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Ages 11-15 Summer of the Bear Revised

Ages 11-15 Summer of the Bear Revised

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Published by korenchukm
Study guide for Summer of the Bear, for homeschools
Study guide for Summer of the Bear, for homeschools

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Published by: korenchukm on Aug 09, 2010
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10/25/2012

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History for Ages Eleven to FifteenThe Award-Winning
Summer of the Bear
The Summer of the Bear 
targets the 8
th
-grade social studiescurri-culum, but is appropriate forages 11-15, for either socialstudies or reading arts. Teachersand parents will find that
Summer 
makes the history come alive fortheir children. It is a story aboutmodern teenagers, and thechoices they face, while retracingthe steps of their Euro-AmericanandNative American forefathers. The book makes an excellent read-aloudfor sixth- graders and an exciting read for any teen, who lovesadventure and mystery.
Summer of the Bear,
the first volume in aseries of historical fictions for young,
 
received the
Michigan StateHistory Award for Literature for Children and Young Adults in 2007.
How to Teach This Book to your Child
If you are wondering how to present this book to your child so that shelearns the facts she needs to know, it may help you have her put thefollowing questions to the text. All of the historical facts are indexed inthe back of the book. Remember, every child is going to wonder: whydo we have to read this? What does it teach us? Why did the authorwrite it? How do we know what the author meant by what she wrote?(Hint: the characters, images, symbols, extra-textual references, etc.,are all at the service of the author’s purpose).
 
Purposes of the Book:
Every book is written for a reason, and, asobvious as that may seem, your child needs to learn to recognize thepurpose for which the book was written. Only then can she understandhow every detail of the book points toward the author’s goals. This isalso a great way to prepare her to write her own papers and books, bethey fiction or nonfiction. Purpose is the most important organizationalprinciple in writing.The first purpose of 
Summer of the Bear 
is to teach readers aboutthe histories, economies, and customs of the both the Indians and theCanadian fur traders, the
voyageurs
, the
coureurs de bois
, the
commis
,and the big American fur trading companies. The boys in the story sing the
voyageurs
songs while they arepaddling up the Pigeon River.Authentic music appears in thetext. The reader learns a certainamount of French, which istranslated in the text, and, again,at the back of the book. Thereader also learns about NativeAmerican history, especially
Ojibwe
history, from pre-contacttimes to the present. Along withthis, he acquires a number o
 Anishinaa-bemowin
(
Ojibwe
language) terms.Seeking to fulfill his
core democratic value of liberty 
, the herodiscovers the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with freedom. The
 
core democratic values are of paramount importance for the eighth-grade curriculum. Jean-Baptiste and Kevin discuss the difference betweentraditional or survival economies (like that of the Anishinabeg) andcommand economies (the European economy, which was geared toprofit). (Pp.45-46) The teens in the story become involved with an
Ojibwe
bearwalker. In processing what happens to them, the boys discuss theCalifornia missions, the Esselen Indians, and how some bearwalkerscan be good, while others are criminals. They talk about Californiabecause one of them, Brock, has read a mysterious, scary novel aboutEsselen bearwalkers. What kinds of bearwalkers do the boysthemselves turn out to be?Finally, two of the boys visit Michilimackinac, Mill Creek, andMackinac Island in Michigan, where they see an Algonquian lodge, thewealthy trader and peace-maker, Ezekiel Solomon’s house, and learnhow Mill Creek was founded to supply lumber for the construction of the fort on Mackinac Island. Kevin, the narrator, tells his friend, Brock,who is a very minor expert on Vernor’s Ginger Ale, about PèreMarquette. The second purpose of this book is to serve as a text for readingarts. It is a lively, adventure-packed, coming-of-age story about KevinMurphy and his best friend, Brock Tomlinson. Kevin, the narrator, looksback on his 14
th
summer, the year that he became a responsiblecitizen.

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