Snow: Focus Area 2 English, Yr 7

Families and Forgiveness

Primary Resource

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Additional Resources 


Suggested Learning Activities

This focus area refers to a range of chapters.

Inquiry Questions 

  • In what ways can works of fiction communicate lessons about family and forgiveness?
  • To what extent are friends/family required to support us in overcoming difficulties?



Mind Mapping Relationships  

Students to create a mind map of the relationships in the novel. If you do have access to laptops/computers then instruct them to use Mindmup to create their maps. If not, students can complete this task in their books.

Students should consider both Sky and Jaxon’s families.

Extension: Students to provide quotations from the text to support their ideas.



Compare and Contrast. 

Once students have spent some time creating a mind map of the relationships, they are to complete a comparison of both Sky and Jaxon’s families.

Complete the Compare and Contrast Worksheet.



Families and Forgiveness  

Facilitate a class discussion on the following points:

  • It could be said that Sky is sometimes not very kind to her father – what do you think? Are her actions justified? Why/Why not?
  • Sky does not agree with her father about hunting – this fractures their ability to communicate – especially when Sky flees Anchorage to find Melody, after finding out the truth about Adam’s profession.
  • Do parents and children always need to agree?
  • Sky learns the truth about her family’s past in fragments – how do you feel about this – is it okay for parents to conceal the truth?
  • Jaxon’s father has become an alcoholic after the death of his wife. What do you think of the way Jaxon deals with this situation?
  • For the first half of the novel, Sky is upset with Melody and their communication is not great. How does Sherman set up divisions between the adult world and the world of a teenager?
  • Sky finds it difficult to accept both her father’s profession and his absence in her life. Does forgiving her father mean she has to agree with his life choices?
  • The truck driver, Ted, advises Sky that, “Nobody’s perfect…You’ll realise that one day…You have to take the good with the bad.” (pg. 107) How does this connect to the idea of forgiveness and family?



Creative Task  

Choose ONE of the creative tasks below to complete – then share your response with a peer who completed a different task (students to read or perform their work) 250-300 words.

  1. Imagine you are Adam – compose a dramatic monologue, outlining your reasons for not telling Sky the truth.
  2. Imagine you are Doug – write a letter to your son, Jaxon, with the aim of rebuilding your relationship.
  3. Imagine you are Melody – write a journal entry which explains how you feel about the situation with Sky.




Students to devise a headline to capture the essence of the focus area: Family and Forgiveness.

This routine draws on the idea of newspaper-type headlines as a vehicle for summing up and capturing the essence of an event, idea, concept, topic, etc. The routine asks one core question: 

Refer to Harvard’s Visible Thinking Routines here, for more information.



Use the notes made in the Compare and Contrast Worksheet to assist students in writing an extended response or PEEL paragraph (Point/Example/Explanation/Link) on the following question:

  • Compare and contrast the characters of Jaxon and Sky. To what extent do they need the support of those around them in order to overcome difficulties?  Provide textual analysis to support your ideas.

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