Ideas for Reports and Papers

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1. Find nonfiction books that describe Texas farming in the late 1860s. Using the information in these books, write a paper that tells whether or not the way of life depicted in Old Yeller is accurate.

2. See the Walt Disney movie version of Old Yeller and then compare the book to the movie. What major differences exist?

3. Write a paper that analyzes Mama and Lisbeth, the female characters in Old Yeller. Are they realistically portrayed? Do they contribute significantly to the plot and theme of the novel?

4. Pick a magazine that you would like to be a book critic for and write a review of Old Yeller. Remember that your choice of magazine will affect the information included in the review. For example, a reviewer for a children's magazine will be writing to young people, while a reviewer for Time will be writing to adults. These audiences may be interested in different aspects of the novel; however, for either of these magazines, you will not want to give away too much of the plot. A reviewer who is writing for Family Circle, on the other hand, will be writing to adults who want to know if they should encourage their children to read the book. For this kind of magazine, you may want to discuss the ending of the novel.

5. Write a narrative of an ordinary event that you and your family participated in, such as sledding, planting the garden, or burning autumn leaves. Try to make your narrative an example of regionalism by using dialect and giving precise details about the region.

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