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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Walking from Barrow

Essay Summary:  The Greist family makes an incredible voyage from Barrow to the Kobuk Valley. Nelson Greist develops his disdain for "looking back," and his grandson Alvin and Seth become best friends and hunting partners. The two hunters explore the northern mountains in search of the mythical Dall sheep. 

Who were the giants in the "land of giants"? (p. 82)


Why was the new land claustrophobic to the Greists? (p. 82)

They were used to the flat and barren landscape of Barrow.

Who were the Inupiaqs' traditional enemies? (p. 83)

The Athabascan Indians.

What is an anatkut? (p. 83)

A shaman or traditional medicine man.

What language did the Nelson family speak amongst themselves? (p. 83)


What does Nelson refuse to do? (p. 84)

Look back.

What was an important part of Eskimo life before television? (p. 84)

Telling stories, laughing, and teasing.

Why didn't Charlie Jones tell Nelson his sled had come unhitched? (p. 84)

He wanted to teach Nelson a lesson.

What does Kantner mean when he says Alvin had a "handed-down hunger" to hunt? (p. 86)

Alvin loved hunting, and was adept at it, a trait that Kantner suggests he inherited from his Inupiaq ancestors.

What did Alvin and Kantner use to make goose calls? (p. 88)

Shotgun shells with the sides melted out.

What was the one animal Alvin and Kantner never saw? (P.89)

Dall sheep.

What does Kantner carry that makes him "cross-eyed" on the sheep hunt? (p. 89)

A rifle and a camera.

What was Stacy's "safe" American life? (p. 89)

She had a job, car, furniture, and friends.

What had Alvin inherited from his grandfather? (p. 90)

A dislike for looking back.

Why were the young men told to take tent poles? (p. 90)

The maze of mountains was snow-covered and treeless.

Why did they consider the sheep "mythical?" (p. 95)

They had never hunted sheep before and knew little about the animal.

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