10+ Wild West Theme Ideas You Can’t Pass Up

wild west theme featured image

Well how-dy-doo partners! If you haven’t guessed from the title and first sentence, today’s post is all about a Wild West Theme, and you better saddle up for all the fun we’re about the exchange. Today’s theme is honestly all about fun, and fun equals motivation. We know how important motivation is to life-long learning, don’t we? If we can get our kids motivated to read and read some more, then we’ve established routines and routines grow our readers.

So today, I’ll be sharing a collection of book choices, curriculum options for reading, math, writing, and social studies, as well as art and technology finds. With a wild west theme, there are also great classroom decor ideas, so I believe I’ll share some of those ideas too. For starters, here’s a little quote…ready to “Get Dirty”?  Let’s do this then!

wild west theme quote

Best books for a wild west theme

In my opinion, you can not have a Wild West theme without using the book, Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett. She has such a great way of weaving in rich vocabulary and a plot that truly grabs you in. The main character, Harmony Jean, has some shiny red boots that need breaking in, but an unfortunate armadillo (that can’t see) thinks they are a family member and so the armadillo follows Harmony Jean on her adventures as she “roughs up” those new boots.

Another book that works very well with a Wild West theme is the book, Bad Day at Riverbend by Chris Van Allsburg. I used this with a tutoring student who loved cowboys and horses, and it was a perfect fit.  {This set} by Jami Bicknell offers an organizer for making inferences with Bad Day at Riverbend.

Other favorite books you don’t want to leave out include Pecos BillThe Gingerbread Cowboy and B is for Buckaroo. Your kids will really enjoy them.

pecos bill for a wild west theme
the gingerbread cowboy for a wild west theme
bad day at riverbend for wild west theme

Activity ideas for a wild west theme:

Kids love Reader’s Theater (and I do too). This freebie from Today in Second Grade is just adorable. Your students will love “heading down to the farm” to act out this play for eight voices.

Finally, I thought I’d share this last freebie from my friend, Susan at First Grade Friendly Froggies. Many of my readers use a Daily Five schedule for the ELA block, and I love these Western Themed Daily Five cards.

10+ Wild West Theme Ideas You Can't Pass Up pin

I pinned several cowboy boot art projects, so be sure to check them out if you’re interested in including a little art with this theme, but I love that this set from Liz Kinsinger. It is a real time saver since it includes all the patterns you’ll need.  You can print them off and be ready to go. She tied this project to Armadillo Rodeo, but I think any cowboy book would work for a boot decorating project.

Before I move on to Tech resources, there is one last art project I have to share. I think these self portraits are just so cool, and I can see pairing them with a descriptive paper about the qualities of a great student. You could then post the Wanted Sign with the projects and papers. Like??

technology Resources for a Wild West Theme:

There are a few video links for a Wild West Theme that I thought I’d share. You can view theme here or click the links to view on Youtube.



Other themed Posts You might like:

Themed teaching is so much fun, and it makes cross curricular studies easy to do. You might look at all of your standards to see what can be incorporated.


Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.