Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sixteen Cows

Teacher’s Guide 
Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler
illustrated by: Kurt Cyrus


  1. How many cows does Gene Biddle have? How about Cowgirl Sue?
  2. There’s an old saying that goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Is this true for the Waddle’s and the Biddle’s? Why?


  1. Describe Gene and Sue.
  2. What event changed everything between these two neighbors?


  1. Which of the cow’s names is your favorite?
  2. Why does the author say, “ In truth cows aren’t too bright?”


  1. Besides combining their herds, how else could they have solved the fence problem?
  2. What are some ways that Gene and Sue could tell their cows apart?


  1. Imagine you’re a cowboy or cowgirl. What would be the best part? The worst?


  1. Do you think the wedding would have ever happened if the fence hadn’t been blown away? Why or why not?
  2. What else might be on the new ranch in a couple of years?

Prediction Guide


  1. Looking at just the end pages, what are those things symbols of?
  2. If you study the cover you can figure out many things: Who are the main characters? What time period do you think this is: present, past, long ago?

After the tornado page:

Predict what you think might happen. Will the cows get along? Will they build a new fence? Will there be an argument?

At the ending:

What do you think life on the new ranch will be like? Will the cows be happier? Will Gene and Sue?

Multiple Intelligence Projects
for Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler
illustrated by Kurt Cyrus

Verbal/ Linguistic

Invent names for eight cows of your own imaginary herd. See if you can get the fourth and the eighth to rhyme.

Logical/ Mathematical
Create a counting game based on the book. It could be on a single page or for the whole story. For example, how many windmills are pictured throughout the whole book?

Visual/ Spatial

If you study closely the illustrations you’ll notice the artist created the pictures from a lot of different angles. Sometimes it looks like he drew them from a hot air balloon. Other times it seems as if he is right on a hill with a cow and his paintbrush. In one picture, it looks as if he might be stampeded by the cows if he were standing there! This is called perspective. Study how he makes the pictures more interesting by changing the perspective. (Wouldn’t it be boring if every picture had the sixteen cows lined up in the same position over and over again?) Then draw one thing on your desk from two different perspectives. You can move if you need to! Turn in both pictures, and a couple of sentences about what it taught you.

Body/ Kinesthetic

Learn how to do a square dance and have yourselves a hoe-down at the public school ranch! You can even wear western costumes to make this activity more fun!


Try to learn how to use a lasso and round up some of your stuffed animals. Warning: do not try to lasso human beings!!

Musical/ Rhythmic

As a class listen to the music for the square dance. Compare it to music you hear on the radio. Create a venn diagram (two intersecting circles) answering these questions: How is it the same?  How is it different? Compare: instruments, lyrics, and tempo too.


Since you’re going to put on a real hoe-down you’ll need to decide what types of things will make it a success. Brainstorm all the items you’ll need and then decide how best to get the work done. Be sure someone writes down who is in charge of what, so you don’t forget.


On the back cover of the book, Gene and Sue are sitting on the hill. What do you think they are saying? Is there any special place you like to go and think? Describe it.