GFTW Discussion Questions

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GONE FROM THESE WOODS is an excellent novel to spark discussions about many issues in classrooms, mainly 5th – 8th grades. Yearling paperbacks are now available to order, making this a very affordable book for class studies, and the author, Donny Bailey Seagraves, is available for school visits.

Below are some suggested discussion questions for teachers and media specialists to use in classrooms and media centers.

On page one, Daniel says hunting isn’t for him. Still, he follows Uncle Clay into the North Georgia woods, carrying his granddaddy’s .410 shotgun.

* Why does Daniel go hunting that chilly November morning?
* Is the walk in the woods about killing rabbits or something more?
* When Daniel sees the rabbit Clay says is his shot, why can’t he pull the trigger?
* Would things have turned out differently if Dad had gone hunting with Daniel and Clay that day?
Suggested lesson plan activity: Read the last four paragraphs at the end of chapter one. Then, using your imagination, rewrite these paragraphs with Dad in the scene.

Clay gives Daniel the nickname, D-Man.

* Why did Clay choose this particular name for his nephew?
* Was D-Man a good choice?
* What does the name D-Man mean to Daniel?
Suggested lesson plan activity: Give yourself a superhero nickname and explain why you chose it.

Later in the story, Clay’s voice tells Daniel he can be Daniel instead of D-Man.

* Why does Daniel shed the nickname his uncle has given him?
Suggested lesson plan activity: At the end of the book, Daniel is making plans to take a walk. Imagine yourself walking through Sartain Woods, to the lake. Not your superhero self. Just you. Who are you walking for?

If you have questions or comments or would like to set up an in-person or Skype virtual school visit, please email donnyseagraves@gmail.com.

Click here to read an excerpt from the beginning of Gone From These Woods.

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