Touching Spirit Bear Plot Synopsis

“After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life. This gripping, graphic survival story from an award-winning writer paints an unsparing picture of one violent teen and offers a poignant testimony to the power of pain that can destroy and may also heal.”

“After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, mischief-maker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given another option: attend Circle Justice, an alternative program that sends juvenile offenders to a remote Alaskan Island to focus on changing their ways. Desperate to avoid prison, Cole fakes humility and agrees to go.

While there, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and left for dead. Thoughts of his abusive parents, helpless Peter, and his own anger cause him to examine his actions and seek redemption—from the spirit bear that attacked him, from his victims, and from himself.”

Pre-reading Webquest

Today you are going to explore some aspects of the story in order to have a better understanding going into the novel study. You can go through every page at your own pace, watch the videos, and explore the information as you see fit. However, everyone will be assigned one section to take notes on and be responsible for.

After the webquest is complete, you will be put into groups and must create a Pre-Reading Poster. Everyone will be responsible for their assigned section so don’t let your team down:)

Pre-reading Sections – Please click the links below to explore each section. If it is your assigned section, please use the information sheet to gather information!

1. The Author

2. The Spirit Bear

3. Ketchikan and The Great Bear Rainforest (Setting)

4. Circle Justice (Restorative Justice)

5. Tlingit First Nations