Questions about the Book:
- Who is the main character in the book?
- Is the book written in first or third person narrative?
- What did Cole want most of all?
- What did Django want most of all?
- Do you think that Django knew why Cole was upset over the guitar strings and drums? Did Django think he had done anything wrong? In your opinion, did Django really do something wrong?
- How do you think Django felt when Cole wouldn’t talk to him for a few days? Have you ever stopped talking to a friend or family member for awhile? And, if so, did not talking help the situation?
- Have you ever had a brother, sister, or friend break something of yours when you weren’t home? Have you ever borrowed something from a friend or sibling and accidentally broken it?
- Do you think that Cole handled the situation well? What could he have done differently?
- Do you think that Django tried too hard to please Cole in the beginning?
- Would Django have learned that he could sing if he never felt sad?
Questions about the music CD:
- Which song on the CD do you like the best and why?
- Have you ever listened to jazz before? When or where?
- Do you like the song with words or the instrumental music better? Why?
- Do you think that the words to So Misunderstood reflect what most dogs are thinking?
- If a cat wrote a song, do you think the cat would write about being misunderstood?
“So Misunderstood” is written from the dog’s perspective. In your opinion, how does a cat think differently? Write a short poem on what your cat (or anyone’s cat or other pet) would sing about if the animal could sing. Or write a letter from your pet to you telling you how s/he REALLY feels.
Listen to the second song “Afternoons” and imagine what the dog is doing during different parts of the song. Write a story that connects the ideas together and tells about the dog’s afternoon.
Play an instrumental jazz CD (check your local public library). Discuss with the class what the composer was thinking or feeling when s/he wrote the tune. Discuss how the musicians may be feeling as they play the music. Now ask the class to interpret how the CD makes them feel by writing a short poem. Work as a group by listing adjectives, nouns, and phrases on the board. Keep the music playing as you work to organize the thoughts into a poem.