It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches its people, animals and graveyard. Mick has been commissioned by Rocky's Kansas town to create a memorial to their war dead. As Rocky learns to respect Mick and his talents, he helps her to develop her own artistic sensibilities.It all begins when Rocky follows Mick Strum around town while he sketches its people, animals and graveyard. Mick has been commissioned by Rocky's Kansas town to create a memorial to their war dead. But the townspeople see things in Mick's drawings that they don't want to know or accept about themselves. Can Mick help them accept one monument that will be meaningful to everyone?
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Based on context clues, who do you think Python is?
Who do you think is telling the story? Who is Mick? Why do you think the author doesn't explain these people right away?
Rocky thinks she doesn't get adopted because of
Gene Autry was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Can you imagine the man below as a nun? (This annotation contains an image)
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?
You can see on the map below that Bolton falls right on the border between Kansas and Oklahoma. According to a recent census, the current population is about 1,800 people. (This annotation contains an image)
Why would Sister Gene Autry tell Rachael to keep her mouth shut?
Watch the video below to learn about point of view. Can you tell from what point of view this story is told? (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following lines shows that the story is being told in first person point of view?
Normally a python will constrict until an animal asphyxiates and the heart stops. Then, because its jaw is connected with stretchy ligaments instead of with joints, the snake can open its mouth to swallow the prey whole, as in the video below. Depending on the size of the animal being eaten, it might take over 10 days for the python to digest its meal. Is Python an appropriate name for the dog Rocky saw? (This annotation contains a video)
How are the names "Rocky" and "Python" unexpected choices for the two characters?
Here we see the beginning of a central idea that will be carried throughout the novel--loyalty and friendship.
The type of elevator Rocky mentions is not the same thing as an elevator that takes you from one floor to another. In the grain trade, a grain elevator is a tower containing a bucket, which scoops up grain from a lower level and deposits it in a silo or other storage facility. The diagram below gives you an idea of the process. (This annotation contains an image)
Here is what a grain elevator looks like from the outside. (This annotation contains an image)
What detail indicates that this story is not taking place in modern times?
There have been several references to Mick so far, yet we still don't know who he is. Gary Paulsen is using a technique called "foreshadowing." Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
The Memorial Wall pictured below is made up of two 246 feet 9 inches long stone walls, etched with the names of the servicemen being honored. The walls are sunk into the ground, with the earth behind them. Symbolically, this is described as a "wound that is closed and healing." When a visitor looks at the wall, his reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. The wall listed 58,191 names when it was completed in 1983. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Fred look at Rocky with soft eyes?
Explain what's wrong with Rocky's leg that she doesn't like wearing dresses.
The phrase "find its merits and demerits" means to
Macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. The image below shows how different types of knots can be used to create intricate patterns. (This annotation contains an image)
Provide a specific example from this paragraph that shows the friendship between Rocky and Python.
Notice how the author incorporates humor into the story.
Why does Rocky think this man is a pervert?
The highlighted phrase is a type of figurative language called a simile. Watch the video below to learn more about similes and their close cousins, metaphors. To what is Mick comparing the morning light? (This annotation contains a video)
What does Python's reaction to Mick tell us about the man's personality?
Have you ever watched somebody draw the way Rocky watches Mick? Check out the video below to see the creation of an extreme sidewalk drawing. At what point does the picture look like more than a jumble of random shapes? (This annotation contains a video)
How does watching Mick change Rocky's view of her world?
Why does Fred say "the eggs must have hair on them by this time"? Are they really growing hair?
What do Fred's actions here tell you about the kind of person he is?
Can you infer what message passed between Fred and Mick in this moment?
To what does Rocky compare her day?
How do you think Mick knew about the grave? Is there something about his senses as an artist that make him more able to see the hidden spaces in the world?
How has her time with Fred and Emma changed Rocky?
Did you expect Fred and Emma to react this way to Rocky's declaration that she's going to be an artist?
What does Mick mean when he says "there's seeing...and there's seeing"?
The highlighted sentence is an example of a
Here's another example of Mick's ability to just know things. How is he like Fred in this way?
What evidence is there that Mick and Rocky are becoming friends?
Have you ever explored the graveyard in your town? They are wonderful sources of history.
Notice how meeting Mick is changing Rocky in meaningful ways.
From what did most Civil War soldiers die?
The Medal of Honor, pictured in its three forms below, is the highest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. It is presented by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, and is given only to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves in combat through conspicuous gallantry and bravery at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Mick's statement that the grain elevator is the center of the universe fit with his idea that Bolton is a microcosm of the world?
Have you ever said something you regretted in front of a person you liked?
According to Mick, why will Bolton's monument be different from any others?
What does Rocky mean when she thinks that the other people in the room don't exist?
Comparing the grain elevator to a soul is an example of which type of figurative language?
Edgar Degas was a French artist, acknowledged as the master of drawing the human figure in motion. Degas worked in many mediums, preferring pastel to all others. He is perhaps best known for his paintings, drawings, and bronzes of ballerinas and of race horses (seen below). (This annotation contains an image)
Can you see the dancer with her hand to her mouth just in front of the marble trimmed mirror? (This annotation contains an image)
Rocky repeats this highlighted thought several times. What does it mean to her?
How does Rocky illustrate the friendship and loyalty she has with Python?
Here again, Mick's unique take on the world is revealed. If Mick knew there was going to be a fight, do you think he was brave or stupid to go to Lyle's anyway?
Notice how the book has been divided into four sections: Rocky, Python, Mick, and The Monument. How do these divisions affect a reader's understanding of the text?
Why do you think everyone in the town is so eager to attend the meeting?
To what does the author compare Mick's face?
Notice how Mick's drawings seem to show how people really are on the inside.
How does Rocky know that Mick planned on people being angry about his pictures?
Why would a woman go by "Mrs." if she has never had a husband?
What is "the thing" Rocky sees between Mick and Tru?
What similarities are there between the story Mick tells about the teeth and the information on the website?
Follow the link below to a website to read about "Waterloo teeth," then answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a link)
Do you like Mick's plan for the monument? Why is a grove of trees appropriate for this purpose?
How has Mrs. Langdon changed because of Mick?
Have you ever seen paintings on black velvet like the one below of Jesus and Elvis? (This annotation contains an image)
How is Rocky different as a result of her relationship with Mick?
The United States has 113 locations designated as national monuments. Visit the link below to see a list and pictures of them. How many of them are man-made and how many are natural? (This annotation contains a link)