Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardner is a remarkable book about determination,bravery and love. You can use this Stone Fox lesson
plan for a math measuring lesson, research project in social studies, story comprehension and a class memory game. Just a warning–grab your tissues if you are going to read this book aloud to your students.
Here are questions for each chapter. If you are reading the book to your students, give them the questions ahead of time so their listening will be focused.
1. How did the dog get his name? (Page 5)
2. What finally made the doctor believe that Grandfather was really sick and not joking? (Page 7)
3. What was wrong with Grandfather? (page 10)
1.How did Grandfather and Little Willy communicate? (page 17)
2. List the words to describe Little Willy.
3. What did you learn about the potato plant? (page 19)
1. How did Little Willy prepare for winter. (page 23)
2. Describe a day for Little Willy when he had to go to school. (page 24)
1. What was the real reason why Grandfather was ill? (page 36)
1.Why was Little Willy being raised by Grandfather? (page38)
2. List all the people with whom Willy discussed the tax problem.
1. What did we learn about Stone Fox?
1. What happened in the deserted barn?
1. What can you tell about Little Willy’s character and bravery on page 65 and 67?
1. What happened when Willy passed Grandfather’s farmhouse during the race? How did it make Willy feel?
1. What did you learn about the character of Stone Fox?
2. The story seems to leave some loose ends. What do you think happens to Willy? To the farm? To Stone Fox? (In my mind, I think the Indian gives Little Willy one of his dogs.)
Maps and Measuring
Wyoming is one state that can be drawn with a ruler. Provide each student with plain paper and a ruler. Set the dimensions that you want your children to use when drawing Wyoming. For example, you might say the north and south borders should be 6” and the east and west borders 4 ½”. Instruct the students to add the major cities, rivers and the Teton Mountains that Little Willy described. Also add Jackson, Wyoming where Willy lived.
Stone Fox was from the Shoshone tribe. They were peaceful seed gatherers. The white men forced them to leave Utah and join the Arapaho tribe in Wyoming.
1. Show where they lived on a map
2. In what kind of shelters did they live?
3. Who were their enemies?
4. Who is Sacajawea?
5. Who are Lewis and Clark?
Prepare cards using one color of 9x12 construction paper. Write the character’s name on one piece of paper and their description on another.
Little Willy- Brave 10 year old boy
Grandfather-Owned a potato farm
Doc Smith- Elderly woman& town doctor
Searchlight- faithful pet
Stone Fox-Shoshone Indian
Lester-Owned the general store
Miss Williams-Teacher in Jackson
Clifford Snyder-the taxman
Mr. Foster- Bank President
Mr. Smiley-Town Mayor
Place cards face down on the floor in the middle of two teams of students. Each team takes turns turning over two cards trying to make a match. The team with the most matches, wins.
This book could leave a lasting impression on some of your students. Use the Stone Fox lesson plan and spend time absorbing the book by asking comprehension questions, drawing maps and doing research.