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Suggested Answers to Discussion Questions for
Learning Guide to OLD YELLER


1.  [Standard Questions Suitable for Any Film]. [No suggested Answers.]

2.  Why did Travis insist that he be the one to shoot Yeller? Suggested Response: He loved the dog and didn't want anyone else to kill him. He wanted to make sure the aim was sure and he wanted it done with love.

3.  What had the father done in the Civil War? Suggested Response: He had fought for the South.

4.  Why was money so scarce? Suggested Response: There were a couple of reasons. First, everyone was very poor. Second, the U.S. at the time was on a gold standard which required that for paper money to be issued, the government had to have gold on hand to back it up. Since gold was, and is, a scarce commodity, as the economy expanded, the government could not obtain enough gold to back enough paper money for people to use. In the late 1800s there was a great debate over this and the issue of whether to abandon the gold standard and adopt a bi-metal standard, allowing silver to be used to back the currency, decided several national elections. The bankers and industrialists of the day controlled gold and wanted a gold based currency. This restricted the availability of money and hence, so the theory went, kept inflation and prices low. The Populists believed that if a bi-metal standard was adopted there would be more paper money and an increase in commerce, salaries, and prices benefitting farmers and workers. The economy did not have a lot of money in it at the time.

5.  What would have happened to this family had the corn crop failed? Suggested Response: They would have starved.

Social-Emotional Learning

COURAGE

1.  Who was the most courageous character in this film? Suggested Response: Old Yeller.

GRIEVING

2.  How did this family deal with its grief over the death of "Old Yeller." Suggested Response: They got another dog. It gave them something else to love and distracted them from their grief.


RESPONSIBILITY

(Do what you are supposed to do; Persevere: keep on trying!; Always do your best; Use self-control; Be self-disciplined; Think before you act -- consider the consequences; Be accountable for your choices)


1.  Why was Arliss dangerous to himself? Suggested Response: He would do things without thinking that exposed him to danger.

2.  What would have happened to Arliss if he had been able to set Yeller free from the corn crib? Suggested Response: Yeller could very well have turned on him and bitten him. Then Arliss would have contracted rabies and probably would have died.


Last updated January 26, 2008.




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