The Sign of the Beaver Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Elizabeth George Speare
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 132 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Matt decide that the cause of the break-in couldn't be Indians?

2. How does Attean react to Matt's estimate of how long he will be teaching Attean?

3. What is the first thing Matt prepares to teach Attean?

4. What is the name of the town where Matt's family lives?

5. On the morning after his guest spends the night in his cabin, what does Matt discover is missing?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what ways does Matt reveal his maturity in this first chapter?

2. Attean, to say the least, is uncooperative in his first reading lesson. Explain his behavior and the feelings behind this behavior.

3. How does Matt's father's teachings help Matt when he is alone?

4. Why might Attean be so uninterested in learning to read and write the English language?

5. After fishing and managing to catch four fish, how is Matt's good mood quickly ruined?

6. In Chapter 11, the reader comes upon the explanation of the title of the novel, "the sign of the beaver." What is the sign of the beaver?

7. Explain how Matt's appetite might be considered the impetus for the action of Chapter 5, when he is attacked by bees?

8. Despite Matt's gun being gone, what is happens in Chapter 4 that suggests that Matt is in good spirits?

9. How do Saknis and his grandson differ in their opinions of the white man?

10. How is Matt more apt to question slavery now when reading with Attean and never before?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Until Matt read Robinson Crusoe to Attean, it was just the story of an adventure. What does Matt himself learn from reading Robinson Crusoe through Attean's eyes? How does the book ultimately become an educational tool for Matt?

Essay Topic 2

There are four instances in the book that deal with metal traps--early on there is Ben and his trapping for furs; there is Attean explaining how they cannot take the fox from a trap on another tribe's hunting ground; there is releasing the dog from the metal trap. How do these traps and rules around them illustrate the conflict between the white man and the Indian and each other's rules?

Essay Topic 3

The wilderness is the setting of the novel, The Sign of the Beaver. In this novel, the wilderness is more than a backdrop for the action; it is a force. Discuss how the wilderness as it is described various times in the novel has the power to challenge, to motivate, to please, and to frighten characters. Use at least three specific examples from the text to show the role the wilderness plays in this novel.

(see the answer keys)

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