Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wild West: a Unit Study

PRIMARY TEXT: "Danger at the Wild West Show" (an American Girl History Mysteries book by Alison Hart)
ADDITIONAL TEXTS: Visit the Must-Reads section for titles.

Duration: 3 weeks/15 days
Subjects covered:
Reading Comprehension
Writing, Geography

An Unexpected Enemy
Literature: Read Chapter 1.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
What is Rose doing at the beginning of the book?
What have Rose and Raven practiced all summer?
What does Rose want to do more than anything?
Why won’t Rose’s mother let her be in the show?
Spelling/Vocabulary Words: Define parasol, prosperous, muffled, vaulted, gangly, fringed
Writing Assignment: (Choose one.)
1. Write four sentences that Rose could say to her mother to convince her to be in the show.
2. Write four sentences about a character in the book.
3. Write four sentences summarizing the chapter.
Locate Kentucky on the map.
Learn about Kentucky at the state’s
official site.
Find the largest city,
Use the description on page 6 to draw Oliver.
Use the description on page 9 to draw Levi Frontier.
Read books about: Sitting Bull (the model for White Bear)
A Wild West Show
Rose wants Oliver to lie for her. Why? What does Oliver do instead of lie? Describe how you think Rose handled this situation. What could she have done better? (Review the 10 Commandments.)

Let the Wild West Begin!”

Literature: Read Chapter 2.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
What did Mr. Pearson bring to Rose and family?
What good news did Rose’s mother give her?
How is Rose dressed for the show?
What did her mother used to do in a Wild West show?
Why is North voting against the Dawes Allotment Act?
Vocabulary: Define: glorying, headquarters, muttonchops, transfer, correspondence, serenaded, preening, addled, coddled, guffawed, throttle, scrawny
Writing Assignment:
Describe Mr. Pearson’s visit.
If Rose had written about White Bear, what could she have written?
Draw a picture of the tent using the description on page 13.
Draw a picture of what Rose’s outfit looks like using page 19.
Create a Sioux winter count. (A winter count was a large piece of hide in which a Sioux would draw important scenes in his/her family life. Recreate it with brown construction paper or a paper bag torn along the sides, and draw pictures from events in your life.)
Read books about:
Remington typewriter.
Dawes Allotment
Listen to “My Old Kentucky Home.
What kindness did Rose show Oliver? Why? How does God call us to treat one another? Is there someone in your life to whom you could show more kindness?

Attack on the Dry Gulch Stage

Literature: Read Ch. 3.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
Which people are near the grandstand before the show?
How does Zane enter the track?
What is Rose’s part in the show?
What does Rose do to show Levi Frontier that she can be responsible?
What terrible act happens at the end of the chapter?
Vocabulary: Define: lurched, showy, bellowed, exaggerated, aloft, pummeling, slumped
Writing Assignment:
Write an introduction to Zane’s final trick.
Describe Rose’s experience during the show.
Draw any act from the show.
Draw Zane’s lariat tricks.
If you can find a jump rope, SAFELY try and see if you can do some lariat tricks.
Read books about:
Mexican vaqueros
Pony Express
Listen to
Dixie Land.
What emotion does Rose struggle with on page 30? How can she handle her jealousy?

Literature: Read Chapter 4.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
What does Rose tell Con to help the situation?
Who does Rose suspect of shooting General Judson? And why?
What clue does Rose give to Mr. Frontier?
How does Rose feel about Oliver being a settler?
What leaves Rose with a feeling of fear?
Vocabulary: Define: hollered, dawdled, pallid, hoisted, citizenry, authentic, portly, utmost, formidable, spooked
Writing Assignment:
Write four sentences about the Sioux. (Use books that you read in History.) Write four sentences about the act.
Draw a picture of a homestead.
Draw a picture of a Sioux tribe.
Do a
log cabin craft.
Read books about:
Homesteads in 1886
Listen to
Oh! Susanna!
Discuss the portrayal of Indians/Native Americans in the Wild West Show. Why are they shown negatively? Is it fair? Discuss discrimination. How does Jesus want us to treat one another?

White Bear’s Silence

Literature: Read Chapter 5.
Reading Comprehension:
How does Oliver react to the scene?
How does Rose handle the situation?
Why does Rose think she ruined the show?
What does White Bear not understand about ragged children?
Who do you think shot General Judson?
Vocabulary: Define the following: shielded, distorted, steeled, jeers, craggy, foreboding, provisions, retrace, singe
Writing Assignment
Write the apology that Rose owed the Sioux.
Write four sentences about how White Bear must feel.
Draw White Bear according to the description on page 48.
Do a
tipi craft.
Read books about:
Sioux (Check out
the Dakota/Lakota language links.)
Tipis (Look at
different styles online.)
How do you think Zane and Rose could better explain to their mother and Levi what happened? Is it all right to lie? Why do you think they are lying?


Literature: Read Chapter 6.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. Does Rose’s mother believe her? Why or why not?
2. How does Rose introduce Oliver to the world of horses?
3. How does Zane treat Rose in this scene?
4. Who shows up right after Rose’s act?
5. Do you think that Zane is guilty? Why or why not?
Vocabulary: Define: scrutinized, anxious, furrowed, sputtered, exhilaration, sidled
Writing Assignments:
1. Pretend you are introducing Rose’s new act. Write four sentences of what you would say.
2. Write a list of nicknames that you could have given Rose in addition to Zane’s “Trick-Riding Rose.”
Draw a picture of Raven using the description on page 61 as the basis.
Draw and label the pieces of equipment Rose puts on Raven.
Color any of the horses found
Read about:
Wild West Shows
Horse care in 1886
In Scripture, sometimes people are falsely accused of crimes. Can you name any people in the Bible who also suffered or thrown in jail? Remember that Jesus was also arrested and condemned without a fair trial. Read the account of his arrest in Scripture.

An Unexpected Ally

Literature: Read Chapter 7.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. How does Mr. Pearson treat Rose during Zane’s arrest?
2. What does Rose do instead of obey Mr. Pearson?
3. Why does Mr. Pearson think that Zane shot the general?
4. Why is Rose’s mother upset about how Rose breaks the news to Mr. Frontier?
5. What did Rose remember that General Judson and Senator North argued about on the night Judson was shot?
Vocabulary: Define: ally, protest, reassuringly, budge, reluctantly, fumed, evidence, intrude, haste
Writing Assignments:
1. Pretend you are Rose and write a letter to Senator Dawes telling him what you think about his law regarding reservation land.
2. Rose believes her hurrying caused Zane to get arrested. Write four sentences about whether you think she is right.
Color a
Wild West page.
Make a sheriff’s vest and badge. (Just use brown paper grocery bags, markers and scissors. Cut on side of the bag down the middle to make it a vest. Cut the bottom to fit you. Decorate it with markers.)
History: Discuss the terms: war hawk and crack shot.
Senator Dawes is trying to pass a law to take away reservation land from the Indians. Rose says it is stealing. Is she correct? Why? What does Scripture say about stealing? About the rights of people? Who is behaving as Jesus tells us to: Zane or Senator Dawes? Why?

False Friends

Literature: Read Chapter 8.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. Who does Mama suspect of taking Zane’s revolver? Why?
2. What does Oliver contribute (or “add”) to the basket for Zane?
3. What does Rose tell the coachman to do?
4. Why is Mama surprised that North is Zane’s first visitor?
5. Who passes the jail? What does Rose do?
Vocabulary: Define the following: suspicions, stately, recoiled, genuinely, heartsick, careen
Writing Assignments:
1. Write a list of items that you would have added to the basket for Zane.
2. Write four sentences about what you would tell Rose about the city that you live in.
Geography:Look up the baseball hall of fame.
Draw a basket filled with everything that Cook and Rose prepared for Zane. (Use the description on page 79.)
Try your hand at sewing, if you dare! ;-)
Singer Sewing machines
America’s first baseball team
Religion:Rose adds a four-leaf clover to the basket for luck. Do you believe in luck? Why or why not?


Literature: Read Chapter 9.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. Where has Rose seen the auburn-haired lady before?
2. What idea does Rose have for discovering the lady’s name?
3. How does Rose know the item in the Bible belongs to the lady?
4. What is suspicious about the list of congressmen in the newspaper?
5. Why didn’t Zane reveal the name of the lady?
Vocabulary: Define the following: smitten, persuade, snoop, marveling, tattered, pondering, winsomely, hodgepodge
Writing Assignments:
1. Write four sentences about what you would have in your trunk.
2. What do you think that Rose should say to the lady? Write it down.
Draw a picture of a handkerchief, as fancy as you’d like, with your initials on it. Use fabric paints to put your initials on a book bag or anything that your mom lets you do.
Bloomers: Read
online article:
Bicycles: Check out
historic bicycles.
Knowing that Zane reads his Bible, which story do you think is his favorite? Why?

Turned Away

Literature: Read Chapter 10.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. What skill does Oliver have that will help him help Rose?
2. How does Oliver get information from the conductor?
3. Of what does the mayor’s residence remind Oliver?
4. Why does Mama correct Rose? Do you agree with her?
5. Why hasn’t the auburn-haired lady helped?
Vocabulary: Define the following: worthy, hunched, traipsing, bribe, lightweight, apprehensive, jauntily, disdainful, determined, ruffians
Writing Assignments:
1. Write four sentences about something that you can do well.
2. Describe how you think ABR must be feeling.
Geography: Draw a map of your city. Be sure to make a key and use the appropriate symbols.
Do a watercolor of your home.
Draw a picture of how you imagine the auburn-haired lady to look like.
Southern Exposition
Thomas Edison
Cherokee Triangle (where the mayor lives)
Oliver reveals that he has a gift. He may not be able to ride horses, but he does know how to get around the city well. This skill lets him help out a friend in need. What gifts do you have? How can you serve God and help others by using this gift?


A Storm of Questions

Literature: Read Chapter 11.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. How does Oliver help Mama and Rose once again?
2. Why does Rose feel like she and Mama are truly alone?
3. What does Rose admit to White Bear/Ma-to-sea?
4. What advice does White Bear give Rose?
5. What does Rose do to try and understand who shot General Judson?
Vocabulary: Define the following: bulged, invaluable, stashed, scant, grimaced, silhouetted, sparse
Writing Assignments:
Write about the changes that Rose has seen in Oliver.
Write what you think that White Bear was trying to tell Rose.
Create a scene using these
Now that you know what silhouette means (see Vocabulary),
create one.
Get books about:
Mark Twain (his
official Website)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Rose realizes that she was wrong for teasing Oliver. She repents and promises herself not to do that anymore. What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Is there anyone that you need to forgive?


Literature: Read Chapter 12.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. Who does Rose and Oliver suspect as the shooter? Why?
2.How does Oliver feel about the bill?
3. How does Mr. Frontier react to Rose’s request to be in the show?
4. What does Billy Dees reveal about Zane’s shooting?
5. How has life been different since Rose and her family lost Papa?
Vocabulary: Define the following: wary, mustered, bustled, ornery, flamboyant
Writing Assignments:
1. Pretend you’re Rose and write four sentences about what you would say to White Bear.
2. What do you think about shooting? Write three sentences explaining your view.
Create a poster for Rose as a cowgirl.
Draw a picture of yourself as a trick-riding cowgirl.
Review any of the previous sites that you’ve seen.
The author writes: “Mama had a pile of troubles, yet it didn’t stop her from helping others.” Discuss what spiritual gift this is. Who in Scripture had troubles yet helped others? What can you do to reach out to others?

A Telltale Silence

Literature:Read Chapter 13.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. How does Rose approach White Bear?
2. What is his response to her request for help?
3. Why does Rose think that real shooter wants the act to pass?
4. What advice does White Bear give her?
5. What does Rose think happened that night?
Vocabulary: Define the following: teeming, cluster, humbly, parcels, meddle, propelled, churning
Writing Assignments:
1. Imagine you are White Bear. Write down your advice to Rose.
2. Write a timeline for the events that happened. (For example: “First, etc.”)
Create a lasso activity: Use several clean large white milk containers. Draw spots on the white chug containers to resemble cow spots. Fill the cows with water to help weigh them down; make sure they are closed tightly. Cut some rope for the lasso. Practice roping the cows.
Listen to “Camptown Races” online.
Rose says that she requests White Bear’s help humbly. She stresses the word. What does “humble” mean? Does Jesus ask us to be humble? Why or why not?

Welcome Surprises

Literature: Read Chapter 14.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. How does the audience react to Rose’s riding tricks?
2. Who captures the shooter? Is this surprising? Why or why not?
3. What does Rose urge Senator North to do in Washington, D.C.?
4. Why does Mr. Frontier apologize?
5. What dream comes true for Rose?
Vocabulary: Define the following: haltingly, flanking, wince, relented, heroine, accommodations, preoccupied, dilemma, incredulous
Writing Assignments:
1. Write a few sentences about what Senator North should say in Washington D.C.
2. Write a few sentences about what you think will happen next in the story.
Geography: Locate Washington, D.C. on the map.
Draw a picture of Rose’s new outfit.
Create a flyer for Rose’s show.
Get books about:
Annie Oakley
Washington, D.C.
Visit the White House for Kids.

Mr. Frontier is forgiven for the many ways he failed them. How do Rose and her mother accept the apology? What does Scripture say about forgiveness? Do you need to forgive anyone today or ask anyone for forgiveness?

Trick-Riding Rose
NOTE: The chapter is so short that today, you can have a lighter day of school and/or use the online resources from the previous days.

Literature: Read Chapter 15.
Reading Comprehension: (Answer in complete sentences.)
1. What is Miss Abigail Reed doing for the show this evening?
2. What does White Bear tell Rose?
3. What do you think will happen next in their lives?
Vocabulary: Define the following: strenuous, righted, exasperated
Writing Assignments:
Write about any of the following:
your favorite character
your favorite scene
a summary of the book
You can also write a few sentences about yourself as a character in the book.
Choose any of the projects from previous days that you have not done.
History: Read the historical notes at the end of the book.
In the book, characters appear to be one way and then show themselves to be another. For example, Oliver appears to be weak and silly because of his lack of Wild West skills. Yet he has strength and skills in other areas. Sometimes, we need to give a chance to people and see them for who they really are. In Scripture, who are some people who might seem a certain way but end up strong and capable? Who in the Bible is like this? Consider David in the Old Testament.

Also, Rose learns to be more appreciative of everyone. By the book end, she is more grateful for her mother and appreciates her friendship with Olive more. What other lessons do you think that some characters have learned? Who in the Bible reminds you of them?

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