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Using Caldecott Award Winning Books: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Leah Courtney
{This post may contain affiliate links.Read my disclosure here. }

I've posted recently about our readings and studies of horses. We've enjoyed several unit studies and books related to horses recently. So when I knew this month's Poppins Book Nook theme was Caldecott Award books, I picked up The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses- a book that had been in our book basket throughout the horse studies.

Don't forget to pick up your lapbook resources from our host- Enchanted Homeschooling Mom- and enter the giveaway at the end.

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble is a Native American legend of sorts. Paul Goble has a number of beautifully illustrated books focused on Native Americans. In The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, a Native American girl who loves and cares for the horses is caught in a violent storm with some of them. Running away, she is lost from her camp and meets up with a magnificent wild stallion and a herd of wild horses. She lives with the horses until over a year later, when some of her people find her. But when she returns to the people, her heart is broken, and she is allowed to return- with great ceremony to her wild horses.

There are many ways that this story can be used as a teaching tool. I found the following websites with lesson plans and resources. From these I drew some of the activities we used with the book.

With all of these great resources, don't get too caught up in making everything a learning activity. Take time to read and enjoy the beauty of this book.

After I read the book out loud to my girls, we took a look at this website. It's an author site for Paul Goble and has some pictures of his great artwork for many books with Native American themes.

At the end of the book are some Native American songs written about the horses. I wanted to girls to write a poem/song addressed to or about a horse. They had a little trouble with creativity, so we turned to one of the poem structures we've been studying in our poetry unit study- an acrostic. This type of poem is good because it stimulates ideas to be given the first letter of the word or phrase.

After we finished our poems, I had the girls decorate a piece of construction paper that we were going to use as "fabric" to make tipis like the ones in the story. The tipis all have geometric designs or animal shapes or patterns. So the girls decorated.

The tipis were supposed to use sticks or pencils bundled in a group with the legs spread out. Then the paper wrapped around the sticks and fastened. We had a little difficulty getting ours to turn out great, but we ended up with a few tipi specimans.

The Caldecott Award goes to beautiful picture books. Don't get so excited about all of the learning opportunities that you don't stop to enjoy the simple beauty of some of these books. Here are some additional Caldecott Award winners to check out.

Visit the other cohosts below to get more great ideas for award winning books and fun activities. And don't forget to enter the giveaway and link up below.


Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life Giveaway! Why not have some fun crafting your way through some pretty yarn fun crafts while bringing a Caldecott Honor Book to life this month in the Poppins Book Nook! Every month this group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win the Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life Giveaway. The winner will enjoy two fun Caldecott Honor Book themed learning items. The two items that they will win is the Extra Yarn storybook by author Mac Barnett and a fun Yarn Craft kit by Alex Toys. So let’s all get to reading to Bring a Caldecott Honor Book to Life this month with the Poppins Book Nook!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}. Just enter the PromoSimple below to win:

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She’s graduated two teens- one who’s a legal adult now! And she’s still homeschooling two middle schoolers. She loves all things book related, and in her- very rare- free time you can find her listening to audiobooks and coloring.


  1. We learned about Caldecott books in Five in a Row and now my oldest looks for the award on all of our books! :)

    1. There are some great ones- and some of our favorites that I didn't even realize were Caldecotts until I did this post!

  2. My daughter would love this book! She really likes horses!!

    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!

  3. I've never heard of the Caldecott award/honor. I feel like I live under a rock! lol Now I have to go research it and figure out what we've been missing! (Although, we do have a couple of the ones in your post.)

    1. Our library keeps them in a separate section, so I have an advantage. :-)


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