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Reading 8 (Period 2)

Ms. Heidi Klahre
Jr-Sr High School
First Semester 2017-18

Course Description

 The primary focus of this class will be working through novels that supplement the 8th grade reading textbook.

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Discussion Questions

  1. Is Bruno’s list of reasons why he didn’t like Lieutenant Kotler, including the fact that the man never smiled and that he shot a dog for barking too much, an example of direct or indirect characterization? Why?
  2. When Shmuel surprisingly appears in the kitchen, Bruno is plunged into a crisis. How do his actions when confronted by Lieutenant Kotler introduce the themes of complacency and betrayal?
  3. Boyne’s description of Lieutenant Kotler’s sudden departure following “shouting” about him between Mother and Father late at night is an example of what literary devices?
  4. How does Gretel’s disposal of her dolls and their replacement with maps illustrate the theme of indoctrination?
  5. Why does Father come to agree that his wife and children should return to Berlin?
  6. Bruno’s plan to disguise himself and slip onto Shmuel’s side of the fence is an example of what literary device?
  7. How does Bruno’s recollection of his Grandmother as he applies his costume illustrate the themes of friendship and empathy?
  8. When Bruno is being force-marched with a pack of prisoners, how do dramatic irony and point of view come powerfully into play?
  9. What do you realize was foreshadowed when Shmuel and Bruno are marched into the room that felt airtight, and you learn that neither was ever heard from again?
  10. How does Boyne drive home the themes of friendship and courage at the end of chapter 19?




Striped Pajamas section 2


Discussion Questions

  1. How does Boyne use indirect characterization to show that Grandmother is a candid, emotional and fearless woman?
  2. How is the inventory of Kotler’s activities on pages 95 an 96 an example of dramatic irony?
  3. When Bruno asks, “Who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore uniforms,” how does this evoke the themes of injustice and discrimination?
  4. How does Boyne use direct characterization to suggest the conditions of Shmuel’s life and how he felt about them?
  5. Why does Bruno tell Shmuel that they are “like twins,” and what theme does this scene suggest?
  6. How does Boyne use foreshadowing when Bruno suggests it’s unfair that Shmuel has dozens of friends to play with on his side of the fence?
  7. In his youthful innocence and inexperience, Bruno makes mistakes with names, calling the Polish camp where Shmuel is imprisoned “Out-With,” not Auschwitz, and referring to the Führer, or Hitler, as “the Fury.” What literary device is associated with Bruno’s mistakes?
  8. What fact about Shmuel’s story of being hauled off to “Out-With” does Bruno have difficulty believing?
  9. What happens at the dinner after Pavel spills the wine, and how was it foreshadowed?
  10. The disturbing news that Shmuel’s grandfather is missing is an example of what literary device?

WRITING ACTIVITY Why does Grandmother believe she might be to blame for the Commandant’s behavior?

Boy in the Striped - Section 1


Discussion Questions

  1. Boyne employs a limited third-person narrator, which stays close to a particular character’s perspective. From which character’s point of view is the story mostly told?
  2. How does Boyne use the narrator’s limited point of view to suggest Mother is unhappy when Bruno passes her on the stairs?
  3. How does Boyne use indirect characterization in the early chapters to paint a portrait of Bruno’s father, even when he’s not present in the scene?
  4. How might Maria’s behavior in the presence of the young Lieutenant Kotler be an example of foreshadowing?
  5. How does Boyne employ dramatic irony when Bruno shows the fascinating view from his bedroom window to Gretel?
  6. Bruno finds it “extraordinary” that all the people outside his window are wearing “gray striped pajamas.” What sort of garments were they wearing?
  7. At the rail station, Bruno notices that the comfortable train he and his family boarded has many empty seats, but is separated by a platform from another train, headed in the same direction, that is swarmed by crowds. What is the author’s purpose for including this description?
  8. How are the themes of innocence and discrimination introduced after Bruno’s father tells him the people seen from his bedroom window are “not people at all.”
  1. When Bruno interprets “Heil Hitler” as a way of saying “have a pleasant afternoon,” what literary device is being used?
  2. Bruno is surprised when his mother tries to “take credit” for first aid given to him by Pavel. Can you think of another reason she would hide Pavel’s good deed from Bruno’s father?

Writing Activity How would you respond if someone said that a group of people gathered outside your window were "not people at all." Why did Bruno respond the way he did to such a hideous statement?

Vocab (Due Monday)

Use each of the following words in a sentence.
  1. traction
  2. mortified
  3. submerged
  4. perilous
  5. infernal
  6. grit
  7. passable
  8. hieroglyphics
  9. reverently
  10. sneer
  11. impatiently
  12. nonjudgmentally
  13. immoral
  14. disreputable
  15. unprecedented
  16. surrogate
  17. magnanimous
  18. platitude
  19. unequivocally
  20. veered

Chapter 25–28 (Due Monday)


Discussion Questions

  1. Why are the people at the stockholders’ meeting quiet after Mrs. Gladstone tells her story?
  2. Explain how Jenna’s behavior toward her father shows how she has changed.
  3. When do you think the climax of this novel occurs?
Writing Activity Jenna says, “It’s funny the things we hold onto from our parents and the things we leave behind.” Explain in one or two paragraphs what you think Jenna will take from her father and what she will leave behind

Ch. 21-24

Chapters 21–24

Discussion Questions

  1. When Harry Bender asks Jenna if she has told her father how painful his behavior is, she says she has not. Harry says, “Maybe saying it isn’t as much for him as it is for you.” What does he mean?
  2. Why do you think Elden forces Jenna to leave the meeting?
Writing Activity Write one or two paragraphs in which you predict what will happen at the stockholders’ meeting. Explain why you think so.

Ch. 17-30

1. What internal conflict does Jenna face in this story?  What is the main external conflict in this story?
2.  How has Jenna's father affected her life?
3.  Why does Jenna begin to think that Ken Woldman may not be the person she first assumed he was?
What makes Harry Bender the world's best shoe salesman?  Write one or two paragraphs explaining the qualities he has that led to his success.

Ch. 14-16

1.  Jenna says that while at the Kansas City store she felt like she was in an elegant house that had been decorated with cheap furniture.  What does she mean by this?
2.  Why do you think Mrs. Gladstone begins to get stronger as the trip continues?
3.  What impression does the reader get of Texas from this section of the novel?  Give details to support your answer.
Writing:  Imagine you are Elden.  Write a paragraph in which you defend your decision to sell the company to Ken Woldman.

Rules of the Road

Ch. 8-9
1.  Reread Chapter 8.  Find one example of physical humor and one example of verbal humor.
2.  Explain the conflict between Elden and his mother, as well as Mrs. Gladstone's reaction to this conflict.
3.  What example of a metaphor do you see in Chapter 8?  What does it mean?
Writing:  In one or two paragraphs, explain the duties that Jenna has taken on helping Mrs. Gladstone on this trip.
Chapter 10-13
1.  During Jenna's breakfast encounter with Elden, what kind of humor does the author use most?  Give an example.
2.  What impression do you get of Elden from the description of him during Jenna's breakfast encounter with him?  Give details to support your answer.
Writing:  In one or two paragraphs, compare and contrast Harry Bender and Jenna's father.

Rules of the Road

Chapters 1-2
1.  How would Jenna describe herself?
2.  In what point of view is the story told?  How do you know?  What are the advantages of telling a story from this point of view?
3.  Explain the relationship between Jenna and Faith from Jenna's point of view.
In a paragraph, describe why Jenna likes Gladstone's.  What does working there offer her?
Chapters 3-7
1.  Identify a simile in Chapter 3.  What do you think it means?
2.  Why do you think Mrs. Gladstone says that Jenna reminds her of herself as a girl?
3.  Why does Jenna's mother finally allow her to go on the trip with Mrs. Gladstone after first refusing?
Writiing:  Jenna describes her motto as "Cope or Die."  Explain in a paragraph why you think she decided on this motto.

Accelerated Reader

Questions as to whether or not a book has an AR test?  The following website can give you all of that information: