Answer the following quiz questions in writing or word document.  Be sure to utilize the hyperlinks to conduct outside research and apply it to your answers.  Use a paragraph format that considers the 6 trait rubric.


  1. After reading the information on adoption what are some of the requirements to be able to adopt that T.J.’s adoptive parents would have had to meet?
  2. At one point, T.J. comments that Rich Marshall is “kind of a cross between a kid and an adult, and I mean that in the least flattering terms of either” (Crutcher 66).  For T.J., Mike Barbour is a peer bully, and Rich Marshall is an adult bully.  How could a youth bully like Mike turn into an adult bully like Marshall?  According to you, what’s the difference between being a grown-up and being mature? Do the two always go hand in hand?
  3. T.J. and Mike both have respect for athletics, but in very different ways.  What is the difference between how T.J. views respect the letter jacket versus how Mike Barbour views respect the Letter Jacket?  How do the three different characters of Chris, T.J. and Mike find personal identity in a Letter Jacket?
  4. T.J. gathers a group of unique kids (each with their individual quirks) from Cutter High for a swim team or misfit team that represents various different spectrums of the school.  Describe how each member of the team is a misfit according to the “status quo” of Cutter High School Athletics.  How would you stereotype or classify each member of the team? Then name one way each team member is unique apart from or in addition to the stereotype.  Finally, how do the team members compliment each other (in listing both strengths and weaknesses).
  5. In the story, T.J.’s father is a Guardian ad Litem.  After reading the information provided on this website, give a brief example of how T.J. is also acting as an unofficial Guardian ad Litem.
  6. Every year the Amputee Coalition of America sponsors a special ski trip, where participants learn to overcome a variety of physical, emotional, and social obstacles. Although the only student with a prosthetic leg on Cutter High’s swim team is Andy Mott, all of the students have obstacles to overcome. How do you think the experiences of the teens on the ski outing are similar to those of the swimmers of at Cutter High?
  7. According to the information provided on the Special Olympics website what are some of the benefits that people with intellectual disabilities such as Chris can gain from participating in group sports?  Which of these benefits are evident in Chris’s life in Whale Talk?
  8. After reviewing the information provided on lemmings explain how you think this animal represents the story as a whole.  Find at least one sentence from the book that supports your idea.
  9. The little girl Heidi in Whale Talk is abused by her stepfather Rich Marshall.  What are the different ways, according to the categories of abuse, in which Heidi has been hurt?
  10. What does Heidi begin to realize about her identity during the play therapy session with TJ and Georgia?  In turn, what does TJ realize about Heidi’s identity, ethnic identity, and identity in general?
  11. Using the web resource, what is ironic about T.J. not receiving a letter jacket from the council? What kind of irony is this?

  12. How does whale song become a central metaphor for the book?  Specifically, what is it about the nature of whale song that allows Chris Crutcher to weave it into the story and further our understanding of the characters?


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