To get students thinking about important events in chapters 13 and 14, they respond to the following prompt in their journals: Why was Maroo so surprised when she spears the hare? How does this make Otak feel? How might this affect the rest of their trip?
This prompt starts with a basic comprehension question then asks students to think more deeply about the characters’ motivations and to make predictions about how their actions will affect the outcome of the story. Starting with a literal question gives the class the opportunity to review the events in the story and clarify any misconceptions students may have. From there we move on to questions that require making inferences based on what is implied by the characters' actions, the dialogue and plot events. Reading between the lines is an important skill that takes practice to develop.
In order to take part in small group discussions about the these two chapters students must come to class with completed notes on important plot events and a finished Literature circle roles sheet. Each person has a chance to share their work and to collect notes from others in their group on the participation tracking sheet for these chapters. An example of student work appears here and some thoughts on the use of this sheet appear here:
Students are eager to find out what happens to Maroo and family now that we are nearing the end of the book and the characters’ fate is now tensely held in the balance. So we end class with an exit ticket in the form of a journal prompt: Predict what will happen next in the story? Tell why you think this will happen.
The responses vary greatly and everyone is eager to share.