Because of Mr. Terupt

  Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . .  Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.

Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything-and everyone.

Discussion Questions

  1. Would you like to have a teacher like Mr. Terupt?
  2. Do you think the accident was anybody's fault? If so, whose fault do you think it was?
  3. Does the accident have to be someone's fault?
  4. Do you think Mr. Terupt should have stepped in and stopped some of the antics before things got out of hand?
  5. Jeffrey bravely tried to use his body to save his brother. It did not work. Do you agree or disagree with Jessica? Was Michael's death Jeffrey's fault? Why or why not?
  6. Do you think Jeffrey's family is going to heal?
  7. Do you think it was ok that Danielle's family would not let her play with Anna?
  8. Do you think it is right to shun someone for a mistake they make? How long should someone have to pay for their mistakes?
  9. Change the ending: How do you think the kids would have gone on if Mr. Terupt hadn’t come out of the coma?
  10. Why don’t you think Mr. Terupt has any family or even talks about them?
  11. Why do you think people like Lexie start girl wars? Why do people like Danielle continue to be friends with people like that?
  12. During the plant experiment, Peter and Luke are happy that they each have partners who will leave them alone and let them do whatever they want. What makes a successful partnership for school projects? What kinds of partnerships don·t work at all? Why do teachers ask students to work with partners?
  13. Which character in this book is your favorite? Which character is the most realistic? Which character is the least realistic? Why?
  14. What did Mr. Terupt·s students learn about themselves from working with the Collaborative Classroom? What is the value of learning experiences like that?

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