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Drog for Teachers

1.  Activities before reading You Will Call Me Drog


2.  Themes to discuss during and after reading 


3.  Metaphors to explore in You Will Call Me Drog

4.  Activities after reading You Will Call Me Drog

5.  Discussion questions by chapters click here

1.  Activities before reading You Will Call Me Drog:

--Have students wrap their non-dominant hand in an ace bandage (or wear a baseball glove) and try to get through a day at school and/or home without taking it off.  Ask them as a group to share what problems they encountered and how the limitations made them feel.  

-- Research some of the best known martial arts: judo, karate, tae kwan do, jujitsu, t’ai chi, aikido.  Make a comparison chart. How are they similar in their goals and training?  How are they different?

-- Collect “junk” to use to make new things.    With the students’ help, assemble items that might otherwise be thrown away: broken electronics, baby food jars, buttons, zippers, corks, pop tops, clean cans, hardware, scraps of colored paper,  scraps of wood or linoleum, scraps of fabric and findings, broken or unwanted  toys, broken jewelry, scratched CDs, magazines with pictures, small rocks, used hardware, plastic lids, puzzle and game pieces, plastic bottles, candle stubs, empty match boxes or other small, sturdy boxes, uncooked macaroni or pasta, cardboard,  foam trays or clam shells, old picture frames, etc.

    Provide tools and materials such as: scissors, glue or glue guns, tape, wire, string, acrylic paint and brushes and/or spray paint, newspaper, sponges

Ask students to make one of the following, using some of the collected  “junk:”

--a toy
--a useful container or tool
—a musical instrument
--a costume or mask
--a picture or picture book
--a mosaic
--an animal sculpture
For inspiration, show them the pictures at Good Junk.


2.  Themes to discuss during and after reading

1.  Boy-girl friendships: Parker’s father doesn’t quite approve of him having a girl for a best friend, but his mother thinks it’s fine.  What do you think about boy-girl friendships?  What makes a good friend?

2. Dealing with conflict: Sensei teaches his aikido students that it’s always wrong to hit first.  Why does he say that?  Do you agree?  What does Sensei advise when dealing with an opponent?

3.  Trust: Have you ever told the truth about something and not been believed?  How did that make you feel?  What did you do about it?

4. Honesty: How can Drog, who makes up such outrageous and unbelievable stories, accuse Parker of being dishonest (p. 198 ). Doesn’t Parker always tell the truth?  What does Drog mean?

5.  Creative Thinking.  Parker’s father, who is an engineer, has designed and helped build many things, yet when Parker is trying to explain to his dad how they are different, he describes himself as a “maker. ”  How is his way of thinking and making things different from his dad’s, and why is it hard for his dad to understand him?

6.  Practice.  When both Sensei and Sergio tell Parker that things get easier with practice, what kinds of things do you think they mean?

7. Centering.  What does Sensei mean when he says “find your center”?  How is this useful for Parker at the dojo?   Away from the dojo?

8. Language.   Look for examples of how Drog uses language, even making up or playing with words, to impress Parker or to make him look inferior or ridiculous.  How well does this work?

9. Control.  Several of the characters in this story feel a strong need to get control over something that is beyond their control.  What is it for Drog? For Wren? For Parker?  For his Dad?  What is each one afraid of?  

10. Advice. Make a chart to keep track of the bits of advice Drog gives Parker.  What do you think would happen if he followed each one?  Would Parker be better off if he had never put Drog on his hand?  Why or why not?


3.   Metaphors to explore in You Will Call Me Drog

Left hand.  The puppet doesn’t fit on Parker’s right hand, but gets stuck on his left.  How does that affect Parker? What are some popular beliefs and sayings about the left hand and left-handedness?  What do we know about the left hand and the brain?

Puppet.  At one point, Parker says about Drog, “I feel like I’m his puppet.”  What does he mean?  A puppeteer is also sometimes called a puppet-handler. How does Parker “handle” his puppet?

Cold and warm.  How is temperature used throughout the story to bring out feelings?

Geode and agate.   Wren’s prize geode and her “maybe agate” are ordinary looking rocks that contain, or may  contain, timeless and wonderful surprises when broken open.   What role do these two stones play in the friendship between Wren and Parker and in the story?

Uniform—What is the purpose of  uniforms?  Parker gladly accepts the aikido uniform, the gi, but dreads the thought of a Bradley Military uniform. What is the difference in meaning of these two uniforms for him?


Discussion Questions, by chapters

                         4. Activities after reading You Will Call Me Drog

--Have some students practice Tricks with Ki  for a few days, and then demonstrate to the rest of the class  (“Unbendable Arm” is similar to the one Parker learned on his second day at aikido). Discuss how the “tricks” might work.

--Choose some of the Aikido Games and try them as P.E. exercises.

--Have students make a papier-mache puppet character.   A good way to get the puppet to look like you want him or her to is to mold the head out of craft clay, such as Sculpey, exaggerating the features.    Oil the head with vegetable oil, then smooth on strips of newspaper soaked in diluted white glue in all directions and in 5-6 layers (to keep track of the layers, alternate black and white with colored comics, ending in black and white)until the head is sturdy. Let it dry for a day.  With  an Xacto knife, cut a large round piece off the top of the head and scoop out as much of the clay as possible so that the head won’t be heavy.  Replace the round piece and, using some more glue soaked strips, mend the crack.  Paint the head  and make the sleeve. Have students imagine the puppet’s voice and way of looking at the world, and write or speak in his or her (or its) voice.







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