Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Basic Level: Answer the questions in complete sentences. (Add page numbers to show where you found the answers.)

Advanced Level: Write a detailed paragraph of 200 – 250 words that incorporates the answers to the questions at the basic level. Make sure you do not simply fill in the blanks but instead add descriptive details. If you wish to extend your learning, divide your work into paragraphs.

Chapter 1-3: 


  1. What is the name of the main character?
  2. How old is he?
  3. Where does he live?
  4. Where is he going?
  5. What time of year is it?
  6. Why is he on this journey?
  7. What happens on the journey?
  8. What secret does he hold?

Advanced: How is Brian both physically and emotionally alone? 

          Thirteen-year-old Br… R.., the main ch… in H… by G… P…, is all alone. His p… have recently d…, and his m…. has sent him from H… , N… Y to stay with his f…, a m…. e….,  for the s….  She has sent him off alone with a p… on a small p… taking supplies up n… to C….  And now that p…. has suffered a h… a… and Brian is…  He is all alone. He is also alone emotionally. He is holding a secret. His father does not know why the divorce happened, but Brian knows. Should he tell? Should he share the secret or should he remain emotionally isolated from his father? But right now there is a new predicament: B… is all alone in …. What will he do? How will he survive? (This is only a rough guide. You may change it to make it more uniquely your writing. You may also insert page numbers to show where you found the information.)


Chapters 4 – 6

Basic: Make sure to include the page numbers where the answers are found.

  1. Explain why Brian’s parents have divorced.
  2. Describe the location of the plane crash.
  3. Describe Brian’s injuries.
  4. Describe the dangers in his new environment.
  5. Describe what he does to find food and water.
  6. Describe what he does to find shelter.
  7. What resources does he have to help him survive in this new environment?
  8. What stands out to him about his new environment?

Advanced: How is Brian managing in this extreme environment? (Include page numbers)

            Brian is alone in…. His plane has crashed in…, and he has dragged himself…. His injuries are not life-threatening but he is in great pain and… After spending the night…, he faces a new horror as the sun rises:…. He keeps falling asleep and waking up, but finally stays conscious long enough to realize that he…  He finds… He also creates a shelter by…  All he has to help him survive in this … place is… He is all alone with only … to keep him company.


Describe the location of the plane crash: The plane crashes and sinks into a blue lake surrounded by green trees. Brian pulls his legs out of the lake and crawls on his hands and knees until he is away from the soft shore (33, 34). He looks around. Everything is so green, so green it goes right into him. The forest is largely made up of pines and spruce, with stands of some low brush smeared here and there and think grass and some other kind of very small brush all over. He cannot identify most of it – except the evergreens and some leafy trees he thinks might be aspen. The country around the lake is moderately hilly, but the hills are small – almost hummocks – and there are very few rocks. A rocky ridge – about 20 feet high – sticks out over the lake (39). – Sunmeet in grade 6


Chapters 7 – 9

Basic: Make sure to include the page numbers where the answers are found.

  1. What are three examples that show Brian is becoming more courageous?
  2. What are three examples that show Brian is learning to become more observant?
  3. What are three examples that show Brian is learning new survival skills?
  4. What does Brian think is the most important rule of survival?
  5. Why does Brian think he must keep thinking about the people searching for him?

Advanced: How is Brian changing? (Include page numbers.)

            Brian is changing. He is no longer thinking like a city person but instead is adapting to wilderness life (  ). He is becoming more courageous…. He is becoming more observant…. He is learning new survival skills…. He has learned that most important rule of survival is….

            But Brian still has a belief left from his old life. He still thinks that he needs keep remembering the people searching for him or…. I agree/disagree with his way of thinking….


Chapters 10 – 12

Basic: Part A and B.             Advanced: Part B and C.

Part A: (Literal = Answers on the lines)

  1. What does Brian do to make sure his fire doesn’t go out?
  2. What does Brian do to get more food to eat?
  3. What does Brian do to signal the pilot of the airplane?

Part B: (Inferential = Answers between the lines; use clues in the story and your knowledge of extreme environments to figure out the answer)

Brian is in an extreme environment. What is he doing to meet all the conditions necessary for human survival?

Part C: (Connections to real life = Answers beyond on the lines; make a connection to real life) 

How does disappointment affect people? Give examples from the novel (including page numbers) and from real life (your own experiences or the experiences of people you know).


Chapters 13 – 15

“Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience – waiting and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking” (145).

Part A: Write a 150-300 word paragraph describing how Brian has been patient, how he has waited, thought, and done things properly. Include at least 9 examples from anywhere in the book. Include page numbers. Include a topic and concluding sentence.

Part B. Write a 150-300 word paragraph how you have shown patience during the past two months. How have you waited, thought, and done things properly? Include at least 6 examples in total. Include a topic and concluding sentence.


Chapters 16 – Epilogue

Part A: Parallel Structure and Repetition
Gary Paulsen uses these two literary techniques to create a mood for readers. The main character, Brian, has to get up every morning and work hard to stay alive. Day after day. Week after week. He has to be careful and observant and work hard, on and on and on.
Here is one example: “I am always hungry but I can do it now, I can get food and I know I can get food and it makes me more” (148). See how setting up the sentence like that gives a rhythm and flow to the writing? See how you start to feel like Brian? I can, I can, I can.

Find 6 more sentences with parallel structure and repetition. Provide page numbers.

Part B: Hardships Can Make You Stronger
Brian Robeson changes during the almost two months he is stranded in the Canadian wilderness. In the face of hardship, he chooses not to give up. He chooses to learn new skills and survive. He is changed forever.
Add more sentences that describe 5 ways Brian has changed. Include page numbers. Include direct quotations if you can. Use some sentences with parallel structure if you can. Then add a concluding sentence.
 Final Exam: Hatchet Final Exam

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