Questions and Answers for The Sign of the Beaver

The Sign of the Beaver

In the story, what quick action by Saknis helps Matt with his recovery?  

In The Sign of the Beaver, Matt ignores his father's advice to stay away from the beehive after having lost his rifle and living off of only fish and berries. Of course, this idea backfires, as he...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2018 12:45 am UTC

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The Sign of the Beaver

How did Matt know that Attean was becoming his friend?

In the beginning of the story, Matt and Attean are forced into a relationship when Attean's grandfather, Saknis, makes a deal with Matt. He is to teach Attean the English language in return for the...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 1:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What causes Attean's dog to have such a strange nose?

Everything about Attean's dog's appearance seems somewhat less than impressive to Matt. The dog is just about the scruffiest, mangiest mutt Matt's ever seen. At first, the dog is more than a little...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2019 6:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

How does Saknis help Matt after he gets stung by the bees?

Matt attempted to harvest some honey from a beehive in a tree to supplement the provisions a bear ruined at the cabin. In doing so, he disturbed the hive and fell into the river, covered in bee...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 7:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Compare and contrast Attean's village to Matt's cabin. 

Matt gets a good glimpse of Attean's village when the latter invites him to attend a bear feast. You can read all about this in chapter 16. The main difference between Attean's village and Matt's...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2019 3:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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

What happens in chapters 13–15 of The Sign of the Beaver?

In chapters 13 to 15, the relationship between Matt and Attean begins to change. Up until this point, Attean has mostly been a reluctant recipient of Matt’s reading lessons at the request of...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2016 3:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What book does Matt read in The Sign of the Beaver? Why does he skip a section of the book?

In The Sign of the Beaver, the main character, Matt, is saved from a bee swarm by a Native American man. As repayment, Matt tries to teach the man's grandson, Attean, to understand English. Matt...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2020 3:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why was Matt invited to the Indian feast? Do you think Attean gave him credit for the victory over the bear?    ...

Matt played a key role in killing the bear that was the reason for the feast. As Matt and Attean walked through the wilderness, Matt carried a rabbit he had killed. When the bear charged them, Matt...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 5:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In "The Sign of the Beaver," what did Attean say that touched Matt?

Attean says that Matt moves quickly, like an Indian, to save them when they are confronted with a mother bear and her cub. This is very meaningful to Matt. Throughout approximately the first half...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2016 3:12 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In the book "The Sign of the Beaver", what was Matt's book called?

Matt had just two books in the cabin with him. He and his father had moved to the wilderness to build a cabin for the family. There had not been room for anything more than the necessities and a...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 1:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What did Matt miss that he didn’t think he would miss?

Much to his astonishment, Matt finds himself missing Attean, which is something of a surprise given the many racist preconceptions about Native Americans that Matt has inherited from his father....

Latest answer posted December 18, 2019 6:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Matt and Attean begin to develop a friendship. What things do they do together that they both enjoy?

As Matt and Attean moved on from the student and teacher roles forced on them by Attean's grandfather, a friendship formed. At first, they had to be together so that Attean would learn English from...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is the first problem in Matt's cabin in The Sign of the Beaver?

As in most stories, there are minor problems and also the main conflicts of the story. The minor problems Matt faced in the cabin right away are worth mentioning before getting to the first major...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 2:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In "The Sign of the Beaver," how is Matt's acceptance of the manitou indicative of his growing respect for the Indian...

The manitou was a right of passage for the Indian boys of Attean's tribe. An Indian boy would go out into the wilderness to live, utilizing his survival skills and patiently waiting for his...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2016 2:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is the name of the river near Matt's cabin, in The Sign of the Beaver?

The large river near Matt's family's cabin is the Penobscot River. There is actually a smaller river which runs closer to their new home as well, but it is unnamed. In 1768, parcels of land were...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

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The Sign of the Beaver

Even though Matt and Attean are not initially friends, they end up learning from each other. Identify three to five...

Matt and Attean are initially forced into a working relationship in chapter 6 when Attean's grandfather, Saknis, insists that Attean allow Matt to teach him English. Eventually their relationship...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 1:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, why did Matt make notches on a stick his father had given him?

Basically, Matt made notches on a stick so that he could keep track of time. Matt's father had advised Matt to make seven notches on each stick and to begin looking for the rest of his family when...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2016 7:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In what ways are math and Attean the same?

Mathematics or math in short is a belief system. Though it has seemingly sound philosophical foundations and its constrained workings appear valid and helpful in almost every walk of life, its deep...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2009 3:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What causes the points on the trees in The Sign of the Beaver?

The answer to your question comes in chapter 13, when Matt and Attean are in the woods and find a fox who has been caught in a leg trap, but is still alive. Attean points out the cruelty of the...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2020 7:56 am UTC

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The Sign of the Beaver

In chapter 19 or 20 of The Sign of the Beaver written by Elizabeth George Speare, what was the test that Matt had to...

The test that Matt faces comes in Chapter Nineteen, which is when he is taken to Attean's village and joins in a series of different activities that are practised by Indians. One of these in...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In chapter 2 of The Sign of the Beaver, what is the main problem, and why do you think the author chose to include...

I would argue that Matt's main problem in chapter 2 is that although he is relishing being alone, he has a constant feeling that he is being watched, and this naturally leads to some feelings of...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2020 11:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What did Matt's father say to him that confirms the fact that Matt also found his manitou in The Sign of the Beaver?...

When Matt's father returns with their family and sees how well Matt has taken care of things in his absence, he tells him, "You've done a grown man's job, son...I'm right proud of you". These...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2009 6:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What does Matt see in the Indian village?

In Chapter 16, Attean's village is having a feast, and he invites Matt to attend. Pleased that he will have an opportunity to savor bear meat, Matt consents to accompany Attean back to his...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2016 7:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why was Attean excited about the story of Noah?

Once Matt finished reading Attean Robinson Crusoe, he began to read to him from the only other book he had, the Bible. One of the biblical stories that Matt read to Attean was the story of Noah....

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 7:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, after his day of fun at the Indian village, Matt eagerly waits for Attean to come back....

Matt's day of fun at the Indian village after he saved Attean's dog from a trap, left him feeling as if he was finally accepted by Attean and his tribe. His grandmother was impressed he had saved...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 4:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is Matt’s role in the killing of the bear?

To sum it up: Matt throws a rabbit at the bear. One day when Matt and Attean are out hunting, Matt successfully uses his new bow and arrow to kill a rabbit. Heading toward the beaver dam, the boys...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2019 6:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What was Matt's role in the killing of the bear in The Sign of the Beaver?

The killing of the bear in Elizabeth George Speare's novel The Sign of the Beaver (1983) marks an important turning point in the story. Before this, the young boys Matt and Attean, though friends,...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2019 5:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why do they keep the dog even though he wasn't a good hunter?

Hello! In The Sign Of The Beaver, Matt tells us that he thinks Attean's old dog is the sorriest-looking hound he has ever seen. When Matt first meets the dog, it lets out a mean growl at him. It is...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What does Matt's father give him before he leaves?

Matt's father has left him all alone in the Maine log cabin they have recently built together. He is going to head back home to Massachusetts to fetch Matt's sister, his mother, and the new baby....

Latest answer posted April 25, 2018 5:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, what is the difference between the signs that Matt's father...

The difference between the signs was that one was more readily visible to the human eye than the other. While Matt's father carved deliberate symbols onto tree trunks to mark his way, Attean's...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2016 3:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why is Matt angry at himself at the end of Chapter 3 in The Sign of the Beaver?

Matt is angry at himself because he has allowed his father's rifle, with which he had been entrusted, to be stolen from him. He had had a hunch that Ben, the stranger who had invited himself to...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2010 10:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Identify a static character in The Sign of the Beaver.

Saknis would be a static character in The Sign of the Beaver. He can be seen as a static character because he is the face of cooperation and collaboration between the Whites and the Native...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2013 3:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In the book The Sign of the Beaver, why did Matt mistake Attean for a stranger?

Matt mistook Attean for a stranger the day he came to invite Matt to the feast at the village. Previously, Matt and Attean had been out hunting when Matt killed a rabbit. As they walked through the...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 2:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

How did Matt organize Attean’s reading lessons to keep his students interested in The Sign of the Beaver?

In Elizabeth George Speare’s novel The Sign of the Beaver (1983), Native American village leader Saknis makes a treaty with Matt that he will bring the white boy food in exchange for English...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019 8:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, why had Matt's mother insisted they travel to Maine, in spite...

Matt's mother had insisted on traveling to Maine because she didn't want to miss spending Christmas together with Matt. More than anything, she wanted to make sure that Matt didn't have to spend...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2016 2:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Attean's grandmother treat Matt's hand?

While it is true that Attean's grandmother despises the "white man," she decides to treat Matt's hand after he hurts it trying to free a dog from a trap. There are several factors that worked...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 4:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In "The Sign of the Beaver", what is the adjoining land of another tribe?  

The land adjoining that of the Beaver hunting grounds belongs to the Turtle Clan. The Indians have a system of coexisting on the land based on mutual respect. They mark their hunting grounds with...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2009 1:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare, why does Matt think Robinson Crusoe lived like a king on the...

The deeper that Matt delves into Robinson Crusoe the more he comes to realize that about the only thing that he and the lead character of the book have in common is that they are both trapped in an...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2018 8:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

In the book The Sign of the Beaver, why did Matt hope that Attean would find his manitou?

After disappearing for longer than usual, Attean reappeared at Matt's home. At first Matt was excited to see his friend but then realized that Attean had something serious on his mind. Attean then...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016 9:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What would Matt have to do now that Ben had taken the rifle with him?

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare opens with the main character, Matt, guarding the cabin he built with his father. Matt's dad was leaving to go back to Massachusetts to bring his wife,...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2018 7:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Did Matt find out if the baby was a girl or a boy?

In The Sign of the Beaver, the author Elizabeth George Speare leaves that an unanswered question. When Matt is finally reunited with his family, he notices how frail his mother is. She explains...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2015 9:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What is an example of how Matt is resouceful in The Sign of the Beaver?

This is an interesting question to consider, because actually this excellent novel seems to stress the way that Matt, at the beginning of this story at least, is not actually that resourceful at...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Matt hardly recognize Attean when he comes back to the cabin in "The Sign of the Beaver"?

There are two instances in The Sign of the Beaver when Matt is startled by Attean's very different appearance. One was a happy moment and the change was mostly physical. The other was not a...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why does Matt yearn for honey?

Though the author does not give us an exact amount of time that has passed, we know that Matt has endured the loss of his rifle from a stranger to whom Matt extended kindness and shelter....

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016 8:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What words and phrases does the author use to make you realize how Matt feels when autumn begins in Sign of the...

In describing the changes in the atmosphere as autumn approaches, the author says, "There (is) a chilliness inside (Matt) as well that neither the sun nor the fire ever quite reache(s). It...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2009 3:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What knowledge and skills did Attean and Matt teach each other?

In The Sign of the Beaver, Matt Hallowell is a boy who gets left alone in for months in the wilderness of 18th century Maine. While he is only twelve-going-on-thirteen years old, Matt has been...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2018 11:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

What did Matt make for his mom?

After Attean and Saknis left the area to find a new location for the Indian village, Matt was all alone. It was winter, so much of the time he was inside. While he waited out the cold and his...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2016 7:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Sign of the Beaver

Why is it a compliment to Matt when Attean does not lead him back to the cabin after his visit to Attean's village?

Matt thinks it's a compliment that Attean does not lead him back to the cabin because it's proof that he has earned Attean's respect. We must remember that Attean primarily treasures the masculine...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2019 3:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Sign of the Beaver

In The Sign of the Beaver, what kind of trees do Matt and his father use to build their cabin?

In Chapter One, Matt remembers how he helped his father cut down spruce trees to build their log cabin. He is especially proud when he recalls his efforts to haul, square, and notch the trees for...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016 7:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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