Research Data

I arranged the data by question type and setting type. I decided to categorize the data this way because I wanted to know which type of questions probe students to get into the perspective of the text, and which ones call for them to interpret the text. I am also interested in an effective way to assess their understanding of the perspective of the character.

The question type are as follows:
  1. Interpretive question: this type of question asks the student to interpret text that is there. This could mean they are asked to evaluate a situation, compare characters, or ask what a character is thinking. This response calls for the student to show textual evidence for their response, showing what they read in the text that helped them reach that conclusion. This question is aimed at assessing if students are interpreting the story, plot and characters appropriately, and to assess if they are comprehending "between the lines," but keeping them rooted in the text.
  2. Hypothetical question: This type of question asks for students to use knowledge, understanding and empathy for the character to devise a hypothetical situation, or to propose how a character would react to a particular situation. Students are asked to explain their thinking using textual evidence, or previous events in the story.
  3. Extended thinking/conferences: This type of setting allowed me to ask students to explain their thinking further. This could mean that students could expand on their thoughts, clarify their responses, or receive clarification and feedback from me (the teacher).
  4. Classroom discussion: This type of questioning included comprehension checks, analysis and interpretation of the story, and listening to and responding to teacher's and classmates' comments. This will be noted as a comprehension check, interpretive question, or hypothetical question/prompt.

Reader Response Questions

Chapter 2
  • Why does Lyddie go off to work at the tavern? What other options does she have? (Brandon, Gabby, Goldie )
  • Write the dialogue you think Lyddie wished she could have had with Charlie when he visited the tavern or at the mill. (Goldie,
Chapter 5
  • Why do you think Lyddie tells herself not to be jealous of Charlie? Why would she be jealous of Charlie? (p. 37) (Brandon, Gabby,
Chapter 7
  • Write a diary entry from Lyddie's perspective, or a letter to Charlie, about her experience traveling. What was it like for her? What was she thinking about along the way? Has her thinking changed in any way since the beginning of the story? (Brandon, Gabby. Goldie
Chapter 8
  • Is class, or status, important in this context? What is the author telling us about the importance of class? How do you think this affected Lyddie's decisions? If class weren't important at all, how might things have been different for Lyddie? (
  • Before Lyddie even begins work in the mill, she must make many adjustments to her new life in Lowell. What were some of the biggest changes for her as she moved from "farm girl" to "mill girl"? (Brandon, Gabby, Goldie
Chapter 9
  • (NOT USING) Describe your impression of Diana. How is she different from Lyddie? What affect does she have on Lyddie? What does Lyddie think of her? Why? (Brandon, Gabby, Goldie
Chapter 10
  • (NOT USING) Complete the following analogy: Lyddie: The Bear :: Me: . Explain your analogy. Explain how the image of the bear is used and how it connects to Lyddie's situation. (Brandon)
Chapter 11
  • Respond to the following: “The very word was like a blow to her chest. Home. If she could only go.” (p81). What significance does home play? How has “home” changed for Lyddie throughout the story so far?

Chapter 12
  • Lyddie has just received the letter from her mother. Write a journal entry from Lyddie's perspective.
Chapter 13
  • On p. 94, Lyddie is telling herself that she is not a slave, and that she's "far less a slave than most any girl she knew of." What is so unsettling to Lyddie about being thought of as a slave?
  • Lyddie’s single-minded focus on earning as much money as she can is in sharp contrast to the broader concerns of others around her. Describe two such contrasting examples of other people’s interests, kindness, and/or generosity. (Gabby, Goldie
Chapter 14
  • What does Lyddie think about having to show the ropes to the new girl? How does she go about this?
  • Why do you think Lyddie has such a hard time sending her mother money? Do you think she feels bad about giving so little? How might this gesture show how Lyddie has changed in her journey, and what her priorities are? What are her priorities? Why is she so thrilled about getting the money?
  • The economic pinch at the mills is well underway when Lyddie arrives, but changes begin in earnest after her first summer. list some of the signs of the corporations’ push for lower costs and greater profits.
Chapter 15
  • Lyddie's uncle arrives with some bad news, and a burden for Lyddie to bear. Respond to the uncle in one of the following ways: Persuade him that Lyddie is still a child and cannot bear all of this responsibility; or persuade him that he has made the right decision and she is now the family matriarch.
  • The symbol of the bear appears yet again. What is the symbol of the bear being used to represent, and why can't Lyddie start it down? What are some examples of what Lyddie cannot stare down?
Chapter 16
  • Once Rachel joins her, Lyddie begins to see some things differently. Compare her kind care of Rachel with her changed treatment of Brigid after Rachel’s arrival. (Brandon, Gabby, Goldie)

Chapter 18
  • How does Lyddie respond to Charlie's visit? To his news? If Lyddie could have things her way, what would she prefer? To have Rachel stay with her or go off to live with strangers?
  • Why doesn't Lyddie hug her brother good bye? (Brandon, Goldie)
  • On p. 145, it says, "Lyddie brushed away a cobweb of envy." What does she envy? What would her ideal situation be?
  • How does Luke Stevens' letter worsen or alleviate her bad spirits? (Gabby,
Chapter 19
  • Lyddie functioned just fine before Rachel came. Why is she now feeling lonely? Why does she refer to Rachel leaving as "a loss?"
  • Why does Lyddie finally change her mind about signing the petition?
Chapter 20
  • p. 156 "She had been such a child then--such a foolish, unknowing child." What would Lyddie now write to Lyddie back then? What wisdom would she give to her former self? How has she grown and learned since then?
  • Charlie has taken on the role of caring for the family in a major way. What does he want for Lyddie? Why does Lyddie protest? What is she working for? Is the family that has taken in Charlie and Rachel offered to care for Lyddie, so you think she would go?
  • How has Lyddie once again stared down the bear?
Chapter 21
(Gabby, Brandon, Goldie

Chapter 23

  • Throughout her life, Lyddie has always been taking care of others’ needs first. One by one, however, all those others drop away until she has only herself to care for. Describe two ways in which the author shows Lyddie coming to value herself.
  • Lyddie is incredibly happy for Diana, who has found some peace, stability and happiness in her own life. Why do you think Lyddie reacts so strongly to this when she cries on the way home to Vermont? What is the cause of her tears? What kind of tears are they?
  • In the end, Lyddie makes a monumental decision about the direction of her life. In your opinion, will she succeed in her endeavor? Why, or why not? What do you think she will make of her life? How does her decision help her in her life?

Final Assessment Respond to one of the following prompts:
Freedom letter - Gabby, Brandon, Goldie
I hope all is well. It has been a while since our time at the factory. I can't believe how much we have both grown and matured since that time. I have been thinking a lot about our time there. I know that you often told me that you chose to work at the factory of your own free will. But do you think that you really had a choice? What else would or could you have done? We could come and go as we pleased, which is more than most 13-year-old girls can say. How were we more free or less free than a normal girl living in her parents' home? I've started to think that slavery isn't as simple as a negro working on a Southern plantation. How do you think slavery can take on different forms? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this, as I always admired your wit and intelligence.

Hope letter - Brandon, Goldie
How are you? What did you decide to do? The last time we spoke, you told me that you were full of hope for the future—how do you think this has benefited you? I wonder if there was ever a time where you almost or completely gave up hope? What was the hardest part of your journey to the factory? Did having hope comfort you in any way or shape you as a person throughout this journey? You'll be happy to hear that my dreams have never subsided, and have finally paid off. I feel stable and contented, yet I still dream for even bigger things for me and my family. Do you think people still have hope, even if they achieve all of their dreams? What are your hopes these days?


Industry letter - Gabby
Isn't it amazing to think that there are still thousands of girls going through exactly what we went through? I'm constantly meeting factory girls, some of whom have very similar stories to yours and mine. I wonder how far industry has reached into the lives of people all over the country. Knowing what you know about industry, and about what some are calling an "industrial revolution," how have industry-wide changes affected the very real lives of people like you and I and all the other factory girls? How did this boom of machines and industry affect you and your family? What do you think this change will mean for society? Do you have any predictions about what it will mean for society that industry is becoming more and more about machines and mass production?


Extended Thinking/conferencesExtended Thinking/conferences
Chapter 7: Write a diary entry from Lyddie's perspective, or a letter to Charlie, about her experience traveling. What was it like for her? What was she thinking about along the way? Has her thinking changed in any way since the beginning of the story? (Gabby, Goldie

Chapter 8: Is class, or status, important in this context? What is the author telling us about the importance of class? How do you think this affected Lyddie's decisions? If class weren't important at all, how might things have been different for Lyddie? (Gabby, Goldie
Class discussions:
Goldie, Brandon 6/2/10 Chapter 19/20