Small Steps Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Ginny's mother say to Armpit's mother?

2. Who ends up buying the tickets?

3. What is Armpit carrying with him?

4. Who are Felix and Moses?

5. How long does it take Theodore to resolve to change his life after he gets into trouble?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who goes with Armpit to meet X-Ray, and why does Armpit refuse to sell any tickets to the white guys the first time Armpit and X-ray meet up with them?

2. What happens in the chaotic aftermath of the attack?

3. What happens when El Genius encounters Armpit in the hotel?

4. What does the letter Armpit receives from Kaira say?

5. What does the narrator say about what happens in the events surrounding Kaira?

6. What do Ginny and Armpit do after the concert?

7. Why does Kaira ride in the band's bus and whose music does the band play for her?

8. What happens to make Kaira throw coffee in Armpit's face and leave?

9. What have Aileen and El Genius been doing with Kaira's money, and why does El Genius want Armpit to come to San Francisco?

10. What happens when Armpit witnesses an interrogation of X-Ray?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss one of the following:

1. Trace and analyze the theme of growth in Small Steps. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with growth? Why? What are some symbols of growth? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid?

2. Trace and analyze the theme of trust in Small Steps. Which characters struggle with this issue? Why? Which characters seem to be trustworthy? Why? Which are not?

3. Trace and analyze the theme of change in Small Steps. Consider the following questions as you write: What characters are most concerned with change? Why? What are some symbols of change? Symbols of rigidity? What characters seem rigid? Which characters change the most? How?

Essay Topic 2

Important elements in Chapter 14 and 15 include the Mayor's outright suggestion that the actions of the police are motivated and/or defined by racism and the appearance of the Mayor herself. This comes across as something of a deus ex machina, a term first used in Ancient Greek theater to describe an incident in which conflict was resolved by the unexpected intervention of an all-powerful god, arbitrary but necessary for the story to be resolved how the author wanted it to be. Yes, the author of "Small Steps" has made an effort to establish at least some relationship between Armpit and the Mayor (Chapter 1), but there is the sense that the only reason that scene exists is to make the mayor's appearance here seem a little less unlikely. If that is, in fact, the case, the attempt doesn't really work. It seems highly unlikely that such an important official as the mayor, even one who enjoys Kaira's music as much as this one seems to, would be on the crowded floor of the stadium during a concert.

1. Do you think it is likely or unlikely that the police's actions were partly due to racism? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

2. Explain in detail, why the mayor being at the concert was a type of deus ex machina. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

3. Explain, in depth, why the mayor being at the concert was or was not a narrative contrivance. Use examples from your own life and Small Steps to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Louis Sachar.

2. What in Sachar's background may have helped him in writing Small Steps? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her novels? Why or why not? Give examples.

(see the answer keys)

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