Pre-Reading Questions

1. How far would you go to help someone in need?

2. What do you think the novel is about based on the title, "House of Tomorrow?"

3. What is a dome?

4. What are some examples of domes?

5. What are some different genres of music?

6. What are some characteristics of the punk rock of music?

7. What are some examples of punk rock bands? (Mainstream or underground) 

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Reader Response Questions

1. Are there any connections between The House of Tomorrow and your own life?

2. Which character do you like the best? Why? Can you identify with them?

3. Which character do you like the least? Why? What traits do they have?

3. If this book took place in a setting other than a small town in Iowa, how would it have changed?

5. What is the mood or tone of The House of Tomorrow? 

6.Are you like any characters in the novel? Explain.

7. Would you change the ending of this story in any way? If so, why would you make that change?

8. Did you like House of Tomorrow? Explain.

9. Would you ever live in a geodesic dome? Why or why not? If so, what would you have inside?

10. Based off this novel, what assumptions can you make about the author? What type of person does he seem to be? 

Interpretive Community Questions

Understanding the Central Person

1.What seems to drive Sebastian to action?

2. What incidents tell us most about Sebastian?

3. Would you be friends with Sebastian? If so, what would you have in common?

4. If you could ask Sebastian one question, what would it be?

Exploring the World of Characters

1. What other characters in The House of Tomorrow attract your special attention?

2. Do some of the other characters represent values or ideas beyond themselves?

3. Which character is the most mysterious and hardest to understand?

4. Does any character that seems peripheral or mysterious or minor play an important role in the story?

Imagining Characters in Our World

1. Choose a character in The House of Tomorrow: what serious matters could you talk about with this person?

2.Choose a character in The House of Tomorrow: what television program or movie (if any) would be most appealing to this person? Why?

Considering Any Discussion of Characters

1.Has the text done justice to the audience- in other words, is the character believable?

2. Have we done justice to the complexity of this person in the text through discussion? 

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Critical Synthesis Questions

1. Who is the narrator? Is Sebastian a reliable or unreliable narrator? Give specific examples to support your answer.

2. How did Peter Bognanni, the author of The House of Tomorrow, use language or emotions to influence your feelings about certain characters? Did his description of a character make you favor him/her over another character?

3. What events in either Sebastian’s life, Jared’s life, or Meredith’s life do you consider most influential to the development of his/her personality? Discuss how this character develops into a round character.

4. How do the four guiding principles of Buckminster Fuller influence the way Sebastian views the world and the experiences he encounters?

5. What is the effect of reading this story of self-discovery on you? Did it cause you to make any self-discoveries about your self or life?

Reader Response:
6. Do you feel more sympathy for Sebastian or Jared? Explain your answer.

7. What does The House of Tomorrow teach us about how to live our lives?

8. Nana let Fuller’s ideas control her and Sebastian’s life. Where do you lay blame for this, on the individual or society? Explain your answer.

New Historical:
9. In class we researched Fuller. This story was written in 2010. How do we read this differently than Fuller’s generation would?


10. How does Sebastian’s narration lead to different interpretations of the novel. Can there be more than one interpretation of Sebastian’s narration?


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Discussion Question Activities

Text Rendering: After reading the chapter, each student will pick one word, phrase, and sentence from the text that seems the most important in the chapter. Students will have them written out for class. We will go around the room and share the word, phrase, and sentence. After sharing, students will pose questions or comment on what was chosen through discussion.

Twenty Questions: After reading the first chapter of the novel, students will compose 20 questions. As students finish the novel, most of the questions will be answered. This shows students that confusion is a part of the process. This will also help students with the confusion of reading the first chapter and model that a good reader works through the confusion. 

Socratic Seminar: The class is divided into two groups, which are organized in an inner-circle facing inward and an outer circle facing inward. One student in the inner circle will be tasked with creating opening questions. As the inner circle discusses the text based on the questions posed by the student, the outer circle will make no sounds or participate in discussion except to take notes on the major questions being asked, observations about demographical stances, and what derails or propels the discussion. After the inner circle has discussed for 20 minutes, the outer circle will trade places with them and continue discussion. There may be another student assigned with open-ended questions in the outer circle as well as a “Devil’s Advocate” tasked with challenging the statements of others in the group. The Socratic Seminar should be repeated multiple times throughout the semester to give all students the opportunity to lead discussion.

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