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Estimated Time Needed

5 days, 45 minutes per day

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Sees Behind Trees
Before the
  • Before Teaching
    • 1. Read the Big Ideas and Key Understandings and the Synopsis below. Please do not read these to the students. They provide a description for teachers about the Big Ideas and Key Understandings that students should take away after completing this task.

      2. Read entire main selection text, keeping in mind the Big Ideas and Key Understandings.

      3. Re-read the main selection text while noting the stopping points for the Text-dependent Questions and Vocabulary.

  • Big Ideas and Key Understandings
    • Overcoming a deficit and turning it into a positive is a difficult challenge. Coming of age and the stress related to not fitting in as a young man affects family relationships.

  • Synopsis
    • In the beginning of the story, Walnut isn’t taking the task of using the bow and arrow to shoot the moss seriously. He is sure his mom will eventually relent and let him quit trying. However, he also knows that he must demonstrate his ability to shoot in order to become a man. When he repeatedly cannot shoot the moss, his frustration and his mom’s frustration grows. Walnut’s uncle realizes that Walnut has bad vision, and we can infer that the uncle shares this information with Walnut’s mom. After this, Walnut’s mom switches tactics. Rather than having Walnut practice shooting, she blindfolds him and asks him to describe the things he hears around him. He doesn’t understand what she’s doing; he thinks he’s playing a game. When the tribe convenes, Walnut demonstrates his ability to “see” and is given the name of Sees Behind Trees. He is no longer a boy, but rather a man, and his name reflects his newfound role in the community.

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