Stone Fox Teaching Ideas

Stone Fox Teaching Ideas

Grandfather will not get out of bed although Doc Smith says nothing is wrong with him. Little Willy takes over Grandfather’s duties and harvests the potato crop. He thinks everything will be fine until Clifford Snyder comes to collect $500 in back taxes. In his desperation, little Willy decides to enter the adult dog sled race. Will he be able to win the prize money he needs to save the farm? Read Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner to learn of little Willy’s fate.

Activities for Stone Fox

Stone Fox Unit Samples

This detailed sample includes a table of contents and lesson plans at a glance. You’ll also find vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, and constructed response questions for Chapter 1.  Check out this lesson on the homophones to, too, and two. There’s more. A sentence fragments lesson uses details from the story. Finally, instructions for making a scarecrow craft will turn your unit into a fun hands-on activity your students will love. 


Teaching Idea #1 – Character Traits Booklets

Free Novel Unit Samples for Stone Fox.

Each of these mini-books is created from a single piece of paper, folded to form a book. The finished books contain six pages where students can list character traits for the main characters. With an answer key included, this activity is a print-and-go project. 


Free Character Traits Mini-Books to use when reading Stone Fox

Teaching Idea #2 – Vocabulary Terms used with the Mini-Books

Protagonist vs. Antagonist Anchor Chart

You might think that using the word “Antagonists” as a title for one of the books is a little advanced for the third/fourth graders who read Stone Fox. Our school encourages using appropriate terms, so I decided to give using the word “antagonists” a try instead of using a title such as “Bad Guys.” This anchor chart helped teach these terms. 



In our interactive notebooks, students wrote the definitions and drew illustrations for both a protagonist and an antagonist. On the adjacent page in their notebooks, students glued their three completed “Character Traits” mini-books. 

Antagonist vs. ProtagonistEven though I stressed that the protagonist is the main character with traits that can be considered both good or bad, students at this level, really related to the villain/hero concept. The notebook below is a perfect example of how students at this level understood the concepts.
Antagonist vs. Protagonist

Teaching Idea #3 – Grandfather’s Jokes

  1. Have students draw a picture of Grandfather playing one of his tricks on little Willy.
    • Grandfather pretending to be a scarecrow
    • Grandfather putting little Willy’s plate out in the chicken coop
  2. Next, students make up a practical joke that Grandfather could have played on little Willy and write about it.

Teaching Idea #4 – Scarecrow Crafts

Scarecrow Made from Candy

Scarecrow Idea #1

Everyone in the class draws a scarecrow. One student describes his/her scarecrow while the others try to draw it from the directions given. Compare the finished products. Do they look alike?

Make a scarecrow from Candy

  •  a lollipop head
  • Jolly Rancher arms
  • Tootsie Roll legs
  • Juicy Fruits body



Scarecrow Made from a Wooden Clothes and Felt

Scarecrow Idea #2

This scarecrow was made from wooden clothespins and popsicle sticks. They were decorated with felt and yarn. Students were given supplies and were told to create a scarecrow. The results were fun to see. 



Free Novel Unit Samples for Stone Fox.

Free Novel Unit Samples for Stone Fox.


See the product that inspired this post.

Stone Fox Book Unit

Stone Fox Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  



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    • Lisa on November 27, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Stone Fox is one of my favorite stories! Thanks for sharing such a great resource to use along with it!

    • Jana on November 27, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I love the anchor chart to introduce protagonist and antagonist!

  1. Love the little books and the way you connect the vocabulary to characters the students are familiar with.

    Literacy Spark

    • Jenn on November 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I love your freebie! This is such a great book – although I still cry every time I read it!

  2. What an awesome anchor chart example! This is very cool!

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