Ghost of Spirit Bear

Mool0y38jwyk t

Alone in the wilderness, Cole found peace.

But he's not alone anymore.

Cole Matthews used to be a violent kid, but a year in exile on a remote Alaskan island has a way of changing your perspective. After being mauled by a Spirit Bear, Cole started to heal. He even invited his victim, Peter Driscal, to join him on the island and they became friends.

But now their time in exile is over, and Cole and Peter are heading back to the one place they're not sure they can handle: high school. Gangs and violence haunt the hallways, and Peter's limp and speech impediment make him a natural target. In a school where hate and tension are getting close to the boiling point, the monster of rage hibernating inside Cole begins to stir.

Ben Mikaelsen's riveting saga of survival and self-awareness continues in the sequel to his gripping Touching Spirit Bear. This time, he weaves a tale of urban survival where every day is a struggle to stay sane. As the problems in his school grow worse, Cole realizes that it's not enough just to change himself. He has to change his world.

Curriculet Details
44 Questions
45 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for sixth grade students contains interactive videos exploring literary techniques as well as an interview with author Ben Mikaelsen. The annotations also include photographs, music, and explanations that enhance student learning about Native Alaskan culture. Students will explore the themes of friendship, family relations, overcoming challenges, and building trust. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library


This novel is a sequel to Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, about a teenage boy whose life is transformed after spending a year on an isolated island in Alaska.  (This annotation contains an image)
Reading this first page, we have many questions because it is clear that some things have happened that we don't know about (yet). This is very common for sequels to open this way. When an author uses this style, it is called in medias res; here is a link to a video that explains more. (This annotation contains a video)
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 at.óow is one of many examples of Tlingit culture that you will learn about in this book. Below is a picture of one.  (This annotation contains an image)
What do we know about the characters so far? 
What could Garvey mean by this? Write down a few possibilities. 

Chapter 1

The author uses contrasts to help us understand how challenging the transition from Alaska to Minneapolis is for Cole and Peter.  
What is the significance of Cole remembering Garvey's words at this moment? 
The author makes his writing more vivid and interesting by using a simile in this sentence. For a quick refresher on similes and metaphors, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
What do we learn about Cole from his request to sit in the freezer with Peter? 
Making his request to sit in the freezer to Betty and speaking with Mrs. Driscal take a lot of courage from Cole. Do you think he always had a lot of courage? 

Chapter 2

Why does Cole feel shame? Do you imagine he will ever overcome this? 
How do the descriptions set the mood here?  
Use the dictionary to look up the word "dubiously"and then choose the sentence that best reflects its usage. 
We are learning that Cole has had a troubled relationship with his father, due to his history of abuse. It will be interesting to watch this relationship and see if and how it develops in the book. 
From what we know so far, which statement is not true about the relationship between Cole and Peter? 
Are you noticing that so much of the boys' life on the Alaskan island involved animals? Native Alaskan culture, like other Native American cultures, is very tied to nature. 

Chapter 3

Why are Cole and Peter anxious? 
The principal is one of the secondary, but still important, characters in this book. Much of what we learn about her is from Cole's perspective. Watch this video about character traits to guide your thinking about her, and as you continue reading, and the story unfolds, see if she changes.  (This annotation contains a video)
Garvey tries to remind Cole of what he learned on the island. What do you think of his advice? 
What might Garvey mean by this? What are some different ways of fighting that do not involve physical conflict? 
The author uses ___________________ in the highlighted text. 
We have not learned much about Cole and Peter's ancestors. On the island, Garvey taught them may of the Tlingit ways, including a deep respect for their past. Below is a photo of Tlingit elders, dressed for a ceremonial dance.  (This annotation contains an image)
What can we infer about the basement of this building? 

Chapter 4

There are many reasons why people in the United States become homeless. While it is difficult to maintain accurate statistics on people living without homes, we do know that a large number are children. What do you know about homeless people where you live? How are they being helped? 
What does Peter's cell phone plan suggest about him? 
The dictionary function does not provide a definition of cocky as an adjective. Using the context, choose which of the following is the best synonym for it. 
Stuttering is a speech disorder which sometimes both develops and disappears during childhood. It is often hereditary and sometimes does not go away. For a small number of people, like Peter, it is linked to a brain injury. Stutterers, like other children with disabilities, are often victimized by bullies. 
What does Ms. Kennedy mean by this? What does it mean to have dignity? 
How do Cole's feelings about the principal affect your opinion of her? 

Chapter 5

We often have bad dreams when we are worried about something. What are some of Cole's worries right now? 
How do Peter and Cole feel after speaking with Ms. Kennedy? 
Why might the homeless man be carving a bear?  
What does Garvey mean when he says, "There are no coincidences"? What might it suggest about the bear carving that Peter finds? 
Are you surprised to learn that Garvey was banished as a child? Do you think it helps him mentor Cole and Peter? 
What is Cole's biggest challenge right now? 
Ghost of Spirit Bear - Quiz One 

Chapter 6

Peter is showing ________________ the homeless man. 
The descriptions of the abandoned building, and especially of the basement, help prepare us for what will happen. Watch the following video about setting to help you appreciate this more.  (This annotation contains a video)
Follow the link below to listen to a Tlingit song. Try closing your eyes, and see if it calms you the way that Cole is calmed by his quiet meditating.  (This annotation contains a link)
Note that Peter is feeling calm after a long period of having inner troubles. Can you anticipate how this might affect his behavior with Keith, who is approaching him? 
This incident marks a turning point in the relationship between Cole and Keith. What evidence do you have that things are already different? 
Why doesn't Garvey support the way Cole has dealt with Keith? 

Chapter 7

Here is another example of the Spirit Bear and the homeless man being connected in the story. What are your thoughts on this connection?  
Why do you think the image of the Spirit Bear helps Cole so much? 
Can you list three reasons why Cole is nervous about seeing his father? 
The author uses _______________ to show us how Cole is feeling. 

Chapter 8

Keith hurting himself is the exact opposite of what he intends when he tries to hit Cole. This is called irony, which is when something happens that is the opposite of what you were expecting.  
Why does Cole help Keith? 
Why might Cole be feeling more afraid now? 
Do you think Cole, Peter, and Keith can all be friends now? What about Keith contributes to your opinion? 
You can learn more about author Ben Mikaelsen by watching this video of him speaking with students. After you watch, think about how his thoughts on differences are reflected in this book. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 9

Which is the most likely reason that the police officer wants Cole to keep the charges against Keith? 
It seems that Peter's father blames Cole for this latest attack on Peter. Do you think he is justified in his anger? 
Which of the following sentences contains a simile? 
Some of the key characters in this book have begun to change while others have not. To learn about static vs. dynamic characters, watch the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)
What does Ms. Kennedy mean when she says there is a new policy of zero tolerance? 
Ms. Kennedy is sounding a bit like Garvey here. Do you agree with her message? 

Chapter 10

How has Peter and Cole's relationship grown since the beginning of the book? What does this conversation about a Circle at school suggest? 
Why do you think Ms. Kennedy doesn't give the boys an immediate answer? 
Based on the highlighted sentence, which word would you least associate with "jostled"? 
Can you think of a problem at your school or in your community that would benefit from a Circle meeting like this? 
Ghost of Spirit Bear - Quiz Two 

Chapter 11

Are you surprised by the number of students participating, or did you expect it? Write a sentence explaining your thinking. 
In nature, there is a kind of bear called the "spirit bear." It is a subspecies of the Kermode bear, which is usually black. White bears in this species, like the one pictured below, are very rare, making Cole's proposal even more special.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does this conflict over the at.óow suggest? 
This is the first time that we see the homeless man smiling at the boys. What does this suggest? 

Chapter 12

Which of the following is not being addressed by the students' proposals? 
Why do you think Cole appoints Peter as his assistant?  
What evidence do we have that Cole's idea to change the mascot is taking root among the students? Can you list three things? 
Why does Cole distrust Ms. Kennedy and the other adults? What has to happen for him to trust them? 
Why is Peter having a hard time feeling calm inside? 

Chapter 13

Comparing how Cole faces setbacks to how he behaved in the beginning of this book, we can see tremendous growth. Can you list two things that have contributed to his maturing? 
Which of the following is not a stated reason for turning down the students' proposal? 
What do you think of how Cole frames the problem? Is he right to focus on the "real costs" as he says? 
Why does Cole insist that Keith "do what's right," instead of Cole handling it for him as Keith has requested? 

Chapter 14

What does the highlighted response from Cole's dad suggest about him? 
The highlighted text sounds like wisdom from Garvey. What are your thoughts about this? 
Look up the word "drone" and decide which of the following statements is most likely to be true. 
Ms. Kennedy shows that she is looking at both sides of the argument. What does this suggest about her, and do you think it is a good tactic? 
Do you think Cole is more trustful of Ms. Kennedy now? Why or why not? 

Chapter 15

Can you think of some ways that Cole's recent behavior honors his ancestors? Do you ever think about honoring your ancestors? 
What can we anticipate for the special hearing tonight? 
If you could choose a new mascot for your school, what would it be? Why? 
What does the support of local business mean for the students, in practical terms as well as emotional ones? 
Why is everyone so surprised by Ms. Kennedy's words? 

Chapter 16

Which symbol in this book is suggested by Peter and Keith's new friendship? 
Can you imagine how Cole feels when he learns that his father is interested in joining a Circle? What do you think is motivating his father? 
Cole is no longer fighting with Peter about ownership of the at.óow. What makes Cole feel differently now? 
Take a minute and imagine the possibilities of what has happened to the homeless man. Where might he be? 
Ghost of Spirit Bear - Quiz Three 
Throughout the book, the homeless man and the Spirit Bear grow more connected, at least in the boys' minds. What do you make of this final paragraph?