In 1880 two important events took place.
Catfish Grimes shot dead Ugly Ned Bonner, Uncle
to Artemis Bonner and Artemis headed west to
avenge Uncle Ugly's death and find the gold mine
left to him in his uncle's will. But Catfish
wants to find the gold mine before Artemis does.
Travels take the two from Mexico to Alaska and
back again. Finally they meet in a shootout in
front of the Birdcage Saloon. The exciting finish
to this romp through the Old West is one you
Put the words in boxes. Cut apart. Use
to group or make sentences to describe the cover
of the book.scoundrel, waylaid, sassafras,
congestion, nugget, Artemis, bustle, homely,
inferno, cantina, adobe, temperance, pistol,
wretched, adversity, avenge, conestoga, fierce,
frolic, rustle, ingenious, stupefied, gringo,
fricasseed, scurvy, gunslinger, endeavor,
promenade, arduous, proposition, vigilance,
greenbacks, cowered, poultice, tolerate, drover,
devious, Catfish, tenderhorn.
Include 25-30 open ended sentence
starters divided appropriately by chapters.
Before beginning each section, the student
chooses a sentence starter to write about for ten
minutes. Oral sharing follows.
Examples: Chapter One
1. A person could be considered a scoundrel
2. When someone "flies the coop" it
|Higher Order Questions:
Provide six to eight higher order
questions for students to discuss in small
groups. Group discussions are summarized for the
1. Define stereotype. Give examples of characters
in this novel which are stereotypes. Tell why.
|Chapters One and Two:
Artemis receives word of the murder of
his uncle by Catfish Grimes. He travels from New
York City to Tombstone, Arizona to avenge his
Uncle's death. He finds his Uncle's grave marker
with the epitaph: Here lives Ugly Ned Bonner.
Once alive. Now a goner! Many lawmen and outlaws
are associated with Tombstone...Wild Bill Hickok,
Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Colt Younger, Doc
Holiday, Charlie Siringo. Research the life of
one of these. Design a grave marker with an
appropriate epitaph. Include a paragraph telling
why the epitaph is appropriate. Give the
source(s) of your information.
|Chapters Three and Four:
Artemis chases Catfish to Albuquerque
and on the train trip there he is told he looked
like one of the Buffalo Soldiers, members of the
Tenth Cavalry.Research this famous fighting unit.
Write an acrostic poem about the
B U F F A L O S O L D I E R S
|Chapters Five and Six:
Artemis is tied to a cactus and left for
coyotes to eat.Research: Find out about coyotes.
Record your information in a data bank putting as
many items as possible under each of these
headings: Lives, Eats, Has, Does, Looks Like. Use
the completed Data Bank information to write a
"Fact and Fable book" about coyotes.
|Chapters Seven and Eight:
Artemis chases Catfish to Juarez, Mexico
where everyone spoke Spanish.Prepare a
Spanish/English dictionary for Artemis to help
him get around. What would be important words for
him to know?
|Chapters Nine and Ten:
Catfish's girlfriend, Lucy Featherdip
was a crack shot as she proved when she shot a
pistol out of Artemis's hand. Read about another
woman sharpshooter of the Old West, Annie Oakley.
Report on her life as a bio-poem: Each number is
a separate line.
- First name
- Four traits
- Related to
- Cares deeply about
- Who feels
- Who needs
- Who gives
- Who would like to see
- Resident of
|Chapters Eleven through Fourteen:
Artemis travels by wagon train to San
Francisco and by ship to Seattle. Use the model
below to write about either city.
Let's go to long ago places
And see (Seattle's or San Francisco's) changing
We will see: (List six sights)
But that's not all
(List six more sights)
Where am I?
In _______ of course.
|Chapters Fifteen through Eighteen:
Throughout the novel Artemis uses many
colorful expressions. What does each mean?
- He'd given up the ghost.
- An Evil doer had forced the hand of cruel
- He had not enough decency to fill a
- It was hot enough to steal the ice off a
- He looked under the weather. etc.
|Chapters Nineteen and Twenty:
In freezing Anchorage Artemis meets up
with a teller of tall tales and sees the Inuit
Indians.Project: Describe Anchorage as Artemis
saw it using these models:
Anchorage is the color of ____________________
It looks like ____________________
It tastes like ____________________
It smells like ____________________
It sounds like ____________________
It made Artemis feel like ____________________
If I visited Anchorage today I would see
And I'd ________________________________________
But I wouldn't ____________________
Because I could do that in Tombstone.(Cite the
sources of your information)
|Chapters Twenty-One through
Artemis and Frolic had unique meals in
each place they visited. Explain why food in
Juarez would be different from food in Anchorage.
Prepare a menu for The President of the U.S. who
will be YOUR dinner guest. You can only serve
foods and use ingredients found in your state.
|Chapters Twenty-Five through
Trace the travels of Artemis on a map.
Write a couplet about the most interesting place
you think Artemis visited. Example:
From tall buildings to St. Patrick's steeple, New
York City is full of people.