Story Box Descriptions
(Recommended for grades K-2 & ESL)
The A-Z in the Ozark program is a series
designed to enrich basic learning in the classroom.
Each of the 26 history lessons can stand alone or be
used together. In addition, the lessons and activities
often cross the boundaries of other curriculums such as
math, science, and language arts. They can be used to
supplement phonics programs, and are designed to be used
by the teacher. The following gives a brief overview of
A - Aviators:
Students learn about the famous aviators from the Ozarks
and the machines they flew.
B - Beavers:
Students learn details about the beaver, including how
they make their home from logs and limbs.
C - Candles and Cabins:
Students learn the process of candle-making. Discussion
includes what types of dyes were used in the mixing of
primary colors to make secondary colors.
D - Diamonds in the Dust:
The lesson reviews the five regions of Arkansas as well
as various minerals that are derived from each region.
E - Eagles and Elephants:
Students review geography as they learn about the time
that the train brought the circus to Rogers.
F - Frogs and Fiddles:
The sound of the fiddle is enjoyed as students listen to
the music Froggy Went A’Courtin.
G - Gourds and Geese:
The wanderings of a little goose lead to observations of
the crops growing in the garden. Students will see that
silhouettes of both gourds and geese are similar.
H – Hats and Hatters:
Boss of the Plains: The Hat that Won the West by
Laurie Carlson, students will learn the history of the
Stetson Hat and how it came to replace the many
different hats worn by early settlers and travelers. An
account of a local hatter, James Ricketts, is also
I - Itse Selu: Green Corn Festival:
The book entitled Itse Selu by Daniel
Pennington celebrates the Cherokee harvest
festival. This holiday celebrated two things: the
successful corn harvest and the beginning of a new year.
J - Jams and Jellies:
Various types of berries are reviewed and students learn
about making jelly.
K - Kettles in the Kitchen:
Old fashioned cooking methods and cookware are studied.
L - Logs and Loaves:
Students learn about life in a log cabin by reading
Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls
Wilder. Laura is given pieces of dough to shape into
bread and cookies. Real images of the bread baking
process are featured in the book Food for the
Settler by Bobbie Kalman.
M - Mountain Music:
In addition to the storybook Turkey in the Straw
by Barbara Shook Hazen, recordings Ozark Folk Music
and Mountain Dulcimer are included so
students may hear the song “Turkey in the Straw,” as
well as the many other instruments found in the rural
landscape of Arkansas. A dulcimer is also included with
N - Needles and Nests:
Students learn that the pine tree is native to Arkansas
and look at the various types of nests that birds of
Arkansas make for homes.
O - Opossums and Outhouses:
The outhouse seemed like a palatial home to the
opossum. In addition to the story students look at
different types of outhouses.
P - P is for Peanuts:
The story of the peanut and the life of George
Washington Carver are presented.
Q - Quilts:
Students explore the process of making quilts using the
book My Grandmother’s Patchwork Quilt by Janet
Bolton and have the opportunity to observe several quilt
R – Roosters, Hens & Chicks:
Students look at an early morning wake-up call from the
perspective of the rooster. They will also learn how a
baby chick hatches.
S - Strings and Straw:
Using the book Haystack by Bonnie & Arthur
Geisert students look at haystacks from before baled hay
was used, and observe how string was used in the life of
T - Tops and Toothpicks:
Students observe different types of wooden tops and
toys, and the wooden toothpicks once manufactured in
U – Ulysses’ Underwear:
Students enjoy hands-on observations of old fashioned
undergarments after enjoying the adventure of Zachary
the Zebra in the book Underwear by Mary Elise
V - Vera’s Vittles:
The term “vittles” is introduced and students learn how
families moving west fed themselves by trapping,
hunting, harvesting food from the forest, and growing
crops when they finally settled in an area.
W - Wool and Weaving:
Students look at the process of bartering and how
involved making a winter coat can be when you go from
raw material to the finished product.
X – X Marks the Spot:
Students will learn about maps through books and
activities. Box includes historic maps of our area as
Y – Yams & More:
A discussion about general stores and all the wonderful
things that can be found within.
Z - Zoe’s Zinnias:
Students consider moving to Arkansas. In her garden,
Zoe plants mysterious seeds, and each day as she tends
to them she remembers the grandparents she left behind.
All 26 boxes are rotated to participating schools, to be
used at teacher discretion. Boxes are rotated through
school libraries during the school year. Boxes that are
not currently on rotation are also available for