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Teaching Ender's Game - Submitted by Roxanne Lovelette, High school teacher
February 2003

These questions were used as both a quiz and as a vehicle for discussion. Many of my students had not read sci-fi prior to this.

Ender's Game: Quiz chapters 1- 7

  1. What is a "Third"? What is the significance of Ender being a third?
  2. Describe Peter and Valentine.
  3. What happened between Ender and Stilson?
  4. Why was Ender wearing a monitor?
  5. How does Graff set Ender apart from the other boys on the way to the Battle school?
  6. What does Ender do to Bernard in order to gain the respect of the other boys in his group?
  7. How does Ender react to his first time in the battleroom?
  8. What type of detail does the conversation at the beginning of each chapter reveal to the reader?
  9. What is expected of Ender?
  10. What do you think (yes, opinion) about the government taking Ender to the battleschool?

Ender's Game: Quiz chapters 8 - 10

CHOOSE ANY FIVE OF THE FOLLOWING. These chapters focus on the conditioning Ender receives. Below you will find a list of quotes. Explain the following for each:

A. The context

B. The meaning or purpose

C. The result

  1. Page 97 - 98: Beginning of Chapter 8. (As Ender enters Rat Army)
  2. "Colonel Graff, the games have always been run fairly before …"

    "Fairness is a wonderful attribute, Major Anderson. It has nothing to do with war."…

    "That's why I'm asking you now. To begin. Be creative. Think of every stacked, impossible, unfair … Think of other ways to bend the rules… You're forgetting that it is merely a training exercise."

    "It's also status, identity, purpose, name; all that makes these children who they are comes out of this game. When it becomes known that the game can be manipulated, weighted, cheated, it will undo this whole school. I'm not exaggerating."

    "I know."

  3. Page 108: Conversation with Dink:
  4. "I know, you've been here a year, you think these people are normal. Well, they're not. We''re not. I look in the library, I call up books on my desk. Old one, because they won't let us have anything new, but I've got a pretty good idea what children are, and we're not children."

  5. Page 118: The purpose of the computer game……
  6. "Ender didn't go back to the fantasy game. But it lived in his dreams. He kept remembering how it felt to kill the snake, grinding it in, the way he tore the ear off that boy, the way he destroyed Stilson, the way he broke Bernard's arm. And then to stand up, holding the corpse of his enemy, and find Peter's face looking out at him from the mirror. This game knows too much about me. This game tells filthy lies. I am not Peter. I don't have murder in my heart.

    And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter ever was; that it was this very trait that pleased the teachers…"

  7. Page 131: Peter and Valentine
  8. "But I didn't hate you. I loved you both, I just had to be - had to have control, do you understand that? It's the most important thing to me, it's my greatest gift, I can see where the weak points are, I can see how to get in and use them, I just see those things without even trying."

    Not only should you discuss this quote, but also what Peter is planning with Valentine.

  9. Page 143: Graff to Valentine
  10. "Valentine, we need your help for Ender."

    "What kind of help?"

    "We aren't even sure of that. We need you to help us figure out how you can help us."

  11. Page 167: Chapter 10 (Dragon Army)
  12. "But what was this thing with Bean? Why had he gone for the smallest, weakest, and possibly the brightest of the boys? Why had he done to Bean what had been done to Ender by commanders that he despised?

    Then he remembered that it hadn't begun with his commanders."

Ender's Game: Quiz chapters 11 - 13
  1. Ender wins seven battles in as many days. How do the other commanders treat him? Why?
  2. Ender knows, after his battle with Bonzo's army, that Bonzo is now a serious threat. Why?
  3. At the end of chapter 11, Ender confides in Bean (which surprises him.) Why?
  4. Why do Graff and Anderson decide not to interfere with the growing situation between Ender and Bonzo?
  5. What finally happens between Ender and Bonzo? How does Ender react to this?
  6. At the end of Chapter 12, "The system is breaking up." What happens to Ender's army? What happens to Ender?
  7. After the 'system breaks up' where does Ender go? Why does Graff take him to this place?
  8. How does Graff once again use Valentine to 'help' Ender? Does she feel she helps Ender? Does Ender feel he's been helped?
  9. Where does Graff take Ender? Describe the voyage.
  10. Ender realizes two things in the chapter. One is about himself and why he's the perfect choice - THE WIGGIN. The other is about why there is a war with the buggers in the first place. Discuss briefly these two 'things.'

Ender's Game portion of Semester Exam

In an interview, Orson Scott Card stated:

"I use the character's own attitude and experiences to let the reader see how important the events are in the character's life. Instead of having the character smacked in the head with a brick, I have the character smacked with an emotional surprise that only FEELS like a brick. Works better, less blood."

  1. In a three paragraph essay, give an example of the above from the last section of chapters in Ender's Game.
  2. Defend your commentary with evidence. (Obviously, I do not require direct quotes. I do require direct reference to events and situations.)
  3. Provide a thesis.
  4. Demonstrates Ender's growth/learning from the experience you have chosen. Make sure to include where Ender will go from that point with his new understanding.

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