This file outlines a class discussion activity I have used with great success with my grade 11 English class.
This activity involves discussing with the class the fears and secrets that each character has and that are revealed throughout the novel.
Useful towards the end of the novel, in that difficult time when half the class has read to the end (and knows the shocking ending) and half the class is still working to finish those last few chapters. The murder at the end of the book is the only event we don’t look at, but everything else is fair game.
It provides a great opportunity to discuss the abuse that Rob (and Young) suffered and the psychology of abuse victims in general (fear, powerlessness, confusion when abused by a loved one, etc.). It also is a good time to draw conclusions about the motivation behind Young’s dislike of Simon, of his willingness to follow the lead of others and not think for himself, of Rob’s need to control everyone around him, and of Simon’s manipulation of Rob and the others.
The file includes a detailed outline of how I approach the activity, a variety of modifications and alternative approaches, a student handout for taking notes, as well as an answer chart with the main details that I find it important that the class be aware of and discuss.