While Reading the Novel
Assign the following two activities while the novel is being read and discuss.
Ask the students to keep a journal and record the acts of kindness that were shown in the novel. Have them pay particular attention to those acts that people did without being asked. For example, Billy's father couldn't afford to buy him two dogs, but he thought Billy would appreciate receiving some traps.
The language is very descriptive in the novel. As the students read, have them record and later discuss what is meant by the following passages. Instruct them to record two more passages on their own for later discussion.
Chapter Two - "young man peach tree switchings"
Chapter Four - "a mile-eating trot"
Chapter Four - "as the crow flies"
Chapter Four - "the wind of a deer"
Chapter Four - " the muscles of a country boy"
Chapter Four - "a heart full of dog love"
Chapter Five - "heart started acting like a drunk grasshopper"
Chapter Seven - "I was almost to the river before the stinging stopped".