Questions and Answers for The Sign of the Beaver

The Sign of the Beaver

What events occurred in the American colonies during 1769?

During the spring of 1769, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed resolutions condemning the British siege of Boston, and further asserted that only the Virginia legislature has the authority to...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2010 1:16 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Matt's father leave him alone in the wilderness in Sign of the Beaver?

Matt and his father had traveled to their holding in Maine territory to build a house and get some crops planted before bringing the rest of the family over. Matt's mother is pregnant, and for her...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2009 3:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In "The Sign of the Beaver," what does Matt's father leave him? Why are these items important?

Matt and his father moved to Maine from Massachusetts alone, leaving behind Matt’s pregnant mother and sister. After preparing a home and land for the family, Matt’s father left alone to return to...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2016 11:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What things did Matt learn from Attean?

Though the only thing Attean is to give Matt in return for teaching him how to read is food, the two begin to spend time together in the wilderness, where Attean teaches Matt Indian ways of...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 6:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What gifts are exchanged between Matt, Saknis, Attean, and Attean's grandmother in The Sign of the Beaver?

When Attean comes to visit Matt for the last time, he brings gifts from his grandfather Saknis, his grandmother, and himself. Matt in turn gives a gift to Attean. Attean's grandfather Saknis sends...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, what things did Matt and Attean learn from each other?

The close friendship that develops between Matt and Attean becomes an education for both of them. As well as teaching Matt crucial survival skills, Attean also gives him an unprecedented insight...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2018 8:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

In "Sign of the Beaver", what evidence is there that Matt's father had a great deal of confidence in him ?...

Matt's father has gone back to Massachusetts to bring back Matt's mother and siblings, and during that time, Matt must "stay behind and guard the cabin and the corn patch" they have built...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2008 7:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How does Matt earn Attean's complete respect in The Sign of the Beaver?

Matt earns Attean's complete respect by essentially doing nothing. Winter is coming, and Matt's father has not arrived; Attean's grandfather Saknis has invited Matt to accompany the tribe to their...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2010 6:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What are some historical events in "The Sign of the Beaver"?

"The Sign of the Beaver" takes place in 1769 in Maine. It is during this time in Colonial America that conflict between the British and colonists begins to escalate. The French and Indian War had...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2016 2:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What two gifts does his father give Matt before he leaves?

Before he leaves, Matt's father gives Matt his heirloom silver watch and his own rifle. In Chapter One, Matt's father tells Matt that he will be gone for six weeks or more. He tells Matt to count...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2018 8:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

What is the difference between the signs Matt's father and Attean make to show their way in the woods in Sign of the...

Attean's method, the Indian way of making signs to show their way in the woods, is much more subtle than the method Matt's father uses. Matt recalls that when his father wanted to mark his path...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2009 12:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What are the Indian woman doing in Sign of the Beaver?  Why is Matt so interested?  What is Attean's reaction?...

When Matt visits the Indian village for the second time, the women are busy preparing food. Although he knows that Attean is "scornful of...squaw work", Matt is curious, because, unlike his Indian...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2009 12:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What are two problems and their solutions in chapters 6–10?

Elizabeth George Speare's novel The Sign of the Beaver is the story of Matt Hallowell and Attean. This story is an early tale of the conflicts between the white man and Native Americans. In chapter...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2018 6:32 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, what are four reasons why Matt finds it hard to trust Ben?

Ben is not a savory-looking character. He is fat and slovenly-looking, "heavyset, the fat bulging under a ragged blue army coat...his face...almost invisible behind a tangle of reddish...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2010 7:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is seba in reference to in The Sign of the Beaver?

In the book In the Sign of the Beaver, seba is the Indian word for tomorrow. The word seba first appears at the end of Chapter 6. Matt has foolishly tried to get honey from a honeycomb, and is...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Can someone please describe the cabin in The Sign of the Beaver?  

Elizabeth George Speare's novel, The Sign of the Beaver, is about a young boy named Matt Hallowell who moves to Maine with his father to settle down. The Hallowell's family is split up because...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019 7:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Matt find it hard to trust Ben in "Sign of the Beaver"?

Matt is not sure why he finds it hard to trust Ben at first, but he seems to have a keen sense of who means him harm and who only wishes to help. He shows this later in the book when he realizes...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2009 4:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What food item does Matt's mother persuade Matt and his father to take with them on their trip to Maine territory in...

Matt's mother persuades Matt and his father to take a small keg of molasses with them on their trip to Maine territory in the book Sign of the Beaver. Matt's father would have preferred not to take...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2010 3:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Attean become upset about the story in Sign of the Beaver?

Attean is fascinated by the story Robinson Crusoe, but he becomes upset when Friday bows to Robinson Crusoe and calls him "Master". The idea of anyone being so willingly subservient to a white man...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2009 7:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

From what point of view is The Sign of the Beaver told? How do you know?

The Sign of the Beaver is told from the point of view of a narrator who speaks through the voice of just one character. This means that the novel is told from the third person limited point of...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2015 10:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In the deal between Matt and Saknis, what did they agree on?

The deal or agreement that Matt and Saknis came to was precipitated by the encounter they had when Matt was injured. After disturbing a beehive looking for honey to eat, he fell from a tree into a...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 11:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, what did Matt learn about neighboring Indians from Ben?

In The Sign of the Beaver, the main character, Matt, is visited by a beaver trapper by the name of Ben. Ben, a large and imposing figure, invites himself to dinner and Matt feels obliged to feed...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2015 9:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What does Matt learn when Attean takes him to the beaver wigwam in The Sign of the Beaver?

Matt learns a number of things when Attean takes him to the beaver wigwam. It is the first one that he has ever seen, and he is startled to discover that with their tails, the beavers make a sharp...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2010 11:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What are some similarities between the ways of the white and Native American people in The Sign of the Beaver?

I would argue that the first similarity showcased between the ways of the white people and the Native Americans is that both parties have a lot to learn. In the case of Matt, he needs to learn to...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2020 9:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Attean's grandmother change her opinion about Matt in Sign of the Beaver?

Attean's grandmother changes her opinion about Matt because of the trouble he went through to save Attean's dog. Attean says, "My grandmother very surprise white boy go long way for Indian...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2010 4:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is the main idea in chapter three of The Sign of the Beaver?

By chapter three Matt has been alone at the cabin for some time. He has learned to adapt to his situation and become somewhat comfortable with his solitude. Though survival will be difficult, he...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2016 12:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why did Saknis want Attean to learn how to read? 

In the Sign of the Beaver, white settlers are beginning to encroach on indigenous people's territory in the area which the U.S. settler state has called "Maine". As the world of whiteness begins to...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2018 7:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

how does Attean become a man and how does Matt become a man?

Attean begins his manhood ritual when he kills the bear that was attacking Matt and him. This is a sign to his grandfather that he is old enough and skilled enough to begin the ritual. During the...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2010 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How does Attean become a man in the story "The Sign of the Beaver"?

In order to be able to take his place among the men in his tribe, Attean must discover his manitou. According to Attean, every Indian boy must have a manitou, which, in English, might be called a...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2010 6:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What brought about the change in friendship between Matt and Attean in Sign of the Beaver?

Even though neither Matt nor Attean wanted to together at first, in keeping the terms of the "treaty" set by Saknis, both boys learn to respect each other, and eventually become friends. Matt is...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Attean go to Matt's place when he dislikes reading lessons in Sign of the Beaver? Speculate about why you...

Attean makes it quite clear that he dislikes reading lessons and does not want to go to Matt's place to learn to "read the white man's signs", yet he keeps coming back, day after day. Matt...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2009 2:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Attean's Grandmother have a bad attitude towards the white men in Sign of the Beaver? What about Saknis?...

Attean's Grandmother "hate(s) all white men" because white men caused the deaths of both Attean's mother and his father. Attean tells Matt that his mother was shot when she went out looking for...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2009 7:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of The Beaver, what made Matt change his approach to teaching Attean to read in Chapter 8?    

In Chapter 8, the one thing that makes Matt change his approach to teaching Attean is that his original method fails to interest the Indian boy. Matt initially begins the English lessons by...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2016 3:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In the book, what are all the skills that Matt learns from the Indians?

In exchange for teaching Attean how to read, Matt learns some important survival skills from his Indian counterpart. The first thing Attean teaches Matt is how to hunt rabbits. In Chapter 9, Attean...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2016 7:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What advice does Matt's father give Matt about bees?

In Chapter Five, Matt desperately wants some honey, but he remembers that his father had warned him to stay away from the bee tree before he left. Although he realizes that bees are 'better left...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2016 3:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, what deal do Matt and Saknis make?

Matt has been left alone at his family's cabin in the Maine wilderness while his father returns to Massachusetts for his mother, sister and new baby sibling. Saknis, a Native American Indian who...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016 8:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What quick action by Saknis plays an instrumental part in Matt's recovery in Sign of the Beaver?

I believe the action you are referring to is Saknis's treatment of Matt immediately after the bee attack. Matt, lying on the ground, was "too weak to struggle;" his skin "seemed to be on fire from...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2010 3:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How did Attean cheer up Matt at the end of Chapter 11 in Sign of the Beaver?

At the end of Chapter 11, Attean offered Matt a treat that Indians enjoy. As they made their way through the forest, "...he stopped, whipped out his knife, and neatly sliced off two shining gobs...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2010 3:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In Chapter 19 of The Sign of the Beaver, why does Attean's grandmother change her mind about Matt?

Prior to Chapter 19, when Matt attended a feast at the Indian village after helping Attean kill a bear, Attean's grandmother was not happy with his presence. Attean's grandmother hated the white...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 3:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What does the Penobscot word, "kweh" from The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare, mean in English?

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, young Matt is left to watch over the family cabin in Maine while his father returns to Massachusetts for the rest of their family. Matt's life...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2015 5:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is the climax of The Sign of the Beaver?

The climax of The Sign of the Beaver occurs when Matt must make the choice of whether to stay at his family's cabin and wait for them to return or to join Attean's tribe and travel to a less...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2018 8:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

I would like to know what is the difference between the movie and the book for The Sign of the Beaver.

The movie version of Sign of the Beaver was originally entitled Keeping the Promise. It is interesting because it focuses on different things than the book. A lot more emphasis is given to the...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2010 1:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What kind of relationship developed between Matt and Attean? explain the relationship that will develop between Matt...

It's been a while since I read this book, but I'll give the question my best shot: As a settler, Matt is largely unaware of his new surroundings until Attean, like Squanto, shows him the ways of...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2008 8:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What advice does Matt's father give him about how to treat the Indians in Sign of the Beaver?

In chapter 2 of The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, we learn that one of those few words of wisdom Matt’s father had been so keen on giving him had been on the subject of Indians. He...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2019 2:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How do Matt and Attean meet in "The Sign of the Beaver"?

The first encounter Matt and Attean have occurs when Matt is injured attempting to retrieve honey from a beehive. Since Matt has fallen out of a tree, he is partially unaware of who has rescued him...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 1:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In the book The Sign of the Beaver, what did the stranger say that made Matt suspect that he might be a criminal?

When Matt asks the stranger, who gives his name only as "Ben", if he is traveling to the river, Ben replies, "Not likely. I'm keeping as fur off from that river's I can, till things quiet...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2009 7:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, how does Matt win Attean's respect?

Matt won Attean's respect in a very unexpected way. When Attean invited Matt to leave with his tribe, Matt refused. Even though both Saknis and Attean reiterated their joint desire to have Matt...

Latest answer posted July 6, 2016 6:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What does Matt tend and water at the beginning of The Sign of the Beaver?

An examination of the first chapter will give you the answer that you are looking for. As the novel opens, we are told that Matt has just been left by his father in the middle of the forest to look...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How did Attean help Matt learn new things about survival in the forrest in Sign of the Beaver? Why would these be...

The first survival skill Attean teaches Matt is how to snare rabbit and other small game. He creates a simple noose out of roots and arranges it on a stand of forked saplings. Attached to the...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2009 4:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign Of The Beaver, how did Matt feel about the loss of the rifle? 

When a stranger requests to spend the night at the cabin alone with Matt, he is justifiably uneasy. The thought crosses his mind to stay awake to protect the cabin and the family heirloom gun that...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 8:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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