Monthly Archives: April 2015

Sitting Bull

Week 16: Sitting Bull


Read K – 3: A Picture Book of Sitting Bull by David Adler 

4 – 6: Sitting Bull by Susan Aller

7 – 8: Don’t Know Much About Sitting Bull by Kenneth Davis


  • What were the many ways Indians used buffalo? (ate meat, used skin to make clothes, tepees, blankets, used horns to make spoons and cups, made ropes and belts from hair)
  • Did Indians kill buffalo for fun? (no, only killed what they needed)
  • What was Sitting Bull’s name as a child? Why? (Slow; never seemed to be in a hurry)
  • How did he get the name Sitting Bull? (Hit a Crow Warrior and knocked the bow and arrow from his hand.)
  • Why was Sitting Bull angry with white settlers? (They killed millions of buffalo for sport; they traveled through their lands and built houses, towns, and forts on their land; they broke peace treaties they had made with his people.)
  • What were Reservations? (areas of land where Native Americans were being forced to relocate so white settlers could live in their land)
  • Did Sitting Bull want to live on the reservation? (no)
  • What happened to Native Americans who refused to move to reservations? (they had to face the U.S. military)
  • Who won the Battle of Little Bighorn? (Sitting Bull & the Native Americans)
  • What famous Colonel was killed? (Custer)
  • Why did Sitting Bull lead the Sioux tribe to Canada? (thought they would be safe there)
  • Why didn’t they stay in Canada? (not enough food; starving)
  • What famous show did Sitting Bull become a part of? (Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show)
  • Why was Sitting Bull killed? (The Sioux tribe performed a wild dance in the hopes of bringing back dead family and to bring herds of buffalo and floods to drown white enemies; Whites thought it was a war dance and killed Sitting Bull, his son and others.)

Questions for Grades 4 – 8:

  • How did the Lakota Sioux use Buffalo droppings? (fuel for fires)
  • What was the Pacific Railroad Act? (law that gave millions of acres of land to railroad companies for railroads and telegraph wires)
  • The Pacific Railroad act was signed into law in 1862. Who was president at this time? (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Who did this land belong to? (Native American tribes)
  • Why were whites hired to kill buffalo? (so Native Americans would not need to roam the plains any more and would have to live on the reservations; to feed the men working to build the railroad.)
  • How did the railroad affect the buffalo? (they were scared of it)
  •  Why were the Black Hills important to the Lakota Sioux? (Holy Mountains; they believed sacred spirits of their people lived there.)
  • Why were the Black Hills important to the government? (They believed gold was there.)
  • Did the government honor their treaty to stay out of the Great Sioux Reservation? (no; thousands of gold seekers rushed to the Black Hills.)
  • What happened to Native Americans who refused to move to reservations? (They were killed)
  • Could Native Americans hunt buffalo on reservations? (No)
  • How did they eat? (farmed; given food)
  • Did the Native Americans like the schools for their children? (no, kids were taught English; had to live away from home at school; had to dress like white settlers.)
  • What did Sitting Bull do with the money he earned from the Wild West Show? (used it to help his people and the poor)
  • Does the Lakota tribe still live on reservations? (Many still do.)

Activities: K – 2:  Draw your own picture of Sitting Bull. Underneath the picture write 3 sentences telling 3 things you learned about this great chief.
3 – 5: From this site: read many statements spoken by Sitting Bull. Choose 5 quotes and copy them onto a separate sheet of paper. Then, tell why you think they are famous.
6 – 8: Choose one of the following for a 5 paragraph, 3 proof essay topic:

  1. In what ways did the U.S. government wrong the Lakota Sioux tribe?
  2. In your opinion why was Sitting Bull such a great Indian chief?
  3. Describe how Indian reservations killed Native American culture.

Copyright April 29th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Buffalo Bill

Week 15: Buffalo Bill


Read K – 5: Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanor Coerr (read also “Author’s Note” on the last page)

6 – 8: Buffalo Bill Cody by Charles Shields


  • What famous man rode for the Pony express when he was young? (Buffalo Bill)
  • Why was Bill called “Buffalo Bill”? (while he worked on the railroad, he supplied buffalo meat to workers)
  • Was Buffalo Bill truthful? (no)
  • Was Buffalo Bill friends with Indians? (yes)
  • The Pony Express existed in the early 1800’s.  What did it deliver? (mail)
  • Why did mail stop being delivered by the Pony express? (telegraph lines & railroad)
  • Was being a Pony Express rider dangerous? (Yes)
  • Why? (bandits, Indians, weather, wild animals)

Questions for Grades 6 – 8:

  • About how many buffalo lived in the Great Plains in the 1850’s? (millions)
  • How many buffalo were left by the late 1800’s? (just over 500)
  • Why were so many killed? (to provide meat for railroad workers, for sport)
  • How did Buffalo Bill become famous? (writer began writing cheap novels about him, embellishing the facts to make him look like a folk hero; Buffalo Bill began acting in plays portraying himself.)
  • What bad habit did Bill develop while performing his shows? (drinking)
  • Describe Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show? (half history lesson, half circus, riders leaped from one horse to another, fake Indian attacks, shooting matches, buffalo hunt, reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand)
  • What famous Native American chief became part of his show? (Sitting Bull)
  • How did most white Americans view Native Americans before the Wild West show? (as savages)
  • How did many Americans view Native Americans after seeing the Wild West show? (people with strong and proud identity who had been driven from their homeland)
  • How did the Native Americans who performed in his shows view Buffalo Bill? (as a friend)
  • According to Bill, why did Native Americans perform acts of violence? (broken promises by the government; “white man does not keep his word”)

Activities: K – 2: Pony express coloring page:
3 – 5: Recreate your own “Wanted” poster for Pony Express riders similar to this one on this site:
Then answer the following questions:

  1. Why do you think the company wanted young, skinny fellows?
  2. Why do you think the company wanted orphans?

6 – 8:Answer 3 of the following in paragraph form (Buffalo Bill worksheet see attached):  Buffalo Bill Worksheet

  1. Compare and contrast Buffalo Bill’s life with that of a modern famous entertainer.
  2. Do you think Native Americans today would have appreciated Buffalo Bill’s shows or found them to be insulting? Why or why not?
  3. Through Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, many whites became aware of how unfair they had been to Native Americans by moving on to their lands. If Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show had been performed 100 years earlier, do you think white settlers would have been reluctant to settle on Native American land? Why or why not?
  4. If you had the opportunity to see a show like Buffalo Bill’s would you want to go? Why or why not?
  5. Of all of Buffalo Bill’s accomplishments, what do find most interesting? Why?

Copyright April 22nd, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Soldier’s Life, Civil War

Week 14: Soldier’s Life, Civil War


Read K – 5: The Code of the Drum by L.L. Owens  & Read NOTE* (see below)

View 6 – 8:  America: The Story of US video: (Civil War: Disk 2 Section 1) & Read NOTE (see below)  You may be able to see the video for free by clicking on this website:

Parents: The above video is a bit bloody and intense.  I recommend viewing it first before showing it to your children.

Note: The end of the Civil War was considered to be Total War.  Union armies marched through the South destroying anything that might help the Confederates keep fighting.  They burned buildings and took food and valuables from peoples’ homes.  Finally Grant’s army of 100,000 Union soldiers surrounded Lee’s army of 26,000 Confederates and Lee surrendered.  Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9th, 1865 at Appomattox Court House.  The war had lasted 5 years.  By the end of the war, one out of every 10 men from the North was killed or wounded.  From the South, one out of every three men was killed or wounded.


Questions: For K – 5 Only:

  • What was the infantry? (Soldiers trained to fight on foot)
  • How heavy were the soldiers’ packs? (30 pounds)
  • Why were drum calls important during the Civil War? (told soldiers what to do)
  • Were boys able to be in the army? (yes)
  • What did many boys do in the army? (played drum or bugle)
  • Could drummers be killed during battles? (yes)
  • What other jobs did young boys do around the soldiers’ camp? (carried water, delivered messages, helped wounded, mended uniforms, served food, cut hair)
  • T/F There were more than 10 different drum calls during the Civil War. (true)
  • Name some of the reasons there were drum calls? (roll call, to march, to assemble, to awaken camp, to come to alarm posts, etc.  There was even a call to bring soldiers to church!)

Questions for All Grades:

  • How many years did the Civil War last? (5)
  • How many men from the North were killed or wounded? (1/10)
  • How many men from the South were killed or wounded? ( 1/3)
  • Who surrendered? (Lee)
  • Where did he surrender? (Appomattox Court House)

Activities: K – 2:  Color this Civil War drummer coloring page:   AND

K – 5: Then Listen to Civil War Drum calls on YouTube by clicking here:

Grades 3 – 5:   Write paragraphs to answer the following questions.

      • Do you think Jacob made the right decision to join the Union army at such a young age? Why or why not?
      • How do you believe his mother is reacting to his decision?
      • Did Jacob’s decision to fight for the Union save lives? What would have happened if he hadn’t become a drummer for the Union army?

6 – 8: None!

Copyright April 15th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Medical Advances, Civil War

Note: To find out about the Nationwide “PHB” HOMESCHOOL ART CONTEST, click  HERE:

Entries must be postmarked by SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH, 2015!  



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Week 13: Medical Advances, Civil War


Read K – 3: Clara Barton: Spirit of the American Red Cross by Patricia Lakin

4 – 6:

  1. Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne AND
  2. Clara Barton’s biography from this site:

7 – 8:

  1. The Story of Clara Barton by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack AND
  2. This article on surgery before Anesthesia:
  3. This article on Anesthesia:  AND
  4. This article on Medical Innovations of the Civil War:  AND
  5. Read “Note”.  See below.

Note: The word “Anesthesia” comes from 2 Greek words meaning “Without Sensation”


      •  Who started the American Red Cross? (Clara Barton)
      • Describe what happened to Clara’s brother David and how Clara helped? (David fell and was injured; he became very weak and sick; Clara cared for him for 2 years until he recovered)
      • What was Clara’s first job? (teacher)
      • How did Clara help during the Civil War? (collected clothes, food, medicine, other supplies for soldiers, helped injured soldiers)
      • Was Clara’s work dangerous? (yes; she helped injured soldiers right at battle sites; one time a bullet shot through her sleeve and killed a soldier she was helping)
      • What was Clara’s nickname during the Civil War? (angel of the battlefield)
      • The American Red Cross helps what people? (victims of wars and natural disasters)
        Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
      • The discovery of what substance before the Civil War revolutionized Medical care around the world? (Anesthesia)
      • What were operations like before anesthesia? (agonizing pain; traumatic, many died from pain)
      • What does anesthesia do for patients? (causes them to fall asleep, feel no pain)
      • What is anesthesia made from? (ether)
      • What does the word anesthesia mean? (without sense)
      • Name 5 other medical innovations during the Civil War? (amputations, anesthesia inhaler, closing chest wounds, facial reconstruction, ambulances to ER)

Activities: K – 3: Pick 3 worksheets from this Disney American Red Cross booklet for your child to complete:
4 – 6: Clara Barton worksheets:
7 – 8: Complete these worksheets:
Then, consider the following:
• Medical attention on the battlefield (from Clara Barton & other nurses)
• Anesthesia
• Amputations
• Anesthesia Inhaler
• Closing chest wounds
• Facial reconstruction
• Ambulances to ER
Which of these do you consider to be the most important contribution to the Medical field during the Civil War? Explain your answer in writing on the back of one of the above worksheets.

Copyright April 8th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Art, Charlotte Mason, Civil War Era, Contests