In 1878, Ed Muldie and his three sons leave Kentucky to take advantage of the free land offered by the United States government through the Homestead Act. They settle in Nicodemus, Kansas, and build a dugout home to live in for the winter. During the harsh winter, the people of Nicodemus are saved from starvation by the Osage Indians who bring them food. The following spring, Ed Muldie leaves his boys with the people of Nicodemus while he travels ahead to find a place to build a home. While living by themselves in the dugout, the three boys narrowly escape a prairie fire. When a letter from their father finally arrives, the three boys must travel 150 miles by themselves to reach their new home.
Through Barbara Brenner's inspiring true story, students will learn:
Historical Background: Learn about the 1862 Homestead Act and post-Civil War black settlers.
Author Biography: Learn about Barbara Brenner.
Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: In context, fact vs. opinion, compound words
Moral Lessons and Character Values: God fills our needs, sharing with others, helping the needy, people can do more together, do not fear,
Activities and Writing Assignments: maps, slavery and Civil War, Kansas, crossword puzzle, cooking, art, music, prairie fires, gardening prairie plants and flowers.
Suggestions for Further Reading: We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner.
All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian perspective!