Survivors #1: The Empty City

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From the author of the bestselling Warriors and Seekers books comes a thrilling new animal fantasy series. In Survivors, Erin Hunter shows readers the world through the eyes of dogs, as she did with cats and bears in her earlier series.
The Empty City begins with the Big Growl, a devastating earthquake that changes Lucky’s world forever. Lucky has always been a Lone Dog, but now he needs a Pack in order to stay alive, so he teams up with a group of Leashed Dogs who have been separated from their owners.
Lucky’s vivid point of view and the pulse-pounding action make for the start of an addictive series. The time has come for dogs to rule the wild!

Curriculet Details
28 Questions
28 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining personification, point of view, mood, and various aspects related to the topic of dogs.. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about author’s use of foreshadowing, character development, and various uses of figurative language. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of how character decisions propel the action, theme and point of view, and analyzing the text to support inferences. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Many times authors use the Prologue to provide the reader with some background to better understand the events in the coming story. Often foreshadowing, like when the Mother-Dog warns the puppies about a coming great battle, gives the reader clues about what is going to happen. Watch this short video about foreshadowing to find out more. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter One

From the clues we have been given, we can infer that "longpaws" are 
Often, an author will use dialogue between characters to explain something to the reader. From the conversation between Sweet and Lucky we can now tell that "loudcages" are vehicles driven by humans. 
How is Lucky's point of view about living in a pack different from Sweet's? 

Chapter Two

Did you know that whenever you are reading in Curriculet and you don't know the meaning of a word, you can use the define tool? Just click and hold on the word you don't know. In the box that pops up click "define" for the definition. Try using this tool on the word "berth" to see if it helps you understand what Sweet is talking about. 
How does the statement, "This was about survival now," change the mood of the story? 

Chapter Three

Lucky has a decision to make, continue to be a Lone Dog or go with Sweet to join a pack. What do you think he will decide to do? Include at least two things you have learned about Lucky that help you make your inference. 
Lucky compares his hunger to a set of sharp teeth to describe how painful it is to his stomach. This is called a simile. Watch this short video to learn more about why authors include similes and metaphors in their stories. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter Four

In this section, Lucky gives us some clues about how important it is to him to remain proud of himself. A character's pride often affects the events and developing theme of the story. As you think about pride, watch this short video to learn how theme develops in a story. (This annotation contains a video)
Which quote best helps us realize Lucky has met "Fierce Dogs" before? 
Authors often create vivid images by using a writing strategy called personification. Personification is when a non-living object is given human characteristics. The shadows "swallowing the last patches of light" is a great example. 

Chapter Five

Comparing the earlier experience with the black crow and the events of this page, what seems to be the role of the black crow in the story? 
It is interesting to read about the contents of the shopping mall described from a dog's perspective. What items did you picture as Lucky described them? 
What can you infer from the last sentence of this chapter? 

Chapter Six

Lucky's faint memories of when he was young gives the reader something to be curious about as the story goes on. If the "half-forgotten images" bring a horrible feeling to Lucky, what do you imagine happened when he was a puppy? 
How has Lucky's perspective changed when it comes to being a Lone Dog? 

Chapter Seven

Can you imagine being surrounded by four hungry gray foxes? This is what the Alpha might look like. (This annotation contains an image)
How would you answer this question? Do you think he should have given up the meat to escape? Be sure to think about the events of the story and give two good reasons for your opinion. 
Let's Review Chapters 1-7 

Chapter Eight

Here is what sheltie-retrievers look like. Is this how you pictured Bella and Lucky as the author has been describing them? (This annotation contains an image)
Without changing the meaning of the sentence, which of these choices could replace "dubiously"? 
Often an author will use the weather in a story to help set the mood. Lucky is getting ready to tell about some unhappy memories, and there is a thunderstorm outside. Think about how the storm brings about a gloomy mood as Lucky recalls the bad memories. 
How is Lucky like Wind? 

Chapter Nine

Irony is when something happens that is the opposite of what you would have expected. It is pretty ironic that Lucky, who really dislikes Pack life, now sees himself as a pack expert. Do you get a sense that he is frustrated that his new friends don't know how to live in a pack? 
From Lucky's thoughts, "He wondered what would become of dogs like Bella in this new and hostile world," we can infer that 
Many times after an earthquake, the earth continues to produce smaller rumbles called "after shocks." As we follow the characters through this newest rumble, read this short article about earthquakes to understand more. (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter Ten

Why is Bella's reaction (they can't do anything for Alfie) so different from Lucky's reaction? 
Good readers often ask themselves questions about events in the story as they read. Are you curious about why none of the humans took their dogs when they left? Many times dogs are important parts of the family! What reason could there be that all of the dogs were left home alone? 
Which quote from the story best helps us infer that Lucky is disappointed in his sister? 

Chapter Eleven

Many times characters will make decisions or statements based on their point of view. Their point of view comes from the life experiences they've had. Bella has a very different point of view than Lucky about leaving their homes because of the experiences she has had with her owners. Continue to watch how Bella's and Lucky's points of view influence the arguments they have and decisions they make. 
How can you tell Lucky is trying to be a good leader? 

Chapter Twelve

When Lucky speaks about "loudcage blood" he is referring to the gasoline or oil in a car or truck. This might be what the dogs are seeing as they avoid the odd-smelling river. (This annotation contains an image)
This is the second time we have seen the "yellow-hide longpaws" in the story. Who do you think they are and what do you think they are doing? Use details from the two scenes in which we've read about them to support your answer. 

Chapter Thirteen

As we read this conversation between Lucky and Mickey, we can see how Lucky is really beginning to change and become a strong leader, despite his desire to stay a Lone Dog. Watch this short video about how characters develop in a story, and continue to watch for changes in Lucky and the other dogs. (This annotation contains a video)
How do the reactions of the dogs finding this river compare to their reactions to the earlier river? 

Chapter Fourteen

Many times, an author will use the dreams of a character to hint at what might happen later in the story. As you learned in the prologue video, this is called foreshadowing and it helps to create tension. Did reading about Lucky's dream make you at all nervous for the inexperienced pack? 
How does the story told by Lucky's mother in the very first pages of the book influence Lucky's decisions now? 
This whole page contains quite an action scene. The author uses great details to help us picture what is going on. Look back at the details, often set off by commas, that provide the great imagery. 
Let's Review Chapters 8-14 

Chapter Fifteen

What details from the text help us to realize that this group of Leashed Dogs is actually becoming a successful pack? Include at least two examples in your answer. 
In our story, Lucky buries a portion of the food as a tribute of thanks to the Earth-Dog. However, did you know there is an actual instinct that dogs have to bury a portion of their food? Read this short article to find out why. (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter Sixteen

What can we infer Lucky means by "If something bad was coming, the Leashed Dogs had to be as ready as he was"? 
This difference in point of view brings up an interesting dilemma for the dogs. Is it more important to hold on to items that bring meaning to your life, even if it puts you in danger? Think about times when humans have put their own safety at risk for a valuable. What do you think about this decision? 
How does Alfie's little trip change the events in the story? 

Chapter Seventeen

The author uses phrases like "hackles bristled", "skin prickled", "sensation in his hide had become a tingling, an almost unbearable sense of threat". These types of sensory details really help create a mood of anxiety and fear. What do you think is going to happen? 
What influence does the earlier confrontation with the Fierce Dog have on Lucky's decision making? 

Chapter Eighteen

Why does the big male dog call Bella, Daisy, and Alfie "impudent rats"? 
This description compares the current setting to a "forbidding prison and guarded by hostile and deadly enemies," almost as if they are at war. Think about the details of the setting and how different it must be compared to the homes the Leashed Dogs are used to. 

Chapter Nineteen

The Fierce Dogs being compared to a moving, snarling trap is a great example of a metaphor. 
According to the events in the final pages of this chapter, summarize Lucky's plan to save his friends. 

Chapter Twenty

When an author hints at what might come later in the story or in future sequels to the book, like our author does here, it is called _________. 

Chapter Twenty-One

Lucky is worried about Blade and her pack tracking him and the Leashed Dogs. Read this interesting short article about how good a dog's sense of smell really is! (This annotation contains a link)
How is Bruno's action of crashing his body against the longpaw's door similar to what Bella did when she scurried through the hole under the fence? 
Earlier we mentioned how Lucky's character changes throughout the story. Think about how Bella has changed. What character traits has she developed that will help her be a good Alpha for the pack? 
Explain why Bella allows Mickey to keep the baseball glove that belonged to his longpaw? Choose one sentence to quote that will help support your answer. 

Chapter Twenty-Two

Look at this painting called "Sunrise at Yosemite Valley" by Bierstadt. What details in the painting are similar to the valley the dogs have found? Are there any details that are different? (This annotation contains an image)
What can we infer about why Lucky ate the beetle first? 
In the middle of this cheerful scene, the crow appears. Throughout the book the crow has been a symbol of coming danger. How does your reader instinct let you know things may not end so cheerfully? 
Let's Review the Final Chapters