Starship Troopers

06qwv1ar9kox t
In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the Universe--and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind's most frightening enemy.
Curriculet Details
63 Questions
54 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9th and 10th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining similes and metaphors, theme and character development. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about textual evidence and in media res. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of textual evidence and inferences, character development, and plot. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library


At times during your reading you will be asked to support your answers by citing textual evidence. Textual evidence is the core of argument and analysis. Textual evidence is support lifted directly from text to support inferences, claims, and assertions. The video explains more about the use of textual evidence.  (This annotation contains a video)
"Rodger Young" is a reference to Rodger Wilton Young, a member of the U. S. Army during World War II and recipient of the Medal of Honor. Rodger Young is shown in the image below. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you know what "swarthy" means? 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. 
What does Padre Migliaccio mean when he tells Johnnie, "Don't buy the farm"? 
Use your own words to summarize why women make better starship pilots than men do. 
The term "gees" is an abbreviation for g- force. A g-force is the force acting on a body as a result of acceleration or gravity. 
The selected text includes two examples of onomatopoeia: "clang" and "WHAMBO!" Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates a sound. Authors use onomatopoeia to add interest and expression to the text.  (This annotation contains a video)
"Starship Troopers" was controversial when it was published in 1959. Heinlein and his wife supported the U. S. nuclear testing program at the time. He wrote "Starship Troopers" to defend his political and military views. As a result of Heinlein's purpose for writing the novel, the reader will notice that political and military themes are common in the text. 
Create a list of the weaponry used by the infantry during the raid on the skinnies. Why do you think the author spends almost all of CH:01 describing the weaponry and armor used by the mobile infantry as well as its impact on the skinnies? 
What does the selected text reveal about the theme of responsibility in the novel? Do you think this is the attitude of the author? Explain. 
"Interdict" means to prevent the movement of the enemy. 
Heinlein begins Starship Troopers "in medias res." This means he begins in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning. The video below explains "in medias res."  (This annotation contains a video)


What does the revelation that Johnnie's father bought him a Rolls copter for his birthday reveal about the Rico family? 
What is Mr. Rico implying by asking Johnnie if he "knows how to lead a pig?" 
Do you agree with Mr. Dubois or with the girl? Thoughtfully explain your opinion of "violence never settles anything." Use examples from history and from your own experiences to support your argument. 
The selected text helps develop the themes of fascism, militarism, and politics in the novel. Only veterans are full citizens in the novel. Heinlein is often accused of having fascist views. Fascism is a government by an individual dictator. The people are not permitted to speak out against the government.  
What is the purpose of the 48 hours of leave provided by the Federal Service? 
Why is Johnnie placed in the Mobile Infantry? 


Camp Arthur Currie is a reference to an actual person. Sir Arthur Currie was a Canadian who fought in World War I. He was the first Canadian to attain the full rank of general. Sir Arthur Currie is shown in the image below. (This annotation contains an image)
A "Korpsbruder" is member of a dueling or fighting team. 
What can the reader infer from Shujumi's name and the language he speaks? 
Use the define feature to read the definition for fission. Which of the words below is a synonym (similar in meaning) to fission as it is used in the passage? 


According to the text what makes a happy soldier? 
Most people think of a "franchise" as owning part of a business. Fast food restaurants are often franchises. Someone is paying for the privilege of using the brand and selling its products. In "Starship Troopers," "franchise" refers to the rights of citizenship. Johnny and his fellow recruits will have all the rights of citizenship if they make it through the military. 
The selected text helps to develop which of the novels major themes or central ideas? 
The selected text is a reference to the proclivity of sheep to sleep in tight groups for warmth and to protect themselves against predators. The image below shows a small flock of sleeping sheep. (This annotation contains an image)
According to the text, what is the purpose of singing songs such as "Halls of Montezuma" and "Cap Trooper's Polka"? 
Carefully reread the quote from Judges VII: 2-7 at the beginning of Chapter 4. Briefly explain what the quote means. Next, explain how the quote relates to the events in CH:04. Use textual evidence from the chapter to develop and support your response. 


How does the character of Zim change from the beginning of the novel to this point? Use examples from the text to help develop your response. 
Explain in your own words what Zim means when he tells Hendrick, "There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men." 
What does Zim mean when he says, "War is controlled violence, for a purpose"? What are some wars from history that support Zim's philosophy? Explain. 
"XXth" is the Roman numeral equivalent of 20th. 
Why does T. C. Hendrick receive punishment from Captain Frankel? 
A similar set of laws and regulations exists in most militaries around the world. In the United States and most other nations, the "Uniform Code of Military Justice" guides the behavior of the armed forces. 
There are three types of court-martials that are generally recognized by the military: summary, special, and general. The purpose of all court-martials is to determine guilt and mete out punishment. The differences include the number of people present and the seriousness of the crime committed. The image below shows a court-martial hearing. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the novel's major themes or central ideas is developed using the information about Hendrick's trial? 
Quiz #1 


"BHQ" refers to the Battalion Headquarters. 
What does the term "nine-oh-eight-oh" refer to as it used in the novel? How does this designation help support Heinlein's critic who say the novel encourages governance by the military? 
How does Zim feel about the punishment of Hendricks? Why does he feel the way he does? 
The selected text helps to develop the character of Rico by explaining his background, what motivates him, and why he reacts to and makes decisions about his life. The video below explains character development. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Johnny believe the letter is not from Dubois? 
"Das Kapital" is a critique of the Capitalist form of government. The book was written by Karl Marx. His work influenced the founders of Communism and Socialism. The fact that Dubois seems to agree with Marx in the novel helps to support the argument that Heinlein was a fascist. The image below shows Karl Marx. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Zim's response to the information in Dubois' letter reveal about his character? 


The selected text is a reference to Sargon of Akkad. Sargon was a Mesopotamian ruler who conquered the Middle East 2500 years before the common era. The image below is of a bronze bust believed to be Sargon.  (This annotation contains an image)
There are three main types of Mobile Infantry armor. In the space provided, use your own words and the text evidence provided in the selected text to explain what each type of armor is most likely used for. 
An "iron maiden" is a torture device from the middle ages. A person is sealed in an iron cabinet. Metal spikes are welded to the inside of the cabinet to pierce the skin. As Rico suggests, it is very difficult to walk if you are enclosed in an iron maiden. The image below shows an iron maiden.  (This annotation contains an image)


The selected text helps to develop which of the novel's major themes or central ideas? 
A reference to the Biblical Proverb 28:1. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." The quote means that the wicked have a guilty conscience because of something bad they have done. They are continually looking over their shoulder for the punishment they know is coming. How does the quote relate to deserting the Mobile Infantry? 
The selected text is an example of militarism. The implications of military law taking precedence over civil law illustrates the unquestionable power of the military. 
XXth is a Roman numeral. Which of the options below means the same thing as XXth as it is used in the passage? 
In the space provided, identify the character from the chapter that you think reflects the personal views of the author regarding corporal punishment. Explain what the author's views are and his rationale for feeling as he does. 
Read "Is Corporal Punishment Abuse: Why That's a Loaded Question" at the link below carefully. and contrast the views of Mr. Dubois in Starship Troopers with the views of most people in the United States. Use textual evidence from both texts to develop and support your response. 


"Argus eyes" means that Zim is extremely observant or vigilant. 
The city of Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia. It is one of Canada's largest industrial cities and one of the world's most densely populated cities. The map below shows the city's location. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the define feature to read the definition for attrition. Which of the words below is an antonym for attrition as it used in the passage? 
Les Invalides is a museum that houses historical artifacts related to the French military. Several of France's war veterans are also buried in Les Invalides. The image below shows Napoleon's tomb as mentioned in the text. (This annotation contains an image)


Based on the information in the text about the earring, what do you think the tiny bones represent? Use the space provided to list your thoughts and ideas. 
Porteño is a Spanish term used to refer to anyone from a port city. Buenos Aires is the largest port city where the term is used. 
Buenos Aires is the capital and the largest city in Argentina. The map below shows the location of Argentina and Buenos Aires at the tip of South America. (This annotation contains an image)
Heinlein often uses the names of real people and places to populate "Starship Troopers." The "Ypres" shares its name with a town in Belgium. The town is best known as the location of three Western Front battles during World War I. The image below shows the fire and destruction of the town during the war. (This annotation contains an image)
What inference can be made based on the evidence in the selected text? 
What is the main reason Johnny and his fellow soldiers did not complete the mission? 
Is your original thought about the skull earrings correct? Explain how the selected text supports your original thinking or revise your thinking based on the new textual evidence. 
"Ex cathedra" means "from the chair." It means the Lieutenant's word is beyond question by virtue of his position. 
The selected text helps to develop which of the novel's main themes or central ideas? 
Why does Johnny choose not to name the private and the assistant section leader? What does his choice reveal about his character? 
Quiz #2 


Heinlein begins the novel in medias res, or in the middle, before moving backward in time to the beginning of Johnny's time in the military. CH:11 jumps forward again to the end of the raid happening in CH:01.  
Which of the sentences below uses "yarn" in the same way it is used in the text? 
The Bugs in the novel are static characters. Static characters do not experience any emotional or psychological change as the story unfolds. Watch the video below to learn more about dynamic and static characters. Can you name a dynamic character in the text? Why is the character considered dynamic? (This annotation contains a video)
Pithecanthropus, or Java Man, is an extinct primate whose fossilized remains were discovered on the island of Java in 1891. A reconstruction of Pithecanthropus based on the fossilized remains is shown in the image below. (This annotation contains an image)
Compare and contrast life on Sanctuary with life on Terra (Earth). Use your own words and evidence form the text to explain the similarities and differences between the two planets. 
What does Ace mean when he says,"if you've got to play in the band, its better to wave the stick than to carry the big drum"? 
Johnnie is a dynamic character. His time in the Mobile Infantry has changed him physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Explain the changes that Johnnie has made over the course of the novel. Use evidence from the text to support your argument. 


Johnnie compares his meeting with the Father to the Evangeline story. Read the brief article about Evangeline at the link below. Is the comparison between the story and Johnnie's experience an apt one? (This annotation contains a link)
Why does Johnny's father leave behind his successful business to join the military? 
What can you infer from the selected text? 
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist who discovered that dogs would salivate when he entered the room even if he was not bringing them food. Pavlov's findings became known as classical conditioning. The video below explains Pavlov and classical conditioning. After you watch the clip, think about how the Mobile Infantry is similar to Pavlov's dogs.  (This annotation contains a video)
Prior to 1917 Russia was governed by a tsar (Nicolas II). Ultimately the tsarist government collapsed and was replaced by the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks regime was based on the Communist principles. 
Major Reed states that veterans are the only people allowed to vote and hold office in Terran society. Veterans have proven through their military service that they place the good of the nation before their own well-being. Is this an effective way to determine who holds power in a society? Write your thoughts below. Include examples from human history when possible. 
Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens are allowed to participate in making laws. Most people participate by voting for their preferred representative in public elections. Consider what you know about Terra and the privilege of voting. Is Terra a true democracy?  
According to the text, war is an inevitable result of the human instinct to survive and population pressure. Use your own words to explain how the human instinct to survive and population pressure lead to war. 
The Holy of Holies is a biblical reference to a special room in the Temple of Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. The room could be entered only once each year and by the High Priest. The reference explains how important the Commandant's office is and how infrequently cadets are permitted to enter it. 
Why does Rico dislike being a cadet? 
"Frankensteinian monster" is a reference to the monster created by Mary Wollstoncraft Shelly in 1818. Victor Frankenstein is the doctor who creates the monster in the novel. "Frankenstein" and "Starship Troopers" share a common theme or central idea: the search for identity and happiness while fighting to survive. The image below is the cover of Shelly's novel. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature to read the definition for supernumerary. Which of the words below id a synonym (similar in meaning) to supernumerary as it is used in the passage? 
What is the Commandant trying to convey to Byrd by giving him medals worn by five other officers who were killed in battle? 
Coloniel Neilssen says Dubois's pips were lost in a "real estate deal." The quote is another euphemism for death similar to "buying the farm." 
Why does Byrd miss his graduation from officer school? 


The Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the largest meat-eaters to ever live. The dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. In the text, Rico is comparing his usefulness to an extinct dinosaur. The image below is a complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the Terran military deal with having two captains aboard a single ship? 
The selected text contains an example of a simile. Similes and metaphors are literary devices that compare people, places, and things to other people, places, and things that would not ordinarily go together. Similes use "like" or "as" to make a comparison; Metaphors make a direct comparison. The video below explains similes and metaphors in detail. Can you spot the simile in the text? (This annotation contains a video)
Use your own words to compare and contrast the Mobile Infantry with armies of the past. 
What does "put on a third hat" mean as it used in the text? 
It is very difficult for Rico to relax after his experiences in the Mobile Infantry. The reader learns how much Rico has changed as a character from this section of text. He begins the novel as an impulsive teenager and ends up as a very regimented soldier. 
The selected text is a reference to an English folk song, poem, and nursery rhyme. The video below is a performance of the song. (This annotation contains a video)
What is a "George" according to the text? 
Greenwich standard time refers to the current time at the 0 meridian at Greenwich, England. The image below shows Greenwich standard time in relation to other time zones around the world. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Captain Blackstone tell Rico not to worry about his math assignments before the battle? 
Rico speculates that the human need to rescue another captured or endangered human separates us from the bugs. He goes on to say the need to rescue another may be a weakness or it may win the galaxy. Which side of the argument do you most agree with? Draw upon your knowledge of current events, media, or other written works to support your argument.  
A polyarchy was envisioned by the founding fathers of the United States. In a polyarchy there is more than one government and each citizen can chose which form of government best meets his or her needs. The central government is controlled by the smaller governments. Democracy often silences the voices of certain groups because they do not agree with the majority vote.  
Which of the novel's main themes or central ideas is supported by the selected text? 
"Non-com" refers to a noncommissioned officer. Rico is an example of a noncommissioned officer. He earns his authority by working his way up through the military ranks. 
The selected text is an example of what literary device? 
The Tours takes its name from the town in France. American troops were permanently stationed in Tours, France during World War I. Tours is famous for its elegant chateaus and tudor style buildings. The image below shows Tours, France. (This annotation contains an image)
List three pieces of text evidence that support the inference that Johnnie is concerned about the map. 
Simile or metaphor? The selected text compares the burrowing of the Bugs to the sound of frying bacon. Is the selected text a simile or is it a metaphor? What is the difference between the two? 
Read the article about insect communication at the link below. the space provided compare insect communication with the way the Bugs communicate in the novel. Use textual evidence from the novel and the article to support your discussion. 
A "sapper" is a soldier who performs engineering duties such as bridge-building. The image below shows a sapper from the U.S. Army Engineers at work. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the "bacon frying" sound indicate to the soldiers? 
Heinlein has an impressive understanding of military language and terminology as a result of time spent in the United States army and fighting in World War I. For example, "wilco" is a term used to signify one's acceptance of instructions sent by radio. The author uses other terminology such as code names and military rankings to add realism and tone to the story. 
Which item of textual evidence below explains how the Bugs choose where to dig their way out? 
"Snoopers" refers to night vision glasses. Night vision glasses make it easier for people to see in the dark. The image below shows a pilot using a night vision device. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the selected text help to develop the theme of responsibility as it is presented in the text? 
"Psych Warfare" is a reference to psychological warfare or the use of a weapon to influence the mind of the enemy. The Bugs communicate mind to mind, so psych warfare would be a major part of winning the war. 
Do you agree with the selected statement? “Math is hard work and it occupies your mind - and it doesn't hurt to learn all you can of it, no matter what rank you are; everything of any importance is founded on mathematics.”Write your thoughts in the space provided. 
Tagalog is the language spoken by people from the Philippines, a group of islands located in Southeast Asia. We learn from this information that Juan Rico is Filipino. 


What is the purpose of CH:14 as it relates to the rest of the novel? 
Quiz #3