TEACHER'S COPY - MAY COPY PAGE 2 FOR YOUR STUDENTS
Identification and Discussion Questions
1. Can anyone cite key lines from the nursery rhymn?
(Jack Spratt could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
Between the two of them
They licked the platter clean.)
2. How are the Spratts in the rhyme similar to the Spratts in the story?
(In each case, the husband and wife are opposites in key ways. They both have complementary relationships: what one lacks, the other supplies.
3. Do you think the Spratts have a child? Do you think they ever did?
4. Does Mother Moon's tone in addressing the Spratts surprise (even shock) you? Is it out of character for her? Was it justified by the Spratts' conduct?
5. Moon tells them they need to be assertive, not submissive or aggressive? How might assertiveness differ from the other two, especially aggressiveness?
(Many answers can help make this distinction: Assertiveness is more tactful. Assertiveness considers the needs and goals of others. The assertive person wants what is best (and/or right) for everyone involved. Assertiveness doesn't rely on power where aggressiveness depends on power.
The answer that is not correct: assertiveness is a blend of the other two, something between the two extremes.)
6. How is the ending of this story different than previous ones? What other story ends differently. Do you like that it ends differently?
(The couple didn't follow Mother Moon's advice but may still have lived happily ever after.
How does the picture on page 89 relate to this story?
Just for Today
Think about your best friend or your closest friends. What kind of interaction do you have with them? Is it give and take, fairly equal or it is uneven or one sided? Do you like the way you interact with them and they with you?
Today at lunch or after school when you talk with your friends think about your relationship with them. If you discover that your interaction is more like Martha and John, think about previous stories, exercises, and advice from Mother Moon that will help you to enjoy friendship more.