GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
Essential Questions for This Unit:
1. How and why are governments and their citizens affected by each other? How do they cause
each other to change, weaken, strengthen, etc.?
2. How and why might discriminatory beliefs, stereotypes, propaganda, etc. create a self-fulfilling
prophecy? How can they generate a type of created reality?
3. What are necessary rites / experiences for true growth, maturity, entrance into adulthood?
4. What is true freedom, and how does it relate to laws, rules, etc.?
5. Is a utopian society possible?
Terms to Know Before Reading Gathering Blue: FAYER MODEL
Utopia
Dystopia / anti-utopia
Weaving
Infanticide
Apocalypse
Post-apocalyptic
Activities for Gathering Blue:
Directions: Read chapter one and then answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
Chapter 1
1. What is the setting of this novel? What are some clues you’ve found that lead you to these
conclusions?
2. How does Lois Lowry use show-don’t-tell to demonstrate the huge differences between the
setting of this novel and the world we currently live in?
3. Compare and contrast Kira and Vandara. What makes them similar? What makes them
different? Feel free to create a Venn-diagram for this question.
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
4. Please explain the significance of the following terms / concepts: the field of leaving, syllables in
regards to names, bent leg, bringing an "imperfect" infant to the Field, weaving, tykes, fen, and
beasts.
5. In what ways are Kira’s society / culture different than our own? List as many as you can think
of, and explain what accounts for these differences.
6. Kira’s community appears to be made up of hardened individuals. For example, Kira’s death is
basically unmarked by the surrounding villagers; Kira’s uncle doesn’t even greet her when they
see each other; tykes are penned up like cattle; Vandara is trying to steal Kira’s home and leave
Kira for the beasts—just so that she has a place to pen animals or disobedient children. Why do
you suppose the community acts like this?
7. Consider your answer to number 5 above. Do you know of such situations occurring in real
life—either in the past or in the present? Explain.
Chapter 2
Directions: Read chapter two and then answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
1. On page 12, what’s significant about the first line of paragraph three when the author says Kira
sees “her mother’s brother” instead of “her uncle”? Describe why Lois Lowry made this word
choice.
2. Using what you learned in chapter two, what changes or additions can you make about your
predictions concerning the setting of this novel?
3. Why is Vandara “respected” by the other villagers?
4. Who are the Council of Guardians, and what does their existence suggest about the Kira’s
society?
5. The last paragraph on page 19 discusses how a woman is about to give birth and that people
may come to “assess the value of her infant.” What does this mean, and what does this suggest
about Kira’s society/culture?
6. Describe Kira’s ability with weaving. If you need to, reread the last page of the chapter; this is
EXTREMELY important to the novel.
Connecting Literature Activity
1. Read "Arachne" on pages 47 and 48 in our orange Myths and Folklore book. How is Arachne
different than Kira? Besides being weavers, how are their talents the same?
2. Read "The Crow and the Pitcher" on page 264 in our orange Myths and Folklore book. The text
states afterwards, "Necessity is the mother of invention." What does this mean, and what does
it have to do with the way villagers live in Gathering Blue? Please give specific textual examples
to explain your answer.
3. Read "The Fox and the Grapes" on page 264 in our orange Myths and Folklore book. The text
states afterwards, "It is easy to scorn what we cannot have." What does this mean, and how
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
4. Does it relate to the characters in Gathering Blue? Please give specific textual examples to
explain your answer.
Chapter 3 Activity
Directions: Read chapter three and then answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper.
Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Please explain the significance and meaning behind the below terms:
The Ruin (Please note that it is capitalized.)
The Song (Please note that it is capitalized.)
The Singer (Please note that it is capitalized.)
What are some predications you have about what the Ruin was? REMEMBER—ALL
PREDICTIONS MUST BE BASED ON TEXTUAL EVIDENCE OR CLUES.
6. What is the Council Edifice currently being used as?
7. What was the Council Edifice most likely used as before the Ruin? There are very specific clues
in this chapter to help you decipher this mystery.
8. What’s the deal with Kira’s piece of cloth described toward the end of chapter 3? Why is it so
unique / special / significant?
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 Activity #1
DIRECTIONS: Discuss chapters 4 and 5 by using your reading roles with your partners. Remember—
follow the guidelines and expectations outlined in your literature circle packets. All group members
must remain on task and involved in the group discussion.
1. When you have finished the above, please discuss and answer the below questions. YOU
SHOUD WRITE YOUR RESPONSES ON A SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER, AND YES, EVERY GROUP
MEMBER NEEDS TO COMPLETE THEIR OWN WRITTEN COPY TO TURN IN BEFORE YOU LEAVE
CLASS TODAY.
2. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 Activity #2
Directions: Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure you title your
work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading. What is unusual about the way Jamison
defends Kira? (Note: Kira even thinks he’s doing a poor job at first.)
3.
4.
5.
6.
Why do you think he chose to defend her in such a manner?
Why/how does Jamison (and the rest of the Council) know about Kira’s skill?
Make some predications based on the foreshadowing in the last paragraph of chapter five.
The Chief Guardian tells Vandara on page 48 that she has no rights at all. Discuss this—and it’s
relevance to Kira’s society.
7. If the Robe tells the history of the village, how can Kira “complete” it like she’s being asked to.
After all, new history keeps happening every day.
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
8. On-Board Annotations: Skim through chapters 5 and 6. Choose two passages, terms, or bits of
information from each chapter that you find particular significant for any reason. Write them
down on the board and be prepared to discuss with the class why you chose those particular
sections.
9. Page 48—the Chief guardian says, “Actually, you have no rights at all.” Discus
Kira is asked to complete the Robe, but the Robe chronicles history—things that have already
happened in the past. Discuss.
Discuss the good AND bad (from Kira's perspective) of her now leaving in the Council Edifice.
Chapters 6 and 7 Activity
Directions: Read chapters six and seven, and then answer the following questions on a separate sheet
of paper. Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
1. Please explain the significance and meaning behind the below terms: the Carver and Annabella.
2. In chapter 6, why does Jamison frown slightly when Kira asks if Matt can help carry her
belongings into her new living quarters? (See page 59.)
3. Compare and contrast life inside the Council Edifice to Kira’s previous home.
4. Discuss the irony of Kira’s thoughts about the technology in the Council Edifice. (See pages 67
and 68.)
5. Besides the fact that they both live in the Council Edifice, what are some things (several—more
than one) that Kira and Thomas have in common?
6. What does Jamison mean on page 74 when he says, “The future will be told here. Our world
depends on the telling?” Please explain each of these two sentences separately.
7. At the end of chapter 7, Jamison is described as having an edge, a sense of urgency to his voice.
Why might this be? Please use textual evidence to back up any predictions you have.
Chapters 8 and 9 Activity
Directions: Read chapters eight and nine and then answer the following questions on a separate sheet of
paper. Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
1. Please explain the significance and meaning behind the below terms: the Singer’s Staff and a
small piece of wood that Thomas owns
2. When Kira tries to give Matt a gift, she realizes he doesn’t know what a gift actually is. Explain
the significance of this.
3. Annabella claims that “others” have the ability to make blue dye. Why do Matt and Kira seem
to be surprised by this remark? What impact does this have on the story as we've known it so
far?
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
4. On page 90, Kira is looking at her destroyed vegetable garden in the village. The book states,
clearly the women, dragging their bushes to build the pen, had simply walked across the area;
yet the blossoms continued to bloom an she was awed to see that vibrant life still struggled to
thrive despite such destruction. Please explain the symbolism of this passage in how it relates
to the book.
5. In chapter nine, Kira get extremely upset when she sees that Matt is hoping to tag along during
a hunt. Why is she so upset?
6. During the same scene, Thomas says, “What do you care? They’re only tykes. There are too
many of them anyway.” What is he suggesting, and what does this say about Kira’s society?
7. Make some predictions about this book. Make sure your ideas are grounded. In other words,
they should be based on textual evidence and background knowledge.
8. On a separate sheet of paper, please write a one-page journal entry (no more than that) written
from Kira’s perspective. This journal should discuss what Kira is probably feeling, thinking,
fearing, and enjoying at this point of the book. Be sure to include specific reasons, citing
examples from the text, to support your thoughts.
Chapters 12 and 13 Activity
Directions: Read chapters twelve and thirteen and then answer the following questions on a separate
sheet of paper. Make sure you title your work with the appropriate chapter and activity heading.
1. Discuss your thoughts about Jamison saying to Kira, "We'll explain to you what we want pictured
there," in regards to the Robe.
2. Reread the bottom of page 117. What does Kira notice about the pictures on the Robe, and can
you think of a theme it demonstrates? Explain your thoughts.
3. How does Jamison act differently with the child Kira discovers in chapter 13. Explain your
thoughts about this--including any predictions you have.
4. Describe Jamison's reaction when Kira tells him what Annabella said concerning the lack of
beasts. Relate this to the last two paragraphs on page 129. What do you predict, and what
might the author be foreshadowing? Why do you think so?
Chapters 14 and 15 Activity
Directions: Please answer these questions with your group members in class after reading the
assigned chapters.
1. According to Matt, what’s Jo’s back-story? What are some thoughts, predictions, or
observations you have about Annabella’s death?
2. Why do you think Kira’s being so secretive about Jo? After all, she has no real reason to be.
Nothing “proof positive” has occurred to make her think she can’t trust the Council.
3. In chapter 15, why does Kira get suspicious about Annabella’s death?
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
4. In chapter 15, Kira begins piecing bits of the mystery together—including the reason why the
Council is interested in her, Jo, and Thomas. Can you make any connections between the
Guardians’ need for them and the real world?
Chapters 16 and 17 Activity
1. Draw a symbolic picture (stick figures are okay) that represents anything you find significant
about this book. (Remember: A symbolic picture means you will not draw a specific scene.
Instead, you’ll create a sketch that has a deeper meaning behind it.)
2. What are some themes (more than one) that are emerging in this novel? Please give
explanations for your ideas.
3. Why, in chapter 16, does Kira suddenly believe that her life is not really free? Can you relate to
Kira in this sense? How? Why? Explain.
4. Have you made any further predictions about the title of this book? If so, what are they?
5. Reread page 154. What is troubling Kira about her current life? Reread page 159 when Kira
talks to Thomas about filling in the blank spaces on the Staff and Robe. She says, “Maybe we
can make it different.” What does she mean by this? NOTE: YOU MUST REREAD THE PAGE TO
GET THIS RIGHT.
6. When Kira and Thomas travel to the Fen, Kira says, “Why must there be such a horrible place?”
and Thomas replies, “It’s how it is. It’s always been.” What does the boy’s reply suggest about
the present and future of the Village? Explain why you think the way you do.
7. By chapter 17, Kira has seen the Robe many times. What has she learned from it?
Chapters 18 and 19 Activity
1. Besides their artistic talents—and the fact that the Council of Guardians needs them—what
qualities make Kira, Jo, and Thomas different from most people of the Village?
2. Would you consider Kira to be a strong person? If so, in what ways and why?
3. At the beginning of the novel, Kira recognizes certain problems/difficulties that run rampant in
the Village. Still, she also deals with them without much complaining or wishing for better
times. Why, now, does she suddenly find the Village to be such a horrible place? Think of as
many reasons as you can.
4. Re-read the Ruin Song verses on pages 170, 171, and 172. Please translate the lines and explain
what they really mean. Hint: Pay extra close attention to pages 171 and 172. (Note: Only one
student has ever gotten this right on the first try without some kind of help. Think, think, think.)
5. In chapter 18, Jameson explains to Kira that he expects her to “tell the future” by embroidering
it in the empty spaces of the Robe. What exactly does this mean? What does he want?
6. Check out the below picture. What does it have to do with this book?
Chapter 20 Activity
DIRECTIONS: Read the poem below and “decode” what each line means. Then answer the questions
below it.
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” By Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
1. In your own words, what do you think this poem is really about? What does it mean? Why do you
think so?
2. What is “gold” a symbol of in this poem? How might this poem relate to the characters or actions
Gathering Blue?
3. This poem obviously has a hidden meaning behind it; it’s not really just about the expensive
substance known as gold. Why do you think the author chose to hide the meaning of this poem?
4. Besides the characters, themselves, how else can you relate this poem to Gathering Blue?
5. How can you relate this poem to The Sea of Trolls or The Once and Future King?
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
Chapter 21 Activity
1. At the beginning of chapter 21, right after Kira watched the Singer sing, she is extremely upset.
What do you predict she noticed about him that horrifies her?
2. At the end of chapter 21, we discover who the man is that Matt brings back to Kira and Thomas,
and we realize he was obviously never killed by beasts. If this is so, what are your predictions
about what happened? Please post them on Edmodo--along with your reasoning--and comment
on other students' predictions, as well.
Chapters 22 and 23 Activity
1. Contrast Christopher (and the Others') way of life with that of Kira's village. Why do you think
these two communities are so different?
2. At the end of chapter 22, we discover that Jamison is the one who tried to kill Kira's father--not
any sort of wild beast. She then begins to piece together the deaths of her mother and her
friends' parents. What does it all mean?
3. When Kira watched the Singer sing back in chapter 21, she saw something that upset her which
she thinks about again as a flashback. What is it that she saw, and what's the "big idea" that this
makes her understand about her life and the life of her people?
4. What to the Council of Guardians REALLY want with the children they stole? Why?
5. Why does Kira choose to stay in the village? What do you predict will happen after the book
ends?
End of Book Activity #1
Research and read "By the Waters of Babylon" by Stephen Vincent Benet.
1.
Draw comparisons and contrasts between this story and Gathering Blue. Specifically, focus on
the following:
Similarities and differences between the communities in each story
Similarities and differences between the government / people in control in each story.
Similarities and differences between the plots (especially the endings) of each story
Similarities and differences between the themes / author's message in each story.
Other similarities and differences that you noticed (and you feel are interesting or significant) that
were not already mentioned above
GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowery
Name: __________________________________________ Quarter 4 DUE MAY 11, 2018
ELA- Sensabaugh
End of Book Activity #2
Now that you have read the entire book, go back and re-answer the essential questions you answered a
couple of weeks ago.
How and why are governments and their citizens affected by each other? How do they cause each other
to change, weaken, strengthen, etc.?
How and why might discriminatory beliefs, stereotypes, propaganda, etc. create a self-fulfilling
prophecy? How can they generate a type of created reality? What are necessary rites / experiences for
true growth, maturity, entrance into adulthood?
What is true freedom, and how does it relate to laws, rules, etc.?
Is a utopian society possible?
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Gathering Blue 8th grade Unit May 11

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