Grade: Senior
Subject: Literature

#2148. The Bean Trees - Mapping Taylor's Route

Literature, level: Senior
Posted Mon Feb 26 08:30:03 PST 2001 by Kerry LeBlanc (

Argyll Home Education Services Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Concepts Taught: mapping, motifs

1) To help you visualize Taylor Greer's physical journey, throughout the story, locate where each of the following is and label it clearly and neatly on your map of the United States. Each state that you label should then be coloured with a different colour. For a map of the United States and each state that Taylor travels, look at this or any other suitable website:

The states and cities you will need to locate for Taylor's journey are:
Cincinnati, Ohio
Wichita, Kansas
St. Louis, Missouri
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tucson, Arizona
New Mexico

a. The first major journey ends on page 36 of your novel. As you follow this journey, trace the route on your map. Indicate this trip with a specific coloured line which is to be placed in you map's legend.

b. A second journey for our protagonist begins on page 190. Trace the second trip on your map, this time with another coloured line. This is also to be placed in your legend.

c. Several key events occur in different places. On your maps, indicate where each of the following happens by having a separate and distinct symbol for each:
Taylor is born.
Taylor is given Turtle.
Taylor adopts Turtle.
Immigration stops Taylor, Turtle, Estevan, and Esperanza.
Estevan and Esperanza say a final good-bye to Taylor.

2) In reading this novel, you are sure to notice a number of motifs along the way, including, but not limited to, the following:
-cereus blooms one night of the year
-sanctuary/safe haven
-other motifs you notice

a. As you read, make point form notes of your thoughts as you notice a particular motif is used. You'll likely jump around a lot in your note-taking, because some motifs are recurring. At the end of the novel, you need to have at least one point or example beside each motif listed.