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Provo City School District

Provost Elementary School

Last modified: October 18, 2021

Hatchet Research Project:  aviation

Become an EXPERT!

Like Brian Robeson in Hatchet, you are about to embark on a journey across Canada. You will be dropped off in the middle of the wilderness and expected to survive the full 2 weeks. In order to successfully complete your mission, you must become an “expert” in certain fields.

Role 1

Your first role will be that of PILOT.  As pilot you will be responsible to research and learn all you can about airplanes and flight aviation. Using the resources below, you will gather information and prepare to share your newly gained knowledge in one of the following ways:

  • A one-page (5 paragraph) report with at least 2 pictures and/or diagrams
  • A keynote presentation with at least 3 paragraphs typed on a minimum of 5 slides
  • An oral report with a poster of pictures and/or diagrams
  • A partner role play presentation that includes a scripted interview
  • An audio recording presented as a radio news broadcast
  • A video recording presented as a television news broadcast
  • A comic strip style poster that presents informational text with pictures and/or diagrams
  • Newspaper or Magazine style article with pictures and/or diagrams
  • Advertisement Poster about flight
  • Other options are available at student request

Pilot Use the following list of resources to research and become an expert in AVIATION.

Gary Paulsen

Born on May 17, 1939 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gary Paulsen is the prolific author of more than 40 books, 200 magazine articles and short stories, and several plays; primarily for Young Adults. Paulsen’s interests in books and reading came when he was a teenager and walked into a library to escape the cold of a Minnesota winter. Once inside, and much to his surprise, the librarian offered him a library card and a book to read (Something About the Author, 1995). Reading helped Paulsen cope with a difficult family situation then and remains a constant in his life today.

Since the age of 15, Paulsen has worked at many jobs in an effort to support himself: migrant worker, soldier, field engineer, truck driver, and magazine editor (Handy, 1991). Paulsen used his work as a magazine editor to learn the craft of writing. In 1966, his first book was published, The Special War. Using his varied life experiences, but especially those of an outdoorsman–a hunter, trapper, and two-time competitor in the Iditarod, a 1,200 mile Alaskan dogsled race, Paulsen writes about what he knows best. This knowledge comes through clearly in the descriptive details he uses, making the reader feel part of the narrative.

Much of Paulsen’s work features outdoor settings showing the importance of water and woods to the harmony of nature. He often uses a coming of age theme, where a character masters the art of survival in isolation as a rite of passage to manhood. Ethnic groups are presented with sensitivity and understanding, giving the reader a perspective not realized previously. . .the majestic use of language, the examination of human potential, a strong sense of humor…has won Paulsen his much deserved reputation…(Lesesne, 1996, p.341).

Paulsen lives in La Luz, New Mexico with his wife, Ruth, an artist.