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The Call of the Wild

Chapter 1

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2buckporch
d"The whole realm was his."

But Buck was neither house dog nor kennel dog. The whole realm was his. He plunged into the swimming tank or went hunting with the Judge's sons; he escorted Mollie and Alice, the Judge's daughters, on long twilight or early morning rambles; on wintry nights he lay at the Judge's feet before the roaring library fire; he carried the Judge's grandsons on his back, or rolled them in the grass, and guarded their footsteps through wild adventures down to the fountain in the stable yard, and even beyond, where the paddocks were, and the berry patches. Among the terriers he stalked imperiously, and Toots and Ysabel he utterly ignored, for he was king—king over all creeping, crawling, flying things of Judge Miller's place, humans included. Literary Device

His father, Elmo, a huge Resources St. Bernard, had been the Judge's inseparable companion, and Buck bid fair to follow in the way of his father. He was not so large—he weighed only one hundred and forty pounds—for his mother, She, had been a Scotch shepherd dog. Nevertheless, one hundred and forty pounds, to which was added the dignity that comes of good living and universal respect, enabled him to carry himself in right royal fashion. During the four years since his puppyhood he had lived the life of a sated aristocrat; he had a fine pride in himself, was even a trifle egotistical, as country gentlemen sometimes become because of their insular situation. Stop and Think!But he had saved himself by not becoming a mere pampered house dog. Hunting and kindred outdoor delights had kept down the fat and hardened his muscles; and to him, as to the cold-tubbing races, the love of water had been a tonic and a health preserver.

And this was the manner of dog Buck was in the fall of 1897, when Stop and Think! the Klondike strike dragged men from all the world into the frozen North. But Buck did not read the newspapers, and he did not know that Manuel, one of the gardener's helpers, was an undesirable acquaintance. Manuel had one besetting sin. He loved to play Chinese lottery. Also, in his gambling, he had one besetting weakness—faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain. For to play a system requires money, while the wages of a gardener's helper do not lap over the needs of a wife and numerous progeny.

The Judge was at a meeting of the Raisin Growers' Association, and the boys were busy organizing an athletic club, on the memorable night of Manuel's treachery. No one saw him and Buck go off through the orchard on what Buck imagined was merely a stroll. And with the exception of a solitary man, no one saw them arrive at the little flag station known as College Park. This man talked with Manuel, and money chinked between them.

"You might wrap up the goods before you deliver them," the stranger said gruffly, and Manuel doubled a piece of stout rope around Buck's neck under the collar.

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Stop and Think!

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Characterization

Author's Craft

Interpret the characterization, or clues about Buck in this selection. Choose the statement that best describes what Buck is like.


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Characterization

Author's Craft

Now you can be creative and mix up your own characterization for the story. What kind of character would you like to create?




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Choose from the pull-downs to create your new characterization. Remember your goal as you choose! Click "Done" when you are ready.


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MontyHaliPedro


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Characterization

Author's Craft
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Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases that provide the characterization in this passage. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


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MontyHali

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Predict

Reading Strategy

Choose the best prediction based on text clues and your knowledge. Click 'Show' to see the clues that helped the coaches predict. Click on the coaches for help.



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MontyHaliPedro


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Predict

Reading Strategy
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Make a prediction! Use the Text Help toolbar above to highlight and collect clues—important words and phrases—to help you make a prediction. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your prediction.


Click on the Coaches for help. To check your prediction click on Monty, or just read on!

MontyHaliPedro


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Choose Strategy

Reading Strategy

Choose one of the strategies you've practiced here—visualize, summarize, predict, or question. Pick one that works well for you and is suited to the passage.

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Use the Text Help toolbar located above to highlight and collect the words and phrases. Paste them into your word processor and write, sketch, or discuss your response.


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Monty's Thoughts

When I read about Buck I noticed that his father had been a good companion to the judge, and Buck was a similar dog. It made me realize that Buck is proud and dignified.

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Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand characterization, I check the author's descriptions and the illustrations of the character. These pictures of Buck by himself and beside of the woman help me choose the description that fits him best.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

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Monty's Thoughts

I chose to change Buck into a frightened dog whose life had been very difficult. I was interested to see that changing just a few words really made Buck seem like a completely different kind of character.

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Hali's Thoughts

When I am choosing words and phrases to make a new kind of character, I use adjectives to describe appearance, or describe actions or thoughts that signal to the reader about what your character is like.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions when trying to understand characterization:

What does the character look like?

How does the character behave towards others? How do others behave toward the character?

What does the character seem to care about?

What adjectives does the author use to describe the character's personality?

What does the character think or say?

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

When I read about Buck I noticed that his father had been a good companion to the judge, and Buck was a similar dog. It made me realize that Buck is proud and dignified.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I am trying to understand characterization, I check the author's descriptions and the illustrations of the character. These pictures of Buck by himself and beside of the woman help me choose the description that fits him best.

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

The description of Manuel as an 'undesirable acquaintance' for Buck and of his 'treachery' helped me make my prediction about what will happen to Buck.



Monty's Response

I predict that Manuel will use Buck to make money, and that he will do it while everyone else is busy.

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Hali's Thoughts

When I predict what is likely to happen in the next scene, I always gather all clues in the current chapter that the author might have intentionally included within the context. If there are some changes in the setting or characters, I like to incorporate them into my prediction.



Hali's Response

I envision that Manuel will not stop gambling even though he still has to provide for his family. I predict that Manuel's need for money will drive him to seek more cash at Buck's expense.

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Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions to help yourself make a good prediction:

Does your prediction connect what you know with information in the text or image?

Did you make an educated guess, not a 'wild' guess?

Do your predictions change as you read more and get more information that doesn't match your earlier prediction?

Did you predict what might happen (a 'crystal ball' kind of prediction) OR what the text or image is preparing you for ('predicting the moves of the text')?

Did you use keywords in the text structure to help yourself make predictions? (Example: If the text contains the words, 'for instance,' you can expect to find examples.)

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Monty's Thoughts

The description of Manuel as an 'undesirable acquaintance' for Buck and of his 'treachery' helped me make my prediction about what will happen to Buck.

Close Window

Hali's Thoughts

When I predict what is likely to happen in the next scene, I always gather all clues in the current chapter that the author might have intentionally included within the context. If there are some changes in the setting or characters, I like to incorporate them into my prediction.

Close Window


Pedro's Self Check

Ask yourself these questions to help yourself make a good prediction:

Does your prediction connect what you know with information in the text or image?

Did you make an educated guess, not a 'wild' guess?

Do your predictions change as you read more and get more information that doesn't match your earlier prediction?

Did you predict what might happen (a 'crystal ball' kind of prediction) OR what the text or image is preparing you for ('predicting the moves of the text')?

Did you use keywords in the text structure to help yourself make predictions? (Example: If the text contains the words, 'for instance,' you can expect to find examples.)

Close Window

Monty's Thoughts

I enjoy mysteries and use the prediction strategy a lot. Of course, predictions change as you get new information, so sometimes my early predictions turn out to be way off-base!

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Hali's Thoughts

I find that I discover more about what the author is trying to convey in the story when I question the contents that I read. As I ask questions such as 'who,' 'what,' 'when,' 'why,' and 'how,' I begin to grasp the storyline more clearly.