Stone Fox: A Collection of Lessons

Grade Levels: 3 - 5


  • Students will be able to discuss the visual images they form of the characters and setting.
  • Students will explore and compare the geographical setting of the story to their own.
  • Students will expand their vocabulary using words from the story.
  • Students will be able to discuss the concepts of property taxes, land acquisition, and Indian reservations.
  • Students will be able to discuss details of the story after it is read.
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast story elements between the video version and the book version of the story.
  • Students will be able to execute a basic search and print operation using the computer.
  • Students will be able to create and/or solve a word search.
  • Students will be able to express, through art, their favorite part of the book.
  • Students will be able to put the story events in sequential order.


  • Stone Fox, book and video starring Buddy Ebsen
  • Vocabulary lists for handouts
  • Drawing paper
  • Blank U.S. maps showing the political subdivisions of the states
  • Colored pencils or crayons
  • Pictures/books of Wyoming
  • Find-a-word puzzle


Lesson 1:

  1. Students will locate both Wyoming and your home state on a blank U.S. map.
  2. Have them label and color each of the two states. Labeling Canada and the oceans should be considered.
  3. Share pictures of Wyoming using library sources or the Internet. Discuss the climate of Wyoming and how it might compare and contrast to that of the home state of your class.
Lesson 2:
  1. Introduce three vocabulary words either by writing on the board or in a handout:
    city slickers
  2. Discuss potato farming.
  3. Read aloud Chapters 1-3.
  4. Discuss visual images of Little Willy, Searchlight, Doc Smith, and Grandfather.
Lesson 3:
  1. Discuss and display the following vocabulary:
    property taxes
    dog-sled races
    gold vs.paper money
  2. Read Chapters 4-6.
  3. Discuss visual images of Clifford Snyder and Stone Fox.
  4. Discuss similarities between Stone Fox and Little Willy - particularly their feelings about land.
Lesson 4:
  1. Review perceptions of Stone Fox.
  2. Read Chapters 6-10.
  3. Discuss differing perceptions of Stone Fox.
Lesson 5:
    Begin watching the video of Stone Fox. Discuss, after about 30 minutes of viewing time, the differences between the book and the movie.
Lesson 6:
    Watch 30 more minutes of the movie, after which the students will be able to name more differences.
Lesson 7:
    Finish the movie and the discussion of differences between the book and the movie. Ask the students which they liked better and why.
Lesson 8:
  1. All children will bring to class the name of five dog breeds they wish to research on the Internet. Hopefully enough will be named so that each child will be accessing a different site.
  2. The children will locate a picture of "their" dog on the internet and print out the picture.
Lesson 9:
    Create a word-search puzzle using characters and vocabulary from Stone Fox and distribute it to each student. An alternative way of doing this is to distribute graph paper and have the students make their own word searches.
Lesson 10:
    Students will draw a picture of their favorite scene from Stone Fox. All students will then be involved in putting the pictures in sequential order.

Extension Ideas:

  • Shoshone Indians could be investigated.

  • Biographical information about the author, John Reynolds Gardiner, could be found on the Internet.

  • Children may be able to create their own puzzles using software or the Internet.

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