Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad

Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad
Parent Child Book Discussion
Grades 2-3
October 2008
(Questions created by Christiana Congelio)

snack: oranges (to prevent scurvy) and crackers. They didn't eat well on the Santa Maria.

1. How would you feel about leaving your family the way Pedro left his mother? If you could leave on the first mission to mars, not knowing whether you would return or see your family again, would you go? Why or why not?

2. Why is Pedro scared to dive in the water like the other men? (What they don't tell you in the book is that the Santa Maria was 89 feet above the water!!!) Would you be brave enough to jump?

3. What would be the best thing about discovering a new place?

4. Pedro traded a bowl to get a spear for his mother. Who do you think got a better deal-- the natives or the Spanish?

5. Do you think it was Pedro's fault that the Santa Maria sank? Why or why not?

6. At the end of the book Pedro is already certain that he will never sail again. What do you think he will do instead?

7. Would you let your diary be read by others? What are the pros and cons of letting it be read?

8. Did Columbus seem to care more about people or things? What are some examples?


A MUST-HAVE Book to include in the discussion is "Who Really Discovered America" by Avery Hart. On page 78 there is a true or false list of questions that debunk facts about Queen Isabella's jewels, Columbus being revered as a God, and even the misconception that people thought the world was flat.

Bring an atlas to show where Columbus' voyages took him. Find exerpts from Columbus' real journal and compare with the story. You'll find that it really was a ship's boy who wrecked the ship on Christmas day, and that Columbus did put a copy of his journal in a barrel to be towed behind the ship in case they wrecked in the violent weather.

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