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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sign of the Beaver by: Elizabeth George's Speare

Topic/Theme: Friendship
Grades 2-5

The Sign of the Beaver (Paperback)
This historical fiction book is about a boy who is left to watch his families alone alone in Maine during the eighteenth century. Matt is twelve years old and learns to survive in the wilderness thanks to a Native American boy named Attean. In return, Matt teaches Attean how to read. They learned to become friends inspite of the many differences their cultures have.

  • Discuss the differences of the Native American and American culture. What are some similarities and differences? Should you judge someone by their culture or beliefs?
  • Do you have a friend who is a polar opposite of you? How do you get along? What do you like about them?

  • Ask students to select passages from the book that signify the developing friendship of Matt and Attean.Have students write a journal entry  about the passages they recovered from the story.
  • Have students complete a  post-card from  Matt's point of view based on how he felt the day Attean left with his tribe.
  • Have students choose a scene from the novel they feel best represents friendship. Students can write a script and act it out. Students can also change the scene to make it a more present day version of their friendship.

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