Wonder Horse

Wonder HorseSubtitled The True Story of the World’s Smartest Horse, this is the story of how Bill Key, former slave, found and trained his horse Jim Key. Unlike other trainers of the time, he used only kindness to teach Jim to recognize the alphabet and colours. They travelled America doing shows, where Bill took the opportunity to teach animal owners the importance of humane treatment. Bill and his horse had a huge influence on the movement leading to the RSPCA.

Emily Arnold McCully, Henry Holt, ©2010, ISBN 978-0-8050-8793-2

Famous Animals – A Rapid Research Topic

Jim Key is the story of both an amazing horse and an amazing owner. Give students a list of famous animals and ask them to prepare a quick research report of about 4 paragraphs (with an illustration if possible from the internet) to make an 11 X 17 poster set of displays for the class.

Working in pairs, students could then make an oral presentation (or a PowerPoint presentation about their particular horses)..length 2 minutes to a maximum length of 5 minutes.

I have created a Pinterest page with 30 amazing animals (horses, dogs, cats) that students can use to start their research (or illustrate it). You can either visit my Pinterest page on my website to view the board (it’s the last one on the page) or visit my Pinterest boards directly (also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!).


The words students might find difficult are: colic, profile, console, antics, equine, and liniment. This might be a good time to explore vocabulary about horses as a theme. (See page 3 of the attachment.)

For 5 creative writing ideas, click Wonder Horse to download.


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