DISCUSSION AND STUDY GUIDE
Available now: Discussion questions and recommended research projects to accompany THE TREASURE OF NAMAKAGON. 186 questions or research projects covering all 43 chapters. (Note: Two versions are available. One is just the 186 discussion questions, the other is the teachers' key version and includes answers.)
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Here's a sample of the Discussion questions, study guide and suggested research projects to accompany
James A. Brakken’s THE TREASURE OF NAMAKAGON
(Note that there are three types of questions: Those that can be answered by reading the text, those that call on the reader to offer an opinion not found in the text, and research projects or questions that require the reader to investigate other sources in order to satisfy the question.)
1. How did the chief acquire his reading skills and refined speech?
2. Who is Wenebojo?
3. Do you think the chief’s visions were his own dreams or were they the work of Wenebojo?
4. Why do you think Mr. DeWilde wanted to hire orphans to work in his coal plant?
5. How do you think the Swenson boy and Johnny Endelman died?
6. List all of Tor Loken’s possessions when he left the orphanage.
7. Research project: Compare the child labor laws of the 1880s with today’s child labor laws.
8. What did Mr. DeWilde mean when he said that the air had the “smell of fortunes” being made?
9. What did Big Jake mean when he said the loading dock foreman should be given his walking papers?
10. Explain what happened to the beaver population according to Old Bear.
11. What did Old Bear say could be found at Pac-wa-wong?
12. What is a portage?
13. Explain the term “dressed” in the sentence, “Soon the dressed buck was hanging from a large tree limb.”
14. Why did Old Bear choose to share knowledge of the location of the silver mine with Chief Namakagon?
15. Research project: On the map, show the route the chief took when he canoed from Sault Ste Marie to La Pointe. Calculate the approximate miles he traveled on this journey.
16. Research project: Why are the islands in Chequamegon Bay called the Apostle Islands?
17. Research project: What city now stands where the settlement called Bayport was located?
18. What did Tor use to wash up after breaking a jam in the coal chute?
19. What gift did Big Jake give Tor?
20. What remedy did Tor suggest to prevent jams in the coal chutes?
21. Why did the chief carry moss in his quiver?
22. What alerted the Ojiig?
23. What scared the Ojiig away?
24. What caused the bear to be less cautious than usual?
25. What was peculiar about the attire of the man in the black derby hat?
26. How long had Ingman Loken been looking for his nephew?
27. Where did Ingman and Tor go after leaving the coal yard?
28. Explain the sentence “As always, the satisfaction of this successful hunt was mixed with a great, hollow, personal sadness.” What was satisfying about the harvest of the bear? What do you feel caused this sadness?
29. Why did the chief leave half the bear hanging in a tree?
30. How did Chief Namakagon get the name “Ice Feathers”?
31. What is the term for feathery ice crystals that sometimes form on vegetation and, in this case, on Namakagon’s beard?
32. Research Project: List the cities that Tor and Ingman went through on their journey from Chicago to Hayward and calculate the approximate total miles.
33. Why did Tor think his father, Olaf Loken, had died?
34. Why was Tor’s father confined to a wheelchair?
35. Why would many of the mills be out of pine logs to saw by autumn?
36. What is Uncle Ingman’s title at the lumber camp? What does he do?
37. Where does Olaf get the money needed to pay his lumberjacks’ wages?
38. Research Project: What was the purpose of the word ‘STOP’ in a telegram?
39. Why was Rosie surprised when she first saw Tor Loken?
40. Explain the logging technique called “cut and get out.”
41. What was the effect of cut and get out logging on the lakes and streams?
42. What resource-protecting lumbering techniques were used by the Lokens?
43. Research: What is the term we use today to describe the timber harvest method used by the Loken camp in the story?
44. Research Project: When the train pulled into the station, one long whistle blast gave the all clear to disembark. Do an Internet search to find other common signals the engineer would have used.
45. What was Chief Namakagon doing when Tor first saw him?
46. Chief Namakagon felt that the forests, the lakes, the streams have given us many gifts in the past. What did he feel would be necessary if we want nature to continue to grace us with beauty and bounty in the future?
47. Olaf joked that Oscar was an old curmudgeon. What did he mean?
48. Using the description in the story, draw a bird’s eye view map showing what you think the Village of Cable looked like. Show the railroad yard, streets, and the buildings as you imagine they appeared.
49. Olaf said the lumber company management people were living high on the hog. What does this mean? What is the origin of the term?
50. How did the Town of Cable, Wisconsin get its name?
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