Sign of the Beaver

Twelve-year old Matt and his father establish a new homestead in the Maine wilderness while his expecting mother and younger sister stayed behind to await the birth of a new baby. The time has come for his father to travel and bring the family to their new home. It will take weeks for his father to return so it is decided that Matt will stay behind in charge of the cabin and crops. Matt does his best to survive on his own but a foolish attempt to gather honey leaves him severely injured. Through the care of a Native American boy and his grandfather Matt recovers while creating a strong bond of friendship. What was suppose to be weeks turn to months. Matt is worried something terrible has happened to his family. Or is weather just delaying their arrival? Matt must decide if he should continue waiting for his family or begin a new life with his friends. A really great read! Exciting & thoughtful.

Basic Outline:
Snack- Corn bread and honey butter
Buy toy bow and arrows (dollar store)

Option: Host a Book and Movie Night

Prepare: Rent Movie version of the book
Cook corn bread and honey butter. (Wait for butter to soften then mix honey into it.)
Prepare cardboard animals for boys to knock down with arrows.

Energy Game:
Play some Attean inspired games. At the Indian village- the boys played some rough and tumble games.
Have boys pair up- facing each other with a line between them.
Have pairs hold each other, clasping forearms.
Have pairs try to pull the other boy over the line.
Have boys trade partners and play again.
(Different types of “wrestling” type games are available in Cub Scout books.)
Have pairs sit back to back with elbows locked.
Have pairs work as a team to get to a standing position by pushing back to back.

Incentive Game: Ask boys questions and earn arrows to knock down a BEAR!
(Cardboard animals).

Book Talk/ Incentive questions:
1. What was the plan Matt and his Father agreed on?
2. What were Matt’s responsibilities while his father is gone?
3. How was Matt suppose to keep track of the weeks?
4. What are some of Matt’s most precious items?
5. Who is the first visitor in Matt’s cabin? Was he good company?
6. What did Matt do that caused him serious injury?
7. Who helped him while he was sick?
8. What is the trade between Matt and Saknis?
9. How are the roles of boys and girls different between the two cultures?
10. What are a few things he learns from the Indians?
11. When was Matt brave?
12 . When was Matt fearful?
13. How does Attean earn Matt’s respect?
14. How does Matt earn Attean’s respect?
15. What happened to Attean’s parents?
16. What is the name of Attean’s dog?
17. What does Matt do the earn the trust of the dog?
18. What does Matt do to earn the trust of Attean’s grandma?
19. How does the story end?
20. Would you have gone with the Indians or would you have stayed behind?


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