Lesson 13: The Return

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How did people in the past depend on natural resources to solve problems?

Facts and Definitions

  • Setting is when and where the story takes place.
  • Theme is the message or lesson the author wants to communicate with the reader.
  • Characters are the people in the story.
  • Plot is the series of major events that occurs in the story.
  • Problem is the major obstacle or situation the main character is trying to overcome.
  • Resolution is how the problem in the story is resolved or solved.


  • Identify and interpret elements of fiction and nonfiction. (LA)
  • Determine the author's purpose, plot, conflict, sequence of events, resolution, and theme of a text. (LA)
  • Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by participating in creative interpretations. (LA)


  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
  • journal


Tell your child that today she will finish reading the novel. Ask her if she would recommend the novel to someone else and to explain why or why not.
Reading and Questions
Materials: The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, journal
Have your child finish the book today. Your child can use three or four of these questions in her journal. The rest can be discussion questions.
  1. How had Matt prepared for the winter?
    He had filled all the holes in the cabin walls and piled firewood high. He also gathered lots of food to eat and had his harvest of corn and pumpkins carefully stored away.
  2. How did Matt make warm clothing for himself?
    He made one of his blanket into warm pants, stuffed his moccasins with moss and feathers, made mittens out of rabbit skins, and even trapped a larger animal to get fur for a hat.
  3. Why did Matt dream of his mother?
    He thought about her as he did the chores that she would often do.
  4. What gifts did Matt make for his family?
    He made new dishes, a broom, a brush, a cradle for the new baby, and a doll for Sarah.
  5. How did the snowshoes help Matt?
    They allowed him to move through the heavy snows to check his snares and fish.
  6. Why did it take Matt's family so long to get to him?
    They had all contracted typhus and had to wait to get better.