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Black Cowboy, Wild Horses. Julius Lester * Jerry Pinkney. Teacher read Aloud: Dakota Dugout. As you listen, ask yourself how well the author conveys what homesteading is like. Do you think the author did a good job of describing what a homesteader’s life was like.

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Black Cowboy, Wild Horses

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Black Cowboy, Wild Horses

Julius Lester * Jerry Pinkney

Teacher read Aloud: Dakota Dugout

  • As you listen, ask yourself how well the author conveys what homesteading is like.

  • Do you think the author did a good job of describing what a homesteader’s life was like.

  • Do you think she clearly explained how she felt about her home on the prairie?

What hardships did the author and her husband face while homesteading?

  • No sunlight came into the dugout; dirt fell on the bed; snakes got inside; the wind came through the door; they lost twelve cattle during the winter; the summer sun destroyed their first corn crop.

How does the author help the reader visualize the different seasons on the prairie? Give examples from the text to support your answer.

  • Metaphors; the ground was iron; words for sounds; whish-hush; vivid verbs; booming; similes; geese like yarn in the sky.

What do you think the author means by the statement Sometimes the things we start with are the best?

  • We often have simple homes and possessions when we are young, but sometimes these things are more precious than the most expensive belongings we get later.

Teacher read Aloud: Dakota Dugout

  • Do you think the author did a good job of describing what a homesteader’s life was like.

  • Do you think she clearly explained how she felt about her home on the prairie?


  • Bluff

  • Herd

  • Mares

  • Milled

  • Ravine

  • Remorse

  • Skittered

  • stallion


  • A high cliff or bank

  • We could see the bluff in the distance.


  • When we hiked to the top of the _____, we could see___________________ below us.


  • A group of animals of a single kind.

  • The herd of zebras grazed on the grasslands.


  • Santa kept his ______ of reindeer on the __________________ at _______.


  • Female horses

  • The mare stayed close to her colt in the pasture.


  • Corral, spirited, colt, galloped, around, The, the, with, mare, her

Put the words above in order to create a sentence.

The spirited mare galloped around the corral with her colt.


  • To move around in confusion

  • The guests milled around the red Ferrari at the car show.


  • People __________ around the _____ of the super train waiting for___________.


  • A narrow, deep valley usually worn away by water.

The bridge over the ravine was damaged by the tornado.


  • The narrow ___________ snaked its way across the _____________.


  • The unhappiness that comes with wishing that one had not done something.

  • When Reina’s cat heard Reina cry over the dead bird, her heart burned with remorse.


  • Her whole body ached with ______ over the _________________.


  • To move lightly and quickly

The white stallions skittered over the bridge kicking up a cloud of dust.


  • Surf, The, the, black, of, mare, skittered, the, along, edge

Put the words above in order to make a sentence.

The black mare skittered along the edge of the surf.


  • An adult male horse

  • The stallion was the courageous leader of the wild horses.


  • Special, chocolate, named, was, The, stallion, Something, brown,

Put the words above in order to find the name of this stallion.

The chocolate brown stallion was named Something Special.

Structural analysis: Review of syllabication

  • High above, a hawk was suspended on cold threads of unseen wind.

  • Suspended……..find the VCCV pattern.

  • Break the word into syllables.

  • What are the rules for breaking words into syllables for each of these patterns:

    • VV--triumphantly

    • VCV--shivering

    • VCCV--mustangs

    • VCCCV--rumbling





/n/ or /әn/

Ain is the common spelling for this sound. Captain

Eon is the least common spelling of this sound. surgeon


Ture is the common spelling for this sound culture.



Sure is the common spelling for this sound treasure.

/n/ or /әn/

  • Mountain

  • Fountain

  • Captain

  • Curtain

  • Villain

  • Surgeon

  • luncheon

















  • Treasure

  • Measure

  • Pleasure

  • Leisure

Black Cowboy, Wild Horses

  • How is Bob Lemmons different from the other cowboys?

He goes off with his horse. The other cowboys work at the ranch.

What can you learn from the artwork on these pages?

  • What the ranch is like; what work goes on there, what the open land around the ranch is like.

What fact about slavery can you infer from what the author tells you about Bob Lemmons’s past?

  • Slaves were not allowed to learn to read.

What unusual skills does Bob Lemmons possess?

  • He can tell what animals passed over the ground and when. He can make horses think he is one of them.

What does the author mean when he says that Bob “needs to smell of sun, moon, stars, and wind”?

  • He needs to smell like a creature who lives on the plains. He has to be free from the smells of civilization.

How do you think Bob feels during the lightning storm? During the rainstorm?

  • Somewhat afraid; worried about his horse’s safety; very alert.

  • Very cold, tired.

How does the storm help Bob?

  • It lets him see where the herd is; it washes away the smells of civilization.

How can you tell that Bob Lemmons is doing something he has done many times before?

  • He knows where the horses are likely to go and what they will do. He knows where to wait for the horses and how to keep from scaring them.

Do you think you could ever learn to do the kinds of things Bob Lemmons does to bring in wild mustangs? Why or Why not?


  • How effectively do you think the author has described Bob Lemmon’s personality and way of life? Identify details that support your response.

  • How well has the author described the wild lands where Bob lives and works?

Wrapping up segment 1

  • What have you learned about the old time cowboy life so far?

  • In what ways do you think Bob Lemmons was like other old-time cowboys?

  • In what ways do you think he was exceptional?

Reading Card 12subtle meanings

  • From page 529: as hard and stinging as remorse.

  • White as grief

    Sometimes authors use words to express more than one meaning. These two phrases help describe the rain and the moon. They also have another meaning; the words grief and remorse may suggest something about Bob Lemmons’s life.

    Discuss what these phrases mean.

What mood is created in the first paragraph on page 532?

  • A tense, exciting mood

The author says that the mustangs think Bob is a horse, and so does Bob. In what ways might these statement be true?

  • Bob know how mustangs think and act, so he can behave in ways that the horses are used to.

What is Bob Lemmons trying to do?

  • Join the herd

What effect does the death have on the rest of the herd?

  • It frightens the mares. It throws the herd into confusion.

What does the stallion do to try to get the herd back under control?

  • He bites the mother of the dead colt to force her away from it. He makes the herd gallop away from the place where the death occurred.

Making judgments

  • When was a time you had to decide what was the right thing to do in a difficult situation?

  • Read paragraph 3 on page 535. Do you think Bob Lemmons acted wisely when he chose not to kill the rattlesnake?

  • How would the story be different if Bob had decided to kill the rattle snake?

  • What other decisions does Bob make about the animals? Are these decisions right or wrong?

Why did Bob make Warrior attack the stallion?

  • Defeating a herd’s stallion allowed him to take over the herd.

What skills does Bob demonstrate in the battle scene?

  • He is an exceptional rider. He is brave. He is able to help his horse win a battle.

What is Bob’s goal now?

  • To lead the horses back to the corral.

How does the author show Bob’s ability to concentrate on his goal?

  • He says, “For Bob , there was only the bulging of the horse’s dark eyes…”

Why doesn’t Bob ride Warrior into the corral?

  • Maybe Warrior doesn’t like being inside a corral because he loves freedom so much.

Why do you think the author ends the story the way he does?

  • He wants to show how important freedom is to both Bob and Warrior.

Wrapping up segment 2

  • Why was Bob Lemmons well suited to work as a cowboy?

  • What career do you think Bob Lemmons would choose if he were alive today?

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