The River Teacher’s Guide

By Gary Paulsen

Category: Teen & Young Adult Fiction | Children’s Middle Grade Books
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NOTE TO TEACHERSThe River was a straight response to readers that sent letters informing me that Brian’s story wasn’t done at the finish of Hatchet. So many kind of wanted to understand what occurred to Brian after the rescue that I began wondering about him myself. What if Brian went earlier to the woods with the expertise he’d got, but this time were additionally responsible for the life of another person? When I finiburned The River I believed I’d taken his story as far as it could go. And then the next batch of letters started getting here. Aobtain readers wrote that there had actually to be more to the story, however this time, they told me Brian had been rescued in Hatchet as well soon–before –it ended up being really difficult going." What would he have done, they wanted to understand, if he had to make it through on his own via the winter? Due to the fact that my life has actually been one of survival in winter–running 2 Iditarods, searching and trapping as a boy and also young man–the obstacle came to be amazing, and so I researched and also created Brian’s Winter, reflecting what can and probably would certainly have occurred had actually Brian not been rescued. And in answer to still more countless letters I created this final fictional account of Brian, Brian’s Rerotate.

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Much of what Brian encounters in these stories–in reality almost every one of it–has actually occurred to me. This last book probably mirrors Brian the majority of totally, a lot of truly: just how he is adjusted mentally, exactly how he deals with residence life and also lastly, exactly how he must go back to the woods that make him entirety. Tright here will certainly be one more book, a nonfiction book, about those locations of my life (being attacked by moose, bear and–shudder–skunks; hunting, fishing and also living on game; making and using tools and devices, and so on.) that parallel Brian’s life, to display exactly how truly close Brian is to truth. Thank you for reading my publications and I hope you reap this proceeding story of Brian.ABOUT THIS BOOKIn The River, Brian is asked to return to the woods to teach Derek, a government psychologist, survival techniques. But as soon as Derek is struck by lightning, Brian’s survival abilities are additionally tested as he must discover a method to get the seriously injured Derek out of the woods.The adhering to publications are likewise discussed in this guide:Brian’s ReturnBrian’s WinterHatchetABOUT THIS AUTHORBorn in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gary Paulsen is just one of America’s many famous writers for young civilization. Although he was never a specialized student, Paulsen emerged a passion for analysis at an early age. After a librarian provided him a book to read–along with his own library card–he was hooked. He started spfinishing hrs alone in the basement of his apartment structure, reading one book after another.Running away from home at the age of fourteen and also traveling via a carnival, Gary Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; tasks as an engineer, building and construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and also two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dogsled race, the Iditarod, have offered ample product from which he creates effective stories.Paulsen’s realization that he would ultimately be a writer happened all of a sudden as soon as he was working as a satellite technician for an aeroarea firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never before to rerotate. He invested the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, functioning on his very own creating every night. Then he left The golden state and drove to north Minnesota wright here he rented a cabin by the lake; by the end of the winter, he had actually completed his initially novel.It is Gary Paulsen’s overwhelming idea in young human being that drives him to create. His intense desire to tap deeply right into the huguy heart and also to encourage readers to observe and also treatment around the people approximately them has actually carried him both huge popularity via young human being and also instrumental acinsurance claim from the children’s book community. Paulsen has actually created almost one hundred publications and some two hundred write-ups and also brief stories for youngsters and adults. He is just one of the most respected authors of young adult literature now. Three of his novels–Hatchet, Dogsong, and also The Winter Room–were called Newbery Honor Books.In Soldier’s Heart, 15-year-old Charley Goddard enlists in the First Minnesota Volunteers in 1861. This gripping, heartwrenching story of battle is watched with the young boy’s eyes, as he fights in virtually eextremely significant fight of the Civil War.Brian’s Rerotate, the last companion novel to the Newbery Honor-winning Hatchet, and Paulsen’s the majority of current novel, takes young readers on another exciting adendeavor to the north woods via Brian Robechild. As in Hatchet, The River, and also Brian’s Winter, Paulsen creates in Brian’s Rerotate a story that is appropriate for integrating into the curriculum and for classroom read-aloud.Gary Paulsen and also his wife, Ruth Wideal Paulsen, an artist who has shown a number of of his books, divide their time in between a ranch in southern New Mexico and a house on a sailboat in the Pacific.TEACHING IDEASIn the Classroom Brian’s Return, the last companion novel to the Newbery Honor-winning Hatchet, takes young readers on another interesting adendeavor to the north woods with Brian Robeson. As in Hatchet, The River, and Brian’s Winter, Paulsen creates in Brian’s Return a story that is right for integrating right into the curriculum as well as for classroom read-aloud. This overview has a range of activities for The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return. The themes of survival, nature, making selections, and self-exploration have the right to be explored in the classroom. Teachers might desire to divide the course right into smaller teams, each reading one of the publications, to allow for more complete conversation of the tasks had below. We hope you find this guide helpful in presenting your class to Gary Paulsen’s 2 award-winning adendeavor tales. Pre-Reading ActivityIn Brian’s Winter, The River, and Hatchet, Brian Robeboy have to endure in the northern woods. His most vital reresource is his own ingenuity. Divide the class into little groups and have actually them list items they think are important to include in a survival pack. Then challenge each group to decide which five items on their list are the many vital. Ask each group to share and also assistance their decision. Ask students to comment on just how making it through in the wilderness for a lengthy period of time could change a person’s life. Tell the class that in Brian’s Return, Brian Robeboy cannot readjust to simple life and feels that the only way he deserve to be happy is to return to the wilderness. Divide the course into tiny groups and ask them to brainstorm the many type of factors why it can be tough for Brian to live the life of a typical high-institution student.Thematic Connections Survival — In The River, when lightning strikes Derek, Brian have to uncover a method to obtain out of the woods and also discover medical aid for the unconscious male. Ask students to comment on the hard job of managing Derek after the accident. How does the accident further challenge Brian’s survival skills?Ask students to compare and contrast the abilities Brian supplied to survive the summer months in Hatchet with those he supplies to survive in Brian’s Winter. How does his knowledge of summer survival add to his capability to endure the brutal winter?Brian takes some camping gear when he retransforms to the woods in Brian’s Return. Ask students to describe the list of equipment (Ch. 9) that he chooses to take with him. Then, have them select the items that they feel are absolutely necessary for his survival. How is his rerotate expedition different from his other long adendeavors in the wilderness?Appreciation of Nature — While Brian have to depfinish on nature for food and garments, he also develops a keen appreciation for the wilderness and has actually good respect for the pets that inhalittle bit the woods. Find evidence throughout the novels that Brian is a careful hunter and also understands the idea of wildlife conservation.Though Brian suffers significantly from loneliness and also works tough to endure, he has blended feelings around leaving the northern woods once he is ultimately rescued. He feels that the woods have actually become part of him. Ask students to compose a function post for a wildlife magazine that Brian might have actually created, describing his partnership via nature.How does Brian’s expertise and also appreciation of nature add to his must leave home and return to the wilderness in Brian’s Return?Making Choices — In The River, among the a lot of difficult decisions that Brian should make is what to execute through Derek after the accident. Should he leave him there and go for help? Should he put him on a raft and also take him downriver? Encourage students to talk about the pros and cons of Brian’s options. What are the many determinants that Brian considers before making his decision? Ask students to find events in Brian’s Winter where Brian is challenged through making necessary decisions. How perform his decisions affect his wellness and also safety?In Brian’s Return, Brian tells his mother that he desires to return to the woods to visit the Smallhorns. At what suggest does Brian realize that he isn’t going to the Smallhorns? Ask students to discuss what Brian implies by "he would uncover them once it was time to uncover them" (p. 110). Encourage students to talk about whether Brian ever before goes to them.Self-Discovery — After Brian’s 54 days in the wilderness in Hatchet, his parental fees urge that he view a counselor. The counselor thinks that Brian is "mentally injured." Brian, but, feels that his time in the woods changed him in a much more positive way. Ask students to discuss what Brian discovers about himself.In The River, Brian claims that he was "reborn in the woods" (p. 9). What does Brian mean?How does his "rebirth" affect his relationships via his peers in Brian’s Return? Why does Caleb, Brian’s counselor, feel that Brian should go back to the woods?Interdisciplinary ConnectionsScience — Brian learns a lot about animals and how they communicate. Encourage students to select one pet that Brian encounters in Brian’s Rerotate, The River, or Brian’s Winter and research that animal’s strategy of communication, exactly how it marks its territory, and just how it protects itself from predators.Math — Throughout his time in the wilderness, Brian draws on various math skills to help himself make it through. He hregarding calculate exactly how many kind of days his food will certainly last, and also he need to estimate distances once he is searching. Ask students to develop a math difficulty based on a specific occurrence or situation in either The River or Brian’s Winter. Art — In Brian’s Winter, Brian takes charcoal from the fire to make sketches of the events of the day on his shelter wall. Invite students to choose a favorite scene from either novel and also sketch it on poster board. Display the drawings around the room and also ask the students to location the scenes in sequential order. Then ask them to brainstorm an appropriate title for each sketch.Social Studies — Brian hunts with tools equivalent to those supplied by beforehand hunters. How does Brian know which tools to use in specific hunting situations? Ask students to use the library to research primitive hunting techniques. Have them construct a photographic time line that traces the advancement of various hunting tools.Language Arts — Gary Paulsen offers imagery to appeal to all of the senses–sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Allow students to browse the publications and also find examples of such imagery. Ask them to use Paulsen’s imeras to create similes.Bring an assortment of searching and also fishing magazines to class for students to perusage. Ask them to write a short article for among the magazines that Brian could compose pointing out his disprefer of "expert fishermen" and also "experienced hunters." Ask students to read The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Divide the class into teams and also ask each to list the survival abilities that Matt learns from the Native American boy that befriends him. Then, have them discuss the survival abilities that Brian has actually learned alone. Which boy has actually the toughest time making it through in the wilderness? Brian writes his thoughts and also feelings to Caleb, his counselor. Ask students to compose a letter that Matt could compose to his paleas about his experiences in the wilderness. Encourage the students to share their letters.Music — In the Author’s Note at the end of Brian’s Return, Gary Paulsen writes that he is waiting out winter storms prior to he deserve to collection sail on his boat Felicity. During the rain, he lis10s to the music of Mozart. Ask students to discover recordings that they think reflect Brian’s connection via nature.Exploring Beyond Brian’s World Conservation — Many institutions in America are affiliated in game administration. Have students discover out the purpose of each of the complying with organizations: UNITED STATE Fish & Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and also Ducks Endless. Ask them to create a poster proclaiming among these establishments.Each state in the USA has game laws. Many states require a hunting and fishing license. Ask students to discover out the regulations concerning searching and fishing in their state. Why is it important to have such laws?Survival — There are wilderness camps situated throughout the nation to teach human being survival skills. Encourage students to usage the Internet to find a wilderness camp in their state or region. What is the age variety of the campers? What kind of tasks does the camp offer? How lengthy is the camp in session? How much does it cost? Students may likewise reap locating a camp in one more part of the country. How does the locale of the camp affect the type of survival abilities taught?Teaching principles prepared by Pat Scales, Library Media Specialist, Greenville Center School, Greenville, South Carolina.

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VOCABULARYThe vocabulary in Brian’s Winter is straightforward, but Paulsen does extraplain points via language. Encourage students to notice his usage of strong verbs to convey challenging tasks–"hefted the lance" (page 62). Ask them to situate various other examples of solid verbs in the book and to use a thesaurus to recognize appropriate word substitutions.Words in Brian’s Return may incorporate portperiods (p. 108), feinted (p. 104), and also castigating (p. 81).AWARDSAn IRA-CBC Children’s ChoiceA Parental fees Magazine Best Book of the YearREVIEWS"Young civilization will certainly discover the survival information as gripping as ever. . .a good story of renewal and also connection."– Booklist "The brand-new adundertaking is as riveting as the predecessor. . . .Paulsen , as constantly, pulls no punches."– Publishers Weekly"Vividly created, a book that will, as intfinished, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would certainly execute it aacquire."– Kirkus ReviewsFURTHER READINGThe Haymeadow by Gary Paulsen<0-440-40923-3>The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford<0-440-41324-9>The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare<0-440-47900-2>The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen<0-440-40364-2>ADDITIONAL RESOURCES