Author: Wilson Rawls Wilson Rawls was born in 1919 on a farm near Scraper, Oklahoma. He was the son of Minzy and Winnie Rawls. He spent most of childhood exploring the hills and valleys of the Ozarks. When it came to writing, Mr. Rawls was not always successful. Explore these links to learn more. Click here to a visit a site on this famous author. Click hereto visit another site.
Setting: The Ozarks Where the Red Fern Grows is set in the mountain country of the Ozarks. Some of the locations mentioned in the novel were Cyclone Timber county, Black Fox Hollow, Tahlequah, and Cherokee land. Click here for some more scenic landscapes.
Ozarks Overview The Ozarks is an upland area of low mountains which are deeply etched by water erosion. The eroded areas are often very rugged, being difficult and treacherous to foot travel. Though the mountains of the Ozarks are relatively low, the highest point being only 2,578 feet above sea level, they nonetheless are the only large area of elevated land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rockies. Because the mountain peaks are relatively uniform in height, the term Ozarks Plateau is quite descriptive.
Find the Region Encompassing about 55,000 square miles, the Ozarks Plateau is roughly bounded by the Mississippi River on the east, the Missouri River on the northeast, the Osage and Neosho rivers on the northwest and west, and the Arkansas River along the south. All of south central Missouri and most of northern Arkansas fall within these bounds. On a map, connect New Madrid to Cape Girardeau to St. Louis to Jefferson City to Osceola, in Missouri, to Miami to Tahlequah, in Oklahoma, to Russellville, in Arkansas, back to New Madrid, and you will have a good outline of the Ozarks Plateau. Return to the quiz The area in the light green shows the area the story takes place. Remember, Billy’s family lived in the Oklahoma area.
FACTS about this decade. Population: 123,188,000 in 48 states Life Expectancy: Male, 58.1; Female, 61.6 Average salary: $1,368 Unemployment rises to 25% Huey Long proposes a guaranteed annual income of $2,500 Car Sales: 2,787,400 Food Prices: Milk, 14 cents a qt.; Bread, 9 cents a loaf; Round Steak, 42 cents a pound Lynchings: 21 The Great Depression 1930 - 1939 No job, no hope . . . Click here to learn more.
Redbone Hounds In the story, Billy saves his money for 2 years to buy his coonhound pups. The 2 dogs together are a remarkable hunting team, and help earn money during these difficult Depression years. These dogs became Billy’s best friends. It is these two pets who become the central focus of the story. Explore these links to learn more about the attributes of Redbone Coonhounds. Redbone Hounds American Kennel Club
Take a quick quizQuestion 1 Where was the author Wilson Rawls born? A. Oklahoma B. Mississippi C. Nevada
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Question 2 Which 3 states do the Ozark Mountains include? A. Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky B. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee C. Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma
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Question 3 When does this story take place? A. World War II B. The Great Depression C. The Pioneer Days
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Question 4 Why are Redbone Coonhounds good hunters? A. They are quite large and intimidating. B. They are quick and agile runners. C.They have a rich, red color.
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Your Final Task Your final task is to write an expository paragraph that responds to oneof the following: • Describe the author Wilson Rawls. • Describe the Ozarks Region. • Describe the time in the U.S. known as The Great Depression. • Describe the attributes of the Redbone Coon dog. Use the expository paragraph structure that includes a topic sentence, detail sentences, and a conclusion. Back to start
Credits Wilson, R.(1961). Where the Red Fern Grows. New York:Bantam. http://www.akc.org/breeds/recbreeds/redbonecoon.cfm http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/redbonecoonhound.htm http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmr/mtai/rawls.html http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/decade30.html http://www.mce.k12tn.net/dogs/fern/rawls.htm http://www.ozarksnaturalistsnotebook.com/PAGE040112-ozarks.html http://www.todaysteacher.com/TheGreatDepressionWebQuest/briefoverview.htm