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The Sign of the Beaver Literature Unit

 

This literature unit includes vocabulary words, definitions and activities, an anticipation guide, a literary element study, journal and discussion topics, a writing activity for each domain, comprehension activities, a research project, answer key, and MUCH MORE!

 

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The Sign of the Beaver Literature Unit

By Elizabeth George Speare

In 1768, Matt and his dad moved to Maine territory to build a log cabin in a new township. After they build the cabin, Matt's dad has to leave to bring the rest of the family from Massachusetts. His family consists of Matt, his dad, his mom, his younger sister Sarah, and a baby that has not yet been born. Matt is worried about being left all alone, but he must stay in order to protect the family's house and land. Matt keeps track of time by making notches in sticks, one for each day. Meanwhile, he must also fish, hunt, and keep the corn crops growing to stay alive.

After being attacked by a large swarm of bees, Matt's life is saved by an Indian boy, Attean, and his grandfather, Saknis. When Matt asks how he can repay their kindness, Saknis requests that he teach Attean to read.  Although they are unsure about one another at first, the reading lessons begin. After each lesson, they spend the rest of the day hunting and fishing. The boys come to know each other as Attean learns to speak and read English from Matt, while Matt learns to become a skilled hunter from Attean. When it's time for the tribe to move to new hunting ground, Saknis offers to adopt Matt and take him with the tribe. Though many months have passed, there is no sign of Matt's family. Matt would be proud to be Attean's brother, but he also knows he must wait for his own family.

As Christmas is approaching, Matt’s family does return. They were delayed after being quite sick with typhus.  His family was proud of Matt and all that he accomplished and they looked forward to their life together in the Maine territory.

 

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