In this document, you will find 138 close-reading questions for William Armstrong’s classic novel Sounder. These were designed as an after-reading strategy to encourage students to skim and scan for important details and have a discussion about this wonderful piece of literature. I find that giving readers a guide helps generate discussion, and it is a fabulous way for them to review. I put students in groups and circulate, dropping in on each groups to hear their discussions. Although it would be a rare teacher who would ask students to write answers to ALL these questions, having them answer one or two here and there is a quick way to assess their comprehension and writing skills. ***By the way, the 2003 Disney film version of this novel is excellent. I strongly advise using it with this novel unit.
After the questions, I have included chapter summaries complete with literary analysis—this book is filled with extended metaphors and symbolism. The summary is both an aid to teachers and to students. It can be posted on a teacher’s web page or shared whole group in the classroom as a review to be sure all students understand the significance of the events in the chapters. I find the summaries particularly helpful for absent students.
Note: Although I have not provided a key for the close-reading guide, the chapter summaries very much like a key.
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