Milestones Activities

The activities on this page go along with the activities found in the Circle C Milestones Enrichment Guide for all six books. Scroll down until you find the book you are looking for. The page numbers in the guide, where the links to these activities are found, are also included. Buy the guide >>

1- Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves Chapters 1-3

Page 12 – Twin Foals. Watch these rare palomino and cremello twin foals (colt and filly) at birth and two weeks later outside with mom (Daisy). Just like Taffy! Except Taffy is only 15 hands, while Daisy in this video is nearly 18 hands! (3 minutes)

Thick as Thieves Chapters 5-6

Page 17 – 1895 Eighth Grade Exam Are you up to the challenge? Download and print out this 1895 final exam for graduation from the eighth grade.

Thick as Thieves Chapters 11-12

Page 29 – Training a Foal. Watch Susie and the author demonstrate some of the important aspects of training a foal (or in this case, two foals born the same night). Dakota and Taffy Kandy, born March 2023. From one day old to two weeks. Both the colt and the filly are palominos from the same sire. It’s just like having twins. Twice the work! (Two-and-a-half minutes.)

Thick as Thieves Chapters 17-18

Page 41 – Branding Calves. Macy’s brothers changed the brands on the cattle and horses they rustled. Watch old-time cowboys brand cattle in this two-minute video.

Thick as Thieves Chapters 25-26

Page 53 – A Dime Novel. Click on the dime novel’s cover to read the complete story of California Joe, The Mysterious Plainsman. (PDF file)

2- Heartbreak Trail

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 7

Page 68 – Spanish Part One. Listen to all nine Spanish words pronounced. The number for each word is given in Spanish, as well.

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 7

Page 70 – Dinosaurs and Man. Take a look at these rocks carved by men who lived long ago in Peru. They are called the Ica Stones. Looks to me like men and dinosaurs walked the earth together for quite some time after the flood! (from


Heartbreak Trail Chapters 8-9

Page 72 – Cowboy Songs. Gather ’round with the Circle C cowhands as they strum and sing their way through trail songs. Click the links to listen to the songs they sang during the cattle drive.

Toledo sang this first song, “The Old Chisholm Trail,” and made up a verse about Andi. It’s fun and easy to create verses.

The Old Chisholm Trail
Home on the Range
Get Along, Little Dogies (a “dogie” is a motherless calf)
Sweet Betsy from Pike
The Streets of Laredo

Heartbreak Trail Chapters 11-12

Page 80 – Spanish Part Two. Listen to these eleven Spanish words and phrases from the box. Read along with their pronunciations.

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 13

Page 82 – Old West Camels. Learn more about the “great camel experiment” in this three-minute video.

Heartbreak Trail Chapters 14-15

Page 85 – Spanish Part Three. Listen to these six Spanish phrases. The number for each phrase is given in Spanish, as well.

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 16

Page 90 – Tulare Lake. See Tulare Lake as it was in the 1800s and how it shrank and grew during seasons of rain and drought. The floods of 2023 have returned Tulare Lake to its original boundaries, but the lake will soon dry up once more.

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 19

Page 97 – Spanish Part Four. Listen to these eight Spanish words and phrases. The number for each word or phrase is also given in Spanish.

Heartbreak Trail Chapter 25

Page 105 – The Tehachapi Loop. This one-and-a-half minute video shows a modern train tackling the Tehachapi Loop, just like the locomotive did at the end of Heartbreak Trail. Nothing has changed.

3- The Last Ride

The Last Ride Chapters 5-6

Page 115 – Spanish. Listen to these six Spanish words and/or phrases.


The Last Ride Chapters 5-6

Page 117 – Transcontinental Railroad. This video explains the history of this massive project in under two minutes.

The Last Ride Chapters 8-9

Page 122 – The Human Heart. Watch the journey blood takes through the heart (two-and-a-half minutes). Blood is pumped to the lungs to refresh it with oxygen then pumped throughout the body, and then back again.

The Last Ride Chapters 11-12

Page 130 – The Brooklyn Bridge (East River Bridge). Ride along with Thomas Edison as he crosses the Brooklyn Bridge in 1899 with his newest invention–moving pictures.

The Last Ride Chapters 20-21

Page 145 – A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Download the PDF version of the complete novel by clicking the image. If you would like the novel in another format (epub, mobi, etc.) click the button.

The Last Ride Chapters 20-21

Page 145 – Journey to the Center of the Earth. Get a feel for the 1959 Pat Boone movie by watching this three-and-a-half minute trailer. You might want to watch the whole movie sometime.

4- Courageous Love

Courageous Love Chapter 1

Page 157 – Trick Riding. Watch three talented young riders (Bethany, Brittany, and Libby) demonstrate their trick-riding skills with Roman riding and the “death drag” in this one-and-a-half minute video.

Courageous Love Chapters 2-3

Page 163 – The Quadrille. Couples perform the quadrille dance (one-and-a-half minutes).

Courageous Love Chapters 2-3

Page 163 – Virginia Reel. Watch the beginning of the Virginia Reel (and a waltz) from this one-minute clip from Gone with the Wind.

Courageous Love Chapters 5-6

Page 164 – Blue Danube Waltz. Listen to this two-and-a-half minute excerpt from Strauss’s “An der Schonen Blauen Donau.”

Courageous Love Chapters 8-9

Page 170 – Wind Pump. Watch this one-and-a-half minute video of a working wind pump, which pulls water from the ground.

Courageous Love Chapter 19

Page 189 – More Spanish. Listen to these Spanish phrases and sentences. Try to pronounce each phrase as you hear it.

Courageous Love Chapter 22

Page 193 – The Slough of Despond. Click on the image to read how Christian and Pliable escape from this mucky swamp of “despair.” If you want to read the entire book (it’s free), click the button.

Courageous Love Chapters 23-24

Page 194 – Even More Spanish. Listen to these Spanish phrases and sentences. Pause the audio and try to pronounce each phrase as you hear it.

5- Yosemite at Last

Honeymoon Hazards Chapters 1-3

Page 203 – California Stage Company. Listen to this fun song (2:30 minutes) about riding on a California stagecoach in the 1800s.

Yosemite at Last! Chapters 1-4

Page 210 – “He Hideth My Soul.” Written by Fanny Crosby, this hymn is based on Exodus 33:18-23, when God placed Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered him with His hand.

Can You Cook? Or Dance?

Page 215 – Waltz Music. You have heard this music before in Courageous Love. What is the name of the waltz? (question #6)

Rattlesnake Stew

Page 222 – Yosemite Rattlesnake. The western Pacific rattlesnake can even be found at high elevations, like the Sierra high country!

Rattlesnake Stew

Page 222 – Dead But Still Deadly. This video comes courtesy of my family’s mini-ranch in the Sierra foothills. This big fellow slithered onto their property and was killed. Biggest rattlesnake ever!

Overgrown Kitty

Page 231 – Charlie the Lonesome Cougar. One of my all-time favorite movies, this Walt Disney (1967) movie about an orphaned cougar cub raised in a logging camp is family friendly. It gave me the idea to write about Andi and Riley’s overgrown cougar cub. Enjoy this two-and-a-half minute clip about one of Charlie’s misadventures.


Page 241 – Fire from a Magnifying Glass. This one-minute video shows how easy it is to start a fire with only a magnifying glass and a sunny day, much like how the glass worked to start a brush fire.

6- Stranger in the Glade

Auld Lang Syne

Page 247 – “Auld Lang Syne.” Listen to the words of this old, old song (words written in 1788, and the tune composed in 1799).

An Unexpected Visitor

Page 251 – Spanish Lesson One. Listen to hear how these eight Spanish words and phrases are pronounced. Pause the audio and repeat each word.

Specter from the Past

Page 255 – Spanish Lesson Two. Listen to these ten Spanish phrases that Andi overhears while she’s hiding with Jared under the bed. Can you pronounce them?

Specter from the Past

Page 255 – The Thief on the Cross. Verse 2 of this old hymn highlights the thief on the cross. (one minute)

Stranger in the Glade

Page 260 – Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Click the image to read this Arabian Nights story. If you prefer to download the story as a PDF file, click the button.

Winter Ice for Summer

Page 263 – Harvesting Ice in the 1800s. This five-minute video demonstrates how men cut and hauled ice out of lakes in order to fill their ice houses for the whole year.

Nanny Riley

Page 272 – African-American (Negro) Spirituals. Listen to these examples of a unique type of music that is found nowhere else in the world, but only in America. Black slaves passed these songs down as they worked. Most were based on biblical themes.

“Oh, Dem Golden Slippers” got its beginning in 1879 in what is called a “minstrel” show. It became very popular. Riley loves to whistle this song.

“Golden Slippers”

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” as performed by the original Jubilee Singers in 1909. One of the best-known African-American spiritual. Often sung acapella (without instruments).

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

“Go Down, Moses” is performed not by the original Jubilee Singers, but by members of the same musical group that has kept their music alive. It too is sung acapella. It’s easy to see that the story of God freeing His people through Moses would have been dear to the slaves’ hearts.

Go Down, Moses

San Francisco Surprise

Page 286 – Riding the Streetcar Down Market Street. This is a four-minute clip taken from rare footage of riding the streetcar down San Francisco’s Market Street in 1906 (sixteen years after Andi and Riley’s visit in 1890). It has been colorized, and you can see automobiles. This film was recorded one day before the great San Francisco earthquake that occurred in the early morning hours of April 18, 1906.

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