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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Counting Fish

Essay Summary:  Seth and Kole convince their parents to allow them to raise a team of four dogs to help them run their trapline. This essay captures the incredible amount of work it took for them to catch enough fish to feed their team during the long cold winter months. Howie Kantner's insistence on conservation and respect for the land and animals becomes ingrained in the young Kantner. 

Why did Howie get rid of his dogteam? (p. 46)

He'd "lost his heart for dog mushing" and "tired of the endless seasons of killing stacks of caribou" to feed the dogs.

Where did Kole and Seth get their dog mushing equipment? (p. 47)

They sewed the harnesses and collars and made their own sled.

Why did Howie drive the boat at half-throttle? (p. 48)

He didn't allow gas to be wasted.

What did they use for a net buoy? (p. 48)

An empty Clorox or Wesson Oil jug.

Why did they boil the fish before feeding the soup to the dogs? (p. 50)

To kill the tapeworms.

Why was the quaq pile a "relief?" (p. 50)

No cutting or gutting of the fish was required. Preparation was easy.

What did parents teach their children to fear more: Bears or open water? (p. 53)

Open water!

What did they use to place a net beneath the ice? (p. 53)

A sock filled with rocks, rope, and a pole.

How many fish did they need to "make it through the winter"? (p. 56)

Roughly 2,000.

How did the dogs earn their keep? (p. 59)

When the ice thickened, the boys could hitch them up and use them to travel across the tundra.

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