Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

8TH Grade English Language Arts


Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Before you begin reading the book, read the close reading extensions listed below.

  • When I saw the phrase_____, I realized that the author_____.
  • I think that _____is really a symbol for_____ because_____.
  • This is an example of irony because _____.
  • The details of this passage are important because _____.
  • The character is developing throughout the book because_____.
  • I am seeing a pattern in how…. this connects to the theme of_____.
  • This passage reminds me of _____ (text to text).
  • This passage reminds me of _____ (text to world).

As you read the novel, use post-its when a passage reflects one of the close-reading extensions.

You will select five reading passages from the novel that reflect five of the close reading extensions provided. Show that you have read the entire book by responding to passages throughout the entire novel.


  • Write or type the passage you chose to analyze word for word.
  • Cite the page number that indicates where the passage is located in the text.
  • Quotations should feature proper punctuation and MLA parenthetical citation using author’s last name and page number.

Example: “Write entire passage here,” (Mikaelsen 5).

  • After you have cited the passage you chose to analyze, you will then explain the passage using a close reading extension. Each explanation should be at least one paragraph long (8 sentences minimum).
  • You are required to analyze FIVE passages from the book using FIVE different close reading extensions listed above.
  • The assignment may be hand written or typed.
  • The assignment is due on Tuesday September 20th.

Please e-mail me for any questions throughout the summer.

Ms. Acconzo:

Ms. Agresti:

Ms. Hyer:


“[Cole] couldn’t stop wondering why he had been born and thinking about all the twisted events that had brought him to this moment. It seemed a bizarre dream to be standing alone on this rocky hillside in Alaska with a round stone at his feet, his mind filled with thoughts so totally different from anything he’d known running around on the streets back in Minneapolis. He felt like a new and a different person" ( Mikaelsen 198).

The character is developing throughout this book because Cole starts off in the novel as a criminal because of a crime he committed against his classmate. He faced the choice of being sent to prison or participating in the Circle Justice process and being sent to a remote Alaskan island to survive by himself. He chooses to go to the island just because he does not want to go to prison. Even though he made his choice, he does not fully believe that he will learn anything from being on the island. This passage shows the turning point where he realizes that change is possible. He starts to realize that the choices he made were wrong and that there are consequences for every action. He realizes that he needs to start to make amends for what did to his classmate. He knows that this is the only way to truly become a new and better person.