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Cowboys, Coyotes, and Cattle Oh My! or Get along little dogie, you're on the trail again!

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An Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Thematic unit on The American Cowboy and Cattle Drives in the Old West. An Arizona cowpuncher commented that he knew cowhands "who could neither read nor write, but who could name any brand, either letters or figures, on a cow." Before the turn of the twentieth century, many American cowboys were illiterate. Theirs was an oral tradition, much of it in verse form.
Cowboy poems may be laments for partners lost on the cattle drives, a good horse put down, or a sweetheart left behind in a dusty cow town. However, the poems might also be amusing tales of ornery partners, mean broncos and hard-hearted women.
The image of the solitary cowboy riding off into the sunset endures in romantic myth in the American conscious: it is in books, movies and song to this day.
This unit uses traditional and contemporary cowboy poetry, non-fiction selections, excerpts from novels,short stories, music, and videos as vehicles to explore that period of American history that encompasses the great cattle drives, the Pony Express, the railroads and the settling of the West.