Touching Spirit Bear Vocabulary

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

''Touching Spirit Bear'' tells the story of Cole and his struggles to mature and and evolve from a hard upbringing. This lesson focuses on the vocabulary in the book.

Touching Spirit Bear

Touching Spirit Bear is a story that focuses on Native-American folklore, belief systems, and practices. They are interwoven into the story of Cole, a troublemaker who is neglected by one parent and abused by the other. This mistreatment makes him angry, which gets him into trouble. He starts to fight in school, but is caught and punished. Instead of locking him up, Cole's elders send him to an island to deal with his anger and find his spirit. He matures due to his time on the island, as he lives off the land and communes with the spirit bear that lives there.

The vocabulary in this book is varied, but many words that are based on the lives and beliefs of the Native-American people. This is a young adult novel, but many of the words are complex, so having a vocabulary list can be helpful.

Vocabulary Chapters 1-5

  • Omen - A sign that portrays something to come.
    • ''Overhead, a grey-matted sky hung like a bad omen.''
  • Banishment - Sent away from a place and not allowed to return.
    • ''Cole strained at the cuffs even though he had agreed to wear them until he was freed on the island to begin his banishment.''
  • Smirk - A small smile that shows arrogance.
    • ''He found Peter watching him with a smirk.''
  • Grudgingly - Displaying reluctance or unwillingness to perform an action.
    • ''Then grudgingly he held his tongue.''
  • Moseyed - Walking or moving slowly.
    • ''Cole moseyed along slowly...''
  • Brandished - Waved an object at someone or something.
    • ''This far away, they couldn't see his extended middle finger that he brandished at them.''
  • Shrouded - To hide or conceal something or someone.
    • ''A constant rain and shrouded grey sky masked the passing...''
  • Smoldered - Anger that is not expressed, but held in check for a long period of time.
    • ''His anger smoldered like a lit fuse.''
  • Sullenly - Unhappy or melancholy behavior.
    • ''Cole purposely isolated himself in his room, sitting sullenly.''
  • Scoffed - To make fun of a person or thing.
    • '''My parents - that's a joke.' Cole scoffed.''
  • Venomous - Poisonous or mean behavior.
    • ''Spewing a barrage of venomous curses...''
  • Mimicked - To copy someone else's behavior or mannerisms.
    • '''A lot of people can say that,' Garvey said 'Be more specific.' 'Be more specific,' Cole mimicked.''
  • Frigid - Extremely cold.
    • ''He knew he could not survive forever in the frigid water.''
  • Acknowledged - To notice someone or something around you; to agree with something.
    • ''His parents had not even acknowledged one another.''
  • Obligation - A duty one needs to fulfill.
    • ''The circle only carries two obligations - honesty and respect.''

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