Objective: Students will read and analyze the first three chapters of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and make inferences from the text to answer questions about the story.
Instructor should begin by providing students with the fun and mysterious synopsis of Coraline and discussing the genre of gothic horror with students. Introduce the elements of making inferences and giving examples for them to practice.
Instructor should review the plot with students and ask them to guess what character traits particular characters will possess throughout the book.
1. Explain to students that they will be reading and answering questions about the first three chapters of Coraline.
2. Give students the comprehension questions and answers to review. (see below)
3. Instruct students to answer the questions by making inferences or by connecting the plot to any character traits they have already discussed.
4. Make sure students write out their answers thoroughly with supporting evidence and page numbers where applicable.
5. Once students have completed the activity, review their answers in class or have them share.
Comprehension Questions and Answers:
1. What is the title of the book and who wrote it?
Answer: The book is called Coraline, and it is written by Neil Gaiman.
2. What type of housing does Coraline live in?
Answer: Coraline lives in an old house, which is said to be “filled with all types of curious things” (Gaiman, 5).
3. What does Coraline's father do for a living?
Answer: Coraline's father is an inventor, and he spends his time creating useless and often broken inventions (Gaiman, 7).
4. Why does Coraline's mother not pay attention to her daughters?
Answer: Coraline's mother is a workaholic who spends most of her time on the phone doing less than pleasant work (Gaiman, 8).
5. What is the name of Coraline's neighbor, who lives in the flat next to hers?
Answer: The name of Coraline's neighbor is Miss Spink (Gaiman, 9).
6. Where does Coraline find the door at the end of the hallway?
Answer: At the end of the hallway, Coraline finds a small door that was painted over, just like the door in the drawing room (Gaiman, 15).
7. Describe Miss Forcible and Miss Spink's relationship with Coraline.
Answer: Miss Forcible and Miss Spink are friendly towards Coraline and give her advice, however their advice is often outdated and out of sync with the modern world (Gaiman, 22).
8. What type of stories does Coraline's father tell her?
Answer: Coraline's father tells her made-up, silly stories that usually have a moral to them or involve a lesson to be learned (Gaiman, 29).
9. What does Coraline find when she enters the other world?
Answer: When Coraline enters the other world, she finds an exact replica of her apartment and her family, except everyone has buttons as eyes (Gaiman, 30).
10. What does the other mother promise to do, if Coraline solves the puzzle in the other world?
Answer: The other mother promises to give Coraline anything she wants if she can solve the puzzle of the four doors in the other world (Gaiman, 35).