Novel Study Grade 9

Essential Questions:

What motivates a person to rebel against the system?

How does facing conflict and adversity shape a person’s identity?

How does a conflict turn into a war?

Can, and should, children trust adults to make decisions for them?________________________________________________________________________________

Anticipation Guide

Group Research Project

Research Project Rubric

Unwind Journal Response Rubric

Movie Soundtrack Project

Essay Writing Guide ELA9


Journal Entry 1: Which of the three main characters, Connor, Risa, or Lev, do you most identify with? Why? What traits do you have in common? Which of their traits work for them, and which make their lives harder? Which of your own traits would you like to give up? Which would you want to keep?

Journal Entry 2: Are Connor’s actions in the beginning of the novel justified by his dire situation? Does being treated unjustly and having to fight for your life mean it is okay to injure or cause harm to others? Do desperate times call for desperate measures? In so many of the “hero” movies we watch, the hero leaves behind a trail of destruction (crashed cars, collapsed buildings, etc). Do these casualties of their cause make them less of a hero?

Journal Entry 3: How would you feel if you were in an accident, or had a rare disease, and you could be cured only if your damaged organs were replaced by parts taken from unwound teens? What would you choose to do? What if you were certain to die if you refused the parts? What if it wasn’t you, but someone you loved (a parent, a sibling) who was in an accident? Would your answer be different?

Journal Entry 4: Neal Shusterman chose one “hot topic” or subject of debate (abortion) and took it to the extreme, creating an eventual civil war over the issue. Are there any other issues, or “hot topics” in our present society that you think could have the potential to become an instigator of a civil war? Describe a world that exists after the civil war that you come up with.

Journal Entry 5: In chapter 19, Sonia asks Connor and the other kids she is hiding in her basement to write a letter. She says “Write a letter to someone you love. Make it as long as you want, or as short as you want; I don’t care. But fill it with everything you wished you could say, but never had the chance.” (108). Choose one of the three main characters – Connor, Risa, or Lev, and write their letter for them. Put yourself in their shoes, consider their perspective, and write their letter for them.

Journal Entry 6: While being transported to possible safety, some of the kids on the run wonder, “Would it be better to die or be unwound?” If given the choice, which would you choose? Why?

Journal Entry 7: If you were Connor, how would you run the “new graveyard”? What rules would you put in place? How would you want the kids who live there to see you? How would you treat them? Why?