Born in Pennsylvania in 1734, Daniel Boone cut a path west, carving his name into trees. Although he endured repeated property losses, he became a household name and was greatly admired for his surveying skills and the many claims he laid, opening the west for further settlement.
Facilitate whole class participating in shared reading and discussion of Daniel Boone: Trailblazer.
Read aloud the story. Explain that stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Ask if the Boone story would make sense if the three parts were mixed up, such as End, Beginning, Middle.
Ask the following open-ended questions:
Why do we celebrate the work of Daniel Boone?
What was Boone’s contribution to America? To Kentucky?
Some biographies cover the entire life of a person. Some biographies cover only the part of a person’s life for which the person became famous. Why do you suppose the author ended the biography of Daniel Boone before he died? (There are no right or wrong answers, only students’ opinions).
How has Kentucky has changed since Boone’s exploration?
What part of Boone’s life did you find to be most interesting? Explain.
Students will use a map or globe to locate the setting of the story.
What does the map or globe tell about Kentucky?
Is Kentucky surrounded by states? If so, what states?
Read another picture book on the life of Daniel Boone. Compare and contrast the information in the two books.
Discuss the following:
how the two books covered some of the same information;
how the books focused on different information;
the different types of illustrations or pictures;
the writing styles;
the part of Boone’s life that was emphasized most.
Students will pretend to be Daniel Boone on a long hunt and far from home. Write in a journal a typical day in Boone’s life, from morning to night. Include his feelings, descriptions of what he saw, heard, touched, tasted. Include dialog, even if he is only talking to his horse.
Students will write a letter to convince a settler that he/she should leave his/her home and move the family to the Kentucky wilderness where they will live in a fort.
Give each student a handout with the outline of the shape of Boone’s hat on it. Students will list facts about Boone on each hat and decorate it. Make a chart of the different facts listed on the hats. Post the hats on a wall or bulletin board.
Students will write a poem about Boone using the first letters in his name to begin each line of the poem:
Example: Bound for Kentucky One step at a time
Label the following three heading on a poster or board:
Already Know Want to Know Learned
Explain that you will be reading and discussing a book about Daniel Boone. Ask the students to list 3-5 things they already know about Daniel Boone. Under the heading Already Know” list student comments.
Ask students to list 3-5 things they would like to know about Boone and write their comments under “Want to Know.”
After reading the book, ask students to list 3-5 things they learned about Boone. List comments under the third column, “Learned.” Use the library or Internet to find information in the “Want to Know” list that wasn’t found in the book.
For younger students: model listening for a fact about Boone by pointing out a fact in a passage just read. After reading the story, have students recall facts about Boone. Make a list of “Boone facts.”
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