Lost in the Barrens Unit Study


Lost in the Barrens Unit Study
Grade Seven
Novel Study Guide
Introductory Chapters
There is a great deal of distrust talked about in the early chapters of this novel. Explain several
examples of distrust.
Explain, “Angus was well pleased at Jamieʼs willingness to stay in the forests rather than visit
civilization again.”
In the first three chapters we learn a lot about the relationship between Awasin and Jamie. How did
Chief Alphonse describe the boys relationship? Explain his meaning.
Why is Awasin so hesitant to travel on the hunt with Denikazi? How does Jamie convince Awasin
that it would be a good adventure?
Chapter 3: To the Camps of the Deer Eaters
1. Why did Awasin instruct Jamie to accept the Chipeweyan offer of hospitality?
2. Why was Awasin reluctant to travel into the Barrens?
3. What did Jamie say to change Awasin's mind?
Chapter 4: North to the Barrenlands
Why were the boys shamefaced the next morning?
Chapter 5: Of Eskimos and Indians
What decision did Denikazi make when the caribou did not arrive at the "Killing Place"?
What did Denikazi warn the others to do if they saw any signs of the Eskimos?
Chapter 6: No Man's Land
1. Do you think it was cruel of Jamie to kill the duck? Why or why not?
Chapter 7: The Rapid
Why was Awasin so excited about seeing the ravens?
What reason did Awasin give for wanting to return immediately to the "Killing Place"?
What additional reason did he have for wanting to return which he would
not reveal to Jamie?
Chapter 8: Alone in the Wilderness
Make a short list of some of the problems they faced after the accident.
What did Jamie suggest?
What was Awasin's plan?
Chapter 9 Kayaks on the Lake
After Awasin makes the fire and the boys eat “dinner” Farley Mowat describes Jamie as being
“himself again.” What does Farley Mowat mean by this statement?
Chapter 10 The Great Stone House
What was the Great Stone House? Describe the different reaction the two boys had when they
found out what it was.
Chapter 11 Flight to the West
In this chapter the boys come unbearably close to rescue. Explain how fear prevented their rescue
from the barrens.
Chapter 12 River of the Frozen Lake
The boys realise their desperate plight but they react differently. How does each boy react?.
Chapter 13 Plans and Preparations
Explain Awasinʼs exclamation, “Womenʼs work, this,”
Chapter 14 Camp at Deer Fence
Awasin and Jamie have to improvise technology in order to complete what might have been simple
day to day tasks back home. Give two examples of their inventiveness from this chapter.
Chapter 15 The Hidden Valley
How did the boys solve the problem of fuel and shelter for the winter?
Chapter 17 Building a Home
Explain the statement of Awasinʼs, “If we let those deer go to waste now weʼll be no better than
Chapter 18 Of Wolverines and Sleds
Once again Farley Mowat uses dramatic foreshadowing to prepare us for future events. What two
probabilities does he suggest in this chapter?
Chapter 19 Gifts from the Dead
Explain Awasinʼs reaction to the “gifts.”
Chapter 21 A Welcome Discovery
Describe how Farley Mowat uses dramatic foreshadowing to foretell the death of Otanak.
Chapter 22 The Great One of the Barrens
At the end of this chapter the boys come to a conclusion about the tracks they first saw at Stone
Igloo Camp. What was their conclusion?
Chapter 23 Escape
What causes the boys to try a dash for home against all common sense?
End of Novel Discussion Questions
One recurring theme throughout the novel is fear and mistrust of one other. Give several examples
of how fear affected the behaviour of people in this novel. Explain using specific examples how
fear prevented their early rescue on the Barrens.
Discuss how Jamie and Awasin got into this predicament of being “Lost in the Barrens” in the first
place. Be thorough in your discussion of the boyʼs characters.
Explain the term “irony.” Apply this term in a discussion of the boysʼ rescue from the grip of the
Throughout the novel Farley Mowat gives us clues about Red Head Post. Explain the significance
of Red Head Post to this novel.
What does the term rationalize mean? How do the boys rationalize their decision to make an
attempt to go home in the middle of winter?