Rattlesnake Hunt by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings



Make sure you have read and are familiar with the story, "Rattlesnake Hunt" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Refer to your book at any time (pg. 518-536) if you need to look up information.  You will need the assigned worksheet or a scratch piece of paper to write down your answers.

A. Explore the setting of the story. (15 min)
a. Go to Google Maps.  http://maps.google.com/ 
b. Type in "Arcadia, FL"
c. Click the box marked "get directions"
d. Type your hometown into the box for point A
e. Answer the following questions:

Question 1: How far is Arcadia, FL from your hometown?
Question 2: Would it be easy to get there in a day?
Question 3: Zoom in a few places.  Is it Interstate the whole way? Backroads?

f. Click "add a destination" under the city names.
g. Type "Lake Okeechobee, FL"

*Note: Rawlings begins her journey in Arcadia, FL and drives to "Big Prairie," which is "south of Arcadia and west of the northern tip of Lake Okeechobee" (519).  Rawlings describes the area as "a desolate cattle country, half marsh, half pasture, with islands of palm trees and cypress and oaks" (519).

h. Zoom into Arcadia, FL on the map.
i. Change the map to "terrain" (small icon on the map)
j. Zoom out and find your hometown.  Zoom in here.
k. Answer the following questions:

Question 4: What is the terrain like near Arcadia,FL and Lake Okechobee, FL? 
Question 5: Is the terrain similar or different in your hometown?

B. Investigate Rattlesnakes (30 min)
a. Go to http://www.rattlesnakes.com/ (American International Rattlesnake Museum)
b. Choose the link entitled "Information about snakes"
e. Answer the following questions:

Question 6: Is it common to get bitten by a rattlesnake in the US?
Question 7: What are some precautions you can take when in an area where you suspect to find poisonous snakes?
Question 8: Are rattlesnakes born with rattles?
Question 9: Draw the heads of a venomous and nonvenomous snake.  *Note: this is a generalization, and is only USUALLY the case.

f. Return to the main page of the American International Rattlesnake museum site and choose the link entitled "Exhibit Animals"

C. Choose two types of rattlesnakes from the sidebar and read about them.
h. Write two interesting facts about each snake.

*Note: for more good pictures, go to:  http://www.venomousreptiles.org/pages/rattlesnake  (rattlesnake index)

D. Find out more about the author, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. (15 min)
a. Go to:   http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/rawlings/rawlings.htm (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Biography)
b. Read the article and answer the following questions:

Question 10: When did Rawlings live?
Question 11: Name two books that Rawlings wrote.
Question 12: Write two interesting facts about Rawlings.

E. Find out more about snake handling. (5 min)
a. Go to: http://tongs.com/index.aspx (Snake Handling Equipment)
b. Explore some of the tools.  There are no questions here, so just have fun.
c. IF YOU DARE! - click on the snakebite pictures (bite image gallery)  BEWARE! not for the faint of heart.  Move on to step 6.

F. What do you think?
  (10 min)
Snakes have many connotations for different people.  Some keep them as pets.  Some are scared of them. 

Question 13: What do you think about snakes?  Have you ever seen a snake in real life? Held one?  In the story, Rawlings managed to calmly trap the rattlesnake, but she can't bring herself to pick it up.  How would you have reacted in that situation?  

7. Play snake!



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