Text-Based Questions for “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie

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Text-Based Questions for “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie

Created at LBMS Redelivery (7th-8th)

  • What can you infer about how Alexie feels about books based on the passage?

  • In “Superman and Me” how does Sherman Alexie help the reader better understand his life with his family on the Indian Reservation? Use text evidence to support your answer.

  • Explain metaphors and extended metaphors as figurative language using examples from the text.

  • Using text evidence, identify the metaphor in paragraph 3 and how the author develops it.

  • How does Alexie describe how he benefits from teaching himself to read and how does it harm him?

  • How do stereotypes influence a person’s life and affect the decisions they make?

  • What significant aspects of Indian identity does Alexie discuss in paragraph 6 that represent barriers to success?

  • How did Alexie overcome these barriers personally?

  • Explain the significance of “breaking down the doors”. What doors are figuratively being broken down?

  • Superman is shown “breaking down doors” paragraph 4. How does Alexie break down doors starting in paragraph 5 and continuing throughout the end of the essay?

  • In paragraph 8, Alexie states that students “refuse and resist” and that he has to “throw my weight against their locked doors.” How is this similar to what Superman must do in the comic book? Support your answer with text evidence.

  • In paragraph 6, Alexie states that “a smart Indian is a dangerous person, widely feared and ridiculed.” How does this compare to your perception of Superman. Support your answer with text evidence.

Text-Based Questions for “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie

Created at ELA 6-8 TNCORE training (HVHS 6-17)

  • What effect on the text is created by the use of repetition in paragraph 7? How would removing the repetition affect the tone?

  • Use evidence from the text to explain the significance of the contradictory word phrases in paragraph 6? How do they reflect the message that Alexie conveys about Native Americans and their role in society?

  • In paragraph 5, how does the author’s word choice of “prodigy” and “oddity” symbolize the contradiction of perception vs. reality?

  • What is the significance of the pronoun shift from my to our at the end of paragraphs 7 and 8? Use evidence from the text to explain how this is connected to the main idea of the passage.

  • Cite examples from the text that show how Alexie’s community used the expectations of failure as an excuse for failure.

  • In paragraph 3, Alexie uses the concept of paragraphs as a metaphor to order his life. Explain how the cultural expectations acted as a fence to his “life paragraph” as an intelligent reader/writer.

  • Alexie references “paragraphs” in his writing. List his “fences” and explain how each works. Create your own “fences” and explain.

  • Using explicit evidence from the text, explain the metaphor Alexie uses when he compares his life to paragraphs. What is he telling the reader?

  • In paragraph 4 of the text, Sherman Alexie says that Superman is “breaking down the door.” How is this statement part of the extended metaphor? How do you see Sherman Alexie doing the same thing – “breaking down the door”? Make sure to cite the text.

  • How does the word choice “trying to save lives” add to the metaphor?

  • What evidence in the text supports the theme “knowledge is power”?

  • Alexie’s educational expectations were affected by society’s beliefs of his culture. Use the text to cite two expectations of Indian children that would be a challenge for their success.

  • Explain the metaphor from the text using evidence to support your answer.

  • Cite specific ways Superman and Alexie are similar.

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