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Activities and Discussion Questions


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Title: Activities and Discussion Questions

Activities and Discussion Questions
Click here to go to Ben Mikaelsens web page.
  • About the Author
  • Characters
  • Vocabulary
  • Chapter Summaries
  • Activities
  • Assessment of Novel
  • Writing Prompts
  • Discussion Questions
  • Chapters 1-2 Chapters 16-18
  • Chapters 3-5 Chapters 19-21
  • Chapters 6-8 Chapters 22-25
  • Chapters 9-12 Chapters 26-28
  • Chapters 13-15

Click on the buttons to see pages.
Chapter Summary Chapters 1-2
Chapters 16-18 Chapters 3-5
Chapters 19-21 Chapters 6-8
Chapters 22-25 Chapters 9-12
Chapters 26-28 Chapters 13-15

Click on the buttons to see slides.
  • Vocabulary
  • Chapters 1-2 Chapters 16-18
  • Chapters 3-5 Chapters 19-21
  • Chapters 6-8 Chapters
  • Chapters 9-12 Chapters 26-28
  • Chapters 13-15

Give one synonym and one antonym for each word.
Ben Mikaelsen
  • Author Ben Mikaelsen, has won the International
    Reading Association Award and the Western
    Writer's Golden Spur Award. In addition, his
    novels have won many state Reader's Choice
    awards.  These novels include Rescue Josh
    McGuire, Sparrow Hawk Red, Stranded, Countdown,
    Petey, Touching Spirit Bear, Red Midnight , Tree
    Girl and Ghost of Spirt Bear.  His novel's,
    Rescue Josh McGuire, Petey and Touching Spirit
    Bear have also been optioned for screen use.
  • Ben's articles and photos have appeared in
    numerous magazines around the world. His novels
    have been carried by Scholastic and Troll book
    fairs, and  are recorded on unabridged audio tape
    with recorded books.  Recently Ben was featured
    nationally on Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and
    also on German national TV.
  • Ben lives in a log cabin near Bozeman, Montana,
    with a 750 pound black bear that he adopted and
    has raised for the last twenty five years. 

Cole Matthews a 15-year-old juvenile delinquent
consumed with anger. Peter Driscal the boy who
turned Cole in for robbing a hardware store Cole
beats him in retaliation. Garvey Coles parole
officer and a Tlingit Indian Edwin a Tlingit
elder who helps with Circle Justice has also
spent time on the island in banishment tells
Cole about the Spirit Bear. William Matthews
Coles abusive, alcoholic father Cindy Matthews
Coles timid, alcoholic mother Rosey the nurse
who cares for Cole
Chapters 1-2Summary
  • Cole Matthews is a 15-year-old juvenile
    delinquent whose parents have gotten him out of
    trouble many times when he pretends to be sorry
    for crimes he has committed. This time Cole is
    in trouble because he beat up a kid who told
    authorities that Cole had robbed a hardware
    store. After three months in a juvenile
    detention cell, Cole is allowed to participate in
    Circle Justice, a Native American plan of
    healing, not punishment. He will spend a year
    alone on an island in Southeast Alaska. Cole
    thinks he has fooled everyone once again and will
    escape the island. As soon as the skiff that
    brought him to the island leaves, he rages and
    sets fire to the small wooden shelter and all the
    supplies that he was provided.

Chapter 1-2 Vocabulary
defiantly (3) slime (6) ignited (25)
omen (3) disinfectant (8) venomous (27)
banishment (3) grudgingly (16)
violent (4) shrouded (17)
juvenile (4) irritation (24)
smirk (5) smoldered (25)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 3-5 Vocabulary
sullenly (29) scoffed (37) Collapsed (49)
specific (30) acknowledged (43) wavered (51)
mimicked (30) obligations (44)
frigid (36) rejected (48)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 6-8 Vocabulary
taunted (56) isolation (66) eternity (79)
unflinching (58) charred (69) inconvenience (82)
persistent (61) turbulent (70)
disobeyed (63) cavity (73)
welts (64) landscape (75)
consequences (65) nauseating (79)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 9-12 Vocabulary
haphazard (88) fragile (97) surged (118)
relentlessly (89) suffocating (100) delirium (119)
torrents (90) survive (107)
paralyzed (91) dredged (108)
stench (94) bombarded (116)
solitary (97) parched 117)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 13-15 Vocabulary
creased (122) therapy (139) diminished (150)
vengeance (128) circulation (139) linoleum (151)
reluctantly (137) noticeably (146) significant (152)
warrant (138) violated (147) verdict (155)
testify (138) reverently (147)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 16-18 Vocabulary
commitment (162) scouring (162) potential (163)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 19-21 Vocabulary
galvanized (190) quizzically (204) regained (208)
awning (193) trance (205) talons (215)
pursuit (193) hypnotic (206)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 22-25 Vocabulary
hectic (226) writhed (231) treacherous (237)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapter 26-28 Vocabulary
assaulted (260) incident (268) massive (285)
withdrawn (268) incredible (278)
Numbers denote on which pages words can be found.
Chapters 1-2Discussion questions
  1. Cole must wear his clothes inside out for two
    weeks. Why? Cole takes off his clothes in front
    of the villagers on the shore. What does this
    say about his character?
  2. Cole thinks Edwin acts fearless, but Cole
    believes everyone is afraid of something. Does
    that include him? What is he afraid of How does
    a person look fearless.

Chapters 1-2Answers
  1. It will show his humility and shame. Hes not at
    all ashamed and wants to thwart any symbol of
  2. Cole is afraid of jail. See page 5 for how a
    person looks fearless.

Chapters 1-2Discussion questions
  1. Cole believes there will always be another last
    chance. Why?
  2. Cole always blames someone else for his behavior.
    Give examples from the book. What does this say
    about his maturity level?

Chapters 1-2Answers
  1. Hes been bailed out of trouble over and over by
    his parents, even though hes told each time is
    his last chance. He doesnt believe them anymore
    and doesnt fear a punishment that never happens.
    P. 6
  2. If Peter had known how to fight back, Cole
    wouldnt be in detention. p. 8 If his
    television privileges hadnt been taken away, he
    wouldnt have trashed his room and bloodied his
    knuckles. Pp. 22-23

Chapters 1-2Discussion questions
  • 5. Circle Justice tries to heal, not punish. How
    does it work?
  • 6. Why would Cole say he isnt afraid of dying?

Chapters 1-2Answers
  • 5. The person who has caused injury to someone or
    something must take responsibility for his
    actions and make amends. It requires the
    cooperation of the person who has been harmed,
    and the person who has caused injury must want to
    change his behavior. pp. 10-12
  • 6. Hes convinced himself that he fears nothing
    and that others are morons. P. 14, 17

Chapters 1-2Discussion questions
  • 7. Why does Cole burn down his only shelter?
  • Prediction Who will be Coles sponsor?
  • Prediction Will Cole touch the Devils Club?

Chapters 1-2Answers
  • 7. His rage overcomes his good sense, and he
    gives into it. He doesnt seem to comprehend
    cause and effect. Pp. 24-25
  • Prediction Who will be Coles sponsor?
  • Prediction Will Cole touch the Devils Club?

Chapters 3-5Summary
  • Cole stares at the fire and thinks back to a
    meeting with Garvey, his parole officer, but then
    looks at the fire again and laughs a demonic
    laugh. He takes off his clothes and starts
    swimming toward a nearby island. The frigid
    water numbs his legs, but he keeps swimming and
    thinks about the first Hearing Circle where his
    parents, Peter and others gave their opinion of
    what should happen to him. He swims until he
    notices that the tide is taking him back to the
    island. He collapses on the shore, crawls a bit,
    then sleeps. When he awakens, he catches a
    glimpse of the Spirit Bear and threatens to kill
    it. At dawn he sees the at.oow and wraps himself
    in it.

Chapters 3-5Discussion questions
  1. What does Cole think are the ingredients of his
    cake? Are these the types of experiences that
    make a person who he is?
  2. Champ is what Garvey usually calls Cole, but
    after a discussion about the Hearing Circle,
    Garvey calls him Chump. Why? What does this say
    about Garveys attitude toward Cole?
  3. There are many Circles of Understanding including
    Talking Circles, Peace-making Circles, Community
    Circles, Bail Circles, Sentencing Circles, and
    Hearing Circles. Why isnt Coles presence
    required at all of them?

Chapters 3-5Answers
  1. His life has been make of times he was teased,
    times of loneliness, times hes been arrested,
    times his parents have argued, times his drunken
    dad has beaten him, and times his drunken mom has
    ignored him. P. 30
  2. Hes usually encouraging, but this time hes
    discouraged with Coles attitude. P. 33
  3. His presence might discourage healing, and many
    people who have been affected by Coles violence
    need to heal. P. 34-35

Chapters 3-5 Discussion questions
  1. At Circle Justice, Cole doesnt like holding
    hands with his parents. Compare the way his
    parents hold his hands. What do their individual
    grips say about their characters?
  2. Cole is moved by Peters slow, halting speech.
    Who does he blame for Peters injuries?
  3. Why doesnt Cole regret burning the shelter and
    supplies and hurting Peter?
  4. Prediction Will the at.oow become precious to

Chapters 3-5Answers
  1. His mothers is a weak squeeze, and his fathers
    is iron-hard. His mothers grip shows very
    little assurance, and his fathers is an angry
    grip. P. 37
  2. He blames Peter. If Peter had kept his mouth
    shut, Cole wouldnt have had to beat him. P. 40
  3. He is still set on revenge and blaming someone
    else for his actions. P. 45
  4. Explain your prediction.

Chapters 6-8Summary
  • As Cole gets dressed, he thinks of Circle Justice
    and his lying father. He coaxes some embers of
    the burned shelter into a flame and feeds the
    fire. He blames Garvey for his isolation on the
    island. At the Circle, Cole had suggested
    sending him some place where he couldnt hurt
    anyone, but not to jail. Garvey had suggested
    taking Cole to the island. The bear appears
    again, and Cole makes a spear to fight it, but
    the bear disappears. He finds a dead fish and
    cooks and eats it while he awaits the tide. The
    bear appears again, and Cole approaches to fight.
    The bear mauls Cole, breaking his arm, leg,
    ribs, and pelvis. Cole lies in the rain,
    awaiting death.

Chapters 6-8Discussion questions
  1. At the Circle Justice meeting, Garvey says that
    Cole isnt the only problem, but hes a symptom
    of a bigger problem. What other problems are
  2. The Circles solution to Coles problem must
    include protecting society from Coles violence
    and making him responsible for his own actions.
    Why isnt locking him in jail a good solution?
  3. At the end of the Circle meeting, Cole refuses to
    hold his parents hands so they wont know how
    sweaty his hands are. What does this say about
    Coles character?
  4. What does Garvey mean when he says living on the
    island will be hard because Cole cant manipulate
    a storm, lie to his hunger, and cheat the cold?
  5. Why doesnt Cole back away from the bear?
  6. Why does Cole kill the caterpillar? What does
    this say about his character? Has it changed
    since the beginning of the book?
  7. Prediction Will Cole see the bear again?

Chapters 6-8Answers
  1. The family unit and the community have broken
    down. Many people at the Circle meeting have
    emotional or physical damage, including Coles
    parents. Solutions for Coles family may involve
    better communication and less alcohol
    consumption. P. 49.
  2. His physical needs will be provided for, and it
    achieves the first goal, but not the second. P.
  3. He talks as though he fears nothing, but hes
    disturbed y all thats been said about him. P. 51
  4. Garvey knows that Cole is a cheater, a liar, and
    a manipulator. Those bad attributes sometimes
    work against other people, but they will not work
    against nature. Cole will find that he cannot
    control nature. P. 57
  5. The bears stillness gives him courage, so he
    thinks the bear is afraid of him. All his hurt
    and anger wont let him turn back, and he wants
    to be in control of the bear. P. 64
  6. He thinks he is teaching it a lesson., but hes
    trying to exert some control over a situation
    where he is helpless. P. 71-72

Chapters 9-12Summary
  • Cole lies in the rain in pain. He watches a
    mother sparrow feed her babies in a nearby tree
    and feels anger. The Spirit Bear returns, but
    just looks at him. When lightning strikes a
    tree, Cole wonders if the little birds are okay.
    He sees the dead little birds and decides he
    wants to live. He eats grass, worms, and bugs.
    He covers parts of his body with mud to keep the
    mosquitoes away. The Spirit Bear returns and
    comes close to him. Cole thinks the bear may
    kill him, but he feels trust, and he reaches out
    and touches it. He drifts in and out of
    consciousness. He thinks birds are attacking him
    when Garvey and Edwin arrive and take him off the
    island in a skiff.

Chapters 9-12Discussion questions
  • Why does Cole feel such anger toward the mother
    sparrow and her young? How does he feel after
    lightning hits the tree? Why have his feelings
  • Once Cole decides to live, he figures out that
    his power of making people afraid of him is fake.
    What is the real power? What has changed his
  • The author goes into great detail about Cole
    eating the mouse. How is the death of the mouse
    different from the first caterpillar Cole kills?
    What would you eat if you were in Coles
  • Each time the Spirit Bear comes, Cole feels
    different emotions. Why does his attitude toward
    the bear change?
  • Why does the Spirit Bear treat Cole with mere
    curiosity when Cole sees it the last time? Do
    you know someone who has treated animals badly?
  • Although Cole is in horrible physical shape, he
    tells Garvey that hes okay. What does he mean
    by this statement?
  • Prediction Will Cole be taken back to the
    island when hes well?

Chapters 9-12Answers
  • He sees the sparrow treating her young as he
    would have liked to have been treated by his
    mother. He wonders if they are okay. P. 75, 79
  • Power to make choices. He thinks of the baby
    birds and what their lives represented. P. 83-84
  • The mouse provides nourishment for Cole he
    killed the first caterpillar out of spite. P.
  • Hes fearful of death at first, then hes
    defiant, and the final time he is calm and
    accepts that if he dies, then it is his time. He
    understands the circle of life. P. 76, 91-96
  • The bear has treated him as hes been treated.
    Edwin told Cole, Whatever you to to the animals,
    you do to yourself (p.18) p. 91-96
  • He means that he is at peace with himself and
    nature. P. 102
  • Explain your prediction.

Chapters 13-15Summary
  • Cole has nightmares as he awaits transfer to the
    hospital. Garvey says hes very sorry he got
    Cole into this, but Cole admits its his own
    fault. He tells about the Spirit Bear, but
    doesnt think anyone believes him. Six months
    later he gets out of the hospital and knows that
    he has changed. He goes to his detention cell
    and then to the Justice Circle. His father
    doesnt come to the Circle, but his mother has
    quit drinking and talks to Cole about starting
    over. Coles father has been charged with child
    abuse, and Cole learns that his grandparents beat
    his father. He hopes not to carry on that cycle
    of abuse. The Circle talks of sending Cole to
    the court system, and Cole is resigned to that
    fate. Edwin comes to the Circle from Alaska. He
    and Garvey convince the Circle to allow Cole to
    go back to the island.

Chapters 13-15Discussion questions
  1. As Cole lay near death at Roseys, Garvey tells
    him hes sorry he got him into this. Cole says
    it was his fault. What does this say about
    Coles attitude? Has Cole changed for good? Why
    or why not?
  2. Cole wants something to take away the monsters in
    his dream and in his life. Rosey tells him only
    he can do that. How can he do this?
  3. Cole says hes done being mad, but Edwin tells
    him, Anger is a memory never forgotten. You
    only tame it (p. 110). Do you agree with this?
    Why or why not?
  4. Coles dad was abused as a child. He is abusive
    to Cole. How do you feel toward Coles dad now
    that you understand him better?
  5. Edwin says people change in two wayswith slow
    persistent pressure or by a significant
    happening. Do you agree with his analysis of
    change? Which way do you think works better and
  6. What is the difference between changing overnight
    and changing direction? Which is more likely?
  7. What is the tone of the book so far? Cite
    examples to support your answer.
  8. Prediction Will Cole succeed on the island this

Chapters 13-15Answers
  1. Hes not blaming someone else for the situation
    hes in. P. 105
  2. He must take responsibility for his life and how
    it affects others. P. 105-108
  3. Edwin believes that anger will always lie below
    the surface, but a person must learn to control
  4. He is still in charge of his own life and makes
    his own decisions. You may be more sympathetic,
    but Coles dad must live with the consequences of
    his actions. P. 121-122
  5. P. 127 128 answers will vary. (opinion)
  6. As Edwin says, people dont change completely
    overnight, but changing direction is the first
    step in changing permanently. P. 128
  7. The tone is serious with major themes of behavior
    modification and learning forgiveness of oneself
    and others. (This is an inference)
  8. Explain your prediction.

Chapters 16-18Summary
  • Cole sells his possessions to earn money for his
    banishment. He, Garvey, and Edwin set out for
    the island with supplies onboard. The two
    Tlingits teach Cole how to value food and how to
    build a shelter, but Cole must do all the work.
    Edwin takes Cole to a frigid pond each morning.
    The three perform whale dances one evening.
    Edwin tells Cole he should honor his ancestors.

Chapters 16-18Discussion questions
  1. Cole doesnt want to part with his sports
    equipment. Do you think Cole bought his
    snowmobile and dirt bike with money he earned?
    Who gave him those things?
  2. Garvey and Edwin believe in Coles potential, but
    dont believe hes earned trust. How can people
    earn trust?
  3. Cole tosses and turns his first night on the
    island. He wants Peter to get better, but hes
    growing angry. What does this say about his
  4. Edwin says a person develops a habit of looking
    at either the cloudy or the sunny side of life.
    Do you think a person can control how he looks at
    his problems?
  5. The Tlingits tell Cole he should eat more
    breakfast and wear gloves, but he chooses not to,
    and they dont insist. What is their method of
    teaching him?
  6. Prediction Will Garvey and Edwin tell Cole what
    crimes they committed?

Chapters 16-18Answers
  1. With no mention of a part-time job and because
    that type of responsibility wouldnt match Coles
    attitude, you can assume his parents bought these
    things. P. 134
  2. Keep their word they obey the law they are
    responsible for their actions. P. 137
  3. Hes very confused and hasnt managed to control
    his anger. He wants Peter to get better because
    of what hes been through the last few months in
    the hospital. Living the same experience helps a
    person become empathetic. P. 141
  4. Answers will vary. P. 144-146
  5. He must live with his choices. Hell be hungry,
    and hell get blisters, but he will learn form
    his mistakes. P. 147-149
  6. Explain your prediction.

Chapters 19-21Summary
  • Cole is tired and says hes going to bed in
    defiance of an order to fix supper and dance the
    wolf dance. The Tlingits say they will take him
    off the island, and he pleads for them to let him
    stay. He fixes supper and dances alone. The
    next morning he goes to the pond, caries the
    ancestor stone to the top of the hill, and
    catches a glimpse of the Spirit Bear. He says
    hes learned he must forgive others the harm
    theyve done him. Hes allowed to finish the
    cabin, and he fixes a great feast. The two men
    leave the next day. Cole cuts wood and makes
    furniture. He finds a huge log and starts to
    make a canoe to escape, but changes his mind and
    starts carving a totem pole instead. Edwin
    checks on him after four days, and Cole tells him
    the truth about the canoe.

Chapters 19-21Discussion questions
  1. Why does Coles bad attitude return at the camp?
    What does this say about Coles promise to
  2. Cole thinks of lying about going to the pond and
    carrying the ancestor rock. What stops him?
  3. Cole leaves the pond when he finishes his soak,
    not because hes too cold or impatient. How do
    you think Cole knows when he is finished with his
    soak? P. 164
  4. During Coles feast, the wind keeps blowing out
    the candle, but Cole gets the lantern mantel to
    protect it because the meal needs a candle. Why
    is that important to him?
  5. Why does Cole skip the soak and the walk up the
    hill after he brings the log back to his camp?
    What does this say about his character?
  6. Prediction When will Cole dance the dance of

Chapters 19-21Answers
  1. Hes tired, and he wants help with the building,
    but the other just watch. He says hes not their
    slave. P. 149-160
  2. He knows the men cant be lied to this morning,
    and he doesnt want to jeopardize his chance of
    staying on the island.
  3. Answers will vary. P. 164
  4. He wants to impress the men with their final meal
    on the island, and he wants a celebration to show
    them hes changed. P. 170
  5. Hes reverting to his old attitude by thinking of
    escaping instead of thinking of healing. P.
  6. Explain your prediction.

Chapters 22-25Summary
  • Cole learns that to be invisible, he must clear
    his mind. After he becomes one with his
    environment, letting rain fall on him and run
    down his face, he sees the Spirit Bear. That
    evening he dances the dance of anger and learns
    that he must forgive himself. He learns from
    Edwin that Peter has tried to commit suicide.
    Cole wants to help him. Peter, his parents,
    Garvey, and Edwin come to the island. Garvey
    will stay with Peter and Cole. Peter says he
    doesnt want Coles help and acts terrified of

Chapters 22-25Discussion questions
  • Cole decides, Being invisible had nothing to do
    with being seen. Being invisible meant not being
    sensed or felt? P. 189) Why is this his
    definition of invisibility?
  • From the dance of anger, Cole learns, Being
    angry is giving someone else control of my
    feelings so they own me. Forgiving gives me
    control again
  • (p. 196). Who has controlled Cole in his
    past? Do you agree with Coles statement? Why
    or why not?
  • Each time Cole sees Edwin, he asks about Peter.
    What does this say about the changes in him?
  • Most people fear death because it is unknown, yet
    Peter is searching for it. Why?
  • Cole wants Peter to experience the island. What
    does this say about his experience on the island?
  • Cole tells Peter that he didnt mean to harm him
    when he beat him up. It was the only thing he
    knew. Does this excuse Cole? Why or why not?
  • Prediction Will Cole earn Peters forgiveness
    so both of them can heal?

Chapters 22-25Answers
  1. He understands that if another creature does not
    feel threatened by a person and that person does
    not fear the creature, then that person is
    invisible. P. 189
  2. His father, Peter, Garvey, his mother, and Edwin
    have controlled him..
  3. He is concerned about the boy he hurt, and he
    wants to make amends. P. 196, 200-201
  4. Other fear have taken over his mind, and he feels
    death is an escape from those fears. P. 203
  5. He has learned to forgive others, and he wants
    Peter to feel that, too. P. 206-207
  6. P. 214 Answers vary.
  7. Explain your prediction.

Chapters 26-28Summary
  • Cole sleeps in a leaky tent while Peter and
    Garvey take over the cabin. Cole makes overtures
    to Peter that Peter refuses, but one evening he
    says its okay if Cole comes into the cabin where
    its warmer. Peter begins taunting Cole he
    throws a rock at him, he shoves him, and he walks
    with muddy boots on Coles sleeping bag. Peter
    begins carving his own totem pole. One day Peter
    suggests that only he and Cole should go to soak
    in the pool. Peter attacks Cole, and Cole
    doesnt fight back. Once Peter collapses and
    sobs, Cole hugs him. The see the Spirit Bear.
    Later Cole gives the at.oow to Peter. Together
    they finish Coles totem pole with a circle
    carved for forgiveness.

Chapters 26-28Discussion questions
  1. Mr. Driscal threatens Cole with jail if he hurts
    Peter again. Do you think Mr. Driscal will ever
    get over his anger toward Cole? How can he do
    this? P. 217 Answers vary.
  2. Cole hasnt seen a clock in nearly a year. He
    does things when the feeling strikes him. Could
    you live like this? Why or why not?
  3. Cole wonders if Peter realizes he and Garvey are
    collecting firewood for Peter, but Garvey says
    they are all there because of Cole. Has Cole
    forgotten why they are all on the island.
  4. Peter acts aggressively toward Cole by throwing a
    rock, shoving him, walking on his sleeping bag,
    knocking Coles jacket off a hook, and leaving
    the cabin door open. Why is Peter doing these
    things? What does this say about changes
    occurring in Peter?
  5. Why does Cole hug Peter after Peter beats him up?
    Why did the boys become invisible to the Spirit
  6. Do you think a circle is a good symbol for
    forgiveness? Why or why not?
  7. Prediction Will Coles father ever overcome his

Chapters 26-28Answers
  • Answers will vary. P. 217
  • Its a matter of adjusting to measuring time by
    the sun or by when things need to be done. P.
  • No, hes just preoccupied with helping Peter. P.
  • Hes testing Cole to see if he will react. Hes
    feeling more secure in his won worth. P. 223-228
  • He wants to show his forgiveness and that his
    intentions are not to harm Peter. They were not
    feeling aggressive toward any creature. P.
  • Answers will vary. P. 239-240
  • Explain your prediction.

Choose one activity from each group below.
Chapters 1-2 Chapters 16-18
Chapters 3-5 Chapters 19-21
Chapters 6-8 Chapters 22-25
Chapters 9-12 Chapters 26-28
Chapters 13-15
Chapter 1-2 Activities
  1. Social Studies On a map, trace the route Cole
    took from the detention center to the island of
    his banishment. Use Map Quest.
  2. Literary Analysis/Symbols The fire Cole sets is
    a symbol of the destruction caused by his anger.
    Begin a list of symbols that occur in the book.
  3. Literary Analysis/Characters Begin a character
    web for Cole. (see chart)
  4. Literary Analysis/Plot Development Begin a Story
    Map us use as you read the story. (see chart)
  5. Literary Analysis/Similes The author uses
    similes such as the sky hung like a bad omen(p.
    3) and anger smoldered like a lit fuse (p. 22)
    Begin a list of similes and add to it as you
  6. Research Indian tribes are called Native
    Americans in the United States and First Nations
    in Canada. Research the Tlingit tribe and find
    the area where they lived long ago and how many
    people are in the tribe today. The internet
    would be a great source. Create a Poster.

Chapter 3-5 Activities
  • Literary Analysis/Predictions Begin a
    Prediction Chart.
  • see example chart.
  • 2. Research Locate articles on the Internet
    abut circle sentencing and report your findings
    to the class. Poster..

Chapter 6-8 Activities
  1. Science Read about different types of bears and
    make a chart of how many different species live
    in North America.
  2. Writing Write a paragraph about a time you
    discovered someone was being dishonest. No need
    to use real names.
  3. Literary Analysis List examples of foreshadowing
    from the novel. Recall that Cole was warned
    about the Devils Club, and now hes grabbed it.
    Recall that Peter wishes Cole could know how it
    feels to have his head smashed, and now ole has
    been mauled by a bear.
  4. Art Draw a picture of your vision of the white
    Spirit Bear.

Chapter 9-12 Activities
  1. Literary Analysis/Similes Add to your list of
    similes. Example include thunder rumbled
    across the sky like empty barrels rolling toward
    the horizon (p. 77), and Clinging to life was
    like hanging from a bar on the playground at
    school (p. 97).
  2. Science/Math Research lightning strikes and
    record statistics on how many strikes occur each
    minute in the world and in the United States.
    The Internet is a good place to find this
    information. Poster.
  3. Writing Observe a birds behavior and write a
    paragraph about it.

Chapter 13-15 Activities
  1. Write about a time when you were angry. The
    first paragraph should be about why your were
    angry and what you did. The second paragraph
    should be about the consequences of your actions.
  2. Science Research physical therapy. Demonstrate
    for your class an exercise that will strengthen a
    certain muscle.

Chapter 16-18 Activities
  1. Interviewing Interview your parents or guardian
    about your ancestors. Write adjective that
    describe your ancestors good and bad behaviors
    and keep this sheet in your folder with other
    writings about this book. Not to share with
    others but for your own personal knowledge.
  2. Math Research how many calories a person should
    eat per day if the person is performing hard
    physical labor or if the person is sedentary.
    Make a chart for males and females and compare
  3. Science Chart the migratory paths of whales in
    the Pacific Northwest. You will need a map. Use
    the Internet.
  4. Art Draw a picture of whales breaking the
    surface of the water.
  5. Art Design a costume that would be appropriate
    for Cole to wear in a whale dance.

Chapter 19-21 Activities
  1. Research Research the steps of making a canoe
    from a log and make a list of the steps. Poster.
  2. Writing Write a paragraph about a time you
    almost lost an opportunity because of a negative
  3. Music Drums are needed. This is a group
    activity (4-5 members). Each group should decide
    on a spirit dance, and have one person perform
    it. Other students should guess what animal the
    dance represents.
  4. Social Studies Look at Pictures of totem poles
    in books and identify the different stylistic
    animals represented. Poster.

Chapter 22-25 Activities
  • Literary Analysis/Similes Update your simile
    list. Examples include thousands of smooth worn
    rocks lined the timeless shoreline like a ghost
    highway (p.190) and his heart pounded a steady
    beat like a distant drum (p. 193).
  • Science Read about salmon and their spawning
  • Present report to class.
  • Writing Write a paragraph about forgiving a
    person who has harmed you either physically or

Chapter 26-28 Activities
  1. Art Make miniature totem poles out of paper
    tower rolls and bring the finished totems to
    school. Explain you totem pole to class.
  2. Literary Analysis Complete your Story Map.
  3. Writing Write a letter of apology to someone
    you have hurt.

Writing Prompts
  • Write a paragraph about a time when you
    discovered someone being dishonest.
  • Observe a birds behavior and write a paragraph
    about it.
  • Write about a time when you were angry. The
    first paragraph should be about why you were
    angry and what you did. The second paragraph
    should be about the consequences of your actions.
  • Write a paragraph about a time when you almost
    lost an opportunity because of a negative
  • Write a paragraph about forgiving a person who
    has harmed you either physically or emotionally.
  • Write a letter of apology to someone you have

"A good teacher is like a candle.  It consumes
itself to light the way for others"
Assessment for Spirit Bear
  • Assessment is an ongoing process. The following
    nine items can be completed during the novel
    study. Once finished, the student and teacher
    will check the work. Points may be added to
    indicate the level of understanding. Students
    are to keep a folder for all activities for the
  • Student Teacher
  • _____ _______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • _____ ______
  • Keep a literary journal as you read the book.
  • Give yourself credit for each Vocabulary Activity
  • Keep a chart of characters you meet in the book.
    See chart.
  • Who is Cole? Create a collage of ideas and
    images significant to him.
  • Keep your writing about the book in a folder.
    Choose one of your best pieces for evaluation.
  • Create a flow chart of the events in the books
  • Write a letter to the principal giving your
    evaluation of this book.
  • 8. Comprehensive Test.