It is vital that you remove the study element and allow students to enjoy the book as the intriguing novel it is. The book is purpose-written to catch teens so thoroughly in the suspense of the novel that they identify with the characters. Thus, courage is “caught” more than taught.

Guiding their thinking with professionally written work sheets and tests, you help students understand what it means to develop strong convictions and live daily teen life in the courage of those convictions. The history of the United States added to the geography and culture of New Zealand stretches the learning across additional disciplines.

The teacher introduces the book with an anticipatory set. This is done by the teacher reading to the students just the book’s back-cover copy. Then, without any sort of input from teacher or students, ask students to write their present understandings of the character trait “courage.” Explain that you are not looking for a right or wrong answer. You just want to know what they understand at this point about this character trait.

Collect the definitions, and then direct the students to read and memorize the definition provided in the front of the book. They should keep reviewing it as they proceed through the novel.

You, as the teacher, should be careful not to discuss the book as students proceed. Hands-off is the key. You will want your students to immerse themselves in the book and experience the joy of discovering as they read. Expect students to complete a section of the questionnaire at the end of each chapter, check and correct their own answers, and then continue to the next chapter.

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