Old Mother West Wind

Homeschool and Classroom Activity and Lesson Ideas for Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess / Moral Lessons for Kids / Children Stories with Morals / Character Traits *This post contains affiliate links.  We receive a small commission when you purchase items through our site.  This helps support the website and enables us to continue providing you quality information and product recommendations.  Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

The Book: Old Mother West Wind

Old Mother West Wind was first published in 1910.  This wonderful collection of stories written by Thornton W. Burgess has been a favorite over generations. Old Mother West Wind introduces many animal characters that later became books of their own. This is just the beginning of tales about Peter Cottontail, Reddy Fox, Jerry Muskrat, Johnny Chuck, and many more!  In this book, Burgess tells us why Grandfather Frog has no tail, why Jimmy Skunk’s family was given stripes, how Spotty the Turtle wins a race, and so many more endearing stories about woodland creatures.



 We want you to fall in love with these adorable animals and their captivating stories.

That’s why we are offering our reading comprehension questions and vocabulary list for Old Mother West Wind for free.

And, in case you don’t already own this book, we have also made the entire text available for free.  This version also includes the discussion questions and vocabulary.


 CharacterTraitsHeaderThornton W. Burgess not only filled his stories with scientific knowledge about animals, he also gave his characters attributes and situations that help us teach about moral character.  Each book contains a variety of traits that can be turned into discussions about proper behavior and attitudes.

Below we’ve compiled a short list of some of the character traits found in Old Mother West Wind.  For a more in depth look, click on the traits for additional activities and book suggestions associated with that trait. (Words will become clickable once we have dedicated pages to each trait, so please be patient as we continue building our site!)

Vanity – Chapter 2: Frogs cared so much for their tails’ beauty that Mother Nature took them away
Neighborliness – Chapter 4: Peter Rabbit helps Mrs. Grouse when her eggs were empty and broken
Determination – Chapter 7: Jimmy Skunk doesn’t give up looking for beetles
Thoughtfulness – Chapter 11: Jerry Muskrat finds a way to include all his friends at his party
Contentment – Chapter 13: Several creatures go in search of “the Best Thing in the World”
Resourcefulness – Chapter 16: Spotty the Turtle figures how to win a race


Animal crafts for kids
25 animal books for kids
Forest animal memory game printable
Learning About Habitats
Make your own speckled eggs
Lily Pad Game
► Pond coloring page to add your own animals or stickers
► Create a clover sensory tub. Look for clovers in the yard.
Groundhog/Woodchuck activity worksheet
How to prepare a child on how to get help if they get lost
Video to help discuss vanity/flattery (Aesop’s fable The Fox and the Crow)
► Make your own animal footprint game
Magic School House Nature Bundle
Animal track art project (see Teaching Resources below for plastic animal figures)
► Make sensory tub with plastic animals and sand
► Use play dough for making animal footprints.
Learn about beetles
Kid Activities: Insects and Bugs
Build a Habitat Diorama Project
Water activities for kids
Indoor water play ideas
Fun things to do with friends
Mama’s & Babies Science Matching Game
Elementary Zoology Package

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Check out our additional resource page for other suggestions on teaching similar concepts found in this book.

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BooksGamesToysBelow are other books, games, and toys that will enhance learning and expand knowledge on the concepts and characters in the book.