Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Sign of the Beaver

My fifth-grader is currently participating in the Read-A-Thon for his school, and his teacher has assigned a Battle of the Books challenge for the month of October. Students will read 4 out of 6 books, write questions and answers about the books, and compete in teams at the end of the month. This was one of the books assigned for the battle. Elizabeth George Speare also authored The Witch of Blackbird Pond which I must have read when I was in school.

For this sensational tale of the friendship that develops between a white boy and an Indian boy in Maine in the 1700s, the author won a Newbery Honor. 

Matt's father purchased land in Maine and travels up north with his son. Together, they build a log cabin and plant a corn field. By mid-summer, Matt's father leaves him alone in the cabin to return to Quincy, Massachusetts to collect his mom, sister, and the new baby.

Matt has never met an Indian, but he soon does. His experiences challenge what he has been told about the Indians and force him to think about what it means for the Indian when the white men begin to settle in "unsettled" areas of the country. Although he perceives of the Indians as savages, he quickly learns that they know more about how to survive on the land than he does.

I am going to add this novel to my collection of possessive noun worksheets; it will be included as well in some error analysis exercises.

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