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Kokopelli's Flute
Author: Will Hobbs
Ages: 9-12
Topics: New Mexico, Kokopelli, Ancestral Puebloan People, Seeds, Dry Farming, Hantavirus, Pack Rats
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Tepary's father is a desert farmer specializing in ancient seeds, so it's not surprising that Tep is named after a bean. Tepary lives near an ancient cliff dwelling called Picture House in New Mexico. When Tepary spends the night watching the eclipse of the moon at the ruin, he discovers pot-hunters. After scaring off the intruders, Tep finds an ancient flute. After playing the flute, he feels strange and is transformed into a pack rat. From then on, he becomes a pack rat each night.

Beyond the Book

Use the Internet Connections below to find resources needed to complete the following activities:
  • What's a Kokopelli? Explore images of Kokopelli. Select an image and write a story set long ago.
  • Draw your own Kokopelli.
  • Read The Ballad of Kokopelli. Write your own ballad.
  • Read the stories of Kokopelli. Compare and contrast the legend of Kokopelli and Johnny Appleseed.
  • Explore the ruins of the American Southwest. Why do you think the people abandoned their homes?
  • Pottery was an important part of life for the people of Picture House. Create your own pot. Learn about some of the designs they used.
  • Discuss the issues related to access and protection of ruins. Read the article in the Cortez Journal for ideas. Read Clinton's new monument proclamation.
  • Read about petroglyphs. Create your own petroglyphs that tell a story in pictures.
  • Can you identify all the different kinds of seeds discussed in the book? Create a garden using the dry farming techniques from the book. What are the three sisters of New Mexican farming?
  • Visit Seeds of Change. Trace the movement of plants and seeds around the world.
  • Tepary is transformed into a pack rat. Write about an adventure about what you might do as a pack rat. Be sure you read about real pack rats first.
  • Think of your room as a rat's nest. What would future paleonidologists think of your room?
  • Why is hantavirus a problem? Create a warning poster containing important facts.
  • Dusty is a golden retriever. Learn about the characteristics of this type of dog. In what ways did Dusty act like a golden retriever in the book? Write an adventure about Dusty and another animal.
  • Until the pothunters interrupted, Tep was enjoying the eclipse of the moon. What's an eclipse and how often does it happen? Make plans for the next eclipse. Where would you like to be?
Internet Connections
Author and Book Connections
Explore information about the author of the book:
Explore information and ideas for using the book:
Read other books by the same author:
  • Beardance
  • Bearstone
  • Beardream
  • The Big Wander
  • Far North
  • Ghost Canoe
  • Changes in Latitudes
  • The Maze
  • Downriver
  • River Thunder
  • Howling Hill
  • Jason's Gold
  • Down the Yukon - Coming Spring 2001
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Created by
Annette Lamb, 4/00.