Good Morning! Grandma is getting done. I found out we had a little more time than I thought we had last
week. Remember your tasks; Childrobotics; language of ABC's, words, vocabulary, and spelling; Journal
writing; extra assignments; math work; science projects; any extra reading; Yearbooks; family scrapbook;
In following the Book (1) Calendar history beginning with April 5th we have a birthday for Sir Joseph Lister,
English physician and planner in antiseptic surgery, born in 1827. Then in 1856 Booker T. Washington,
African-American educator, was born. W. Atlee Burpee, Canadian-American seed merchant, was born in
1858. In 1934 Ricard Peck, children's author, was born. Last Colin Powell, first African-American chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was born in 1937.
The events for April 5th include that of 1614 when Pocahontas, daughter of the Indian chieftain Powhatan,
married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. In 1792 George Washington issued the First Presidential
Veto, rejecting a bill affecting state representation. Then in 1793 Plans for the U.S. Capitol were accepted.
It is National Laugh Week and Book (1) says, "During National Laugh Week, read aloud each day from
Joke or riddle books. At the end of the week, invite each (child) to tell a favorite joke to them."
Book (1) says as part of the National Library Month, "For each week of National Library Month, give your
(children) book related goals. For example:
Week 1: Read as many animal books as you can, then write a paragraph on the most unusual animal
you learned about.
Week 2: Design book marks or organize story telling sessions for kindergartners.
Week 3: Read a book in a genre you've never read before.
Week 4: Read a fiction book, then draw and color a picture of your favorite scene.
April 6th has three birthdays as follows: 1483 Raphael, Italian painter; 1928 James Watson, American
biochemist who was one of the discoverers of the molecular structure of DNA; and 1958 Graeme Base,
children's author. Book (1) says, Graeme Base is the author and illustrator of Animalia and The
Eleventh Hour, two books that enchant children with their intricate designs. Share Animalia with your
(children). They'll soon discover that the illustration for each letter of the alphabet contains pictures of
objects that begin with that letter. Plus, the text for each page is an aliterative sentence. Invite your
students to work in paris to create a class "Alphabet Alliteration Anthology" patterned after Animalia.
Then bind the anthology and add it to your class library."
The events for this day include one in 1748 when the Burried City of Pompeii was discovered by an Italian
peasant digging in a vineyard. Then in 1869 Celluloid, the first plastic, was patented. In 1896 The First
Modern Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece. There is a history notation in Book (1) sometime in the
summer coverage, Grandma hopes to give later in which Hitler started the olympics trying to say that we
were superior to the Black people physically which failed on him. Then Grandma is going to give the last
event of 1909 in which the American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole.
Therefore, it is North Pole Day. It is also Keep America Beautiful Month and Book (1) says, "During Keep
America Beautiful Month, have your (children) brainstorm for tasks they can do to help protect the nation's
environment. Then have them each pick one task to do after school. The next day, ask the kids to share
stories of their good work. Afterward, give each (child) a piece of posterboard on which to create an
illustrated sign detailing the task performed "to Keep America Beautiful." For example: "I picked up trash
in the (park) to Keep America Beautiful" or "I recycled glass bottles to Keep America Beautiful." At the
bottom of their signs the kids can write this challenge: "What will you do to help today?" Post the signs
around the house, park, and throughout the community to promote awareness of Keep America Beautiful
Today is April 7th and there are 5 birthdays and 1 event for the day. It is also World Health Day.
In 1541 El Greco(Kyriakos Theotokapoulos), Greek painter , was born. In 1770 William Wordsworth,
English poet, was born. In 1860 Will Keith Kellogg, American food-products manufacturer, was born. Book
(1) says, "Will Keith Kellogg founded the Toasted CornFlakes Co,, which later became Kellogg's, in
1906. By 1909, he's sold more than 1 million cases of cornflakes. Gather five different cereals, then ask your
(children) to vote for the one they'd most likely buy--based solely on their first impression of the box. Next
discuss the techniques that companies use to get people to buy their cereals--for example, colorful
packaging, enticing pictures, appealing brand names, and bold print. Then challenge the children to use t
hose techniques to design their own cereal boxes. Have the (children) vote for the most appealing design."
One of the last two birthdays was in 1929 for Donald Carrick, children's author and illustrator. Then in 1939
Francis Ford Coppola, American Movie director, was born.
The one event happened in 1864 The only Camel Race ever held in the United States took place in
Sacramento, California. Book (1) says in One hump or two? "The camel played a vital role in the desert
cultures of North Africa, Arabia, and Asia. Its unique adaptations--including its capacity to store 1 1/2
gallons of water in one of its three stomachs--made it the ideal mode of strasportation in the desert. Tell
your (children) that there are two kinds of camels: the one-humped camel, or dromedary; and the
two-humped, or Bactrian, camel. The dromedary, the swifter of the two, can cover 100 miles in a single
day and is used primarily for riding. The Bactrian camel can cover only 30 miles per day but can carry
loads of up to 1,000 pounds. Pose this story problem to your (children): You live in a desert town and
own two dromedaries and a Bactrian camel. A merchant offers you money to transport 1,000 pounds of
pots to a town that is 75 miles to the south of your town, pick up a load of cloth, and return. While you're
considering this offer, another man approaches. He'll pay you the same amount of money to deliver a letter
to his sister and one to his mother, then return with any letters they might have for him. His sister's town is
135 miles east of yours, and his mother's town is 90 miles west of yours. Which job would require less of
Grandma is going to move on into the story of Wagon Wheels. Under Pre-reading Activities from Book
(184) of Grandma's learn about "the Author: Barbara Brenner Born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 26,
1925, Barbara Brenner began her writing career at the age of 25. Some of the nearly 50 books she has
written include A Snake-Lover's Diary and A Year in the Life of Rosie Bernard. Her years as a writer-
consultant and instructor at Bank Street College of Education helped her focus on urban children and on
literature for minority groups. Wagon Wheels, which was selected as an American Library Association
Notable Book in 1978, is a result of these interests.
Brenner has also written extensively about the world of nature. Five of her science books for children,
including Baltimore Orioles, won awards from the National Science Teachers Association and the
Children's Book Council. She enjoys bird watching, fossil hunting, yoga, and organic gardening."
"Meet the Artist: Don Bolognese In addition to illustrating over 150 books, Don Bolognese has written
children's books and is a well-known painter, calligrapher, and graphic designer. He has taught at various
art schools, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval museum, the Cloisters. Bolognese was
born in New York City on January 6, 1934.
Story Summary Wagon Wheels is the true story of the Muldies, a black pioneer family that settled in
Nicodemus, Kansas, in 1878. The trip has been a difficult one for Ed Muldie and his three young sons,
for the children's mother has died along the way. Now the family must fact the difficulties of life on the
prairie. Their home is merely a hole in the ground-dirt floors and walls, a grass roof, and no windows. The
family's food supply is desperately low during the freezing winter, but they, like others in the community,
are saved by the Osage Indians, who leave them meat, vegetables, and fuel. In the spring, Ed Muldie
leaves his sons to search for a better place for the family to settle. The boys must be even braver and
more responsible than before as they wait for their father to send for them. They hunt, fish, cook, and
clean, and the two older boys keep a careful watch over their three-year-old brother.
When their father's letter arrives three months later, the boys leave the next day to join him. They travel
on foot over 150 miles, living among wild animals for nearly a month. Finally they reach their father and
begin a new life.
Land of the Free Provide some background by explaining to (the children) that in order for people to
own land today, they must buy it. However, when the Muldies went West, they didn't have to pay any money
at all for land. In those days, there was a law that gave land to people for free. The Homestead Act of
1862 granted 160-acre tracts of public land to any head of a family who would live on the land for five years
and improve it. Men, such as Ed Muldie, had an opportunity to own land they otherwise could not afford.
The last page of Wagon Wheels provides further information on the background of this true story."
(This page of Grandma's book shows Mr. Muldie driving his wagon with the boys inside down the trail.)
This next worksheet is called "Going West". It deals with Comprehension. Book (184) says that each
Chapter of Wagon Wheels tells a different part of the story. Write a sentence that tells something
important that happens in each chapter.
Chapter 1: The Duggout shows a picture of the boys inside the dugout which is a hole in the side of a hill
held up by logs. The boys are looking out of the hole. There is lines on the side to tell about the chapter.
The next chapter, Chapter II: Indians has lines and a Native on the horse dropping goods on the ground
for the boys.
Chapter III: Moving On has lines and shows father Muldie leaving in the wagon.
The next chapter, Chapter IV: The Letter has lines and shows a small hand being handed a letter by a
At the bottom of the page it says to circle the chapter they like best.
The Next worksheep has to do with Vocabulary. It shows Mr. Muldie with his three boys on the wagon
seat and goods covered in the wagon with the following words on the side:
Firewood, Cornmeal, dugout, rattlesnake, saddlebags
It gives sentences below that in which the children are to fill out the sentence with the appropriate word to fit.
1. In Nicodemus the Muldies live in a ____________________________________.
2. For most of the winter, the only food the family has to eat is mush made from _____________________.
3. No one in Nicodemus has any_____________________________ to burn.
4. The Indians carry food and sticks in their______________________________.
5. One night the boys see a big prairie____________________________________.
A _____________________________ brings a letter to the boys.
The next worksheet is called "The Way West" and deals with Story Structure Sequence. The following
sentences have pictures with them and a little box square to number them in the order that they happen.
The first sentence shows the boys waving good-bye to their father. It reads "Ed Muldie leaves to find land
with trees and hills." The next picture shows Ed Muldie and one of his sons digging a hole. It reads "The
family builds a dugout." The third and last picture on the top row shows a man giving the boys a letter.
It reads "The boys get a letter from their father." The first picture of the other row of three pictures show
all three boys in their father's arms and it says "The boys find their father." The second picture on that
bottom row shows the three boys walking down the path and it says "The boys leave Nicodemus to join
their father." The last picture shows Ed Muldie with his three sons in the wagon and it reads "The boys
and their father arrive in Nicodemus." The children are to number the pictures in the order they happen.
Then they can write down what they think may happen next to the Muldies?
The next sheet is called "On the Prairie" and it is about Creative Writing. It shows a picture of the boys
taking turns as a look out while the other sleeps. Figure out considering they had no TV or anything for
their time but maybe a small item to carry for their time, at what time they went to bed and the other took
over watch. To fill out this sheet the children are to pretend they are Johnny Muldie and they keep a
diary for the days below. The children are to fill in the spaces telling what they might say in their diary.
Day 1:Getting Started; Day 8: A Scary Time; and Day 22: Almost There
The next activities are Art Activities called ""At Home on the Prairie"
Wagon-Wheels Mural Let the (children) create this mural to recall the things the pioneers took with
them when they went west.
You Need: a long sheet of mural paper, sketch paper, a black marker, pencils, regular or oil crayons, tape.
The book said to use lighter colors if the use oil crayons. I would use regular crayons.
Sketch the wagon of the Muldie's with pencil on mural paper and then trace it with black marker and then
let the children color it in. Put items in the wagon that the Muldie's may have with them as bags of seed,
clock, rope, hammer, cloth, plow, ax, candles, kettle, tin pitcher, coffee pot, shovels, matches, match bottle
to keep matches dry, crosscut saw, bake goods, bowls, skillet, broom, lantern, insturments, and whatever
else you can think of.
The next art project could be a Diorama of the inside of the dugout. Supplies could include scissors,
crayons, glue, construction paper, tape, woolen scraps, small twigs, cotton, green crepe paper,
toothpicks, a box or laundry buckets as grandma has been using some.
Take a piece of poster paper or a shoe box and form the inside of the Muldie's dugout by coloring,
drawing and tracing with markers as well as putting homeade pieces of furniture and things on the poster
as part of their home. What you can't make with the materials draw in. Tie sticks together for a bundle of
wood, use the piece of wool for a blanket or carpet, use grass and sticks to glue on the outside like a
dugout and a little piece of cotton as the smoke from the stove. Draw a table, the Muldies, and the things
mentioned in the book as well as cups or bowls, a lantern, and the banjo. Make the sides be able to fold
in and a top to fold for the roof.
This next part is for Cooperative Learning/Listening/ Speaking; it is called "Dugout Party". The first part is
a discussion about the differences there was in the times of the Muldies and what they did for
entertainment. First off they memorized songs or emprovised from what happened to them. They also
spent more time learning songs because they did not have anything else to do. They also made up
stories in their play a lot and did a lot of outdoor play as well the responsibility was given early in life.
Many were chopping wood, fishing, walking long distances, handling work of crops, cooking, and cleaning
early. Boys did hard labor early, knew how to milk and handle horses early as well as help build. Girls
were taught all kinds of sewing, cleaning, mending and family carring. People did a lot with music at that
time Therefore, on this page Book (184) says to learn the tune "Oh, Susanna!" do the following dance
with about 8-10 friends. With each facing a partner,
"Walk toward each other; bow or curtsy (4 counts)
Walk back to your place (4 counts)
Repeat. (8 counts)
Head couple hold hands and skip down the line.
Every one clap your hands. (8 counts)
Head couple hold hands and skip up the line.
Then hold hands up like a bridge. (8 counts)
Other couples walk under bridge, turn around,
march down the line, then march back up.
Head couple follow last couple at end of line. (16 counts)
This can repeat till each has a turn as the head couple or as interests hold.
Plain Cookin' Let your children know that in those times of the Muldie boys baked corn bread when they
lived alone. It was called johnny-cake and most pioneers knew how to cook it. It was cooked on a griddle.
It could be prepared for the Dugout Party.
2 cups of cornmeal 2 eggs 2 cups of milk
3 teaspoons of baking soda 2/3 cup of honey
1 3/4 cups of flour 1 1/2 tablespoons of molasses
1/2 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
If you make a bread of it mix the dry goods together and add the wet goods and put it in a bread pan,
square pan, or a black skillet. Grease whatever you use.
Wojapi Explain to students that the Osage Indians, who gave food to the starving Muldies, belong to the
Sioux nation. At that time, they grew beans, squash, corn, melons, and pumpkin. They also gathered
berries. With students, prepare this Sioux recipe. Serve it warm with the corn bread.
4 pounds of blueberries
1 cup of flour 1 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoon of honey
"Extended Activities are for Summarizing/Curriculum Connections
"Social Studies: Black Heroes of the West Black men and women played important roles in the development
of the West. Interested (children) can research the lives of these heroes, and groups of students can then
dramatize the heroes' adventures for the rest of the family.
Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable: Early fur trapper. He set up a trading post which became the city of Chicago.
James Beckwourth:Famous mountain man who became a Crow Indian chief, he discovered a pass through
the Sierra Nevada Mountains, now called the Beckwourth Pass.
Benjamin "Pap" Singleton:In the 1870's, Singleton urged blacks to move to black settlements in Oklahoma
and Kansas, including Nicodemus.
Mary Fields:Escaped slavery and settled in Montana, where she became an expert stage driver to
deliver the mail.
These two books will provide additional information about the role of blacks in the development of the
West: The Black Frontiersman by J. Norman Heard and Exploring Black America by Marcella Thum.
Tale Telling Telling stories was a favorite pastime of the pioneers. As a summarizing activity, have students
sit in a circle and pretend they are in the dugout. Start a prairie adventure, and let each (child) add a
sentence to it. Some story-starters are: "The night of the terrible prairie fire, we..." "When we heard the
snake's tail rattle, we knew that..." and "It was so cold in the dugout, we..." As a followup, encourage
interested students to write their own prairie adventures to share with others."
Geography: Ed Muldie's Map Map out the road from Nicodemus to Solomon together. Measure the
distance to make sure it was 150 miles and then possible count using your intuition on time about how many
miles the boys traveled in a day. Then display your map somewhere.
"Language Arts: What Would Willie Say? In the book eleven-year-old Johnny tells the story. How would
eight-year-old Willie tell it? or three-year-old Little Brother? or old Mrs. Sadler? Invite students to describe
one of the following scenes from the point of view of one of these characters. Encourage students to
illustrate their stories.
Pioneer Post To summarize Wagon Wheels, remind students that a post rider on horseback(might
be part of the Pony Express) delivers the letter to the Muldie boys. Ask students to pretend that they, too, are
pioneers in Nicodemus and that they are going to send a letter to a friend or relative back home in Kentucky
(or maybe their father ahead in Solomon). Have (the children) write about one of the problems the
Muldies face on the prairie. Invite students to read their finished letters to the class, then display them on a
bulletin board (or the wall titled Pioneer post or a poster board.)"