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Literature (2938 resources)
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A Distant Enemy

by Deb Vanasse

Page 1 of 2

BEFORE READING THE BOOK

KWL
Have students create Know – Want to Know – Learned (KWL) charts about Alaska, Eskimos, and the Arctic.

Stereotypes
Have students free write and share their responses to the following questions: What might people from outside your region and/or culture assume about you and the way you live? How do you feel about these assumptions? Compare with the KWL activity; some "Know" items may actually be stereotypes or assumptions.

Personal Applications
Have students free write on these questions: What do you think of when you hear the word "enemy"? How do people become enemies? What hope might there be for reconciliation in these situations? Students may wish to use hypothetical names or initials rather than refer to real people in their responses.

WHILE READING THE BOOK

Predictions
Upon completion of various chapters, ask students to write in their journal or discuss their predictions.

Relationships
Ask students to work collaboratively to map Joseph's relationships with other characters in the book. Encourage them to create a visual representation in a meaningful format such as a geometric shape, a tundra scene, or an appropriate metaphor such as fishing, hunting, or trapping. Map relationships midway in the book and again at the conclusion of the novel. Then, compare the maps.

Point of View
Review point of view choices, noting that the novel is written in the third person limited, using Joseph's point of view. Ask students to rewrite a scene or scenes from the novel using another character's point of view, in either first or third person. Share and discuss.

Themes
As the novel unfolds, ask students to identify emerging themes. Collaborative groups may log their observations on particular themes, presenting their findings in visual and oral form upon completion of the novel. Among the themes they will likely discover are friendship, anger, honesty, cultural conflict, change, family, and survival.

Cultural Connections
As a class, chart the old ways and new ways of living within Joseph's culture. Discuss the value of traditions and the ways in which we can hold on to traditions. Ask students to write letters to Joseph in which they comment on his efforts to hold on to the traditions of his people and offer suggestions for the future.



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Highlights

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Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

Now available: Galactic Hot Dogs in print! Buy it at bookstores now.

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Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.


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