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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Sing Down the Moon
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell - Discussion Guide



Bright Morning, White Deer, Running Bird, Tall Boy, BM's Parents, BM's Siblings

Old Bear, BM's Dog, Nehana, Long Knives, The Spaniards, Old Apache Woman

Rosita, Senora, Woodcutter, Mando, Little Rainbow, LR's Babies


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.


Describe the use of historical fiction -- in this case the 1863-65 history of the Navaho Indians. Is it effectively portrayed?

Analyze the clothing, housing, and lifestyle.

Define the themes concerning native American culture, nature, women's roles, and racism (extermination of a race?).

Analyze the use of native American culture/ritual. Compare it to the white and Spanish American culture of the time.

Define and research mesa, Utes, Navaho, Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo.

Compare and contrast the weapons of the Navaho and those of the Long Knives and Spaniards.

How does the difference in weapons foreshadow the future of the
native Americans?

What do the sheep symbolize?

What do Tall Boy's injuries symbolize or foreshadow?

What does the kin-nadl-dah (womanhood ceremony) symbolize?

Pre-Reading/Post-Reading Activities

Social Sciences: Mythology & Native Cultures, Women's Roles, Ritual.

Science: Tribal Life, Tall Boy's Injuries.

Geography: Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo.

Classroom Projects: Art, Vocabulary, Creative Writing.