Caddie Woodlawn
by Carol Ryrie Brink, Macmillan, Newbery Winner 1936
Activities 2000 Nancy Polette

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In 1864 on the Wisconsin frontier it was hard to tell which of the Woodlawn family were boys. Caddie could run and jump and climb trees as easily as her brothers Tom and Warren, and much to the dismay of her mother and sister, Clara. But because of Caddie's adventurous spirit, a disaster is averted with the neighboring Indian tribe with whose leader, Indian John, Caddie has become friends. Here is a tale of pioneer life as it was lived and of a spirited young girl whose parents despair of her ever becoming ladylike. 
Activity One: Vocabulary
Take a look at the Pioneer Word Search. This one is pretty easy. As you read Caddie Woodlawn, list words related to pioneer life. Create your own word search for others to solve.


Pioneer Life: Books
Frontier Living by Edwin Tunis. Crowell, 1976
Meet Kirsten by Janet Shaw, American Girl Series, 1986

Activity Two: A Pioneer Quiz 
  1. Where did pioneers collect their mail 
  2. What did they carry small items in? 
  3. What did the pioneers use for windows? 

You will learn the answers to these and many other questions about pioneer life when you visit the Meet Kirsten web site.

Pioneer Quiz

Activity Three: WHICH POEM? 
Visit the poetry web site:

Read these poems by: 

Kristine O'Connell George. "The Great Frog Race"

Charles Ghigna. "Father Goose"

Jack Prelutsky. "When Tilly Ate the Chili"

Shel Silverstein. "Somebody Has To Go Polish the Stars"

Choose one of these four poems that you believe would be Caddie's favorite and tell why in one or two sentences.


Caddie Woodlawn was "ahead of her time", that is, she wanted to do things that were not an accepted part of her society. Here are several women who were the first to do things that were once considered to be activities for men only. Choose one of the women to find out more about. Complete the report pattern below about the woman you choose.

First woman doctor with medical degree in the United States:
First woman to pilot a plane alone across the Atlantic Ocean:
First woman three gold medal Olympic winner:

Name: ________________________________
A _______________________Century woman
Pioneer in the field of ____________________
Who overcame _________________________
And __________________________________
Because of her passion for _________________
Giving up would have been easy when
But she persevered and became the first woman to _______________________________________
Opening the doors to ____________________
For the young women who were to follow her.

Women Who Were First: Books
Women Who Dared: American Female Test Pilots by Yvonne Bateman, Northstar, 1996
Amelia Earhart by Patricia Lauber, Scholastic, 1988.
Elizabeth Blackwell by Dorothy Wilson. Abingdon, 1983.
Wilma Rudolph: Olympic Gold by Wayne Coffey. Blackbirch, 1997.