Text used:

Dell Publishing Co.,Inc.
Laurel-Leaf printing - July 1984

Recommended Activity Book to add to these exercises:
Portals to Literature:
A Day No Pigs Would Die
(The Perfection Form Company, Logan, Iowa)

Please do NOT contact me for answers to Chapter or Test questions. Your request will not be answered.








Chapter 6

tribulation -  mildew -  silage -  tutor -  expulsion -  furrow

Chapter 7

kickweed -  rabies -  tanning -  to rifle -  sorghum -  nectar -  talons brood

Chapter 8

to rile -  kin -  varmi(n)ts -  desecrate -  nook


  1. Why does the author include the scene about the wagon coming down the hill in the story?
  2. Aunt Matty blames Rob's poor grade in English on the Shaker way of speaking. List and explain three other aspects of Rob's life or behaviour that are unusual because of his Shaker upbringing. What arguments would you use to defend Rob's differences to an intolerant person like Aunt Matty?
  3. What does Robert mean when he says: "...because it sure gave her the vapors."? (p.53)
  4. In a few words give Robert's opinion of Aunt Matty.
  5. Robert misinterprets the meaning of the words "remedy" and "tutor" and as a result he adds some more "filters" to his already difficult communications with Aunt Matty. Another problem is Robert's rather uninformed attitude towards Baptists. Identify the various other "filters" and explain how they have a humorous effect.
  6. Is Robert a hard worker? Explain why or why not?
  7. What does Robert mean when he says: "...like we was hitched."? (p.63)
  8. Why does the author give you such a detailed description of the hawk and its kill? What do you think is Robert's attitude toward the killing? Quote his thoughts to prove your opinion.
  9. Explain the last two sentences of the chapter. (p.67)
  10. Explain what happened to Sebring Hillman's wife and baby?
  11. How might Sebring's decision to claim Letty's child as his own affect his wife, the Pecks, and the community? Why do you think Sebring finally claims the child? Is he thinking more of himself or of others in this situation? Given Sebring's motivation and the effects of his act- ions, do you think he should dig up the baby's coffin? Explain.
  12. Why does Haven Peck stop Sebring at first and then goes along with Hillman taking the small coffin home?
  13. What does the fate of Letty and her baby indicate about the view of illegitimate children in the 1920's? How might the attitudes and fates of May, Letty, and Sebring have differed if Letty and Sebring's affair took place today? Do you think such attitude changes are for the better or the worse? Explain.


  1. On the next page, you will find some examples of humour. Explain why the situation drawn in each of these illustrations is funny.
  2. What is humour? Don't give a dictionary explanation, but try to explain humour. Why do people try to be funny?
    Give an example of a humorous incident that happened to you recently.
  3. Why is humour an important part of human communications?

As you can see, communications not always need language, but the basic process is always the same. These elements are predominant:

  1. the sender (usually a speaker, a writer, or an illustrator)
  2. the message (what is being communicated)
  3. the receiver (usually a listener or reader toward whom the message is directed.

Communications are always for a purpose. Such as:

  1. to give information (It's raining.)
  2. to express feelings (I hate you.)
  3. to influence others' feelings (Don't get upset. I'll help.)
  4. to influence others' reactions (Give to the Cancer Fund.)
  5. to control action (Stop!)
  6. to share ideas (I don't believe there are flying saucers.)
  7. to re-create experience (On my way home from school yesterday, I saw a terrible accident.)
  8. to entertain or amuse others (Did you hear the joke about....?)

Language does not always accomplish its purpose. Certain obstacles get in the way of clear communication. You already discussed some filters that can block or distort communication. There are other factors that can interfere with the sender's purpose.

They are:

  1. relationship (How do the sender and receiver feel about each other?)
  2. values (Is the message sent at odds with the receiver's values?)
  3. attention span (Is the receiver inattentive?)
  4. vocabulary (Are the words and ideas in the message unfamiliar to the receiver?)


  1. What obstacles most frequently interfere with receiving accurate communication during your average school day?
  2. Why do we have road signs rather than written instructions? What do the road signs on this page communicate?
  3. Select three of the headlines below that capture your attention. How have the writers tried to avoid the obstacles that interfere with clear, effective communication?


Test your understanding of what you have read by completing the sentences below in your notebook.


  1. Aunt Matty is shocked by Rob's __________
  2. To remedy Rob's failing, Aunt Matty tries to __________
  3. Robert is afraid of Aunt Matty because __________
  4. Rob watches as a hawk dives down and __________
  5. Robert is raising Pinky to be useful as (a, an) ________
  6. At Mrs. Hillman's request, Rob and Haven go to _________
  7. Mrs. Hillman and Haven think that Sebring's purpose is to __________
  8. But Sebring is really there to __________
  9. Sebring feels guilty because he didn't __________
  10. In the end, Sebring takes the coffin __________