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My Side of the Mountain

 

Submitted by: Gillian Wallsten

This novel is written in journal form.  To give the students of what this meant I asked them to keep a journal of the book as we read it.  To help them I gave them a series of questions that were to be included in the journal.  How they presented was up to themselves, but they had to include the points listed in each outline.  When the sheets were given out we discussed what sort of things they could include.  At the beginning they were given an evaluation rubric that was to be placed at the beginning of the journal (they used a duo-tang).  This way they knew what my expectations were right from the get-go.The journal sheets and Journal Evaluation are included below.

My Side of the Mountain - Journal Evaluation

Journal #1.

1.  All points in the outline are covered

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

 5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

 Total Mark ____/40

 Journal #2

1. All points in the outline are covered

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

 5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

Total Mark ____/40

 Journal #3

1. All points in the outline are covered

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

Total Mark ____/40

 Journal #4

1. All points in the outline are covered

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

Total Mark ____/40

Journal #5

1. All points in the outline are covered

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

Total Mark ____/40

Journal #6

1. All points in the outline are covered

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

2. Spelling is correct

 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

3. Sentence structure is correct

 5 4 3 2 1 0

4. Paragraph use is correct.

 5 4 3 2 1 0

5. Double spaces or lines skipped

 5 4 3 2 1 0

6. General appearance

 5 4 3 2 1 0

 Total Mark ____/40

 

Journal Entry #1

I Hole Up in a Snow storm - I Find Many Useful Plants

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of thefollowing points:

Sam's tree home - how was Sam like a squirrel in it?

Discuss Sam's friends of the forest in the first few chapters.

Discuss the background of the Gribley Farm.

How did Sam prepare for his trip to the mountain?

How did Sam know what to bring to the mountain?

Discuss the reaction of the people who were told of Sam's plan.

Sam meets three people in his first days in the Catskills. Which person do you think was the most helpful?

Why do you think Sam is embarrassed about his first night in the mountains?

 

Journal Entry #2

The Old, Old Tree - The First Man Who Was After Me

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of thefollowing points.

Why did Sam need a house that would not be easily seen?

Sam boiled water without pans. How did he manage this? Why would this be such an important thing to be able to do?

How did Sam use fire to his advantage? Why was fire so important to his survival?

In what ways did the arrival of the little old lady arrival affect Sam?

Why would a falcon be useful to Sam? Describe its useful characteristics.

Do you think Sam had the right to snatch the baby falcon from its mother's nest? Why or why not?

Why did Sam want to avoid the forest uniform? What do you think would have happened if the fire ranger had actually met Sam? What effect would their meeting have had on the story?

 

Journal Entry #3

I Learn to Season My food - I Find a Real Live Man

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of the following points.

How did Sam obtain his first deer after all?

How had the Baron taken on human characteristics from Sam's point of view?

Which Sam's three animal friends do you find the most interesting?

Explain your answer.

How did Sam prepare the deerskin? Where did he learn about it?

What changes did summer bring to Sam? How did he adapt?

Why did Bando come to the mountains?

Why did Sam first mistake Bando for an outlaw? In which ways are Bando and Sam similar? Different?

Why did Bando select the name Thoreau for Sam?

Why did Bando think his life was dull compared to Sam's on the mountain?

What skills or ideas did Bando share with Sam?

After Bando left, how did Sam readjust to life without a human companion?

 

Journal Entry #4

The Autumn Provides - Trouble Begins

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of thefollowing points.

What evidence was there to let Sam know the season was changing?

Why did loneliness bother Sam at this point of the story?

How did Frightful save Sam's life?  Could a human have been more helpful? Explain.

How did Sam celebrate Halloween?

Who were some of Sam's guests at the Halloween party?

How did the animals make Sam feel that he had human company?

What were some of Sam's problems involving hunting season?

How was one man's misfortune an advantage for Sam?

Sam had several skills.  How could he use three of these in his adult life?

Journal Entry #5

I Pile up Wood - I Learn about Birds and People

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of the following points.

Some people might complain about boredom or loneliness if the were in Sam's situation.  How did Sam prevent or avoid boredom?

What evidence was there to support the idea that Sam was a careful planner?  Give two or three examples.

How did the false reports of Sam get to the newspapers?

Sam realized that Bando was pleased to spend Christmas with him. What clues were given?

What question might have gone through Sam's mind when he saw his father arrived on the mountain?

How did Mr. Gribley compliment his son?

Describe Sam and Bando's relationship.  How was it different from Sam's relationship with his father?  How was it similar?

What was Mr. Gribley's purpose in coming to the mountains?

What condition might have forced Mr. Gribley into taking Sam back home with him?

 

Journal Entry #6

I Have a Good Look - The City Comes to Me

Your journal entry must include information and ideas on each of the following points.

How did Sam's health affect his life in the Catskills?

Describe Sam's problem during the ice storm.  What was different about the forest after it was over?

Toward the end of the winter was over Sam had some problems with his body. What were they and how did he take care of the problems?

A conflict is a problem that pits two forces against one another. The conflicts faced by the main character in the book may take three forms: conflicts with nature, conflict with other people, and inner conflicts within oneself.  When a character solves a problem or conflict he/she arrives at a resolution.  Which of Sam's conflicts was more challenging for him - those with his environment, or those with other people?  Explain.

Frightful was different from others of her kind.  How was she different? Why was she different?

What was Sam's motive in telling Matt about the wild boy?

What tipped Matt off to the truth about the wild boy?

Explain what Matt meant about "private voices".  Give a personal example.

Compare Sam and Matt Spell.  In what ways are they alike?  How are they different in their reaction to the wilderness?

How did Sam feel about the reunion with his family?

What condition might have forced Mr. Gribley into taking Sam back home with him?

Do you think that the knowledge Sam has gained during his year on the mountain will help him function better in the world - or hurt him? Explain.

 

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