Ballad of Little Joe Activities
Part of this story focuses on family and how much Joe's father loves him, and the trouble that causes for his brothers and their jealousy. Have students either paint a tree trunk or cut one from brown construction paper. Using these leaf patterns, students can draw pictures of family members or write their names on the leaves. Students can then cut out the leaves and glue them to their family tree.
The trouble between Joe and his brothers began when Joe's father gave him a colorful western vest. Have parent volunteers help you to cut vests out of brown paper bags. The students can then decorate and make their own colorful vest just like Joe's.
Talk with the students about how Joe's faith in God helped him through many difficult times. When he was in jail, Sheriff Bob asked him "...why is all of this bad stuff happening to you?" Joe replied, "I don't really know. But God is good. I reckon I just have to keep doin' what is right."
This quote from the Bible is the perfect example of what Joe was telling the Sheriff.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28
Discuss it's meaning with the class and talk about times when God has caused everything to work together in their lives. You may need to begin with an example to get them started.
Connect the book with the letter J for Joe. Students can work on printing the letter J and then move to work on the sound that the letter makes.