My Side of the Mountain - Study Guide

Progeny Press

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Grade Range: 5-8

Setting: United States, 1950s

Genre: Wilderness Survival

Page Count: 62 + Answer Key

Approximate Completion Time: 10 weeks

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Young Sam Gribley has always heard "The land is no place for a Gribley." He knows his great-grandfather built a farmstead in the Catskill Mountains and then left to become a sailor, so he sets off (with his Dad's permission) on his own to find the remains of his great-grandfather's farm with just $40, a ball of cord, a penknife, an ax, some flint and steel, and determination to live off the land.
Arriving at the old Gribley farmstead, Sam hollows out a tree for his home and learns to hunt, fish, trap, and forage for edible plants. When he captures a young falcon, Frightful, and trains her to hunt, she becomes a good friend and great help in supplying food. After months of carving out a life for himself on the side of a Catskill Mountain, Sam is sure that the land is the perfect place for a Gribley!

Check out the companion My Side of the Mountain Outdoor Pocket Guide handbook HERE

Progeny Press English/Language Arts curriculum provides your Middle School grade student with:

Author Biography: Learn about the life and literary legacy of Jean Craighead George.
Vocabulary: Complete vocabulary activities designed to improve your language understanding and skills.
Literary Techniques: Focus on writing tools that bring stories to life. Examine points of view, the use of verbs, anthropomorphism, irony, and flashback. Learn about adjectives, the beauty of similes, learn what recapitulation is, as well as paraphrasing. Learn to separate fact from opinion, the charm of onomatopoeia, and how comedic relief can accent tension or action. Study how authors set mood, how they utilize metaphors, extended metaphors, and allusions to craft engaging prose. Discuss the art of idioms, the dual nature of oxymorons, the musicality of alliteration, assonance, and consonance. Discover how authors encourage their audience to suspend their disbelief, craft conflict, pen heroic quests, use the dramatic structure, and create a timeless bildungsroman/coming of age story.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Discuss humanity's understanding of God, the impact of isolation, and the power of superstition, fear and worry. Reflect on the value of patience, provision, acceptance, hospitality, and how to confront bullying. Examine God’s care for us, the concept of honoring parents, and the consequences of lying.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Enrich your Language Arts study with activities and writing assignments that compliment the material. Go on field trips, research plants, choose creative writing assignments, discuss safety, and write letters. Connect mathmatical concepts, express creativity through a poster project, participate in cooking, and bring stories to life through drama project! Explore the world of rock climbing, craft wooden toys, connect with science, solve crossword puzzles, engage in Christmas wreath projects, learn about peregrine falcons, and explore health and nutrition.
Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include an in-depth reading list of more plays by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. 

All of Progeny Press Language Arts unit lessons are written from a Christian perspective!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA study guide

Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on Middle School student's eyes
  • Every question in our novel unit study has plenty of whitespace for middle school level student answers
  • Encourages neat and clean handwriting practice
  • Easily transports without the need for a laptop or other expensive equipment
  • Provides a permanent record of the middle school student’s work
  • Complete, removable answer key included for the teacher to make grading simple!

CD Format

  • Contains the complete study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • PDf files open in the FREE Adobe Reader program.
    Note: Mobile devices may require an alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields and interactive features.
  • Upgraded, fillable form fields allow the student the opportunity to complete their work on the computer, saving you printing costs
  • Conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole ELA study guide at once
    • Print single literature lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire curriculum study guide for classroom sets
  • PDF format makes it easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher to make grading simple!

Formatted with your Middle School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refine their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!

Book Awards:
Newbery Honor Medal Winner 1960   •   New York State Writer's Hall of Fame   •   ALA Notable Book

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Extra Information

Progeny Press
Recommended Grade Level:
Catskill Mountains, New York, USA, 1950s
Study Guide Page Count:
72 pages
Study Guide Author:
Carol Clark
For the Book By:
Jean Craighead George
Workbook ISBN: