Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs
Book 3: Shadows
of Caesar's Creek
Study Guides

Back to Study Guides

Study Guides

Discussion Topics

Chapter 1

  1. Ziggy is excited about the upcoming overnight camping trip. Write about one thing that might be fun about such a trip.

  2. Then write about one thing that might be a negative about such a trip.

  3. Write or draw a description of Ziggy's back yard.

  4. Write or draw a description of the club house the boys had built.

  5. Write or draw a description of Ziggy. What does his description tell you about his personality?

  6. Give several examples of Ziggy's unusual tastes in food.

  7. If you were going on this camping trip, what other items would you bring in addition to the things listed in chapter one? Why?

  8. From the descriptions given in the first chapter, how are the four boys alike?

  9. How are they different?

  10. Make a prediction: What is likely to happen on the field trip?

Chapter 2

  1. Describe how Jerome looked as they prepared to leave for the trip. What did he wear and what did he carry?

  2. What does that tell you about him?

  3. Describe how Rico looked as they prepared to leave for the trip. What did he wear and what did he carry?

  4. What does that tell you about him?

  5. Describe the girls that went on the trip.

  6. Describe how Rashawn looked as they prepared to leave for the trip. What did he wear and what did he carry?

  7. What does that tell you about him?

  8. Describe how Ziggy looked as they prepared to leave for the trip. What did he wear and what did he carry?

  9. What does that tell you about him?

  10. Who was Caesar and where did the name of the park get its name?

Chapter 3

  1. Who was Noni and what was her role on the trip?

  2. Describe the pond.

  3. What did the children notice at first?

  4. What did they notice as they looked closer?

  5. What does Noni teach Ziggy about the capturing of animals?

  6. Describe the woods the children walked thorough as they headed for the campsite.

  7. What is the difference between walking for a mile in the city and walking for a mile in the woods?

  8. Who kept eating and dropping jellybeans? Why do you think this is an important detail?

  9. What does Ziggy learn about poison ivy?

  10. What do the children learn about May apples?

Chapter 4

  1. How did Noni compare the walking through the woods of the children to the walking of Shawnee children?

  2. Describe the process of putting up a tent and setting up a camp site.

  3. What difficulties might you encounter? What would you do about rocks on the ground, or food, or water, or fire?

  4. Describe Rashawn's lunch. What do you learn about his eating habits?

  5. Describe Ziggy's lunch. What do you learn about his eating habits?

  6. Describe or draw a picture of the scene after lunch.

  7. What was the difference between what the boys were doing and what the girls were doing?

  8. What do the boys find? Describe it.

  9. Why do you think Ziggy whispers "with respect?"

  10. Make a prediction: What is likely to happen because of the finding of the arrowhead?

Chapter 5

  1. What is unusual about the arrowhead they found?

  2. How does Rico tease Mimi? Is this realistic? Explain.

  3. List several ways to make a fire in the woods. Which method does Noni use?

  4. What was different about the meal they ate as compared to the meals they would ordinarily eat at home?

  5. Describe the canoe the boys found. How do they know it is old?

  6. Noni described how the area looked three hundred years ago. What was different about how it was then and how it is today?

  7. What images and memories do the children share about how Native Americans were treated in this country?

  8. The children discuss how Africans were made slaves when they came to this country. Why wasn't the enslavement of Native Americans a successful project?

  9. How did Native Americans and runaway slaves work together?

  10. How is Noni related to Caesar?

Chapter 6

  1. Noni tells the children that the Revolutionary War was fought for freedom. Why do you think that freedom for slaves was not included?

  2. Even though Caesar the slave is mentioned in a book of fiction, he was a real person who really lived in the Ohio valley. What job had he been trained for?

  3. How did Caesar help the Shawnee Indians?

  4. Why did the Shawnees give Caesar the land?

  5. How long did Caesar live with the Shawnee Indians and what happened as a result?

  6. What does Noni tell them about chiefs and arrowheads?

  7. How does Noni describe life in a Shawnee village?

  8. What was the role of women in the village? What was the role of men in the village? Did women every do what some might describe as a man's job?

  9. Describe the Shawnee manhood ceremony that Ziggy demonstrated.

  10. What other ceremonies did Noni tell them about?

Chapter 7

  1. List several things that might make the night seem scary.

  2. What makes you think the boys might be scared?

  3. Why do the boys plan to sneak out of their tent?

  4. What was their plan if they were discovered? Did they originally plan to use the canoe?

  5. When they first get in the boat, they are just pretending. Who decides to put it into the water?

  6. Why do they compare themselves to young Shawnee warriors?

  7. How do you think the boys felt as they pushed the boat into the water?

  8. What is Rico's attitude as they play with the boat? What does this tell you about him?

  9. Where had they left the paddles?

  10. How do you think the boys felt as they realized they were adrift?

Chapter 8

  1. What was making the boat drift so far away so quickly?

  2. Who else was aware of their plans to sneak out? Why is this a scary thought?

  3. For what purpose do they use the "for sale" sign? For what purpose do they use Ziggy's umbrella?

  4. Make a prediction. How will the boys get rescued?

  5. Paddling a boat seems to be a pretty easy task. What do the boys discover about moving a boat through water?

  6. Why is it dangerous to stand up in a canoe?

  7. How do you think it felt to land in the water in the middle of the night?

  8. What shows that Ziggy is scared? What is humorous about his fear?

  9. What is different about the shore they left from and the shore they landed on?

  10. Describe their walk through the woods at night. Why was this frightening as well as uncomfortable?

Chapter 9

  1. What had made the boys run screaming in the darkness?

  2. Explain this statement: "Suddenly the tree moved!" Explain how the tree could talk.

  3. How do you know the boys were frightened? Do you think a bear was really chasing them?

  4. Describe man who rescues the boys.

  5. Describe his dwelling and what he gives the boys.

  6. Hawk wears glasses. Why do the boys think that is unusual for a Shawnee? What does that tell you about making assumptions?

  7. What does Hawk tell them about the Shawnee people who lived in that area many years ago?

  8. How does Hawk answer the question about whether Native American or Indian is the most acceptable term?

  9. What does Hawk tell the boys about Native Americans living in this country today?

  10. How does Hawk respond to the mention of Tecumseh?

Chapter 10

  1. According to legend, what happened the night that Tecumseh was born?

  2. According to legend, what did Tecumseh find on the final day of his manhood challenge? Why was this special?

  3. How did Caesar assist in the upbringing of one of the greatest Shawnee warriors who ever lived?

  4. How had Noni's predictions about mysteries and strange events come true?

  5. Why do you think Rico gives the arrowhead to Hawk?

  6. Why do you think Hawk gives it back?

  7. Explain this statement that Hawk makes: "Life must give to life."

  8. What do they discover on the path that helps them find their way back?

  9. Even though they were probably in trouble for sneaking out, explain how what the boys did could be considered a successful night challenge.

  10. What does Ziggy offer to Hawk as a gift? Why is this significant?

A. Additional Activities:

A. Information to explore and discover. Use the internet or an encyclopedia, or books to find out more about the following:

  1. Tecumseh, the warrior

  2. Tecumseh, the outdoor drama

  3. Shawnee Indians of three hundred years ago

  4. Shawnee Indians today

  5. Caesar Creek State Park

  6. Arrowheads

  7. Canoeing and camping

  8. Hiking in the woods

  9. Harness Making

  10. African-Americans and Native Americans working together

B. Jobs to explore:

  1. Archeologist

  2. Camp director

  3. Historian

  4. Biographer

  5. Naturalist

  6. Forest Ranger

  7. Restoration Expert

  8. River Guide

  9. Environmental Expert

  10. Bird Watcher

C. Websites to explore:

C. Writing activites:

  1. Using the internet or newspaper ads from camping supply stores, find out what you'd need to go on a camping trip, and how much it would cost. Write up a plan for your trip.

  2. Find out what animals might be found roaming in the woods of an Ohio forest. Find out if it would be possible for Ziggy and his friends to be chased by a bear.

  3. Write an essay about being afraid. You can write about what it was like for Ziggy and the boys, or you can write about a time when you were very frightened. Be sure to include the feelings and emotions that fear brings out.

    Interview someone who is a native American, works with native Americans, or knows something about all the Native Americans who are living in this country today. Write an essay about what you learn.

  4. Write a poem or story about bravery.

  5. Write a poem or story about adventures and challenges.

  6. Write a newspaper story about how Ziggy and his friends get lost and then rescued in the park.

  7. Find out about state parks in your state. Where are they located? What do they offer? You can go on the internet to find this information. Many places will mail you brochures and maps.

  8. Rashawn is afraid of insects. Research the insects in your area and find out which ones are dangerous and which ones are helpful. What would you tell Rashawn about what you've learned about bugs?

  9. After you read and research about Tecumseh, write a poem or story about him.

  10. "Can you imagine what it was like a long time ago when the Indians lived here?" Tiana spoke softly, looking around at the quiet beauty around her. "It's so pretty!" Write a poem about the beauty of the world before civilization chanted things.

The Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs Series

Book #1 - The Buried Bones Mystery

Book #2 - Lost in the Tunnel of Time

Book #3 - Shadows of Caesar's Creek

Book #4 - The Space Camp Adventure

Book #5 - The Backyard Animal Show

Book #6 - Stars and Sparks on Stage