Bill Pickett: Following Dreams

This lesson is similar to the lesson comparing several of Andrea’s books, except this one focusing on just one book, Bill Pickett Rodeo Ridin’ Cowboy. This lesson may be better suited for younger writers.

The goal is to write a painted essay response to literature (links with more information about the painted essay are found below), using the focus sentence: Bill Pickett had to work hard so he could follow his dream and become one of the most famous rodeo performers ever.


Materials needed:
Bill Pickett Rodeo-Ridin’ Cowboy  – Having multiple copies of the book is helpful so the students can go back to the text for examples.


Before reading the book, introduce the author by telling a little about her life (see biography section).  Tell the children that Andrea Davis Pinkney likes to write about people that work hard to acheive their dreams. Discuss what it means to acheive your dream.

Ask the children to be listening for examples of how Bill Pickett worked hard to acheive his dream of becoming a rodeo cowboy.


After finishing the book, call on students to share examples from the book where he worked hard to acheive his dream.

Here are some examples from the text:


  • As a young boy, Bill Pickett dreamed of being a cowboy. When the adult cowboys ignored him, he showed them he could “bulldog” a calf on his own.
  • He practiced bulldogging, riding, and lassoing until he became the best.
  • He continued to work for the rodeo, even though it meant leaving his family for weeks at a time.
  • His bulldogging act helped to make the rodeo one of the best-loved sports of his time.

Review the parts of the painted essay: introduction, body, and conclusion (see below for references about the painted essay). The teacher can provide an already written introduction and conclusion, depending on the level of the students. Here is an example with the introduction and conclusion already written, leaving space in the body for the children to write their ideas, using examples from the text: bill pickett response (Microsoft Word format).

Information on the Painted Essay





Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: