Discussion Guides and other Resources
If you want to copy any of these materials, just copy and paste to a word doc.
My House of
Who are the two main characters of My
House of Dreams?
What are Noki’s main concerns in the first chapter? How
does that change after he actually sees the Sosabitom (white men)?
Eti and others talk about the similarities between their
gods and the white men’s gods. What are they? What are the differences?
Use the Internet or a book to find out more about the Southern California
Native American religions. Summarize one of the Luiseño myths and tell it
in your own words to a classmate.
The Payomkawichum (Luiseños) give several reasons for
joining the white man’s church. What are they?
After Kawawish’s defeat at the hands of Father Antonio,
what did the shaman prophesy for the priest? Use the Internet to research
Antonio Peyri’s life. How did the prophesy come true?
Why was Noki hesitant to join Father Antonio’s church?
(There are several answers.)
What were Father Antonio’s reasons for getting so much
done on the mission before winter?
This novel is based on factual events as well as a real
person. Why do you think the Mission San Luis Rey was eventually called
the “King of the Missions” even though it was one of the later
Noki was introduced to a way of life totally different from
what he had known. Compare this to the following characters’
experience in Hatchet
experience in Julie of the Wolves
experience in Holes
experience in The Jungle Book when he lived with the villagers
Potter’s first year at Hogwarts
your experience if you moved to a new school, neighborhood, or in a new
Use a Venn diagram to write down the
similarities and differences between one of those and Noki.
Near the end of the book, Noki sees
several people, (during the Dance of the Dead). Who are they? What do you
think they were trying to say to Noki and to you, the reader?
After completing My House of Dreams, use several
research/reference materials to find out what happened to the Mission San
Luis Rey. Do a timeline of the mission (or any other southwest mission.)
With the popularity of the ABC and number books (Jerry
Palotta, Mike Shoulders, etc.) have the students create their own ABC or
number book of a mission or Native American group assimilated by the
Spanish missions. These could be done individually or in small groups.
Students would not only write the words, but illustrate each page and then
Students choose a person from the Spanish American or
Mexican era. They will learn about this individual, dress like their
person and give a short presentation as though they were the person.
Students can work in groups to create a ‘mission
magazine’ or ‘newspaper’ with different students presenting articles
from the Native American and missionary viewpoints.
The Mendel Experiment:
Corree changes in
several ways during The Mendel Experiment? How does she change physically?
How do her thoughts and feelings change?
What are some examples
of how the Federation used propaganda?
Why does Corree feel
it’s important to contact other groups?
Corree finds out that
she and her family aren’t the first genetically altered humans on
Mendel. Who are the first?
How are the cave people
different from Corree’s, Ris’s, or Lendon’s groups? How are they the
How did Corree’s
feelings about the Ologrians change after meeting Greelon? How did her
feelings change toward the Federation?
In shows like Star
Trek, the Federation (or similar governing body) is the “good
guy.” Why isn’t that the case in The Mendel Experiment? What does the
Federation do that could be considered unscrupulous or ruthless. Give
examples. List them and add a short reason why you chose them.
Why would Greelon choose
to take such good care of someone different from his people?
The Ologrians were ruled
by two leaders. Why do you think they did that? How were The Head and The
Tail suited for their roles?
Why does Corree ally
herself with the Ologrians, rather than the Federation?
The Mendel Experiment
ends in what is called a cliffhanger, which is a term for a story that
isn’t resolved or a story that finishes with someone in danger. Why do
you think cliffhanger is a good term for what happens at the end of
If you were given mutant
powers, what would you like your power to be? Why? What would you do with
this power? (Write several
paragraphs to answer this.)
habitats Corree traveled to: rain forest, sea, mountains, caves, desert,
even another planet. What other habitat could she or her friends visit and
how would they have to change to be able to live in this habitat? (You
could write this as an essay, or use excel to create a flow sheet. You
could make your own graphic 'novel.' You can
even give more detail on the habitats mentioned in the book.)