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SWIFT ARROW is the story of a family who immigrated to America in the early 1700's. The family lives in what is Penn's woods.  As time goes on, Marcus Boylan with his family to  move on with other pioneers to settle land in the west. Disaster strikes when their son, George, is stolen along with another boy by Indians. This is the true story of the boy and his life among the Indians and his escape.  The story could have had a much different ending had George chose to act on his own personal thoughts instead of advice his father had given him.

It is written by Josephine Cunnington Edwards, one the best story tellers and writers I have personally met. She was pretty well known in the 1950s and 60s. She wrote many many stories that have such deep literary value as well as being inspirational. This is a must read and one of the best stories we have read as a family. I have written a unit to go along with this book. The book has just recently come back into print.

This unit study and book is geared for grades 1 - 8. This unit study is one that could be done in about a week or take up to a month - depending on what you add in and what you leave out.   $8.95  Buy Swift Arrow


Choose from the following activities and discussion questions to enhance your study and enjoyment of this book.

Geography/History: Draw a map of Penn's Woods and read a short Biography about William Penn and his involvement in peace with the Indians. A great biography is William Penn, Friendly Boy by Miriam E. Mason (from the Childhood of Famous American Series). You might also read about the Quakers & Pennsylvania Colony.

HISTORY: It may be interesting to read a few interesting biographies on Revolutionary War figures (like: Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, George Washington etc.). From the Childhood of Famous American Series can be found stories of each of these men and others who lived during this time.

Geography: On a map try and guess where you think George's captors took him and his escape route home.

Home Ec/Science: Make an Indian meal similar to what George would have eaten. Some ideas would be Corn bread, squash, corn, beans, rice, etc. Could make "Rabbit Stew". We are vegetarians and made vegetable soup with chunks of TVP (soy protein that looks and acts like beef in dishes) - made very good "rabbit stew". Find native plants in the yard or woods to eat i.e. lambs quarters, dandelion, etc.

ART: Build a log cabin like the Boylan's out of wooden sticks or Lincoln logs. If you have the space available build a teepee in the back yard.

HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES: Read about Indian life, their homes, games, language, work and hunting. A good set to start with are those written by Robert Hofsinde.

ART/HOME EC: Make an Indian Outfit. Simplicity Pattern #9145 has a selection of Indian Outfits that are easy to put together. Have the child make his/her own headdress with beads and feathers. We made moccasins by taking heavy brown material and punching holes all the way around the top and bottom and them lacing with a "leather" type string.

SCIENCE/NATURE: From the story you learned how the Indians were careful to use all their senses in tracking animals and people. Take a walk and use your "senses" to see animal tracks or other indications of animals that have been in the vicinity. Experiment using your eyes, ears, nose or hands. Watch Video: Poop, Paw & Hoof Prints. I found this at our local library through interlibrary loan - if you can't find this one try to find a similar video, if possibly to view.

RESEARCH SKILLS: Research how to skin a deer & how it was tanned. Amos Fortune was an excellent tanner and lived about the same time period. Read his story. Another book of information is "How the settlers lived".

RESEARCH SKILLS: Find out how the Indians lived in the land area of the states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania ect. Draw pictures and make short notes to paste in Journal (mentioned below).

ART/SOCIAL STUDIES: Try your hand at making some of the items that would have been necessary to Frontier Life, for instance, churn butter, make soap, make candles, make cheese, dry fruit & vegetables, collect & dry herbs, make a piece of clothing or a small quilt and plant a garden, build simple wood furniture (like a stool).

SOCIAL STUDIES: From the book Indian Games & Crafts by: Robert Hofsinde (or another like book) choose a few activities to help acquaint you with the Indian entertainment and lifestyle.

BIBLE/HISTORY: Who from the Bible was taken from their home and thrust into a different culture? How did they choose to act? (Read about Daniel, Joseph & Little Maid to Naaman). You might like to write a short story about one of the Bible Characters and illustrate it with a picture. Add this to the Journal.

JOURNALING: We took a spiral art pad (8 1/2 X 11) and used it to paste in the research, photos of projects completed, pictures drawn, recipes used, lists of books read, book reports, and maps made or copied, and any other pertinent info. You can spice it up with artwork around pages, stickers or magazine pictures. This makes a nice final product of your unit.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why do you think Robert and George were separated?
2. What do you think happened to Robert? Why was it different for George?
3. What do you think it felt like to be taken from home? What do you think kept George strong?
4. Why would Big Wolf want George for a son?
5. Why did they feel negative against the "pale face" people? Were they justified in their feeling? Why or why not?
6. How did George use his time? How did it profit him?
7. How did George earn the name Swift Arrow?
8. Was George unloyal to Big Wolf's investment of time and training and years? Why or why not?
9. Where did George draw the line in his loyalty to his new family and why? Would you be able to do that?

VOCABULARY: (choose words based on child's abilities)

Cabin,   Frontier,   Survival,   Wilderness,   Camouflage,   Track,   Loyalty,    Buckskin, Settlement,    Wigwam,    Paleface,    Chant,   Pioneer,   Papoose,    Homestead,    Wagon Train,    Squaw,   Ax,   Hatchet,   Clearing,   &    Pow Pow.

Some good books, tapes & videos to use in your unit study:

Calico Captive (story of a young woman and her family stolen by Indians during the French and Indian War ). By, Elizabeth George Speare. (we enjoyed this book).
Spotted Boy and the Commanches (story of a boy stolen by Indians in the southwest). By Author, Mabel Earp Cason. (This was a nice story that we enjoyed too).
The Your Story Hour Sets have several true stories of Indians that are well worth    listening to.


Album 1: Joseph
Album 3: Captive Maid & Namaan, Esther
Album 4: Daniel
Album 6: Benjamin Franklin
Album 9: The Miller & the Indians
Album 10: Queer Moccasins,  Caracooche (story of nice treatment one white family
                 showed an Indian Chief the blessed consequences).

Great New Stories 2: George Washington, John Hancock, Good Neighbor (bio of a lady frontier doctor).

Poop, Paw & Hoof Prints a video on looking for and finding what wildlife has been "there"  before you by looking for the signs they leave behind.
Frontier Living by Edwin Tunis.
Back to Basics by Reader's Digest - a wonderful resource     to learn how to do all kinds of things from gardening, to keeping animals, making soap,     candles & all kinds of other things. Very helpful!

Robert Hofsinde's books: Indians at Home, Indian Costumes, The Indian and his horse,     The Indian's secret world, Indian Sign language, Indian picture writing, Indian and the     buffalo, Indian beadwork, Indian fishing and camping, Indian Hunting.
Crinkleroot's book of animal tracking by Jim Arnosky.
How to be a nature detective by Millicent Selsam.
Indian Rawhide by Mable Morrow.

LaCelle Family Ministries
9199 Howd Rd
Camden, NY 13316

For information on ordering Your Story Hour Tapes  (or click the link below to see the Your Story Hour Sets) write us at the above address.


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