Comprehension Questions- The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger — a real-life, very large tiger — pacing back and forth in a cage. What's more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things — like memories, and heartaches, and tigers — can't be locked up forever.

Ages 9-12; Interest Level Grades 4-7; Grade Level Equiv. 5.4; Lexile 520L; DRA 50; GRL T

PDF Worksheets: Comprehension Questions, Vocabulary, Writing Prompts, Enrichment Activities

Comprehension Questions

Chapter 1

  1. How did Rob's dad rip his clothes?  slapping Rob to make him stop crying  p.3
  2. Name two of Rob's "not-thoughts".  his mom's death, rash, the Threemonger brothers) p.3

Chapter 2

  1. Describe Billy and Norton.  boys who ride the bus with Rob; they were bullies to Rob; had bad breath;  p.5
  2. What does Mr. Nelson, the bus driver, do as Billy and Norton bully Rob?  nothing; whistles a tuneless song ignoring the situation p.6
  3. What gives Rob the strength to not-cry when the boys bully him on the bus? He had the extra power of the tiger with him  p.6

Chapter 3

  1. What did Rob think of Sistine?  she's strange p.8
  2. Where did the name "Sistine" come from? a chapel  p.9
  3. Describe Sistine.  wore pink lacy dress; gravelly, deep, clipped, sharp voice; sharp nose and chin; black black eyes; didn't seem bothered by the boys; confident  p.9

Chapter 4

  1. Why does Rob want to whittle the tiger? his mother taught him how to whittle and it makes stuff come alive  p.12
  2. What is Sistine's attitude toward Robert? hate's him p.12

Chapter 5

  1. Why is Mr. Phelmer, the principal, worried about Rob's legs?  parents of the other students think his rash might be contagious  p. 15
  2. Why is Rob's heart singing when the principal tells him he should stay home for a few days for the medicine to work?  he doesn't have to go to school; he can see the tiger; he can begin to whittle the tiger into wood  p.17

Chapter 6

  1. Why didn't Rob yell at Sistine to run when kids were throwing objects at her?  he knew if he did he would get bullied as well  p.19
  2. Why did Rob feel a thrill when the children were chasing him after he stopped them from ganging up on Sistine? he was saving Sistine p.21

Chapter 7

  1. What type of figurative language is this an example of? "He opened his mouth and the words fell out, one on top of the other, like gold coins."  simile  p.23
  2. Why did Sistine put her hand on Rob's leg, then rub her hand up and down her own legs?  so she would get the rash and not have to go to school  p.24

Chapter 8

  1. Will anyone catch Rob's sickness?  no p.26
  2. What will Rob do when he is out of school? work with his dad p.27
  3. How did Rob's dad feel about him missing school?  he was ok with it; thought a break from the bullies would do him good; thought it would be good to have Rob help him around the motel  p.27

Chapter 9

  1. Why does Rob not like sunshine? it reminds him of his mom's funeral p.33

Chapter 10

  1. What did Willie May say to Rob that would help him be cured of his rashes?  let the sadness from his mom's death rise up to his heart, not go down to his legs  p.37
  2. What certificate does Rob's principal not have? sense certificate  p.37

Chapter 11

  1. When Sistine had brought Rob his homework the first time, why were her clothes dirty and her knuckles bloody?  she'd been fighting at school  p.40
  2. When Rob told Sistine about the tiger, how did he know he told the right person? The only question she asked was, "where?"  p.41

Chapter 12

  1. Who was the sculptor that painted the Sistine Chapel?  Michelangelo  p.43
  2. How did Rob feel when Sistine called him an artist?  joyful and embarrassed p.43

Chapter 13

  1. How does Sistine get Rob to tell her about his mother? starts to leave and walks away from him p.48

Chapter 14

  1. Why is Sistine upset about the tiger being caged in Florida? it was not running free  p.50-51
  2. Why didn't Rob want to do what Sistine wanted to do and let the tiger free?  It wasn't his tiger to let go p.51
  3. What emotion did Rob feel when he grabbed Sistine's hand and ran away from the car approaching them and the tiger?  happiness  p.52
  4. Why had Rob started to feel happiness again?  he had a friend  p.52

Chapter 15

  1. Why was Rob scolding himself for leaving open his "suitcase"?  now his words, feelings and emotions were out   p.55

Chapter 16

  1. How did Sistine's parents meet?  they were both looking up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and ran into each other.  p.57
  2. Why doesn't Sistine listen to, or respect her mother? she feels like she's a liar  p.60

Chapter 17

  1. What is Willie May's opinion on caged animals?  she wants to let them go p.64
  2. Tell me about the parakeet Willie May got for her birthday.  called him Cricket because he sang all the time; could feel his heart beating in her hand when she held him; let him go since she couldn't stand him being locked up; her dad beat her  p.62

Chapter 18

  1. What special job does Beauchamp want to give Rob?  taking care of the tiger  p.67
  2. What do you think the bloody meat in Beachamp's jeep is for?  to feed the tiger p.68

Chapter 19

  1. How did Beauchamp come into possession of the tiger? a fellow owed him some money and paid him with a tiger  p.70
  2. Why did Beauchamp give the entire set of keys to the tiger cage to Rob? Beauchamp trusted him not to open the door  p.71
  3. What does Rob have that will set the tiger free?  the keys p.73

Chapter 20

  1. When Sistine presses Rob into letting the tiger go, why does he resist? the tiger won't be safe  p.76
  2. Why does Sistine break down crying when Rob won't let the tiger go?  she wants to go live with her dad; she hates it in Florida; she wants to let the tiger go  p.77
  3. How does Rob comfort Sistine when she breaks down crying? put his hand on her neck like his mother used to do to him; told her to cry and that he had a good hold on her p.77

Chapter 21

  1. What does Willie May compare Sistine's anger to?  lightning that was snapping out of her  p.81
  2. What was the advice that Willie May gave to Sistine? no one was going to rescue her; she had to rescue herself  p.82

Chapter 22

  1. When Rob's dad found the rotten meat under his bed, what's a word that would describe how his dad felt? inadequate; frustrated; angry p.83
  2. Why did Rob's father stare at the gun and crack his knuckles after finding the meat?  he was thinking about using it on Beauchamp p.84
  3. What did Rob carve? Willie May's bird, Cricket  p.85

Chapter 23

  1. When Rob put the wooden carving into Willie May's hand, what was her response?  she didn't want to open her eyes for fear she would frighten the wooden bird away; she knew what it was with her eyes closed; soothed her heart  p.88
  2. Why doesn't Willie May have to dream of Cricket anymore?  now she had Rob's carving of her Cricket  p.88

Chapter 24

  1. Why does Rob like Sistine so much?  her voice changes when she sees something beautiful  p.92
  2. When Rob and Sistine first told Willie May about the tiger, what was her reaction?  surprised; shocked; wanted to see the tiger  p.93

Chapter 25

  1. What does Sistine always say when she gets sad, frustrated or doesn't get her way?  she can't wait until her father comes to get her and that he'll set the tiger free; puts the blame on other people by calling them liars  p.95
  2. After Willie May told Rob that she would like to see the tiger "rise on up out of his cage", Rob realized what he had to do.  What do you predict he'll do?  p.97

Chapter 26

  1. When Beauchamp drives up in his jeep toward Sistine and Rob, what does Sistine do that surprises Rob?  smile and sweetly say "Sissy" to Beauchamp  p.100
  2. What is the truth that Rob and Sistine learn about Beauchamp and the tiger?  Beauchamp is scared of the tiger  p.101

Chapter 27

  1. When Rob unlocks the tiger cage, why do they rock it?  so the tiger will leave  p.103
  2. What did the author compare the tiger running away from Rob and Sistine to? he looked like the sun, rising, setting again and again

Chapter 28

  1. What happens to the tiger after the kids let him go?  Rob's dad shoots it p.106
  2. What was a positive outcome to Rob's dad shooting the tiger?  Rob was able to finally tell his father how he feels about his mother being gone and they could talk and cry together  p.106
  3. Why do you think it was important to touch the tiger after Rob's dad had shot it?  helps you mourn, say good-bye and accept what has happened  p.109

Chapter 29

  1. What attended both Rob's mother's and the tiger's funeral?  the sun  p.111
  2. On the way back to the motel after the funeral, Rob felt lighter, as if he had put something heavy down and walked away from it.  Why was he feeling lighter?  he and his dad had talked; he was able to cry; he felt good about his decision to let the tiger go  p.112

Chapter 30

  1. Why does Rob feel all right about going to school now? Sistine is there p.114
  2. What will Rob carve for Sistine? a tiger  p.116