The Wave by Todd Strasser - PDF

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                                     The Wave
                                  By: Todd Strasser
Students in Ben Ross’s history class at Gordon High School are studying World War II and having
difficulty understanding the heedless way in which many of the German people followed Hitler. In
an effort to have students experience Hitler’s manipulation of his people, Ross creates an
experiment, The Wave. The experiment mushrooms and, within a week, governs the majority of
the school with its motto: “Strength Through Discipline, Strength Through Community, Strength
Through Action.” A few dissenting students recognize the danger in “The Wave” and attempt to
stop the movement before it is too late.

Genre: Fiction, based on an actual classroom occurrence in Palo Alto, California, 1969.
Setting: Gordon High School
Point of view: Third person omniscient
Themes: Power, control, group pressure
Conflict: Person vs. Person, Person vs. Self, and Person vs. Society

*Please complete the entire study guide on a separate sheet of paper!

Directions: After you have located the vocabulary word in the book, use a dictionary to define the
word by the context as it is used in the sentence.

1. Perpetual
2. Befuddled
3. Menial
4. Permeated
5. Inexplicable
6. Incessant
7. Regiment
8. Appeased
9. Allegiance
10. Resurgence
11. Sabbatical
12. Evolved
13. Enhance
14. Skeptically
15. Utopian
16. Fascist
17. Ironically
18. Antagonistic
19. Usurp
20. Compliance
       Directions: Using complete sentences, write at least two character traits, either physical or
personality wise, to describe who they are.

1. Ben Ross
2. Eric
3. Laurie Saunders
4. Robert Billings
5. Christy Ross
6. Mr. Saunders
7. Mrs. Saunders
8. David Collins
9. Deutsch
10. Amy Smith
11. Owens
12. Brad
13. Brian Ammon
14. Alex Cooper
15. Schiller
16. Carl Block

        Directions: Answer each question in complete sentences.

Chapter One
1. Describe Ben Ross’s reputation with students and faculty at Gordon High School.

Chapter Two
2. How many men, women, and children were murdered in Nazi extermination camps?

Chapter Three
3. What does David think is the primary problem with the Gordon High School football team? What is
their next big challenge?

Chapter Four
4. What bothers Ross about his student s’ reaction to t he film about Hitler and Nazi Germany? What
does he decide to do?

Chapter Five
5. How do most of the students react to Ross’s plan?

Chapter Six
6. What does Ross add to the slogan for his experiment? What name has he selected?
7. At first who does not join in reciting the slogans? Why do you think they react this way?
8. Identify the symbol and the salute for The Wave.

Chapter Seven
9. What does Laurie stress as a positive aspect of The Wave?
10. How do Laurie’s parents react when she talks with them about The Wave? Compare their reaction to
the way you think your parents would react in a similar situation.

Chapter Eight
11. Has The Wave had a positive or negative effect on the football team? Explain your answer.
12. Explain the new addition to The Wave requirements and its effect on the students.
13. What effect does The Wave have on Robert Billings?
Chapter Nine
14. Identify the unexpected things that begin to occur due to The Wave. What troubles Ross?
15. What is the biggest story in Gordon High School? Why is Laurie reluctant to print the story? What
does she decide to do and why?

Chapter Ten
16. Why does Principal Owens summon Ross to his office? What is the result?
17. Why will Ross be relieved if Principal Owens tells him to stop The Wave?

Chapter Eleven
18. Is the effect of the anonymous letter Laurie receives positive or negative? Explain your answer. 19.
Why is Robert following Ross down the hall? What is Ross’s response?

Chapter Twelve
20. Who joins Laurie in going against The Wave? What do they decide to do?
21. What complication does Mr. Saunders add to the plot?

Chapter Thirteen
22. Why do some members of The Grapevine staff fail to attend the meeting to prepare a special addition
of the paper about The Wave?

Chapter Fourteen
23. What does Laurie have to do before the paper comes out? Why? What is the result?

Chapter Fifteen
24. Explain what happens between Laurie and David?
25. How does Ross feel about ending The Wave?
26. What do David and Laurie do after David almost hurts Laurie? What is the result?

Chapter Sixteen
27. Who is Ross planning to involve in his solution to The Wave? Why?
28. What announcement does Ross make in History class?

Chapter Seventeen
29. Describe The Wave rally.

"The Wave By: Todd Strasser Freshmen Summer Reading." Peotone Community School District. Web. 21 Feb. 2010.

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