From Books We’ve Read

Mogo’s Flute: Study Questions

  1. Where did Mogo live?
  2. What is the mundo-mugo?
  3. What is the legend of the 9 Kikuyu tribes?
  4. If you were Kikuyu like Mogo, how would you answer the question, “What is your name?”
  5. Based on what the author tells about Mogo’s thahu, what are some other possible explanations for Mogo’s problems?
  6. On page 13, Mogo’s dad wonders if it might have been better had Mogo died. Why did he say that? Do you agree? As Catholics, how do we think of LIFE? Explain differences/similarities.
  7. What role did Njoki play in helping Mogo overcome his thahu?
  8. Have you met someone like Njoki in your life?
  9. What do the Kikuyu believe about old people and death? Clue: see page 18
  10. What did Mogo do “to make his journey a success”?
  11. What was Mogo thinking as he made his way through the forest? Why did he think these things?
  12. Why is “what we have done” as important as “what we have not done”? How would you apply this in your life?
  13. What does ‘mastering one’s thahu‘ mean?
  14. What is your favorite part of the whole story and why?
  15. How can a curse be also a blessing? Give an example.
  16. How can a gift also be a loss? Give an example.
  17. Explain these: “A lone bee perishes.” “One twig cannot make of itself a basket.”
  18. What was the part you liked the least and why?
  19. How do you respond to unfairness? What is the best way to respond?
  20. What did Mogo learn about mothers’ work?
  21. What did Mogo’s family believe about the “sacred fire”? (see p. 31) Compare/contrast with Catholics’ sanctuary lamp/eternal flame.
  22. List 5 similes and 5 metaphors taken from pp. 32-35.
  23. What are the differences between Mogo’s people and the Masai?
  24. What did Mogo think the message of his dream was?
  25. What skills did he learn?
  26. What important life skills should one learn regardless of handicaps/weaknesses?
  27. Explain: “Soil does not cheat a man.” (p. 50)
  28. Read Grandfather’s blessing again on p. 51. (Extra credit: use this for copywork.) How is it similar to our blessing prayers?
  29. Explain: “A hyena robbed of its meal finds another.”
  30. Narrate the story of the hyena and the mole.
  31. How is Mogo’s skill set different from yours? Why are they different?
  32. Mogo’s father tells Mogo that his first earnings should go towards the purchase of a goat or lamb. Compare/contrast with Dad’s/Mom’s teachings about finances.
  33. What are two ways the Kikuyu people measure time?
  34. When people cheat you, when you lose, what’s the best attitude to have?
  35. What did Mogo learn about giving?
  36. Why was Mama surprised that they were cheerful?
  37. How can a bad thing be a good thing too? Compare/contrast with Catholic teaching that God can take the bad and make something good out of it.
  38. What is the “happiest pain” in Mogo’s young life? Have you had a similar experience?
  39. How had Mogo changed between the time he had his first flute and the time he got his second flute?

A bit more involved thinking:

  1. List the major characters of the story, with a descriptive phrase about each.
  2. List some of the differences/similarities between yours and Mogo’s cultures. (e.g., sleeping arrangements, men’s/women’s roles, etc.)
  3. Make a list of the animals mentioned in the story.
  4. List some of the Kikuyu’s beliefs that are different from yours.
  5. List some of the practices of Mogo’s tribe with regards to old people and young children.

Vocabulary:
shambas
thahu
motoriro
riika
Thaai
Mama
Baba
Maita
posho
Ngai

Extra credit: Copy and color the picture on p. 34.