Stories 'n Stones Teacher's Guide


                                                                                    Written and developed by Marilyn Kinsella

Goal: To use Bloom’s Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligences to develop higher levels of thought processes from the literal to the evaluative.

Procedure: This study sheet and activities are based on the students having seen the program “Stories ‘n Stones.” It is meant as a guide for the teachers to select certain key questions to stimulate the needs of the individual classroom. Not all levels need to be developed for every category.

Part I  uses the story “Skunny Wundy and the Stone Giant” as an anchor, constructing questions that build on the six levels of the taxonomy and presenting them using the multiple intelligences to provide for the various types of learning styles.

Part II  is based on the demonstration about primitive technology.

Both parts offer some activities that can be made into lesson plans. These are offered as models on which educators can choose or expand.

Standards Connections – English-Language Arts, History-Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, Science, Mathematics


                                                                                                          Part One

 Based on the story “Skunny Wundy and the Stone Giants” in Iroquois Stories: Hero and Heroines, Monsters and Magic as told by Joseph Bruchac; illustrated by Daniel Burgevin, Trumansburg, N. Y.: Crossing Press, c 1985.

Many of the suggested questions fulfill the IL State Goal 4: Listen and Speak Effectively

I. Verbal/Linguistic 

 A.  Knowledge: Who was Skunny Wundy? Where did he live? What was the name of the tribe? List any other characters in the story. What did the Stone Giants look like?

 B.  Comprehension: What type of creature was a Stone Giant? Compare and contrast Skunny Wundy and a Stone Giant. Retell the part where Skunny Wundy tricked the Stone Giant in your own words.

 C.  Application: What examples can you find that prove that Skunny Wundy was a braggart…that he was a trickster? What would you do, if you faced a Stone Giant? If you interviewed a Stone Giant, what questions would you ask? How are Stone Giants like real people? How are they not real? Why did Skunny Wundy have to face the Stone Giant? (See Activity 1.)

 D.  Analysis: How did the people react to Stone Giants? What ideas justify that it was okay for Skunny Wundy to trick the giant? Why do you think the Stone Giant said they would go off to the high country? What is the relationship between the sachem, the chief, and the tribe? What evidence can you show that proves this was, in some ways, a democratic society? Identify the different parts of the story (intro, beginning, climax, resolution, ending).

 E.  Synthesis: What would have happened if Skunny Wundy had not seen the logs banked across the river? Propose an alternative plan for Skunny Wundy. If you could choose super-human powers to defeat a stone giant, what would they be and why? The Stone Giant thought that since Skunny Wundy's stone axe destroyed the boulder that Skunny Wundy could destroy him too. Was this true?

 F.   Evaluation: Do you agree with the way Skunny Wundy handled the situation? What is your opinion of Skunny Wundy as a trickster? Compare and contrast Skunny Wundy with other tricksters about whom you have read - Iktomi, Raven, Spider Man, etc. (See Activity 2.) What is the value of being smart over being strong?

II.  Mathematical/Logical

 A.  Knowledge: List the types of weapons used in the story in the order they appeared from first to last. List the story events in sequential order from the time when Skunny Wundy first hears about the Stone Giant until Skunny Wundy goes back to his people. Name the rocks in the story.

 B.  Comprehension: Using your five senses, describe the Stone Giants.

 C.  Application: How big is Skunny Wundy compared to a stone giant? How big is a Stone Giant compared to a tree, a mountain?

 D.  Analysis: Make a time line from morning to night on the day that Skunny Wundy tricked the Stone Giant. How can you find out more about the rocks mentioned in the story?

 E.  Synthesis: What ways do you think Skunny Wundy’s people were able to repay him? How much do think the magical stone axe would be worth in today’s money?

 F.  Evaluation: Was getting a magical stone axe enough of a reward for Skunny Wundy? Make a list of all the things you think Skunny Wundy could do with his new axe and rate them from 1 to 5 - one being least valuable and 5 being the most.

III. Visual

 A.  Knowledge: List the descriptive words used for the stone giant.

 B.  Comprehension: Imagine the time of year that this story took place. Give descriptive sentences about what you see.

 C.  Application: What geometric shapes do you see in this story? (Triangles – mountains, fir trees, circles – council meeting, rectangle – lodge, square – giant’s head, etc.)

 D.  Analysis: Draw a map of the story on the chalkboard. Be sure to include the camp, the river and mountains.

 E.  Synthesis: If you had to make a book cover for this story what would you include?

 F.  Evaluation: Was it important that Skunny Wundy’s physical features were never mentioned? Did you still get a picture of him? What do you think he looked like?

IV.  Musical

 A.  Knowledge: List the sounds mentioned in the story (the crashing of the log in the river, the pulling out of the tree, the sound of people running, the sound of the two-headed snake, etc.)

 B.  Comprehension: Instead of using words to describe a sound, use your voice and body actions to imitate the sounds in the story.

 C.  Application: At what times in the story could a chant or a dance be introduced? What did the voices of Skunny Wundy, the stone giant, the woman, and the chief sound like?

 D.  Analysis: Who had the highest, the lowest, the most distinctive voice?

 E.   Synthesis: Make up a chant or a dance for the story.

 F.   Evaluation: Is the story better or does it detract with more sound effects?  A chant?  A dance?

V.  Bodily/Kinesthetic

 A.  Knowledge: Make some of the gestures used in the story. (Slap the forehead, shrug the shoulders, point a finger, etc)

 B.  Comprehension: What do these gestures usually mean?

 C.  Application: Do these gestures as each character in the story might do them. Say a line from the story without using any gestures and then with them.

 D.  Analysis: How are the physical gestures, the movement, the posture, and the body language of the giant different from those of Skunny Wundy?

 E.  Synthesis: What if the Stone Giant were made of marshmallows? How would that change the way he walked and moved?

 F.  Evaluation: How important are the body gestures in telling the story? Do you think it would be better to tell it with the storyteller not using any gestures at all?

VI. Interpersonal

 A.  Knowledge: Give an example in the story that shows the Iroquois worked together.  (Example. - going into the council house to decide what needed to done.)

 B.  Comprehension: Why is working together sometimes a better idea than working alone?

 C.  Application: What did the group decide was the solution to the stone giant.

 D.  Analysis: Compare Skunny Wundy to the rest of the Iroquois. What made him unique in this tribe?

 E.  Synthesis: What other solutions could the council have made? What if they had decided to help Skunny Wundy? What could they have they done?

  F.  Evaluation: Do you think that their plan of sending Skunny Wundy out to defeat the Stone Giant was the best plan?

VII. Intrapersonal

 A.  Knowledge: Give an example of when Skunny Wundy thought for himself. (When Skunny Wundy decided to trick the Stone Giant.)

 B.  Comprehension: Why was Skunny Wundy so sure his plan would work? (He was clever and the Stone Giants were educationally challenged.)

 C.  Application: What other facts in the story support his plan? (He was clever when he defeated the other monsters.)

 D.  Analysis: Put yourself in Skunny Wundy’s moccasins for a moment. What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Clever, talkative, braggart, egotistic, magical, etc.)

 E.   Synthesis – What if you weren’t as smart as Skunny Wundy, what could you have done?

 F.  Evaluation – Was it wise for Skunny Wundy to go out by himself to rid the land of Stone Giants? Why? Is there safety in numbers or was this a job best done by one person?

VIII. Naturalistic

 A.  Knowledge: List all the items from nature mentioned in the story (rocks, snakes, bear, trees, river, people, etc)

 B.  Comprehension: How did the river play an important part in the story?

 C.  Application: Why was the “high country” a good place for the stone giants?

 D.  Analysis: What are some of the differences in the rocks in the story? What is a crystal?  (See Activity 3.)

 E.  Synthesis: What would have happened in this story if it had been raining, snowing, ice on the river, etc.? Could this story be told with a desert setting, tundra, or jungle? Why or why not?

 F.  Evaluation: Do you think that it was important for Skunny Wundy to be aware of his surroundings in this story? What changed Skunny Wundy from being scared to taking charge of the situation? (He saw the logs banked up in the river.)

                                                                         Activities based on the story:

1. (I-C)   English – Late Elementary 5.C.2b Apply info to communicate in a variety of formats and Fine Arts – Late Elementary 25.A2b Drama

An Interview

Divide the class into four small groups. Each group is given the directive to script an interview among the following – an interviewer plus: Skunny Wundy and the Chief; Skunny Wundy and the Giant; the chief and the rest of the council; The Stone Giant and the rest of the Stone Giants. After the groups write the script, each group chooses students to portray the characters and the interviewer. Tape the interviews. Evaluation: Discuss what interview techniques worked and which did not; what was the clarity of the voices on the tape; did the interviewees sound like the characters they were portraying; etcetera.

2.  (I-F)   Social Science – Early Elementary 18.A.1 Understanding Social Systems with an emphasis on the United states). Other standards also apply depending on which extra projects apply.

Tribes and Tricksters

Divide the class into 4 or 5 groups. Each group will be responsible for finding information on Native American tricksters and the tribes from which they came. Teachers can expand upon this idea by including: (art) dioramas, (dramatics) portraying the tricksters, (music) music of the native peoples, (social studies) map making, or (language arts) writing exercises. After the projects are completed, make a display for others to view. Have the class critique the displays  - neatness, completion, artfulness, etc. Collections of stories about these tricksters can be found in the 398.2 section of the library and by doing a keyword search on the library computer.  Tribal information is in the 970.1 section of the library and on Internet searches. The following are some tricksters and some references:

·        Iktomi – A Lakota trickster…Goble, Paul. Iktomi loses his eyes: a Plains Indian story / told and illustrated by Paul Goble.

·        Coyote – a widely known trickster from many different tribes around the United States…Coyote and the grasshoppers: a Pomo legend by Dominic, Gloria

·        Raven - McDermott, Gerald. Raven: a trickster tale from the Pacific Northwest / told and illustrated by Gerald McDermott.

·        Gluskabe - Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- Gluskabe and the four wishes / retold by Joseph Bruchac; illustrated by Christine Nyburg Shrader

·        Grandmother Spider - Keams, Geri. Grandmother Spider brings the sun: a Cherokee story / by Geri Keams; illustrated by James Bernardin

3.  (VIII-D)   Science – Late Elementary 12.E.2a – (Know and apply concepts that describe the features and processes of the Earth and its resources. Identify and explain natural cycles of the Earth’s land, water and atmospheric systems.)

Make a Crystal

A mineral is an inorganic naturally occurring crystalline solid. This means that minerals form as crystals. Some mineral crystals, like halite (table salt when it's in your kitchen cupboard) are created by precipitation. The minerals precipitate out of a solution and collect into their crystal forms. With a few collected items, you can use this process to grow your own crystals

            To make your own salt crystals, you will need:

A heatproof, glass jar - a mason jar is excellent.

A measuring cup

One-cup of boiling water                 A spoon

1/2 cup of salt                                 A paperclip

A pencil                                          Cotton string

To prepare a supersaturated solution:

·    Tie the paperclip to one end of the string, and the pencil to the other end. When you place the pencil across the top of the jar, the string should be just long enough to let the paperclip touch the bottom. Set the string, pencil, and paperclip aside.

·    Boil about 1 cup of water, either in the microwave or on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the jar. Add the salt one teaspoonful at a time. Stir until each teaspoon is completely dissolved. You may be tempted to add all the salt at once, but the experiment won't work as well if you do. Be patient. Eventually, you'll find a small amount of salt will not dissolve and collects at the bottom of the jar. You have reached super saturation. Once the solution is supersaturated, stop adding salt.

·    Next, you'll put it all together and find out what to do with that string and the paper towel.

·    Lower the paper clip and string into the water and rest the pencil across the top of the jar. Cover the jar lightly with a paper towel. This will keep dust out of the jar. Place the jar where it won't be disturbed for a couple of days.

·    Rock salt (halite) crystals form as cubes. After about 12 hours, you should be able to see small crystals forming at the bottom of the jar, on the paper clip, and along the string. Some may even form on the surface of the water, like a wreath around the string. After 24 hours, you should see definite crystal forms.

After one or two days, you'll be able to see cubes of salt crystals. Some may form alone and grow larger, while others may form clusters.

To make a completely different shape, try using 1 and 1/2 cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) instead of 1/2 cup of salt. The Epsom salt crystals will tend to form on the bottom of the jar and are generally shaped like stubby prisms.

                                                                                                                            PART II

This section of the study sheet is based on the presentation on stone tools. The Bloom’s Taxonomy is presented without being divided into the multiple intelligences. Suggested activities follow the questions on Page 4.

A.  Knowledge: Can you name 5 simple tools used in the presentation? (Hammer stone, drill, scraper, knife, antler billet)  Describe the three axes/Celts and tell when they were used and how they were used. How would you describe the arrowheads and the knife blades?   Can you recall what were the 3 things necessary for fire? (Oxygen, heat, and fuel) Name the rocks used in the presentation  (flint or chert, granite, gemstone, sandstone, obsidian, novaculite, quartzite, limestone).  (See Activity #1A)

B.  Comprehension: How could you classify the types of arrowheads and spear points? (Age, style, flint type) What is the main reason for using a banner stone?  Can you explain in your own words what happened when the elephant was lanced with a spear using an atlatl and without? Why was raw flint used for the hoe and early spear points? (It has more strength and won’t easily break.) Why was baked or heat-treated flint used on smaller arrowheads (It is easier to knap and they were “disposable”)?  (See Activity 3B)

C.  Application: Why is the use of the banner stone significant in environments in which white-tailed deer are prevalent? (Hunting techniques change when stalking a deer as opposed to herd animals.) How would you organize a time line from the emergence of man to modern day that would show the tools and weapons they used and the animals that they hunted? What type of rocks (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary) are usually used to make arrowheads?

D.  Analysis: What evidence did you notice that showed that archaic man probably used cane and flint dust to create holes in banner stones? (The core found on an archaeological site and the one recently made had the same characteristics). List the parts of the dart, or spear, and tell which part took the longest to create and why. (Spear point, dart and shaft – the shaft being the hardest to produce with primitive tools.) Make a distinction among the three types of axes. Make a distinction between arrowheads and spear points. How are ancient bows and arrows related to present-day bows and arrows?

E.  Synthesis: How would you improve the manufacture of arrowheads given today’s technology? How do the primitive tools of the people who lived in artic climates differ from those who lived in the woodlands? How could you adapt an atlatl to make it more efficient?

F.  Evaluation: How would you prove or disprove the assertion that atlatl-thrown spears are better than hand-thrown spears? (See Activity 2F) Based on what you know, how would you explain how hand drill fires work? Assess the value of full-grooved axes, 3/4 grooved axes, and celts. Why are stone axes better, at times, than steel axes?

                                                              Activities based on stone tool presentation:

                                                                  (click on the title if you wish to go to "Core of ReDiscovery")

1. (A.)   Science – Early Elementary - 11.A.1a-f  (Know and apply the concepts, principles, and processes of scientific inquiry.) and 12.C.1b (Know and apply concepts that describe properties of matter and energy and interactions between them – compare large-scale physical properties of matter.)

Make a rock collection:

Have eight rock samples displayed in classroom. Have students examine each rock sample and fill in chart.
(You can compile a class chart from student worksheets.)

To make the chart divide it into 8 different rock headings with 13 rows for questions a. - m. Here are some sample questions:

a. Does the rock have two or more colors?

b. Does the rock have large mineral pieces?

c. Does the rock have small mineral pieces?

d. Is the rock sandy?

e. Does the rock have many holes?

f. Does the rock have layers?

g. Doew the rock have bands?

h. Does the rock have odor?

i. Is the rock shiny?

j. Is the rock rough?

k.Is the rock heavy?

l. Does the rock float in water?

m.Does the rock make marks on paper?


2.  (F.)  Science - Middle and Junior High – 11.A.3a-g  (Know and apply the concepts, principles, and processes of scientific inquiry.) and Math –10.A.3a-c (Organize, describe, and make predictions from existing data.)

Atlatl Experiment

Set up your own test for hand-thrown and atlatl-thrown spears. Review safety measures for throwing spears. Measure distances, accuracy, and penetration (even speed, if the technology is available). Vary the penetration levels by using various materials to throw the spears into – hay bales, fiber- board, pine board, etc. Chart the results and make conclusions about hand-thrown and atlatl-thrown spears.

3.  (B.)  Science – Late Elementary (11.A.2a; 12.E.2a) and Middle/Junior High (11A.3a; 12.E.3a)  (Know and apply concepts… principles and processes of scientific inquiry… and that describe features and processes of the Earth and its resources) And, Science (13.A) –(Know and apply the accepted practices of science)

Testing Raw and Heat-Treated Flint

Test the hardness and brittleness of various flint/chert types (Cobden/Dongola, Mill Creek, Kaolin, Burlington) that have been baked and flint that is raw. Review safety measures for using an oven and hot objects. Remember flint/chert needs to be heated SLOWLY so the oven must not be opened until the flint/chert has cooled down to room temperature. Take raw flint/chert, weigh it, describe the color, and judge its resistance to being “knapped” by taking a small hammer, or billet, and hitting it – how many pieces fell off? Take the same piece of flint/chert - including any pieces that were chipped off - and bake it in an oven. Start at 250 degrees and increase temps by 50 degrees every hour until 400 degrees is reached; then holding at 400 degrees for 2 hours; then reducing temps every hour by 50 degrees until 250 degrees is reached; turn the oven off and allow 4 hours to cool down. Do the same knapping tests as before. Make a chart showing the results of the different flint types. Do all cherts heat-treat...or do some break apart? Is there a color change? Is there a luster change? When would raw chert be preferable and when would heat-treated chert be preferable in making tools and weapons? Write down the conclusions to the experiment. Hypothesize why some flint/chert broke apart and why others did not.

                                                                      Bibliography and Resources

bullet Van Cleaves, Janice. Chemistry for Every Kid – 101 Easy Experiments That Really Work, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York: 1989
bullet Wood, Robert. Science for Kids – 39 Easy Chemistry Experiments, Tab Books, New York: 1991
bullet Ricciuti, Edward R., Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)  
bullet Mottana, Annibale, Rodolfo Crespi, and Giuseppe Liborio. Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals
bullet Panchvk, Richard,  Archaeology for kids : [uncovering the mysteries of our past] : 25 activities       Chicago : Chicago Review Press, c2001.
bullet Evert, Laura,  Rocks, fossils, and arrowheads  Minnetonka, MN : NorthWord Press, c2002.


                                                                       Rock and Mineral Websites


                                                                             Archaeology Websites

bullet Larry Kinsella