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Created by Brian Thornton
||Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO
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Blood Red Ochre
Student Study Guide
All answers must be in sentence form.
All page numbers from the Seal edition March 1996
Chapter One--David (page 1)
Who is David complaining about as the story begins?
How did David come to possess the pendant?
What is the original source of the pendant?
Why was David warned not to tell anyone about the origin of the pendant?
Why does the pendant have a special significance for David?
How did David accidentally stumble onto his past?
How did David react to this revelation?
Vocabulary: wisecracks, corridors, strolled, algebra, pendant, Beothuks, extinct, anthem, polynomials, foreign, hormones, ancestors, sarcasm
Enrichment: Research the Beothuks of Newfoundland and make a short presentation to your class.
Chapter Two--Dauoodaset (page 11)
Why is Waumaduit worried?
Why were they only able to make a small kill during the hunting season?
Describe their pots and also their cooking methods.
Why have they moved to a new camp?
How did Dauoodaset's grandfather die?
Why must they construct a sweathouse.
Why would Dauoodaset's grandfather prefer a girl child?
Who is Shanawdithit?
Vocabulary: mussels, sorrow, drones, frayed, mantle
Enrichment: Attempt to boil water using the methods described in this chapter. Report back to your classmates and teacher on the success of your experiment. You may wish to videotape the process.
Chapter Three--David (page 16)
What did David's father do in the fall of every year?
Explain what David means by his comment, "Or so he said", in reference to his father.
Describe David's bad experience the weekend he went hunting with his father.
What book was David reading?
What is becoming very obvious by the end of this chapter?
Vocabulary: sulking, snaring, tramped, drenched
Enrichment: If you lived in an area where the moose population was dwindling, what type of conservation methods would you suggest to maintain the species. Explain.
Chapter Four--Dauoodaset (page 22)
What does Dauoodaset's mother insist on doing for him before he leaves on his journey?
Why does Dauoodaset wish he could have departed on his journey silently?
Have you ever wished someone good luck but felt your words were futile as the person was doomed to failure?
Why does Dauoodaset believe that his people were wise to come to this new place?
Explain the difference of the partridge?
Vocabulary: cinders, steep (in reference to drink), blunt, strides
Enrichment: Write a diary told from the perspective of one of the main characters.
Chapter Five--David (page 27)
What coincidence did David discover about both his heritage assignment and that of Nancy?
Why does Nancy abruptly shut her books, stand up and leave the library?
Is there any significance to the place name Marten?
What did David discover while doing his research about the Beothuk?
What were the two sides to David's trip to St. John's?
Both David and Dauoodaset are on a quest. Elaborate on this theme.
Vocabulary: corridor, strolled, heritage, cubicle, archaeologist, offbeat, muskrat
Enrichment: Research the author and make a short presentation.
Chapter Six--Dauoodaset (page 37)
What is the eating order of this band of Beothuks after a hunt and what is its significance.?
Why does Baethasuit not drink from the family pot?
Explain why Dauoodaset is startled by Cosheewet's song?
Describe the game that the Indian men are playing.
What indication is there that Edeshnon is unhappy about losing to Dauoodaset in the final toss?
At the close of this chapter, how does Dauoodaset say that he will use his arrows?
Vocabulary: guidemark, brittle, ochre, pity, stirrings
Enrichment: Write a book review. We will consider linking it to our site at Capo Creations.
Chapter Seven--David (page 43)
What is the significance of Nancy's statement, "You keep your secrets and I'll keep mine."
Why was David concerned about meeting his father?
How did David feel during his visit?
What was his overall impression of his father after the visit?
Do you think this visit might change his feelings towards his stepfather?
David's father invited him to visit another time. Do you think David will visit him again?
Vocabulary: muffled, shrugged, shabby, stooped, irritated, shine (drink)
Enrichment: Choose an alternative title for the book.
Chapter Eight--Dauoodaset (page 54)
Why is Dauoodaset anxious to construct a canoe?
Why is Dauoodaset reluctant to use one of the old canoes as his father suggests?
Why are they taking Baethasuit to the vapor house?
Is the vapor house similar to anything that we might use in our modern society?
What indication does Dauoodaset give that his aunt may die soon?
Vocabulary: skimmed, gloom, pity, mourn, brittle, vapor
Enrichment: Hold a mock trial for one of the characters in your book.
Chapter Nine--David (page 58)
Why did David go off by himself?
Describe David and Nancy's encounter in the hallway?
Describe the incident in the Newfoundland Museum.
What happened when David tried to comfort Nancy after the incident?
How does Nancy explain the incident to her teacher and classmates?
Why did David choose to sit by himself on the return trip to Marten?
Vocabulary: hostel, artifacts, retraced, claustrophobia
Enrichment: Plan a two day tour for teenagers to St. John's, Newfoundland. Make a pamphlet to advertise your trip and distribute it to your classmates. Were any of your destinations similar to those of David's classmates?
Chapter Ten--Dauoodaset (page 64)
What does Dauoodaset do with the roots?
Why according to Dauoodaset was Edeshnon not a good leader?
Why is Dauoodaset excited about travelling down to the end of the river?
How are Dauoodaset's hopes to paddle down the river suddenly dashed by the death of Baethasuit?
According to Dauoodaset who are his people really grieving the night of his aunt's death?
Why is Dauoodaset able to make good progress replacing the sheet of bark?
How does Edeshnon feel about Dauoodaset going to the sea in search of food?
Vocabulary: frail, chants, stakes, mourn, torments, misery, carrier
Enrichment: Define the qualities of a good leader. Who would make a good leader from your class. Do different situations require different types of leaders? What are some of the leadership qualities possessed by Edeshnon?
Chapter Eleven--David (page 70)
Why was David disappointed when he saw his father waiting for him in the parking lot?
Why did David buy a box of chocolates for the family?
How does the reader know that David's visit to his father in St. John's was a disappointment?
What proof does his mother give that his father had ignored him for years.
Enrichment: David believes that his father treats him differently because he is not his biological father. Do you agree? Explain why or why not. Do you think your parents treat you differently from your siblings? Explain. Are children treated according to their placement chronologically in the family. For example, are the oldest treated differently from the youngest? How did the term baby of the family originate?
Chapter Twelve--Dauoodaset (page 75)
Why is Dauoodaset concerned about his people?
What does Dauoodaset's father warn will happen if he takes his canoe on the river too early.
Why does Dauoodaset insist that he cannot wait too long before he leaves on his journey.
What does he dream of as his journey nears?
Vocabulary: fate, grief, seam
Enrichment: Research canoe construction from both past and present. Discuss materials used as well as the process. Make a model canoe.
Chapter Thirteen--David (page 77)
Why is David determined not to speak to Nancy?
What does Nancy's note say?
Why does David feel uncomfortable in the house?
Find evidence that someone else is in the house other than David and Nancy.
What can the steamy bathroom be compared to in the chapters about Dauoodaset?
What does David do just before leaving the house?
Vocabulary: regret, poplar, suede, antiques, drapes, broader, partially, emerge, intruder
Enrichment: Foreshadowing is a technique employed by authors to suggest things which are about to happen or to reveal things to the reader. Are there any clues to Nancy's identity in this chapter? Explain.
Chapter Fourteen--Dauoodaset (page 87)
What does Waumaduit give to Dauoodaset before he sets out on his journey?
What does Dauoodaset's mother help him put over his body?
Explain the use of red ochre in aboriginal cultures.
What does his father present to him?
What was Dauoodaset wearing around his neck?
Vocabulary: weary, spearshaft, burden, soar
Enrichment: With a classmate record an imagninary interview with one or more of the characters from your novel. Play the finished product to your class and place it on a web site. We will link to your site if it meets with our approval.
Chapter Fifteen--David (page 92)
Is there any significance to David offering to help his father and brother in the woods?
Why is David surprised to hear his father criticize Brad?
Why does David opt to stay behind with his grandfather?
What does his grandfather tell him?
What does his grandfather suggest he do?
Vocabulary: hovering, flicked, strained, civil, welfare, barbarians, gossiped
Enrichment: Write and perform either an original song or poem that tells the story of the book.
Chapter Sixteen--Dauoodaset (page 100)
How does Dauoodaset manage without food?
Although exhausted and aching he refuses to open the pouch that his mother gave him. Explain.
What good fortune comes his way?
Vocabulary: spirits, darts, pierce, precious
Enrichment: Research Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Do you agree with his findings? Defend your position and make a presentation to your classmates relating the information to this novel.
Chapter Seventeen--David (page 103)
Where did David and Nancy go on their date?
Why is David surprised to see Nancy in a fur coat?
Describe Nancy's reaction to the film.
How does David react to Nancy's anger?
Vocabulary: impersonal, constantly, proposed, pup tent, gross, converted, unyielding, lingering
Enrichment: Give a sales pitch to your classmates pretending your are a publisher and promoting the novel.
Chapter Eighteen--Dauoodaset (page 112)
Why is Dauoodaset forced to stop paddling?
What sight overjoys Dauoodaset shortly after his portage?
What does he see next that makes his "heart sink"?
What is the sound like thunder that Dauoodaset hears?
How does Dauoodaset react?
Vocabulary: otter, eels, shed (verb), strokes, crouched
Enrichment: Discuss how Kevin Major has portrayed Dauoodaset through the language patterns or dialect. Do you think they are realistic or should Major have employed the same language patterns used by David? Defend your position.
Chapter Nineteen--David (page 116)
What is the first thing that Nancy mentioned to David on Monday morning?
Why was David procrastinating about asking his parent's permission to go on the trip?
What did his father have to say about the trip?
Why was David convinced that his mother would agree with his father?
Vocabulary: definite, rowboat, gear, bold, convinced
Enrichment: Research hypothermia and make a brief presentation to your classmates.
Chapter Twenty--Dauoodaset (page 120)
What does Dauoodaset find when he opens the pouch?
Explain the trap that Dauoodaset sets for the white devil.
What happens to the whiteman?
Vocabulary: fate, squat, quivering, firestones, numbness, clump
Enrichment: Dress as one of the main characters and then answer questions from the class about the novel.
Chapter Twenty-One--David (page 125)
Why is David concerned about the way Nancy dresses?
How does the reader know that Nancy is anxious about the pending journey?
Why does David have problems understanding Nancy when she is in the canoe?
What does David see on the island initially that makes him think that they are not alone?
Who does David encounter on the island?
Compare and contrast David and Dauoodaset.
Vocabulary: secure, knapsack, retreated, cocoon, stern, haul
Enrichment: Describe how the author has suddenly transformed two separate stories into one.
Chapter Twenty-Two--Shanawdithit (page 130)
Why did Major change the name of this chapter from the others in the book?
What does Nancy reveal to David?
Why does Major choose to tell this chapter in the first person?
How does Shanawdithit defend her actions when David accuses her of using him?
What does Shanawdithit notice that David is wearing?
Describe the terrible event that occurs next.
Is Shanawdithit a real or fictional character?
Vocabulary: agony, gawk, tide, hoax, smeared, gusts
Enrichment: Write a different ending to the novel.
In what other countries do we find aboriginal peoples?
Chapter Twenty-Three--David (page 145)
Describe how David manged to escape?
Why does he come to a sudden stop when he finally catches up to Nancy?
What does he discover to his amazement when he returns to the site of the fire?
How does David react to all of this?
How does he finally leave the island?
What parallels can we draw between the Beothuk's problems and those of the contemporary aboriginal people?
Reread portions of the book for examples of foreshadowing. List as many examples as possible.
Describe the major literary tactic or technique employed by the author in Blood Red Ochre.
Vocabulary: savageness, barrel, butt, aimlessly
Enrichment: Write an obituary for one of the characters in the book.
Do you think that Major's technique of two parallel interwoven stories is effective? Explain.
Is Kevin Major's ending to the novel realistic? Defend your position. Are there any unanswered questions? Explain.
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Created by Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA. POJ 1KO
Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved