Category Archives: Summer Reading Reading Guides

This category gives FREE guiding questions for summer reading for 6th grade and up.

Chapter 5

1. What is the significance of the first three paragraphs describing the change in scenery from Lincoln’s new to old neighborhood?  Have you witnessed a similar transformation in scenery while traveling?  Explain/ Describe.

2.What do you think Tony wants to talk to Lincoln about?  Make a prediction.

3. Why do you think the three men in the back of the record store caught Lincoln’s attention?

4. Do you think it made sense for Mrs. Contreras to tell the encyclopedia salesmen she didn’t have kids ( and make her children be quiet and turn down the TV?) Have you ever been in a similar situation where you weren’t sure how to politely excuse yourself from an unexpected event?

5. Was your prediction correct?

6. What do you think Lincoln will do if he finds his TV?

Chapter Story Elements Questions

Plot: Where are Tony & Lincoln going? What are they doing?

Setting: Where did this chapter take place?; What parts of the setting did you find odd?

Characters: What new characters did we meet?

Story Structure: Name the Chapter.

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Chapter 4

1. On page 34, how were Lincoln’s thoughts about Monica relevant to both their lives?

2. On page 35, how does Lincoln feel about Roy?

3. What do you learn about Lincoln’s father?

4. In the first paragraph on page 38, why do you think these particular faces appeared in Lincoln’s mind?

5. What do the initials C.O stand for?

6. What do you think of the quote on page 39, ” It seems like…way look then?” Do you agree?

7. What do Monica an d Lincoln’s parents have in common?

8. What else did Lincoln and Monica talk about?

9. Why was Lincoln in a daze on the way back to class?

10. List all of Lincoln’s physical ailments.

Chapter Story Element Questions:

Character Analysis: What positive and negative things are happening in Lincoln’s life right now? Are there more positive or negative?

Plot: What new event will take place in the story?; What issues are plaguing Lincoln the most?

Setting: During what time period did this chapter take place?  List all locations Lincoln was  in this chapter.

Story Structure: Name the chapter.

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Filed under Summer Reading Reading Guides, Taking Sides Gary Soto

Chapter 3

1. How was Coach Yesutis described?

2. What does the coach mean when he tells Mendoza to “move his can”? (page 20)

3. On page 22, why did the coach make fun of Lincoln when he said his toe hurt?

4. How does Lincoln describe his relationship with his coach?

5. On page 23 it says, “Think… this year.”  Why do you think the author put James highlight after describing what the coach said to the players?

6. On page 23, in the last paragraph it says, ” On the last lap…breathing hard.” Why did the players react to the coach being jolly in the way they did?

7. On page 24, what did Lincoln mean when he said “scrappy”?

8. On page 25, why did Lincoln ask about Monica?

9. On page 26, how does Lincoln describe his neighbor to the North, Mr. Schulman?

10. On page 28, what comparison does he make between white and Mexican cooking?

11.On page 29, why do you think Lincoln’s mom didn’t know how to say dog food in Spanish?

12. On page 30, Why does Lincoln compare the Warriors to Franklin and Lakers to Columbus?

13. What did we learn about Coach Yesutis in this chapter? Does anything we learned justify Lincoln’s thought that the coach has trouble in his head?

Chapter Story Element Questions:

Setting- Where and when did this chapter take place?

Plot- What new events were introduced in this chapter?

Characters- What new characters did we meet in this chapter?

Story Structure- Name the chapter.

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Filed under Summer Reading Reading Guides, Taking Sides Gary Soto

Chapter 2

1. On page 12 it says, ” The front of Lincoln’s shirt was spotched blue where he once let his BIC pen ride in the pocket during a wash.” What does that mean?

2. On page 11, how does the narrator describe Columbus Jr. High and its students?

3. On page 13, why doesn’t anyone like Bobby? Are they justified?

4. On page 14 “Brown as earth…name.” What does he mean by that?  Why does he feel that way?

5. On page 15, who is the girl Lincoln meets? Where is she from? What does she have in common with Lincoln?

6. Why doesn’t Monica play basketball anymore?  What does she do now?

7. What does Lincoln think of Monica?

Story Elements Review for Chapter 2:

Setting: When did this chapter take place?

Plot: What new event was introduced to the plot?

Characters: What new characters were readers introduced to this chapter?

Story Structure: What would you name this chapter?; Why do you think you are introduced to a girl at this point in the story?

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Chapter 1

What characters are you introduced to?

Where did the main character move from and to? Why?

On page 4. “His left leg was a balloon of bandages.” What does “balloon of bandages” mean?

Pg. 4. “I’d rather be playin for Franklin, not Columbus … one black dude on the team.”  What is Lincoln’s issue?  Why do you think this poses a problem for Lincoln?

Pg.4 “And our coach is a nasty dude.  He’s got trouble in his head.”  <– This line gives you a good indication that you should watch out for the interactions between Lincoln and his coach to answer the question for yourself, “why is Lincoln’s coach a nasty dude? How does he have trouble in his head?”

What does Lincoln’s mom do for a living?

How does Lincoln describe his neighbors?

How does the narrator describe Lincoln’s new neighborhood?  How does he describe Lincoln’s old neighborhood?

Who is Vicky?

What happened “Three weeks ago…” (on page 8) and how does Lincoln feel about that?  What comparison does Lincoln make between the Franklin and Columbus teams in the paragraph.

What does “Flaco” mean?

How does Lincoln feel about playing his old team?  (Page 9, 2nd to last paragraph “Yeah, Lincoln said…”)

What chore did Lincoln’s mom give him before he left for school?

In summary, what issues are Lincoln dealing with?

In what ways can you relate to Lincoln?  In what ways to Lincoln’s issues seem far off from your own?

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Filed under Summer Reading Reading Guides, Taking Sides Gary Soto

Introduction to Guide Questions

Why Do You Need Guide Questions?

On the pages in this category, you will find guide questions for each chapter of each book listed in the category.  These questions are meant to be helpful to anyone that has the following problems:

  • Repeatedly read the same couple of sentences because after that point you start to daydream about other things.
  • Think you are reading continuously but then something happens in the text and you are not sure how that happened.
  • Reading such a large text is intimidating and there is now way you would be able to remember all the details of such a long story.

These guide questions assist with these problems by giving a point to focus your attention on.  Instead of you simply trying to get through the chapter so your reading can be over, you will be reading with the purpose of answering the guide questions and therefore actually understanding what is going on in the story.

Types of Questions

In the guide, there are different types of questions to help get your thinking cap pumping.

1 Direct Text- These are questions in which you can find the answer directly in the text as you read it. There is a definite right answer being sought after. For example:

Carrie decided that after visiting with her grandmother, her afternoon was packed with grocery shopping, laundry and getting dinner ready, that she didn’t have time to go to the mall this afternoon.

Example Questions: What chores did Carrie have to do that prevented her from going to the mall?

2. Opinion Questions:  These questions ask for your thoughts about a particular occurrence and don’t necessarily have a right or wrong questions, but serves to facilitate thinking about text.

Example: Why doesn’t Carrie just go the mall today and do her chores tomorrow?

3 Evidence/ Detail Gathering question: This type of question needs you to gather information from multiple places in the text to form an opinion or to base information on.

Example: Write a character sketch of Carrie.  Would you describe her as a responsible person?  Why or why not, based on the text?

How To Use This Guide

One of the best strategies to employ is to read all of the questions in the guide first and then read the story.  As you read, you will find the answers to the questions because all questions are in chronological order of the story.

You should have a note book with you as you read and write out or type your answers.  The benefit of answering the questions in written form is you will be taking notes on the story, thus preparing you for any summer-reading writing project you are assigned.

Finally, in your notebook, come up with your own questions to the story, and if it so moves you, find the answers to those questions.

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