Developed by Anne Isaacs, for use by educators, parents, and librarians.
General Note: Before any activity that follows, it is recommended that you read Swamp Angel and/or Dust Devil with the class, without interruptions. Have a general class conversation about the story (plot), and the qualities found in the characters. Ask leading questions to elicit comments. (eg. "How would you describe Backwards Bart? Is he someone you'd want at your birthday party? Why or why not?")
Challenge students to find connections from the story to their own lives. For example, has anyone moved from one place to another, as Angel does at the outset of Dust Devil? What kinds of things were different in the new region? What was hard to adjust to? Has anyone ridden a horse? Angel was too big for ordinary horses; what in your life is too big for you? too small? How do you cope with things that ‘don't fit well'?
After reading and general discussion, feel free to try some of the math, science, or language arts ideas that follow. Have fun!