Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finding Zola

Teacher Guide for
Finding Zola by Marianne Mitchell


Discuss person-first language when talking about someone with a disability. For example: Mary has quadriplegia rather than Mary is a quadriplegic. Do you think this is important? Why or why not? How would you want people to refer to your disability if you had one?


  1. Explain why Crystal is in Arizona.
  2. Make a list of all the major characters in the book and their relationship to Crystal.


  1. Retell the dream that Crystal keeps having.
  2. Describe five key scenes in the book in your own words. Explain why you picked these five in a short paragraph.


  1. How does Crystal finally solve the mystery? What clues give her the answer?
  2. Illustrate your favorite scene in the book.


  1. Examine how Crystal’s disability did and did not complicate the storyline. Give at least three examples of each.
  2. How would the viewpoint of the book be different if written through Zola’s perspective? DJ?


  1. How would you have reacted to the burglary? How is it the same or different from Crystal’s reaction?
  2. How would your day-to-day life be different if you had an injury similar to Crystals?


  1. Decide what happens after the book closes
  2. Predict what Crystal is doing with her life in 5 years, 10, in 20.

Multiple Intelligence Projects
for Finding Zola by Marianne Mitchell

Verbal/ Linguistic

Create a journal as if you were Crystal, and make at least ten entries as you read the book. Recap the events in the story to prove that you understood what you have read and the significance of the events to Crystal.

Logical/ Mathematical

Fill out the character chart on the next page.

Visual/ Spatial

Draw a map of the complex where Crystal’s Grandma lived. Be detailed! Put in as many clues from the book as you can that show you understand where all the action took place. Create a key if it makes it easier (or more fun!) for you. Color your map in colors that you think capture the tone of the whole novel.


With a partner, write a twenty-line dialogue between two of the characters from Finding Zola that happens either one year before or after the book. Act it out!

Musical/ Rhythmic

and create a musical accompaniment for your favorite scene in Finding Zola. Then, in a short paragraph explain what you learned while creating your masterpiece.


For one hour (in the privacy of your own home) try to do everything from a chair. Take notes as to what is easier than you thought, and what was more difficult than you imagined. Don’t just watch TV either! Try to DO things around the house, and follow your normal routine. Then, write a journal entry of at least two paragraphs as to what you learned. (If you really want to up the ante: tie your knees together with a handkerchief and put mittens on because many people with spinal cord injuries do not have full use of their fingers).


Knowing when your comprehension is flagging is an important skill that all good readers do. ALL readers (even the best ones) get distracted and forget what they are reading. This thinking about your thinking is called metacognition. Here is a great link about it:
Go there and then make a bookmark/cheat sheet that will help you stay tuned in as you work!

Mathematical/ Logical Chart
for Finding Zola by Marianne Mitchell

Fill in the following chart based on the story.
Along the top list five major events in the story
Color in the corresponding block as to how Crystal acted in the scene

5 events in the story:









Defend at least three of your choices here: