The Death Cure

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Curriculet Details
75 Questions
80 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring conflict and imagery, as well as annotations describing dystopian societies, character development, and archetypes. Students will explore the themes of friendship and memory. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

James Dasher is the author of numerous novels for young adults and teenagers. The Death Cure is the final installment of his popular Maze Runner series. Dashner lives with his family in the Rocky Mountains. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What are Thomas's present circumstances? 

Chapter 2

The genre for this novel is post-apocalyptic science fiction. This means that the novel opens after an apocalyptic event ravages the planet and destroys a good deal of humanity. In the case of this novel, the apocalyptic event was a period of sun flares. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
What can you infer that Rat Man is asking of Thomas in the highlighted passage? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
The Flare is a highly contagious virus that has been devastating humanity since the time of sun flares. When you catch the Flare, you become what is known as a Crank, which was described in the previous novel, The Scorch Trials, as a being like a zombie who hadn't died first. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 3

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Explain in your own words what Rat Man is telling Thomas about why they have been experimenting on him. Do you think that Thomas can trust Rat Man? 
The characters of Thomas and Teresa, seen here in a still from The Maze Runner movie, have a special connection and can communicate telepathically. At the end of the previous novel, Teresa betrayed Thomas, but she told him that she had to in order to keep him alive. Thomas doesn't think he will ever be able to trust her again. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
"'Well, I've been shucked and gone to heaven. It's Thomas!' Minho called out."Minho is feeling _________ to see Thomas. 
The boys from the first novel in the series, The Maze Runner, refer to themselves as Gladers. The term Gladers came from the boys all living in the Glade in the middle of the Maze they were trapped in. Below is a computer rendition of the Glade, surrounded by the large walls of the Maze. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 5

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Thomas and the other boys think that the Rat Man 
WICKED, World in Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department, is the organization set up by the world's remaining governments to try and cure the Flare. The Swipe that the text is referring to is the procedure with which WICKED took away all of their memories before putting them in the Maze in the first novel. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Thomas doesn't trust WICKED or want to give them access to his brain again. How would you feel if you were Thomas? 

Chapter 6

You may have noticed by now that the narration in the novel is third person limited, meaning that the narrator can only see inside the mind of Thomas. Watch the video on narration and point of view below. As you read, think about why Dashner chose to construct the narrative in this way. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Minho's concerns expressed in the highlighted paragraph reflect the theme of _______ in the novel. 
The Grievers are computer-operated killing machines that were the main nemeses of the Gladers while they were trapped in the Maze. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 7

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
The highlighted dialog by Newt reflects the theme of __________ in the novel. 
In The Scorch Trials, Thomas found himself torn between his romantic feelings for Teresa and Brenda. Keep Brenda's whispered warning to Thomas in mind as you read. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
A dystopian society is one that is frightening or undesirable in some large way. How is Dashner showing the readers that Thomas lives in a dystopian society? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.  

Chapter 8

By now you have likely noticed the slang that the Gladers use in their conversations with each other. While in the Glade, the boys made up their own slang. Using the slang was a way of belonging. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Why does Thomas not want his memories back? 

Chapter 9

Dashner uses many flashbacks throughout the novels when Thomas accesses some of his lost memories. Watch the video on flashbacks below and look for examples as you read. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Why is Newt acting so angry? 
When WICKED took Thomas' memories away, they also took away his notion of self. He doesn't understand the kind of person that he apparently used to be. This idea plays on the themes of memory and identity in the novel. 

Chapter 11

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What makes Thomas so angry about his previous involvement with WICKED? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.  
Thomas doesn't think that he can take any more betrayal in his life. 

Chapter 12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
It appears that Brenda 
Below is an artist's rendering of Janson, whom the boys call Rat Man. Is this similar to the picture you have of him in your mind as you read? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
What was most likely Dashner's intention in writing the highlighted sentence? 

Chapter 13

Dashner makes great use of tension in this novel. You will read many passages that convey tension and suspense. Watch the video below to learn more about tension in literature and look for examples as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
WICKED uses little mechanical "bugs" the boys call beetle blades to spy on them.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
How does the highlighted passage reflect the novel's themes of friendship and loyalty? 

Chapter 14

Newt is referring to the trials and tests that WICKED has done on the group to analyze their brain patterns. The Maze and the Scorch from the previous novels are examples of this. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Why do Thomas and Minho agree that something feels "off" about the whole situation? 

Chapter 15

"The Gone" that Brenda is referring to is when the Flare disease has fully consumed a person. In the previous novel the characters learned that there are different levels of infection of the Flare virus, and that the disease worsens over time. People who have the virus, known as Cranks, start out relatively normal, but eventually grow crazier until they are completely insane and want to eat people.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What is Newt referring to in the highlighted paragraph? 
"The Scorch" that Dashner keeps referencing is from the previous novel. "The Scorch" refers to an area of the earth that was devastated by the sun flares. It is also where WICKED sends Cranks to slowly die. When Thomas met Brenda in the Scorch, she hid from him the fact that WICKED had sent her and Jorge (whom you will meet shortly) there to spy on the group. (This annotation contains an image)
This letter that Newt gives Thomas is very important. Keep it in mind as you read. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
What emotions is Thomas feeling in the highlighted paragraph? Why do you think that he is feeling this way? 

Chapter 16

This is a reference to an event that occurred in The Scorch Trials.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The tone of Minho's words show that he is  

Chapter 17

Teresa leading the rest of the group on an escape from WICKED is so hard for Thomas to wrap his mind around because Teresa has always held onto the belief that WICKED was acting in their best interests. When she awoke in the Glade in The Maze Runner with her memory completely gone, the only thing that she knew was "WICKED is good." 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Thomas is feeling _________ by Teresa and the other members of their group. 

Chapter 18

Throughout the tests and trials in all of the novels, Thomas never knows who is truly on his side and who is just a pawn for WICKED. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
How is Dashner conveying tension and suspense in this scene? 

Chapter 19

Again, we see the theme of betrayal in the text. 

Chapter 20

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Even though you don't have direct translations for the slang that the group uses, we can infer that "like a bucket of klunk" means that Thomas feels 
Denver is a metropolitan city in Colorado. Since the genre of this novel is post-apocalyptic science fiction, how do you think the city will have changed? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
The highlighted paragraph reflects the theme of _________ in the novel. 

Chapter 21

Letting Brenda take the boys to Hans might be the only way to get the WICKED implants out of their brains, but can Thomas, Newt, and Minho trust Brenda and Hans? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What is your opinion: Did WICKED help orchestrate the escape, or did Thomas really escape from them? Why? 

Chapter 22

It has been clear from the beginning of the novel that Thomas is the protagonist, but who the antagonists are remains unclear. WICKED and Janson (Rat Man) are antagonists. Is Teresa an antagonist? Minho and Newt seem to think so. Watch the video on protagonists and antagonists below. Try to identify the antagonists as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Newt's tone could best be described as _______ in the highlighted paragraph. 

Chapter 23

The high walls around Denver are reminiscent of the walls of the Maze, that would open each morning and close each night. Watch the short video below, paying close attention to the moving walls.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
The lady tells the group, "You do realize that the opportunities for your kind are vast here in Denver. " What is she referring to? 
Gally, seen below in a still from The Maze Runner movie, was one of the antagonists in the first novel. Under the control of WICKED, Gally tried to kill Thomas, but ended up killing Thomas' best friend, Chuck, instead. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 24

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Chuck died because threw himself in front of Gally's knife when Gally was trying to kill Thomas. Until Brenda's revelation that WICKED, controlling Chuck's body, forced Chuck to do this, everyone thought that he had sacrificed himself for his friend. How does this new knowledge make Thomas feel? 
Although you don't know when the fictional world of the Maze Runner series is set, you can tell that it is in the future by some of the technology used, like hover cars.  (This annotation contains an image)
Minho is using verbal irony here. Verbal irony and sarcasm, which is when verbal irony is said with contempt, are very prevalent in the novel's dialogue. Watch the video below to learn more about verbal irony and look for examples as you read.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 25

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What action does Gally feel remorseful about? 
The Bliss is medicine that slows down the effects of the Flare. It is very expensive and only the wealthy can afford it. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Which of the following is a way of rephrasing Gally's statement:"Who do you think _____________?" 
Quiz #1: Chapters 1-25 

Chapter 26

Thomas and Gally have reconciled so they can fight WICKED together. Do you think Thomas is right to trust Gally? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Why is Thomas nervous? What risks is he taking by trusting Hans? 

Chapter 27

WICKED put something in Thomas' brain implant that would make him fight if anyone attempted to remove it. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Thomas is fighting Hans because 
In The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, there were a few other examples of this happening (WICKED controlling the bodies and actions of the Gladers). 

Chapter 28

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What was "the Purge"? 
Thomas feels an internal conflict because he feels guilty that he helped the Creators at WICKED design the Maze, even though he no longer remembers that period of his life. Watch the video below to learn more about internal and external conflict in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 29

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Why do you think that Thomas doesn't want to hear what Brenda is trying to tell him? 

Chapter 30

Thomas can get in big trouble for noticing that someone is infected with the Flare but not alerting anyone. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
From the tone of the conversation, one can infer that the men _________ Munies. 
As you can see, many people treat those who are infected as if they are not even real people anymore. There is fear against Cranks and prejudice against Munies. 

Chapter 31

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What does the man plan to do with Thomas? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
This public service announcement is symbolic of the ____________ in the novel. 
Death and violence are commonplace in the Maze Runner series. Dashner wants to emphasize the harsh nature of the world that Thomas lives in. 

Chapter 32

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
How is Janson using the novel's themes of friendship and loyalty to get Thomas to return to WICKED?  
Dashner is using foreshadowing here. Watch the video below to learn more about foreshadowing and look for examples as you read. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 33

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Who is the "they" Minho is referring to in the highlighted passage? 

Chapter 34

Dashner says that Minho is his favorite character of all of the books that he's written. Watch this short interview with Dashner and prepare to answer the question which follows. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.7
In the video you just viewed, what about Minho does Dashner say that he likes so much? How does this character trait reflect one of the main themes of the novel? 
Even though Thomas knows that he can't trust Janson, he feels in his heart that Janson was right about Newt: the Flare is progressing very rapidly in him. Newt is in trouble. 

Chapter 35

The Crank Palace is an ironic name. It is really more of a slum like the one below. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The guard's tone could best be described as 

Chapter 36

It is interesting to note that since the Cranks are treated like second-class citizens and are segregated away, there can be some ties made to segregation in the real world. Examples include the caste system in India and apartheid in South Africa.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
What does Thomas think is happening to the missing Immunes? 

Chapter 37

Violence is so rampant at the Crank Palace that the guards do nothing to try to stop it. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
How do the conditions in the Crank Palace make Thomas feel? Explain why you think he feels this way. 

Chapter 38

Crank Palace is so overcrowded that people are sleeping in sleeping bags in the bowling alley. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
When the group finds Newt, he looks 
Why does Newt focus on Thomas like this? You will soon find out! 

Chapter 39

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Why does Newt want his friends to leave? 
Watch the video on character development below. How has Newt's character changed since the beginning of the novel? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 40

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
Why does Dashner include this chase scene as the group is leaving the Crank Palace? What do you think he is trying to show the reader? 
Thomas and Minho are devastated by leaving Newt behind. The three have been fiercely loyal to each other since their days in the Maze, and their strong bond reflects the themes of friendship and loyalty in the novel. 

Chapter 41

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
In the highlighted passage, Thomas is trying to 
No wonder Newt had focused in on Thomas back at the Crank Palace! He was feeling betrayed that Thomas hadn't helped him by putting him out of his misery.  

Chapter 42

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The tone of the men could best be described as 

Chapter 43

Who do you think their captors are?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Why is Thomas having mixed feelings upon being reunited with Teresa?  

Chapter 44

Minho has been distrustful of Teresa since she first appeared in the Glade.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What is Dashner referring to when he writes "not in the old way"? 

Chapter 45

Do you think the boys can take on the kidnappers? Would it be brave or foolish of them to try?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Who do the kidnappers work for? 

Chapter 46

Yet again, the reader sees an example of how quickly people jump to violence in this dystopian world, including the "good guys". 

Chapter 47

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
What evidence has the group seen that this woman is telling the truth? Have these events been foreshadowed?  
These decisions harken back to when the group had to make it through a city of Cranks in The Scorch Trials.  

Chapter 48

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
The appearance of the woman could best be described as 
Denver has become completely overrun by Cranks!  

Chapter 49

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
The group has 
Keep in mind that when the Cranks say they only want food, they are referring to the people in the van as food! 

Chapter 50

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
What kind of mood does Dashner set in this scene? Cite evidence from the text in your answer.  
It must be hard for Gally to admit to trusting Thomas, given their history.  

Chapter 51

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What does Thomas tell Vince their big advantage is? 

Chapter 52

Think back to the video you watched earlier on character development. How is Gally developing as a character?  
Quiz #2: Chapters 26-52 

Chapter 53

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Thomas is willing to _____________ for the cause.  
Even in hard situations, the characters use irony in their dialogue to lighten the mood.  

Chapter 54

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.9
Do Thomas's brave actions remind you of anyone that you have learned about in history class? Do people do heroic things like Thomas in real life? 
It's Newt! Can Thomas summon the courage to do what Newt asked him to in the note? 

Chapter 55

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Dashner is using __________ comparing Newt to an animal to show how people in this society view Cranks.  
Is this really how Newt feels or is it the Flare talking?  

Chapter 56

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Newt asked Thomas to _________ him and Thomas _______. 
The theme of friendship is strong throughout this series. These losses have greatly affected Thomas.  

Chapter 57

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Describe Thomas' mood as he walks back to WICKED. Does this surprise you?  
Thomas' character is the perfect example of a hero archetype. Watch the video below to learn more about archetypes. Are there other characters who are archetypes in the novel?  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 58

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The tone of this dialogue shows the reader that Thomas and Janson (Rat Man) 
Thus far, Janson has been acting like Thomas has a choice in the matter. Knowing what you do about WICKED, do you think Thomas actually does have a choice? 

Chapter 59

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
In the highlighted selection, Thomas is 

Chapter 60

Although the people at WICKED are acting as if Thomas has a choice and is making a great contribution, in reality they are treating him worse than a death row inmate.  

Chapter 61

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
What techniques is Dashner using to create tension and suspense in the opening of this chapter?  
Notice all of the sentence fragments in this paragraph.  

Chapter 63

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Who has saved Thomas' life? 

Chapter 64

Dashner is using rich imagery in this paragraph. Watch the video below to learn more about imagery in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 65

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
What is Janson an archetype for?  
If Janson has the Flare, he has extra motivation to get Thomas on the operating table!  

Chapter 66

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Not only has Gally developed as a character, but Thomas' feelings towards Gally have developed, too. How have they changed? 
Watch the trailer below for the movie version of The Maze Runner and answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 67

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.7
After watching Thomas' experiences in the Maze, one would imagine that he most likely feels very ___________ about returning. 
Again, the reader is presented with the themes of free will and memory.  

Chapter 68

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
"A surge of anger burned like liquid heat in Thomas's veins" is an example of 
During the last escape from the Maze, half of the escapees died.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
The Right Arm seems to care more about bombing WICKED's facilities than it does about the hundreds of innocent lives inside. What do you think their reasoning is? 

Chapter 69

The group has dissolved into complete chaos as they flee the explosions and the Maze.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The phrase "their top halves lifting upward on hinges like the lids on coffins" is an example of (a) 

Chapter 70

Grievers are the mechanical killing machines that were the main enemy of the Gladers during their time in the Maze.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
Thomas' actions show that  

Chapter 71

Notice how Dashner is building a foreboding mood in the highlighted selection. Do you think the group is safe now that they are out of the Maze, or is Dashner hinting that there is still more danger ahead?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Thomas lets out a laugh because this is an ironic thought to him. In your own words, describe the irony in the highlighted sentences.  
How do you think it makes Thomas feel to always be singled out as the "Final Candidate"?  

Chapter 72

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Thomas and Janson are 
Watch the video below for a short interview with Dashner, in which he addresses why he kills major characters. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Teresa is gone. Make a prediction on how you think Thomas will deal with this loss, given their complicated history.  

Chapter 73

What kind of relief must Thomas and the others be feeling right now?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Despite the fact that this is a __________ novel, Dashner ends on an uplifting note.  

Epilogue

This action of Chancellor Paige, to send the Immunes away to begin a new civilization in safety rather than continue the experiments, highlights the theme of sacrifice in the novel.  
Quiz #3: Chapters 52- Epilogue