Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Parent-Child Book Discussion

Grades 3-5

snack idea: cookie screeds (see activities)

1.  What would you have done if you'd found a random button stuck inside a meteorite? Would you have pressed it? Why or why not.

2.  Why does Zita trust Piper at the beginning of the book?

3.  What does H.A.M.B.O. stand for? (pg 68) (Activity: different acronyms R.A.D.A.R, N.A.S.A, etc)

4.  Name the characters Zita meets along the way.  What is each character's strengths and weaknesses?
            Mouse: he's faithful, he's rideable, he doesn't have armor
            One: he has powerful laser guns, he's outdated, he has anger management issues, he's talkative
            Robot Randy: he squeaks and rattles, he's loyal, he has a weapon of mass-desctruction stuck inside
            Piper:  boom boots, not trustworthy, sleeping pipe
            Strong-Strong: strong, nice, not very smart
            Topper:  bossy, good disquise

5.  What different things motiviate Piper, Zita and the Scriptorians to make decisions? (Zita wants to save her friend Joseph, Piper wants to fuel his ship, The Scriptorians want to stop the asteroid).

6.  Why does Piper betray Zita? (the scriptorians offer him fuel for his ship). Why do you think he came back at the end?

7.  How was the Scriptorian's prophecy correct, and how was it different than they expected?
           (without Joseph, Zita wouldn't have come to their planet, she wouldn't have found the robot and brought the crystal at the right point in time. It WAS Joseph that they needed, 
                but not for the reasons they thought.)

8.  Zita can save herself and Joseph OR save the planet and never get back?  Why do you think she chose to save the planet?  What would you have chosen?

9.  Do you think there will be more Zita books?  What do you think will happen next?

10.  What other stories did Zita remind you of? (wizard of oz, star wars, etc.)

11.  How does the experience of reading a graphic novel differ from reading a "regular" book?  What do you like/dislike about both experiences?

Activity Ideas:

Zita notices that the stars in the sky look different from the Scriptorian's planet and she can't find any constellations.  Give students a paper with random stars/dots and have them create new constellations based on the characters in this book.

Cookie Screeds (sandwich cookies with licorice laces and a round chocolate port hole) OR crackers with spreadable cheese, spaghetti or zucchini strips and olive for port hole.

Mouse talks in pictures/ play a round of "Pictionary" to communicate emotions?  Make a communicator with a roll of paper and a toilet paper tube hung around your neck with yarn.

Acronym Worksheet-- have students guess what different acronyms mean (will need to provide contest): NASA as in space shuttle, PBJ as in something you eat, UFO as in aliens, LOL as in emotions, TV as in entertainment, NWS as in predicting hurricanes, VIP as in honoring someone, MIA as in location, etc.


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