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Winter People

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I. Vocabulary: Define and use in a sentence.

  1. Wigwam (p.2)
  2. Shilling (p.14)
  3. Truck master (p.14)
  4. Epidemic (p.15)
  5. Wampum (p.23)
  6. Barricade (p.31)
  7. Talisman (p.49)
  8. Tricorne (p.75)
  9. Fusil (p.75)
  10. Smallpox (p.97)

II. Questions to Discuss:

  1. Who are the “winter people”?
  2. Who is the narrator of the story? Why did his family go to live in the St. Francis village?
  3. How did the English interpret the Abenaki custom of exchanging weapons (p.12)?
  4. What reasons (p.15) did Saxso give to explain why the Indians took captives?
  5. Was Chief Gill an Abenaki? Explain your answer.
  6. What kinds of houses did the Abenaki live in? What did the village look like?
  7. Saxso talks about trade with the Fort at No. 4. Why do you think the Abenaki traded with settlers sometimes and fought with them at other times?
  8. According to the novel (p.70), how did Robert Rogers behave differently from his men during the raid on St. Francis?
  9. Why do you think Chief Gill bit the rattlesnake? Have you ever done anything to prove yourself? Explain your answer.
  10. How did Saxso get his nickname “Two Sticks”? Do you have a nickname? If so, how did you get it?
  11. Describe how Saxso used his training and beliefs to rescue his mother and sisters.
  12. Why do you think the Stockbridge warrior let Saxso and his mother go (p.147)?
  13. What had really happened to Chief Gill’s son after he was captured?
  14. How does this novel add to your understanding of the historical events of 1759?
  15. Why does the author feel it is so important to “keep summer in your heart”? What does that mean to you?

III. Extended Research Options

  1. Find out current information about the St. Francis village in Quebec, Canada.
  2. Write a report about Robert Rogers and the role he played during this time period.
  3. Read more Native American myths that feature Gluskabe.
  4. Visit the Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum website at www.fortat4.com and gather information about the capture of the Johnson family. How does this novel add to your understanding of the Johnson’s experience?
  5. Compare this author’s account with Robert Rogers’ Journal of 1765 which is found at the end of the book in the Author’s note.
  6. Using materials from the art classroom, construct a replica of an Abenaki canoe. The process is described in the book on p. 84.

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