily, expectantly, fantasized, intellectual, Fred Larrabee, morosely,
appliquéd, metabolism, wistfully
Chapter 8 (Pages 56-63)
J.P. is angry at Caroline for not sharing her revenge so tells her the Tate Détente is off.
J.P. thinks up a horrible revenge, and then understands why Caroline couldn’t tell. Some
things just can’t be shared. After practice, J.P. helps take care of the babies and Caroline
helps Poochie practice ball in the afternoon.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
asparagus, Matthew Birnbaum, Christopher McGowan, vigorously
Chapter 9 (Pages 64-69)
J.P. teaches one of the babies to whistle. Caroline helps Poochie with batting practice
after supper while Dad goes to the store to do paperwork.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
laundromat, appreciatively, sarcastically, tarantulas, indestructible
Chapter 10 (Pages 70-77)
Herbie comes home in the middle of the morning to pick up his ledgers. He tells Caroline
that Lillian didn’t really want to take the real estate course, that she really wants to stay home
with the kids, but things at the store are in a slump. Caroline is feeling bad that she has
already done her revenge and it can’t be undone. She asks J.P. if he can undo his.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
financial, ledgers, impressive, corporation, rueful, unidentifiable, gigantic,
emphatically
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Chapter 11 (Pages 78-84)
J.P. thinks about what Caroline has told him about the problem their father is having. All at
once he gets an idea that it may have to do with the fact that his father has fired his former
computer operator. He calls his father, talks to one of the accountants, and they send a car
for him. Poochie is concerned when J.P. tells them he may be gone all night. The first game
is the day after tomorrow. Caroline tells him it will be okay; she will coach.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
problem solving
bankruptcy, splintered, ridiculous, automatically, apprehensively,
instantaneously, sabotaged, kludge
Chapter 12 (Pages 85-91)
J.P. calls Caroline and tells her that he can unravel the problems at the store. She needs
to get his notebook, though, and undo his revenge. He had programmed the Tater Chips to
lose their game by focusing on what they couldn’t do well. Caroline discovers that Poochie
needs glasses. She works with the team changing the way they do things so they can win.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
revenge
conceited, unraveling, feverish, incriminating, observant, rhythmically
Chapter 13 (Pages 92-99)
Since things are going to be okay at the store, Lillian resigns from the real estate class.
Caroline is extremely upset about her revenge and can’t sleep. She wakes up J.P. to tell him
she has caused a major, major catastrophe—she has switched the babies and Lillian is taking
the one with the ear ache to the doctor tomorrow to get a shot of penicillin—the one that is
allergic to penicillin.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
revenge
ophthalmologist, pediatrician, penicillin, desperation, LAN, protocol, trivia,
catastrophe
Chapter 14 (Pages 100-107)
Caroline explains to J.P. that she just can’t switch them back. She isn’t sure which baby is
which! J.P. saves her by remembering that only Holly can whistle; Ivy can’t. They switch
them to the right cribs in the middle of the night. Caroline is so worried, though, that she tells
Lillian that they might be switched. Lillian laughs and tells her it happens all the time. Lillian
explains that she has several other ways to tell them apart—a mole, their hair. Just then, the
other baby whistles.
Key Concepts:
Vocabulary:
truth
exasperated, homicide, quizzically, apprehensively, inevitable
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Chapter 15 (Pages 108-116)
The Tater Chips win the game thanks to Caroline’s “fixing” all of the observations of J.P.
Poochie (David) scores the winning run in spite of running the wrong direction toward third
when he bunts and a series of errors on the part of the other team.
Key Concept:
Vocabulary:
haphazardly, obscene, collided, quivering, theatrical, confusion,
embarrassment
Chapter 16 (Pages 117-118)
Caroline writes to her mother about how everything is now switched around and okay. She
is coaching the baseball team, Lillian is taking care of the twins, and J.P. is working at his
father’s store on the computer.
Key Concept: acceptance
Vocabulary:
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Comprehension
Cause and Effect
Give the following effects and have the students write the cause after because. It is
important to remember that there are often several answers that are correct. Share
the responses from time to time to broaden the students’ understanding and to
encourage divergent thinking.
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
J.P. and Caroline have to stay with their father for summer vacation because
J.P. doesn’t want to go to Des Moines because
Caroline doesn’t want to go to Des Moines because
Caroline doesn’t like the babies because
Lillian has to take the real estate course because
Herbie is worried because
Poochie can’t play ball very well because
Caroline changes her mind about getting revenge because
J.P. is able to help his father because
The former employee sabotaged the computer because
Lillian always knows which twin is which because
Noting Details
Find seven or more clues that tell you that it would be better for J.P. to be in charge of
the babies and for Caroline to be the coach.
Sequencing
Summarize each chapter in a learning log or journal. Predict what will happen in the
next chapter.
Drawing Conclusions
Answer one or more of the following questions:
1. Why does Caroline think that Herbie is fairly well-to-do?
2. Why don’t Caroline and J.P. exchange jobs after one or two days?
3. Why do Caroline and J.P. decide not to do their revenges?
4. What might have happened if J.P. had carried out his plan of revenge besides
losing the game?
5. How does Meet Your Fate With Herbie Tate apply to both Caroline and J.P.?
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Word Analysis
Multisyllabic Words Ending in Suffixes
Write several words from the list below on the board and divide them into syllables.
Say the words aloud and ask the students to determine the pattern used to divide each
of the words below. Label the vowels and consonants to show the V/CV pattern.
Guide students to realize that in multisyllabic words, if the first vowel sound is long, the
word is divided after that vowel. Then label the vowels and consonants to show the
VC/CV pattern. Lead students to realize that words with the VCCV pattern are divided
into syllables between the consonants. Then say the following words aloud and have
the students say and clap the sounds for each word. Using the information about
dividing words into syllables and knowing that prefixes and suffixes are often an
additional syllable, figure out the meanings of the words below. Share the following
meanings of the suffixes.
ly is a suffix meaning “like” or “characteristic”
al is a suffix meaning “on account of” or “related to”
ous is a suffix meaning “abounding in” or “full of”
ful is a suffix meaning “full of”
sarcastically
suspiciously
dejectedly
nervously
hideously
definitely
reluctantly
sympathetically
unceremoniously
voluntarily
expectantly
morosely
Grade 3 Guided Reading
wistfully
vigorously
appreciatively
sarcastically
emphatically
automatically
apprehensively
instantaneously
rhythmically
quizzically
haphazardly
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Summary Log
for
Switcharound
Name ___________________________________
Date
Chapter or
Pages
What I Learned/What I Think Will Happen Next
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
Summary:
Prediction:
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Switcharound
What and Why
Name __________________________
The following statements give information from the story. Each is followed by the word because.
Give the reason or the “why” for each statement.
1. J.P. and Caroline have to stay with
their father for summer vacation
because
2. J.P. doesn’t want to go to Des
Moines
because
3. Caroline doesn’t want to go to Des
Moines
because
4. Caroline doesn’t like the babies
because
5. Lillian has to take the real estate
course
because
6. Herbie is worried
because
7. Poochie can’t play ball very well
because
8. Caroline changes her mind about
getting revenge
because
9. J.P. is able to help his father
because
10. The former employee sabotaged
the computer
because
11. Lillian can tell the twins apart
because
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Hannah
By Gloria Whelan
Summary
Nine-year-old Hannah Thomas would do almost anything to go to school. But the year
is 1887, Hannah is blind, and her parents keep her at home where she is safe. Then a
strong-willed teacher, Lydia Robbin, comes to town and convinces Hannah's parents to
send her to school. At first Hannah is overjoyed. But then she realizes that many
things—and people—stand in the way of her education. Miss Robbin shows her the
way to a whole new life, but Hannah will need tremendous courage to attain it.
Concepts and Topics
• Independence
• Courage
• Farm Life
• One-room Schoolhouse
• Physical Handicaps (Blindness)
Word Analysis
• Compound Words
• Meanings of Phrases
"fact of life"—page 8
"Poor Hannah"—page 16
"hand-me-downs"—page 11
"choking down bitter medicine"—page 44
Vocabulary
• mourning
• complexion
• privy
• typhoid
• homestead
• asters
• garnish
• kerosene
• ruts
Davenport Community Schools 1998
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
briars
muslin
hasty
abacus
device
stylus
urging
furrow
194
Comprehension
• Sequencing
• Cause and Effect (Teacher's effect on Hannah, the Thomas family, and her
students at school)
• Explain how Hannah felt about herself at the beginning, the middle and end of
story.
• Decide which character you would most like to spend a day with and why.
Graphic Organizers
• Character’s Shoes
• Story Map—setting, characters, problem, solution
• Story Pyramid
• Cause and Effect Chart
• Venn Diagram—Mama and Miss Robbin
Writing Connection
• Write a response to each chapter.
• Add to the ending "What will Hannah write about on her new Braille
typewriter?”
• Make a comparison of school life in 1887 to school life in 1998.
Assessment
Main Idea
• Do a Story Pyramid about Hannah.
Sequencing
• Do a Story Sequence Map.
Connections to Other Subjects
Social Studies
Find Michigan on the map. Find and list 20 facts
about the state of Michigan.
Take a study trip to Pioneer Village in Scott County for
comparison.
Bring some Braille books to class to view and explore.
Math - Discuss the value of money and the things money can buy. See
attachment.
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In the Character’s Shoes
Name _____________________________________________
Choose a character from the story.
Character
Story
Pretend you are that character. In your own words, explain how you felt at the following times during
the story:
Beginning
Middle
End
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Money
Name _________________________________________
Money plays an important part in many stories, just as it does in real life. As you get older, you will
probably begin to think about the following questions about money. How shall I spend money that is
given to me? How can I earn money? How will I decide what is important to buy and what is not?
Suppose you had to earn money for some thing or things that are important to you. Answer the
following questions.
1. What are important things to you?
________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
2. How much do you think they cost?
________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
3. What are the ways you can earn money to get what you want?
________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
4. How long do you think it will take you to earn the needed money?
________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
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Story Sequence
Story Title ___________________________________________
Setting: Time and Place
ê
Characters
ê
Story Beginning
ê
First Event
ê
Second Event
ê
Third Event
ê
Story Ending
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Story Pyramid
Name____________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________
Story
Author _________________________________
1. Name of the main character
2. Two words describing the main character
3. Three words describing the setting
4. Four words stating the problem
5. Five words describing the first event
6. Six words describing the second event
7. Seven words describing the third event
8. Eight words stating how the problem is
solved
Pyramid
1. ________
Name
______________________
2. ______ ______
3. _______ _______ _______
4. _______ ________ _______ _____
5. _______ _______ ______ ______ ______
6. ______ _______ ______ ______ ______ ______
7. _______ _______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______
8. _______ _______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ _____
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Cause and Effect Chart
Name ___________________________________________
Cause
Effect
è
è
è
è
è
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Venn Diagram
Name _________________________________________
Different
Alike
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Appendices
Book Introductions
Guided Reading Forms
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Book Introductions
Before introducing a book, the teacher needs to make the child familiar with the story, the plot,
the words, the sentences, and the writing style. For example, a teacher might:
•
Draw the child's attention to the important ideas.
•
Discuss the pictures of the whole book.
•
Give opportunities for the child to hear the new words that he or she will have to guess
from the pictures and language context.
•
Ask the child to find one or two new and important words in the text after he or she has
said what letter he or she would expect to see at the beginning.
The teacher is ensuring that the child has in his head the ideas and the language he or she
needs to read the text. The child should know what the story is about before he or she reads
the book.
Adapted from Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training
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Preparation for Story Introduction Using Leveled Trade Books
Step 1: Choose an appropriate book for the guided reading group and read the book ahead of
time. An appropriate book would be one the children can read at an instructional level
with 90-94% accuracy. (After introducing the book, ask a child to read a small
portion of the text to ensure the text is at the student's instructional level. If the child
makes more than five errors, not counting names, the book may be too hard.)
Step 2: Select one or two words that “make the book work.” Decide how to introduce the
word(s) to the group. Call the children's attention to some features of the word.
(Examples: “It's a name so it will begin with a capital letter.” “If you know the word
car, then you will be able to read the word cards. Frame the word cards with your
finger.”)
Book Introduction Framework for Guided Reading Lessons
Using Leveled Trade Books
Step 1: Introduce the title, the author, the setting, the theme, and the characters using the
cover of the book. (The teacher will actually be giving a short summary of the story
using the book cover.)
Step 2: Expand upon the setting and introduce potentially difficult names.
Step 3: Probe/ask questions to activate the students' prior knowledge.
Step 4: Have students look at each page of the book. Conduct a short discussion and
prompt the children so they begin to understand the plot of the story by asking them
what they think is happening on each page. The teacher can also model his or her
reflections about the story aloud, i.e., I wonder ___.
Step 5: When appropriate, have students find the one or two words the teacher pre-selected
that “make the book work.” Call the children's attention to some features of the word
and locate the word(s) in the text.
Step 6: At the end of the book, pause to allow students to generate the ending.
Step 7: Have the children read the story independently.
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Preparation for Story Introduction Using Longer Picture Books
Step 1: Choose an appropriate book for the guided reading group and read the book ahead of
time. An appropriate book would be one the children can read at an instructional level
with 90-94% accuracy. (After introducing the book, ask a child to read a small portion
of the text to ensure the text is at the student's instructional level. If the child makes
more than five errors, not counting names, the book may be too hard.)
Step 2: Read the book ahead of time in order to decide how the book can be divided into
smaller portions to facilitate the students’ understanding of the story as well as to fit
the actual reading into the time allotted during the school day.
Step 3: Select one or two words that “make the book work.” Decide how to introduce the
word(s) to the group. Call the children's attention to some features of the word.
(Examples: “It's a name so it will begin with a capital letter.” “If you know the word
car then you will be able to read the word cards. Frame the word cards with your
finger.)
Book Introduction Framework for Guided Reading Lessons
Using Longer Picture Books
Step 1: Introduce the title, the author, the setting, the theme, and the characters using the
cover of the book. (The teacher will actually be giving a short summary of the story
using the book cover.)
Step 2: Expand upon the setting and introduce potentially difficult names.
Step 3: Probe/ask questions to activate the students' prior knowledge.
Step 4: Have students look at the illustrations of the portion of the story that is to be
introduced and read that day. Conduct a short discussion and prompt the children so
they begin to understand the plot of the story by asking them what they think is
happening in the picture(s) on each page. The teacher can also model his or her
reflections about the story aloud, i.e., I wonder ___.
Step 5: When appropriate, have students find the one or two words the teacher pre-selected
that “make the book work.” Call the children's attention to some features of the word
and locate the word(s) in the text.
Step 6: Have the children read the selected portion of the story independently.
The following day:
Step 7: Have students discuss the reading from the previous day. Predictions made the day
before can be reviewed and updated.
Follow Steps 3-6 until the book is finished. (Near the end of the book, the teacher will
want to allow the students to generate the ending of the story.)
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Preparation for Story Introduction Using Chapter Books
Step 1: Choose an appropriate book for the guided reading group and read the book ahead of
time. An appropriate book would be one the children can read at an instructional level
with 90-94% accuracy. (After introducing the book, ask a child to read a small portion
of the text to ensure the text is at the student's instructional level. If the child makes
more than five errors, not counting names, the book may be too hard.)
Step 2: Read the book ahead of time in order to decide how the book can be divided into
smaller portions to facilitate the students' understanding of the story as well as to fit
the actual reading into the time allotted during the school day.
Step 3: Select one or two words that “make the book work.” Decide how to introduce the
word(s) to the group. Call the children's attention to some features of the word.
(Examples: “It's a name of a country so it will begin with what kind of letter?” “If you
know the word car then you will be able to read the word cards. Frame the word
cards with your finger.”)
Book Introduction Framework for Guided Reading Using Chapter Books
Step 1: Introduce the title, the author, the theme, and the characters using the cover of the
book. (The teacher will actually be giving a short summary of the story using the
book cover.)
Step 2: Have students predict and discuss the setting of the story using the book jacket.
(The students will want to verify their predictions of the setting as they read the book.)
Step 3: Introduce potentially difficult names.
Step 4: Probe/ask questions to activate the students' prior knowledge.
Step 5: Have students locate any illustrations in the book. Conduct a short discussion and
prompt the children so they begin to understand the plot of the story by asking them
what they think is happening in the picture(s) on each page. The teacher can also
model his or her reflections about the story aloud, i.e., I wonder ___.
Step 6: When appropriate, have students find the one or two words the teacher pre-selected
that “make the book work.” Call the children's attention to some features of the word
and locate the word(s) in the text.
Step 7: Have the children read a selected portion of the story independently.
The following day:
Step 8: Have students discuss the reading from the previous day. Predictions made the day
before can be reviewed and updated.
Follow Steps 3-6 until the book is finished. (Near the end of the book, the teacher will
want to allow the students to generate the ending of the story.
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears
A Sample Introduction
Introduction
• Have students tell about some fairy tales they have read. Ask how many students
have read Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Discuss what characters the students
would expect to see in the story.
•
Have students look at the cover of the book. Introduce the author and illustrator.
•
Have students look at Goldilocks and describe her. Tell students that even though she
looks very sweet in this illustration she is really very naughty and does exactly as she
pleases.
•
Have students look at the three bears on the cover. Discuss their sizes. (medium)
•
Discuss with students what naughty things they expect Goldilocks to do in this story.
•
Word Work: car/hard/charming/start/parlor
•
Have students take turns looking through illustrations and discuss what they think could
be happening in the story. (Patooie!)
•
Ask students to recall how all fairy tales begin and end. Look for once upon a time and
happily ever after.
•
Have students read the story to themselves at their desks. Remind students that when
they come to a word they don’t know to:
1. Think about what would make sense in the story.
2. Try to blend the word.
3. Look for small parts in the word to figure out the bigger word.
•
Following day: have students take turns reading the story aloud in small group.
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Uncle Jed's Barbershop
A Sample Introduction
Introduction Day 1
• Discuss favorite relatives the students have and what they call them. Make a list.
•
Have students look at the cover of the book. Introduce Jedediah Johnson. Tell students he
was this little girl's favorite uncle and she called him Uncle Jed. Have students discuss
what he may be doing in the cover's illustration. Tell students he is a barber and this girl's
mother wouldn't let him cut her hair. So, he would pretend to cut her hair with clippers, and
then would spread lotion on the back of her neck.
•
Introduce the author and illustrator. Discuss with students that the kind of book they are
about to read is historical fiction, and it is a personal narrative. (I/the reader does not know
the little girl's name.) Also discuss the time period of this book.
•
Word Work: car/care/share
•
Big Word: sharecropper
•
Tell students this family (as well as many other families during this time) lived on someone
else's land and farmed the land. Each family had to give a share of the crop to the owner
as rent.
•
Have students take turns looking through illustrations from pages 1-8 and discuss what
they think could be happening in the story.
•
Have students read the story to themselves at their desks. Remind students that when
they come to a word they don’t know to:
1. Think about what would make sense in the story.
2. Try to blend the word.
3. Look for small parts in the word to figure out the bigger word.
•
Seat work: have students write and draw a picture about what they want to be when they
grow up.
Introduction Day 2
• Have students take turns reading pages 1-8 aloud in small group. Discuss any reactions
to what they had read.
•
Have students turn to page 9 and discuss what they think is happening in the story.
Discuss what would happen to them if they got very, very sick
•
Word Work: make a list of words of what would happen if they were taken to the hospital.
Ask students if they think any of these words might appear in their reading for today.
•
Tell students that today they are going to be reading about segregation. Ask if anyone
knows what that word means. (Segregation: to separate a group of people from the rest of
society—in schools, in housing, etc.) Ask students to read pages 9-16.
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•
Have students read this portion of the story to themselves at their desks. Remind students
that when they come to a word they don’t know to:
1. Think about what would make sense in the story.
2. Try to blend the word.
3. Look for small parts in the word to figure out the bigger word.
•
Seat work: have students write about how they would feel if they were this little girl and her
family. Have them predict what Uncle Jed will do.
Introduction Day 3
• Have students take turns reading aloud pages 9-16. Have students share yesterday's
seatwork in the small group.
•
Tell students that Uncle Jed again saved the money in a bank to open his own barbershop
and then another incident happened. It was called the Great Depression—when a lot of
banks closed and a lot of people lost their money. Ask students if they think Uncle Jed will
give up his dream.
•
Have students look through the illustrations from pages 17 to the end. Have them discuss
what is happening in the illustrations.
•
Word Work: car/hard/start/started
•
Big Word: sparkled
•
Have students read this portion of the story to themselves at their desks. Remind students
that when they come to a word they don’t know to:
1. Think about what would make sense in the story.
2. Try to blend the word.
3. Look for small parts in the word to figure out the bigger word.
•
Seatwork: have students list which of the Seven Skills Uncle Jed displayed in this story
and give examples of each one listed.
Introduction Day 4
• Have students take turns reading aloud pages 17 to the end of the story. Have students
share yesterday’s seatwork in the small group.
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Adapted from Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell
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Notes
Friday
Thursday
Wednesday
Tuesday
Monday
Week 2
Notes
Friday
Thursday
Wednesday
Tuesday
Monday
Week 1
Guided Reading
Groups
Guided Reading
Groups
Independent Work Groups
Management of Guided Reading—Ten Day Plan
Name
Monday
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Guided Reading Record
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
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Guided Reading Record
Name
Observational Notes
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Guided Reading Record
Date
Observations
Adapted from Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell
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Record of Book-Reading Progress
Book Level
Book Title
Child’s Name ______________________________________________ Grade
_______________
Title of Book, Accuracy Rate, Self-Correction Rate (M=above 90%; N=below 90%)
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
Date
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Adapted from Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell
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Record of Book-Reading Progress
Book Level
Book Title
Child’s Name ______________________________________________ Grade
_______________
Title of Book, Accuracy Rate, Self-Correction Rate (M=above 90%; N=below 90%)
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
Date
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Adapted from Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell
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