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Letters from Rifka

`s

Journal

Started on: Completed on:

What is the best way to survive hard times?

Plan Your Schedule

My group members are: ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ We plan to read Letters from Rifka and meet on these dates:

Sections

1. pages 5­27

Date We Will Finish Reading

Date We Will Discuss

2. pages 28­51

3. pages 52­75

4. pages 76­103

5. pages 104­117

6. pages 118­131

7. pages 132­159

8. pages 160­179

9. pages 180­206

Our Exchange meeting will be on this date:

.

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Letters from Rifka

Prepare to Read

Think About What You Know

Think about the hardships immigrants faced on their way to America. What kind of people were they? What words would you use to describe them? ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________

Preview and Predict

· Look at the front cover. · Read the book summary on the back cover. · Read The Exchange question on the title page. · Read the Author's Note on page 5. 1. Who was the author's inspiration for this book? Was the person an immigrant? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What experiences do you think Rifka will share with her cousin? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Use a Reading Strategy

Use a Problem and Solution Chart

As you read Letters from Rifka, use a Problem and Solution Chart to show how Rifka's family solves their problem.

Problem

Events

Solution

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Letters from Rifka

Section 1: Pages 5­27

Respond to Pages 5­27

Problem and Solution Chart

Review what happened in the first letter. Fill in the Problem and first event in the Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Think about what you have read so far and answer these questions. 1. Personal Response Rifka had to leave her family and friends in Russia. Think of a time you left a person or place. Write about it below. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Perspectives If Tovah read this letter, what do you think she would write to Rifka? Write a short response below. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Summarize Describe what happened to Rifka's family before the train left for Poland. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 2: Pages 28­51

Respond to Pages 28­51

Problem and Solution Chart

Add the events that you read about to your Problem and Solution Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Write answers to these questions. 1. Personal Response Saul and Rifka were alone in Poland. Saul found a job so he and Rifka could survive. Write about a time you had to do something important for yourself or someone else. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Setting Why did Rifka write that Russia was not as bad for Tovah's family as it was for her family? How can one place be different for different people? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Character's Point of View Rifka lived with Saul when her parents were in the hospital. How did her feelings about Saul change? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 3: Pages 52­75

Respond to Pages 52­75

Problem and Solution Chart

Review what has happened so far. Add events to your Problem and Solution Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Write answers to these questions. 1. Personal Response In Warsaw, Rifka ate an orange for the first time. Write about some foods you tried for the first time. How did you feel before you ate the food? Did you like what you ate? Why or why not?

2. Context Clues On page 72, Rifka said she had a "bald patch" on her head. What tells you that "bald patch" means "no hair"?

3. Judgments Rifka's family sent her to Antwerp alone because she had ringworm. Do you think this was a good decision? Why or why not?

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Letters from Rifka

Section 4: Pages 76­103

Respond to Pages 76 ­103

Problem and Solution Chart

Add events to your Chart on Journal page 4 that show what happened on pages 76­103.

Think It Over

Think about what you have read so far and answer these questions. 1. Personal Response If you were Rifka, would you explore a big city like Antwerp? Why or why not? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Context Clues On page 88, Rifka asked her mother if Uncle Avrum wanted Tovah to find a husband. What did Rifka's mother mean when she said "some girls aren't meant to marry"? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Setting At first Rifka said she would go back to Berdichev rather than go to Antwerp. But then she liked Antwerp. How were Antwerp and Berdichev similar and different? Do you think Rifka was happy about her decision to go to Antwerp? Why? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 5: Pages 104­117

Respond to Pages 104 ­117

Problem and Solution Chart

Add events to your Chart on Journal page 4 to show what happens on pages 104­117.

Think It Over

Write answers to these questions. 1. Personal Response Rifka was excited that she was going to America. Write about a time you went someplace new. How did you feel about going there? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Character Pieter and others told Rifka she was smart, but Rifka was not sure. Look back in the story. What did Rifka do that shows she is smart? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Character's Point of View Rifka planned to write poems in America. What inspired her? Do you think this was a good plan? Why or why not? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 6: Pages 118­131

Respond to Pages 118 ­131

Problem and Solution Chart

Add the events that Rifka wrote about on pages 118­131 to your Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Think about what you have read so far and answer these questions. 1. Personal Response On page 127 Rifka said she was tired from her traveling and wished she never left Berdichev. Tell about a time you wanted to give up. Why did you continue? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Metaphor Rifka compared her fear of the storm to her fear of the pogroms in Russia. How were they similar? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Paraphrase Rifka decided that she wanted America to be more than a place to run to. She wanted to make a new life there. She said, "life is as good as a clever girl can make it." What did she mean? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 7: Pages 132­159

Respond to Pages 132­159

Problem and Solution Chart

Add the events you read about in the letters on pages 132­159 to your Problem and Solution Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Think about what you have read so far and answer these questions. 1. Personal Response When Rifka met Ilya she hated him but also felt sorry for him. Tell about a time you had conflicting feelings. What did you do? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Perspectives It was hard for Rifka to make friends with Ilya. Write about when Rifka and Ilya met from Ilya's point of view. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Character Rifka's Star of David fell out of her book and broke. Why was it so important to her? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Section 8: Pages 160­179

Respond to Pages 160 ­179

Problem and Solution Chart

Review what you read. Add to your Problem and Solution Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Write the answers to these questions. 1. Personal Response Rifka yelled at Ilya for wasting paper. Later, she thought it was funny. Write about a time something bad happened to you that you later thought was funny. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Setting On page 179 Rifka wrote that she could not go back to Berdichev after living in "this big world." What did she mean by "this big world"? Why did she say she could not go back? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Character's Point of View Rifka wrote that she was both Jewish and Russian. How did this make her feel different from her family? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

Section 9: Pages 180­206

Respond to Pages 180 ­206

Problem and Solution Chart

Complete the Solution box on your Chart on Journal page 4.

Think It Over

Think about what you have read so far and answer these questions. 1. Personal Response Throughout the story, we hear that Rifka talked too much. Sometimes it got her in trouble. Sometimes it saved her. Tell about a trait you have that has helped you through hard times. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Character Ilya surprised everyone when he started to talk. How did Ilya change from when Rifka first met him? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Author's Point of View What can you tell about the author from the Historical Note? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

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Letters from Rifka

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